Song Review: ONEWE – Reminisce About All

RBW’s ambitious double debut of ONEUS and ONEWE has finally come to fruition! ONEWE had to wait a few months longer (and already seem to be getting less promotion), but technically they’ve already “debuted” twice — first as M.A.S 0094 in 2015, and then as MAS in 2017. They say the third time’s the charm, and I really think that might be true here. The “ONE” branding adds a nice cohesion to these two brother groups, and RBW seems to be in a good financial state to throw their weight behind new acts.

Reminisce About All (다 추억) is a very unique debut track. I can’t recall the last time an idol group (band or otherwise) debuted with such a stark sound. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed that Reminisce is a ballad, but to my ears it’s the strongest ballad we’ve heard this season.

ONEWE has a fabulous lead vocal in Yonghoon, who’s just a bundle of charisma. He also wrote this track, and you can tell from the passion he pours into his performance. Supporting vocal/keyboardist Dongmyeong may not sing as often, but he’s given just as much to do on the piano. In fact, piano and voice are the duel focuses here, which is somewhat surprising given the fact that this is a debut for the entire band.

But, with a melody as strong as Reminisce’s, I understand the choice to promote it. I love that the entire track weaves around a central melodic theme, delivered with rhythmic — almost conversational — phrasing that gives it an arresting appeal. This is a total slow burn, requiring patience from the listener. The drums don’t even come in fully until just before the three minute mark — right when most K-pop tracks would be drawing to their conclusion. But once the vocals start to soar, backed by subtle orchestration and a chant-like counter melody, the patience pays off. I would’ve added more guitar to this climactic moment, but it’s an emotionally stirring conclusion either way.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25


15 thoughts on “Song Review: ONEWE – Reminisce About All

  1. The real melancholy in this ballad is watching the bassist, guitarist, and drummer just sit there for like three minutes. RIP those three.

    This isn’t the most boring Korean ballad I’ve heard (though… SM Station sets the bar shockingly low), and there’s some nice moments throughout, but I wish that they had debuted with something that felt like it needed to be a recorded by band, or was otherwise unique to a group with this concept. Half of the instruments in this song – like the very present phantom strings – aren’t even played by the guys in question, which makes it feel more like a band concept superimposed onto a prewritten song, rather than something actually considered for a voice/keys/guitar/bass/drums five-piece. It’s fine for what it is, but every time a boy group debuts with guitars and then proceeds to not use them a part of me cries a little.


    • Isn’t it crazy that three fifths of the band is relegated to doing nothing for the majority of the song? As much as I like the track, it’s a baffling debut decision.


  2. I can’t believe this is a debut song. Interesting choice, to start with a mid tempo ballad. Maybe they are not targeting all the kids who stan but going after Epik High type market – more grown ups?

    Guy has pipes, especially a nice falsetto. He also knows how to enunciate as a singer, how to use vowels and consonants. But no lower range of notes – he whispers that low note in the verse every time when is goes from about an A to about a C – that low C. The better tenors can hit that C – the Park HyoShin Kyuhyun Chen Onew’s of the world.

    Actually I like the song very much as the melody is great but I wish they had chosen to stick with either or, not both. Either orchestrate it for a five piece band, or orchestrate it for full surrounding instrumentation. Like the Beatles, it was either just the Beatles on the stage, or late Beatles with all the supporting instrumentation. There are songs where “then the orchestra (or band) kicks in” and that makes it better, but that doesn’t happen here. (eg We will rock you is just claps and voices for almost of it all, then the band kicks in (and how!)) (I am sure there is a piano – voice example too.)


  3. A song called “Ring on my ears” by Onewe just popped up on my youtube feed. It is more what one would expect for a band. Not bad. A bit generic.


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