Don't Wanna Cry. Just the title alone sounds like a typical, slow, sappy love song yearning for a lost love, right? But, we should know better by now that Seventeen is the epitome of "expect the unexpected."
Although the lyrics do tell the story of a lost love, the song itself is a lot more upbeat than the title may lead you to assume. With a dance-worthy EDM beat accompanied by the group's usual amazing vocals, the song is a hit - and it's got the awards to prove it, with six music show wins during their promotion period. If I were to give it a ranking out of ten, I can honestly and shamelessly say that I would give it a minimum of ten points out of ten (random 2PM reference, anyone?). Here's why:
While the story being told is nothing we haven't heard before, the way producer Bumzu and members Woozi, Hoshi, S.Coups, and Jeonghan, wrote the lyrics isn't. There's a lot of repetition in the chorus, but that's expected as the lyrics depict a tale of someone confused, yearning for their lost love, giving themselves false hope, and pretending to be okay. It's the little details and changes, such as the first pre-chorus' "If I cry right now, I might not see you," turning into "but tears well up and it's getting blurrier" in the following pre-chorus. Another favorite part of mine would be Mingyu and Wonwoo's "rap" part during the bridge, where Mingyu can be seen as the conscious, while Wonwoo is the facade. Wonwoo says he's okay, but Mingyu echoes that he's not. Wonwoo says he doesn't miss his love, but Mingyu says he does. "Even if they're lies, I need to say it. My heart won't listen like I want."
The contradictions within the song, in my humble opinion, are what make the lyrics all the better. Personally, it's hard to admit heartbreak, and it's hard to admit you want someone back. Oftentimes, people will want to appear fine on the outside, even while knowing they're breaking on the inside. Most love songs are written very blatantly - main character begs for their love back, saying they miss them so much they might die. These types of songs can still be good, don't get me wrong, but they're not realistic. I won't run around screaming I want someone back; I'll hold it in and pretend I'm fine, just like Seventeen's doing in this scenario. The lyrics, to me, scream agony, pain, and heartbreak in the most subtle, but genuine way possible.
This song did see some controversy upon its initial release due to similarities with songs "Something Just Like This" and "Closer" by The Chainsmokers. Woozi and Bumzu produced Don't Wanna Cry themselves, and they may have been influenced by The Chainsmokers, but when it comes down to it, don't most EDM songs sound relatively similar? I won't deny that my first thought listening to Don't Wanna Cry was, "wow, this could totally be a song by The Chainsmokers," but listening closely, there are differences still. In terms of originality, maybe the instrumental isn't completely new and never heard before, but it fits the lyrics well, and that's the most important thing (for me). It throws in an unexpected element to a sad story.
The slow buildup in the beginning is what follows the initial breakup, where the members are melancholy. The first beat drop and chorus is when the members realize that they can't mope around, that they have to get their love back. The subtle bridge is the group trying to convince themselves that they're okay, that they can move forward without their love, and the fade out of the song can represent the way the members have accepted the reality. They've accepted that they miss their love unbearably, and they're determined to get them back. The final stretch, where the if we meet again finally turns into a when I see you again. Everything about the instrumental just somehow fits the concept, the lyrics; it just matches with Seventeen. The group has shown so much versatility already with their previous releases, but they've delved into a new genre with more maturity with this song and album, and it's amazing.
#3: Delivery (Vocals/Rap)
It's no surprise that Seventeen's vocals killed it once again, but with this song, Carats get to hear every. member. sing. Rap line's Vernon starts the song off with his soft, melodic voice, and S.Coups also shows off his vocal abilities during his part. Although Mingyu and Wonwoo technically have the "rap" part of the song, the delivery and flow are so smooth it's as if they're singing, too. And let's not forget China line - although Jun and The8 still don't have as many lines as the others, we're at least able to hear them singing this time around (bonus points for song My I off the same album!). The line distribution may not be the best, but we get to hear more of some of the members who don't usually have a lot of lines.
Each member sings with true emotion behind their words, and it works perfectly with the story telling of their lost love. In particular, a favorite part of mine would be Seungkwan's "come back, come back, come back;" such a simple line was delivered with so much feeling that you can truly hear the pain in his voice. Aside from emotion, the arrangement of the vocals was perfect for the song, too. Overall, the line distribution could still use some work, but their talent makes up for it.
Amazing. Spectacular. Flawless. Mesmerizing. From their sharp, hard hitting to their contemporary, lyrical moves, it's hard to put into words how much I love this choreography. The tiny details, the execution, the emotion. I'm getting repetitive, I know, but the emotion is something that's apparent in every aspect of this song. Each member has their time to shine - Woozi's got an amazing solo dance part, Joshua's dance part will surely leave you in awe, and The8's flip will literally take your breath away. The choreography is so well put together, and it's got a variety of dancing styles in it, too.
Not only does the dance show off different styles, it also tells a story, just like the lyrics and melody do. One part that comes to mind immediately would be S.Coups' part. "The path that used to be familiar is now unfamiliar. Is this the path I know?" This line, paired with the streetlight choreography Hoshi created, does an amazing job painting a picture of lonely, heartbroken Seventeen walking along the streets looking for their lost love. "I'm looking for you right now." Jeonghan's part matched with the choreography paint a picture of someone wandering around lost, looking for someone they can't reach. "Come back, come back, come back." Seungkwan's part paired with the pumping chest, as if they're yearning for their love to come back so badly that their hearts are beating out of their chests.
Another great thing about Seventeen is that they're all amazing dancers (yes, even Wonwoo, who they often poke fun at for his pre-debut dancing). There surely has to be one member whose dancing stands out above all, though, right? When Jeonghan mentioned that he "wanted to express sexy sadness" for this promotion period at the Al1 showcase, he really wasn't kidding. Jeonghan executes the dance flawlessly for this song, with raw emotion showing through his every move. All in all, they're all amazing dancers, and they've got amazing choreography to go with their talent (props to my bias Hoshi for this). Special shout out to Jeonghan for how much his dancing has improved since debut, and how amazing his dancing is for this piece!
BONUS: Check out their amazing 2x speed dance from Weekly Idol and a Jeonghan focused cam of Don't Wanna Cry's choreography!
#5: Music Video
To be completely honest, the music video is probably my least favorite part of this whole song. It's not as memorable as I had hoped it would be, and I often end up picturing the choreography version when I hear the song rather than the actual music video. The whole thing was filmed in Southern California - the boys traveled to Palm Springs and Malibu in particular. The video is filmed beautifully and artistically, with each member having individual parts in different places. With that, though, it seems as if each member is going through their own heartbreaks in their own separate situations, and coming together in the end as one giant group of heartbroken boys. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but in my opinion, a song like this could've done well with a simplistic video. I do enjoy the video (especially 2:40 and on), however, my own personal preference prevents me from loving it as much as I love all other aspects of this comeback.
Overall, this review is probably very biased, considering I'm a Carat. Do I think it's the best song in the world? Definitely not. It is, however, my favorite title song of theirs so far, and the entire album is full of great music (my personal favorite is definitely If I). Seventeen is always experimenting with their music and trying different things, and so far, it's worked amazingly in their favor. Congratulations to the group on yet another awesome song and a successful promotion period, and here's looking forward to what they have in store for fans next! Are you a Carat yet? What did you think of the song? Let us here at C.H.D know your own thoughts in the comments below!
*C.H.D Entertainment is in no way affiliated with any of the above mentioned artists, their companies, or their partners. This article does not reflect the thoughts and opinions of C.H.D Entertainment as a whole.