Review

Song Review: ONF – Complete

As a massive fan of ONF’s debut mini album, it’s been frustrating to watch their follow-up delayed because of their involvement with YG’s failed survival series MIXNINE. Two of their seven members ended up “winning” a place in the program’s resulting project group, only to have the whole thing cancelled months after the series ended. But this change of plans freed ONF to return as a whole, and thank god for that. Complete (널 만난 순간) is one of the strongest k-pop singles we’ve heard in some time.

It’s such a satisfying feeling when a comeback is exactly what you hoped it would be. Complete retains the synth-driven, tropical vibe from the group’s debut, but kicks up a propulsive energy that never tires. There’s no fat on the song’s bones — no unnecessary breakdown or brooding tempo drop. Right from the start, Complete impresses with its bright, high-octane beat. The opening verse has a refreshingly rhythmic appeal. Its clipped melody is simple, but immediately memorable.

After an extended build, Complete slams us with its secret weapon. This chorus isn’t complex, eschewing wordiness for one simple phrase pulled and twisted until it forms an extremely catchy hook. I’m not always a huge fan of vocal effects, but the warping here feels perfectly utilized, adding drama with a filtered, otherworldly effect. This is followed up by an instrumental sucker punch, as brass and electric guitar forge together to create a showstopping post-chorus breakdown. This isn’t the kind of cut-and-paste EDM drop we’ve heard a million times before. It spins naturally from every element around it, and adds an irresistible edge to an already fantastic track.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.5

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9 thoughts on “Song Review: ONF – Complete

  1. I was perhaps a little too eagerly awaiting your review of this song. I’m glad you liked it, and I’m incredibly pleased that ONF has knocked it out of the park for a second time. They already have such a strong identifying sound established here and I desperately need this to not fly under people’s radars again!

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  2. Oh, thank god! ONF’s initial mini-album is one of my standing favorites, and, while I’ve had a busy day and been unable to hear this song yet, I’ve been incredibly excited for this addition (and your review!) since I first heard On/Off. I’ll be listening as soon as I can (though I have a suspicion that my opinion will be just as positive as yours). I’m hoping for them to keep up this consistency! I also know that people were very excited about the b-sides in the highlight medley and, again, I haven’t had the chance to check, so have you noticed any standouts?

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    • I can’t wait for you to hear it!
      I’ve only listened to the album one time, but so far none of the b-sides have grabbed me in the same way as their debut.

      However, I remember needing a few listens for their first album to sink in, so it’s hard to have any definitive opinion yet.

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  3. After the first few notes of the verse I thought….Nick will like this. (turns out I’ve learnt your taste)
    Turns out I agree with you 100% here. This is excellent
    I must say I already got a bias for a few of them from mixnine but this was beyond what I thought capable of them from that first single that I just couldn’t get into. This is just so infectious and upbeat its great.

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    • I love that you’ve been reading my reviews long enough to accurately predict my thoughts on a song!

      For me, the best comebacks are those that need absolutely no time to establish their excellence. Complete soars from the very first moment, and that’s a quality that’s been missing from many recent title tracks.

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      • I think its actually that this reminds me of Star of stars by Snuper, a group that I had dismissed had it not been for your reviews.
        Its just such good pure electro boy pop with excellent performance aspects. I was thinking maybe they could be your next infinite if they continue in this style. You seemed to love their debut even when it was quite tropical house-ish which you seem to dislike. Did you watch mixnine? you seem to be much more familiar/in favour of the unit groups/songs

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        • Time will tell if they evolve into a full-fledged bias group, but twice now they’ve managed to take a genre (tropical house) I’m totally sick of and turn it into something amazing.

          I have faith in WM when it comes to music, just like I have faith in Woollim when it comes to steering Golden Child’s discography.

          I did watch MIXNINE, and I actually liked it quite a lot. The resulting music was much more hit and miss for me than The Unit, but I loved the contestants. And, of course, I was rooting for the ONF boys since the very beginning.

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  4. Have you uncovered any buried treasures on this album yet? I got into them after reading your review of Difficult, and while I don’t feel like any track on this comeback tops Difficult (or Original!), I think Fly Me to the Moon is super catchy and 86400 is truly lovely.

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