Ateez – Golden Hour: Part 1

The K-pop shine with grace and power...

“Golden Hour, the brightest moments in life. Those moments are like quick flashes and never come back”. With these words, ATEEZ’s 10th mini album, ‘Golden Hour : Part.1’, begins.

In their ongoing artistic journey, ATEEZ, unveils new layers of their musical narrative. Building upon the introspective quest of ‘TREASURE’, the fiery passion of ‘FEVER’, and the anthem for liberation in ‘THE WORLD’, their latest series aims to capture the essence of ATEEZ’s brightest moments. Commencing with the eagerly awaited first instalment, ‘GOLDEN HOUR: Part 1’, the group sets the stage for a captivating exploration of their evolving sound and story.

The opening message, ‘Golden Hour’, sets a reflective tone by emphasizing the transient nature of life’s most radiant moments. It begins by acknowledging that everyone experiences special times, whether by looking forward to the future or cherishing past memories. The message then prompts deeper reflection on the essence of these fleeting moments and what we should aspire to as they pass.

By questioning whether living solely for the brightest moments might leave us feeling emptier, it challenges listeners to redefine their idea of “golden hours.” It suggests that true golden moments might lie in everyday experiences — shared laughter with friends, quiet family dinners, and relaxing weekends with loved ones. This poignant message underscores the importance of finding value in the simplicity and authenticity of daily life, rather than just in the spectacular and fleeting highlights.

In ‘Blind’, Ateez boldly declares that “El amor es ciego” (love is blind), marking the beginning of a dance-infused journey with Latin elements that seamlessly blend with the group’s unique style, showcasing their adeptness at cross-cultural exploration. The song also touches on the duality between day and night, love and youth, emphasizing the fleeting yet intense nature of these moments. As the music unfolds, a sense of urgency and freedom envelops listeners, evoking the sensation of dancing under the moonlight, unencumbered by the dawn’s uncertainties. Each verse serves as a confession of desire, while every chorus echoes with a cry for liberation, underscoring the intrinsic connection between love and music in enlivening the soul.

In the subsequent track, ‘Work’, Ateez delves into introspective themes, reflecting on the significance of labor and its relation to personal identity, while infusing elements of Korean culture. With references to King Park Hyeokgeose, portrayed by member Park Seonghwa, the group pays homage to their heritage, bridging past and present.

Immersed in Latin culture, the group is seen holding a Mexican and a Brazilian flag, reflecting their deep connection with diverse global influences. Their monumental performance in São Paulo to a crowd of 30,000 attests not only to their impact on the audience, but also to how their fans know how to put on a show.

Transitioning to ‘Empty Box’, Ateez delivers a serene melody expressing the desire to move forward and shed memories that tether them to the past, acknowledging the need for growth and renewal.

But everything changes when ‘Shaboom’ enters the room, as the music exudes energy and festivity, capturing the vibrant atmosphere of a party where the participants lose themselves in music and dance, momentarily escaping the burdens of life.

Closing the album with ‘Siren’, Ateez channels a sense of power and determination, with lyrics that evoke images of resilience and strength. The “siren” metaphorically symbolizes the group’s irresistible energy and impact, underlining their unwavering self-confidence and determination to walk their own path, regardless of the obstacles, because, as Mingi says, they were “born with natural talent”.

8/10

Words: Isabella Wandermurem

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