Comeback – ATEEZ, “The World Ep.2 – Outlaw”


*deep breath*


As most of you know, ATEEZ is one of my absolute ult groups of all time. They sucked me in right from go when I first saw the MV for Wonderland and I have become a devoted ATINY.

I know this post is a little late, considering it dropped in mid-June, but I needed a little time to really wrap my brain around the album, the concept, and to also listen to Bouncy at least 546,863 times. (And I’m still not sick of it or the dance, which is a feat in and of itself.)

So let’s get into it! If you haven’t given it a listen yet, the Spotify link is below.

The album has 6 songs total, and that’s really my only major complaint about the album – is that it is SHORT, clocking in at only 19 minutes and 32 seconds. (Still longer than ONEUS’ Pygmalion, which is only 14 minutes and 35 seconds.) However, this is in line with The World Ep.1 – Movement, which is 7 songs, and just over 22 minutes long.

As some of you may know, most of ATEEZ’s albums, design, and MV aesthetics dive into their lore. The group has a pretty extensive storyline that started really playing out with their second album release, Treasure Ep.2: Zero to One, and the Say My Name and HALA HALA MVs. This album and their accompanying videos lines up with that as well.

You do NOT need to know the lore to enjoy the music or the MVs, but it is a very fun thing to get sucked into. One day soon I’ll have to do a post exclusively focusing on the storyline and some of the more popular theories.

1 – This World
Y’all know I adore a dramatic opening track, and This World is no exception. It would fit perfectly in the opening scenes of a dystopian movie, from the electronic opening sound to the final verse by Hongjoong, Mingi, and Jongho, raging against the negativity and fear that they’re feeling in this opening track.

We’re still in the dark, do you feel alive?
Cloudy mind, I don’t feel myself
Now it’s time to fight, take back my life
The day I become myself, I will face myself in this world
Sacrifice, despair, desire, inferiority complex
Anger, regret, obedience, degradation, and anxiety
Burning in resentment and hatred
Can freedom fly amid all this hate and respect?
I can’t take it no more

2 – Dune
Honestly…this has to resonate with me the most of all the songs on this album. The lyrics for this one just hits the hardest – the sinking feeling of the world beating you down, forcing you to give up everything. The agonized snarl and scream as you ask the universe “why me? Why does it always have to be ME giving up?” The feeling of sinking, of despair, that small voice in your head that just says “wouldn’t it be easier to give up?”

And then, that small fire inside that says “No, I want to live. I want to fight.”

This is the title track for the album…and HOLY SHIT I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH Y’ALL DO NOT EVEN KNOW. I am always a fan of what my friend Marley calls the “go crazy go stupid” songs, and this one is definitely that. I cannot stop singing the chorus, and as most everyone has seen, the dance challenge is making its way ALL over Instagram and TikTok. (Hell, this may be the first dance I could actually do without wrecking my knees, haha.)

Also! Rapper biker Seonghwa!

Also also! Cowboy Hongjoong and Mingi!!!

ALSO ALSO ALSO! Street fighter San!!!!!

Yeahhhhhhh, this is probably the hands down sexiest video I’ve seen out of ATEEZ.

Slow it down, make it bouncy, jigeumbuteo fly
Jom dareun spicy, cheongyang gochu vibe
If you wanna know how, I can show you right now
Urin mandeulji bouncy, buri buteo fly

Let’s just get this out of the way right now.

I will fall to my KNEES if I get to see Seonghwa tell me to “pop it like it’s hot” in person.


This one had me singing “ain’t nobody mess with Django, call me Django” before I’d even finished the song the first time I heard it. The beat is GOOD and the lyrics are kick ass, as always. The story of a lone outlaw gunman, making their way through the world, having to constantly fight their way out of things? Hell yes.

5 – Wake Up
As I mentioned above, ATEEZ has a storyline that they have been telling through their albums. Currently, the group is in another universe, fighting a corrupt government that believes people should not feel emotions. (If you want the full story of what happens during this album, pick up the Diary version – that version has the story in Korean and English in it.)

Even though the songs may not exactly adhere to the lore, I feel like THIS ONE does. The group are currently working to free citizens of this universe from the government’s mind control, and this song is a call to someone to wake up, to snap out of it, to listen and feel and realize who they truly are.

Also, Jongho’s vocals always shine, but I really hope I’ll get to see this live and see him sing “SO WAKE UP” in person because I can only imagine the goosebumps I’ll get.

You’ll be bewitched and lose all your other thoughts
You get swayed here and there without resistance
When it rains in this dry and worn-out drought
Only then will you know who you are and who you are not
Falling out (Oh, yeah)
Beauty in chaos (Hey, hey)
La-li-la (Hey, hey)
The dissonance of ego (Hey, hey)
In the sense of losing
I know you’re confused
The boundaries of reality are mixed up
I will shake your heart and wake you up

6 – Outlaw
An excellent song to wrap up this short album. The realization that you’re backed into a corner by the world, by your enemies – and that SNAP. Enough cowering, enough being a doormat. It’s time to make the hunters fear YOU.

I won’t say it twice, warning (Woah)
Don’t wake me up, the monster inside me (this is mine)
A big accident that I can’t prevent
Trying to sneakily run away (This is mine)
Never try (Oh, woah)
You can’t handle it, game over (this is mine)
That’s your big mistake
Better run ’cause I’m the outlaw

I’ve been listening to this album SO MUCH since it came out (especially since I was streaming it over Bugs) and it still hits me hard. No ballads or slower songs on this one, but considering this is their “Empire” of The World series, this makes sense. The themes of constant struggle, debating with the self over whether you can get through, and wrapping up with the realization that you are more of a fighter and more dangerous than you think you are.

What are your thoughts on The World Ep.2 – Outlaw? Drop me a line in the comments, or over on Twitter, or on Instagram!

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