There comes a time in life when you start to develop your own beliefs, moral code and ethos for living – even if you don’t realise that it’s happening at the time. Some of the ideals that society had previously imposed on you become notions to spurn and turn your back on, igniting a fire full of questions and existential exploration. Here, you begin to forge your own path and it’s at this point we find ENHYPEN on ‘Dimension : Answer’, the extended repackage of their first full-length album ‘Dimension : Dilemma’.
As ‘Dilemma’ ended, the septet seemed to be caught in something of a crisis. “So, what is it I want? / Is this correct? / What should I do? What choice do I make? / Who am I? And what do I mean when I say ‘me’?” Jake mused on the breakbeat-infused ‘Interlude: Question’, voice thick with uncertainty. Despite its title, ‘Answer’ doesn’t claim to have any of the solutions, but it does offer some insight on how the band will move forward in their search for them from here on out.
“I just go my own way,” they assert on their new title track ‘Blessed-Cursed’, another enticing single that mixes crunching, fiery guitar riffs with the thundering thud of hip-hop bass. Independence – be it in their thinking or their attitude – becomes key to ENHYPEN’s seven members, who are boldly breaking off from the pack to find their identities outside of the constraints of the world’s rules and restrictions. “And I’ll walk like a lion, I’m making my own history,” they sing with headstrong confidence on the chorus, rejecting the “boundaries holding me in”.
If the single is assured and fierce, then ‘Outro: Day 2’ moves into a more contemplative state. Its stuttering, space-y synths slow the blood-pumping pace like the chaos of day melting into the quiet of night, eking out more space for reflection. Like ‘Dilemma’’s ‘Interlude: Question’, that stretch gets filled up with queries, Jake pondering: “How must I live tomorrow? Where must I begin? / Waking up early? Out of bed by 6am?” This time, though, he has a conclusion. “Maybe this won’t amount to much, but I won’t let someone else write for me,” he declares. “This is the real beginning of a world of my own.”
Sandwiched in between the two is the candy-coloured R&B-tinged pop of ’Polaroid Love’, a little breather from the big questions about the biggest topic of all, life. In it, the group find magic in something as ordinary as polaroid photos, comparing them to love – something everyday and commonplace but still capable of adding an iridescent sparkle to your waking hours. “It’s like a polaroid love / Love, that old-fashioned feeling / But my heart is racing,” Jake and Ni-ki sing on the chorus.
Throughout their records so far, ENHYPEN have consistently opened up their experiences and considered them with depth and nuance. While they might be navigating their new world as idols, their stories are easily transferable to your own life, common ground found in the humanity and generational anxieties embedded in their lyrics. On ‘Answer’, they continue to build on that bond, not so much signposting the way through such struggles but offering to try and navigate through the tangle together.
- Release date: January 10
- Record label: Belift Lab