ENHYPEN’s “DIMENSION: DILEMMA” explores conundrum among youth

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Katy Zhang, Editor-in-chief

Youth in this current society faces difficult challenges everyday. We are forced to make decisions influenced by societal rules and expectations, thus falling into a state of confusion. Nonetheless, this struggle is also shared by the rookie K-pop group ENHYPEN as they offered their own insight and answer to those similar obstacles in their newly released album “DIMENSION: DILEMMA”

“In order to get the treasure/ We’vе either got to get through a brooding monstеr

/Or a swirling tornado”. This is the beginning of the musical story of the album expressed through “Intro: Whiteout” as Jake, the Australian member, narrates these lines with reference to Greek mythology — the famous story of Scylla and Charybdis. In the original story, Scylla and Charybdis are two dangerous sea monsters that stand on either side of the western mediterranean. They challenge the mariners crossing this uncharted water, including Greek hero Odysseus. When this story is put into the context of this particular album, it can also symbolize the chaos society has put upon the members as they are also adventuring through unknown territories of life. 

In the title track “Tamed-Dashed” , the concept of upheaval and challenge is further expressed. Through an upbeat and youthful melody, lyrics such as “Flash of desire enchanting me/ Dreams beautiful and grotesque” give description of the member’s imagination where they explore their desires of fame to find the treasure of life. Not only did they attempt  to understand their own thoughts in the song, they’ve also reached out to their audience: “You’re trapped by the same choices / You’re frozen not knowing what to do/ then take my hand.” By resonating with their listeners, ENHYPEN is able to amplify their voice and help their audience understand that this dilemma is faced by a large number of people. With this in mind, they also urge all listeners to pause and reflect on themselves while inviting them on a musical journey to truly escape these dilemmas of life. 

Aside from the call to action ENHYPEN makes towards their listeners, they’ve also shown their desire to strive towards success and a better future in their albums with other tracks such as “Go Big or Go Home” and “Attention, please!” inspired by alternative music. Direct lyrics like  “A life like a russian roulette that I can’t refuse / I’ll survive it anyway” and “Falling into a dilemma / I’m afraid of losing everything ” show more colors and depth regarding popularity and taking risks. 

Though this album may seem like a single-minded determination or an anthem of youth rebellion against society, it contains many aspects that are more vulnerable and deeper than it seems. It contains the raw feelings of the members and is a perfect representation of the attitude of this generation. As the album concluded with questions of “Who am I? / And what do I mean when I say ‘me’? ”, the members left open questions to the listeners as they embark on the journey in the sea of the world filled with danger, eventually approaching a new chapter of life which parallels their current position in the music industry. 

The discussion of identity isn’t a rare topic in K-pop boy groups; however, ENHYPEN’s discussion towards identity seems to be more personal and realistic compared to the typical idealistic and sugar-coated approach. Selling a total of 810,000 copies of “DIMENSION:DILEMMA”, and debuting No.1 on the Billboard World Albums Chart, ENHYPEN sets yet another record for the highest first-week sales for 4th-generation K-pop boy groups.  With a bright future ahead of them, this album is simply a beginning towards a bigger journey for enhypen as this album encourages many teenagers to also start their own life’s journey and explore their true identity while combating challenges and turmoils.