Ever since their debut in 2017, I’ve felt that WM Entertainment’s promotion of ONF has been kind of lackluster. Their first few years saw a dearth of comebacks, just as the group needed to start building a fanbase. 2019 was better in this regard, offering two mini albums and a consistent sound. Then, WM started teasing and releasing instrumental versions of their existing tracks, as if that was supposed to build any sort of hype. Now, we have Message, a youtube-only “special” song.
Maybe Message will appear on a future album, but I don’t understand why it’s not being offered digitally at this moment. As far as I know, nobody really uses youtube as a music streaming platform. Maybe WM is trying to build their subscribers?
Either way, as far as non-promoted “for the fans” songs go, Message is pretty good. Without any credits listed, I’m not sure who produced this, but it’s well in-line with the group’s Monotree-helmed sound. I’m a sucker for these kind of slow burn, 80’s-inspired synth tracks. ONF have an underappreciated set of vocalists, and Message highlights their diverse tones over an uncluttered instrumental. The melody is soothing but memorable, with a nice lilt to it. Once the percolating synths come in for the chorus, Message embraces a satisfying groove that informs its second verse in a subtle way. The song could have done with a more memorable climax, building instead to a subdued rap bridge that leads into the final chorus. A bit of modulation here would have been killer, but I guess a track like this isn’t really built to rock the boat.
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