ATEEZ world tour 2024
(KQ Entertainment)

Let’s Talk About the Meaning of ATEEZ’s ‘Empty Box’ Lyrics

The hit South Korean boy band ATEEZ put out their latest hit “Empty Box” recently, so let’s take a look at what the song’s lyrics mean.

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The meaning of “Empty Box” is relatively straightforward but poignant. The song, which starts off with a chorus from members Seonghwa, San, and Jongho, goes as follows in English:

I’ve been searching for an empty box, that’s what I need
The memories you left in the drawer of my room
It makes it feel like a rainy day
I think I should send it now
And I’ll never miss you
I’ll never miss you
And I’ll never miss you
I’ll never miss you

Empty Box (English Translation) – ATEEZ | Genius Lyrics

It’s clear right from the start that this song is about a relationship. We don’t know if it’s about a specific relationship a band member went through, but lines like “the memories you left in the drawer of my room” are typical lyrics you would see with many romance songs. This one seems like the breakup did not end well and that the speaker is trying to move on. But there are some mixed signals here, as the line “I’ll never miss you” keeps repeating, implying that maybe the speaker actually will miss this person and is just in denial.

Much of these themes seem to culminate in the next verse:

Those shining memories that seemed like thеy would last forever
I will bury them in timе and let it go
I know, I was the only one holding onto them
It was a thread that couldn’t be pulled

If you’ve been in a relationship before, this probably hits close to home. Most people believe that their relationship will last a long time at first. The line “I was the only one holding onto them” seems to imply a harsh reality here: His remembrance and love for the relationship might’ve not been reciprocated.

Hongjoong and Mingi sing the next lines:

Yeah, the silence and muted traces that time left behind
I’m still trying to ignore the lingering regrets
I can’t close the box I opened without thinking
Would you like to take them out again for just a moment?
So far away, nothing new can fill it (Like you)
The warmth can’t reach this cold place (Like you)
Even though I was dizzy, my heart wanted to catch, but this empty ending ends
It passes and disappears, and there is no trace (Ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy)
The hot night is gone, the warmth has cooled down (Ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy)
The time felt meaningless so I took it and left (Ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy)
I who was fading away, hoped for you, but I was abandoned (Ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy)
What are you looking at so desperately? (Ooh)
Did I cry as the dam I built collapsed (Ooh)
What emotions will grab a hold of me and shake me? (Ooh)
In the end, we ran towards separation

There’s so much emotion exploding here. The speaker felt abandoned by this person and cried over them numerous times. It seems like this wasn’t really a pleasant relationship after all. But even still, they can’t help but feel things for them.

The song concludes in the final emotionally devastating verse sung by San, Yunho, and Jongho:

If you’re feeling the same way (Ooh-ooh)
I wish you better than, oh, our time together
Leave everything behind
Hope you come across something more than better
Feeling the same way
I wish you better than, oh, our time together
Leave everything behind
Hope you come across something more than better

The message is clear: It’s over and the speaker hopes for the best for the other person. It’s a bittersweet ending, leaving room for growth and journey, but reflecting on the pain of the past. It’s just part of what makes ATEEZ interesting as a music group.

Fans are currently trying to translate another ATEEZ song “Blind,” which you can read about in our article here.


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Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson (he/they) writes about media criticism, race studies, intersectional feminism, and left-wing politics. He has been working with digital media and writing about pop culture since 2014. He enjoys video games, movies, and TV, and often gets into playful arguments with friends over Shonen anime and RPGs. He has experience writing for The Mary Sue, Cracked.com, Bunny Ears, Static Media, and The Crimson White. His Twitter can be found here: https://twitter.com/8bitStereo