The Band Enhypen Makes Their Mark With Their Album ‘Border: Carnival’

Enhypen, a six-month old rookie k-pop group, takes the industry by storm with their recent album.

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Nabeeha Alam

The physical album of ‘Border: Carnival’ has three versions: Hype, Up, and Down. Each version has its own unique concept, but all albums come with a photo book, a CD, a lyric book, two photo cards, a lenticular card, signature stickers, a carnival ticket, and a folded poster. Members Jay, Sunghoon, and Sunoo, pictured from left to right respectively, pose for their subunit photos that can be found in the photobook.

Enhypen, a South Korean seven-member boy group formed on November 30th, 2020 through a reality survival show, has taken the Korean music industry by storm with their recently released album, Border: Carnival. Enhypen is underwritten by Belift Lab, a joint venture between the entertainment companies CJ E&M and Hybe Corporation, and consists of band members Jungwon, Heeseung, Jay, Jake, Sunghoon, Sunoo, and Ni-Ki. They grabbed the attention of many Korean and international fans with the unique concept and heartfelt lyrics behind their title track, ‘Given-Taken.’ Recently, on April 26th, 2021, they released a new mini-album called Border: Carnival. This mini-album continues to display themes associated with vampires and masquerades that were initially shown in their previous release Border: Day One. Although Enhypen maintains this concept, they manage to demonstrate their versatility and growth as well as reveal a new side to their music and performances through this comeback album. 

In terms of charting on Korean music streaming platforms, Border: Carnival ranked #3 on Genie and #6 on Bugs, breaking the record for the highest-charting song by a 2020 rookie boy group. In addition to this, Border: Carnival managed to rank in both Korean’s Hanteo and Gaon Monthly Album Charts and Japan’s Oricon Monthly Album Charts. The mini-album also peaked at #9 on the Billboard World Albums Chart and the title track, “Dazed,” managed to top at #3 on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart. This is a major improvement compared to their last mini-album and is astonishing for a six-month-old group. 

Border: Carnival is composed of six songs: “Intro: The Invitation,” “Dazed,” “Fever,” “Not For Sale,” “Mixed Up,” and “Outro: Wormhole.” “Intro: The Invitation,” best described by the members themselves, “opens the door to our new world with a colorful…sound.” It gives the fans a taste of what is in store in this album and allows them to instantly understand the sharp contrast between Border: Carnival and Border: Day One. Their title track, “Dazed,” is a pop rock song that expresses the classic themes of a magnificent carnival and a feeling of rush and adrenaline as the members are caught up celebrating in a party. However, there may be a darker side to the lyrics. In fact, some believe that “Dazed” refers to the turbulent and stressful lifestyle of many Korean idols just as much as it refers to the excitement in having this career. When asked by ELLE Magazine, the members openly stated, “We express our honest emotions about the new world we experienced after our debut, and the catchy ‘daze, daze, daze’ part in the chorus, which best reflects our feeling of being disoriented in a new world.”  

When looking at their B-sides, ‘Fever’ and ‘Not For Sale’ seem to be the fan favorites! ‘Fever’ is a slow paced pop R&B song with a languid feel to it and a groovy choreography. The slight use of voice effects helps to create this relaxing yet ominous atmosphere. While ‘Fever’ conveys the desire to be recognized and embraced by someone, ‘Not For Sale’ narrates the idea of living in a world where everything has a cost. The lyrics of the chorus, “The price tag on my cold heart / Was torn off by an unfamiliar warmth / Now I have someone called you in my life / You’re not, you’re not for sale,” implies that the boy in the story has met someone special in his life. Then, he realizes, as expressed by the members, that “he wants to give his everything to” this person. In addition to the meaningful lyrics, many fans are fond of the song because of its bright and refreshing concept. The range in Enhypen’s music and dancing styles continues to impress many fans. 

From over three million monthly listeners on Spotify to winning multiple Rookie of the Year awards to consistently charting on Korean, Japanese, and American charts, Enhypen has already made their mark in the music industry and will continue to do so. Enhypen might just be the next big thing, so make sure you tune into their music and watch their hard work pay off.

When asked by ELLE Magazine, the members openly stated, “We express our honest emotions about the new world we experienced after our debut, and the catchy ‘daze, daze, daze’ part in the chorus, which best reflects our feeling of being disoriented in a new world.”  

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