In spite of being perfectly serviceable and even mildly enjoyable, Seventeen's "Darling" didn't stick around on my playlist for as long as I would have liked. The interesting instrumental variations captivated me the first few times I heard it, but they become tiresome after repeated plays. Therefore, I wasn't sure what to expect from the new single HOT. From the year 2020 forward, SEVENTEEN's music has become more fragmented, alternating between radio staples like "Rock With You" and "Home;Run" and more experimental fare like "Left & Right." And whether this is for the better or worse, my present views about the group appear to be encapsulated in the raucous little bundle that is HOT.
Let me start by pointing out the biggest issue I have with HOT. I can't stand the autotune. It's there throughout the most majority of the song, giving it a jarring atmosphere that's unpleasant on first listen and seldom gets better with repetition bing maps. It takes away from the guys a lot of their unique qualities and the natural charisma they have, replacing it with moments that are not characteristic of them and are thus dull. There are two things I'm going to say about SEVENTEEN that I never thought I'd say. Even though it's not the best example of the phenomenon, the fact that there are so many different artists with such a wide range of voice tones means that the ensemble is occasionally able to convey a sense of individuality. And even while it fits in well with the rest of the song, the simple chorus sounds out of place in what should be an exciting hype track. Although this tactic was effective for songs like "Bang Bang Bang," it has become so overused that it no longer has the same impact as it once did. The hooks don't even work since they come off as meaningless soundbites rather than something more substantial.