If there’s one thing thirteen-member group Seventeen have done again and again, it’s constantly reinvent themselves with every new comeback — in terms of sound, looks, and overall vibe — while also steadfastly remaining true to themselves and who they’ve always been. Now on their fourth comeback during the persisting pandemic, Seventeen’s latest title track, “Rock With You,” off of their ninth mini album Attacca, reflects their knack for reinvention well, as they aptly and naturally tackle a more heavily rock-infused pop genre.
Musically, “Rock With You” still has all of the elements of classic Seventeen canon. It’s simple, upbeat, catchy, and booming with a level of energy that’s impossible to ignore. The lyrics follow suit too, as the chorus mostly features easy-to-grasp-onto, snappy lines like “I tell you, this time I wanna rock with you” and “Baby, hold on, baby, hold on.”
Where the track differs from previous Seventeen title tracks is most noticeably in its instrumentals and vocals. Fittingly enough, “Rock With You” heavily features a rock guitar, plus some poppier synths, as the basis of its instrumentals. The members’ vocals are impressive as ever, brimming with a tad more of a rock edge than they’ve showcased before, especially rappers Mingyu and Wonwoo, who round out the track with their deep, raspy vocals.
Unsurprisingly, the MV for “Rock With You” naturally adapts to the rock and roll, near pop-punk sound Seventeen explores within the track itself. The MV consists of little to no plot, and instead showcases each of the members in various settings, either taking in the world around them (i.e. showcasing their visuals) or jamming out to their own song and just having fun.
It’s an appropriate and suitable switch-up from the group’s previous MVs, especially as Attacca technically follows previous 2021 releases Your Choice and Mingyu and Wonwoo’s duet “Bittersweet” as part of the group’s “Power of Love” project. While “Rock With You” is meant to be the next stage in this supposed storyline, it doesn’t have much of a story at all. Instead, especially through its MV, it indicates a different kind of love that has no conflicts, complexities, or conditions — they just want to love and shout it from the rooftops (helipad)!
To follow suit, the MV primarily utilizes styling choices, visual effects, and playfully punky aesthetics to sell to Seventeen’s newfound pop-rock image they fittingly chose to showcase during this comeback. During most scenes, each of the members are outfitted with some sort of rockstar-esque signifier. For Joshua, it’s the (likely fake) eyebrow piercing and black, slicked-back, undercut hairstyle that he dons throughout the MV. Meanwhile, Dino sports a (again, likely fake) lip piercing and black, long hair, and almost all-black outfit, while Hoshi puts his eyebrow slit on display. In one particular setting in the MV, almost all of the members wear ripped skinny jeans, while in another, they each trade them out for slick, black leather pants.
The expert styling in the MV aids Seventeen in their pop-punk reinvention by never making “Rock With You” feel gimmicky or overplayed. While each member by no means consistently harnesses a hardcore, rock and roll aesthetic and mode of dress outside of the MV and in their everyday lives, they each own their persona to make the vibe feel authentic.
On top of that, the MV uses nostalgic and punk-core visual effects to further sell the slight nod to the early 2000s pop-punk aesthetic. “Rock With You” was produced by Rigend Films, which also created some of Seventeen’s most visually-pleasing MVs, including “Fallin’ Flower,” “Hit,” and “Fear.” In that sense, the MV already feels nostalgic in that there are evident callbacks to Seventeen’s older eras — the style of cinematography and editing at times, plus some of the choreography stages, feel especially reminiscent of that in the “Hit” and “Fear” MVs.
Eagle-eyed Carats will notice that several moments in the MV take that nostalgia factor a step further, as certain sets and scenes from the MV are pulled directly from those in previous ones. For example, Joshua sitting on the back of the traffic light at the beginning of the MV is especially reminiscent of a scene in the MV for “Left & Right,” when the members look up at a traffic light and its blinking arrows. There’s a clear call back to “Call Call Call!” during the scenes where the members are situated next to motorcycles. The8‘s rooftop camping setup at 0:46 practically mirrors the sleepover theme in “Oh My!,” plus the camping scenes in “My My.” Plus, S.coup’s keyboard and mic setup in the “Rock With Me” MV, all the way down to the camera angle of the shot, are direct mimes of his setup and scenes in the “Happy Ending” MV.
Aside from these subtle but powerful reminders that no matter how often Seventeen reinvent themselves, they’re still the same 13 boys they’ve always been, other more “punk” visual indicators are used to breathe new life into and give some edge to these parallels. Such components include the layering of still shots made to look like photographs with ripped and torn edges over the moving video in the background, plus sudden bouts of intense and quick fast-forwarding, like when the camera suddenly and succinctly pans around Joshua sitting in the back of a traffic light at the beginning of the MV. And in other scenes, special elements like fire (when Vernon lights the match stick in his mouth), wind (when the wind blows through Jeonghan‘s hair just before the bridge), and water (when DK belts the bridge while standing under an inexplicable onset of rain) also add to this visual reinvention.
While “Rock With You” may not be a complete herald of “pop rock” in its truest and purest form, it is a solid representation of how Seventeen can aptly “Seventeen-ify” a genre that they don’t typically tackle. Thanks to MVs like this one, whatever wasn’t previously classified as Seventeen canon, like specific rock elements, has a tendency to become a part of that categorization anyway — it’s just Seventeen’s thing.
(YouTube: . Lyrics via Genius. Images via Pledis Entertainment.)