ONEUS kicked off their K-pop career in stunning fashion, wowing with the dynamic Valkyrie in early 2019. Since then, I’ve felt that their singles run has slowly declined in quality, though the strength of their album tracks remains intact. Even their latest Japanese single was paired with some stunning b-sides. New release A Song Written Easily (쉽게 쓰여진 노래) doesn’t totally right the ship, but it definitely steers them in a better direction.
If A Song Written Easily had been released several years ago, I might have brushed it off as yet another clone of the popular tropical trend. But, those sounds aren’t quite as ubiquitous in 2020 and I actually find this track to be oddly nostalgic. At its core, Easily rests on a potent refrain that forms the basis for its chorus and much of its instrumental. This kind of repetition wouldn’t work as well without a strong melody, but the chorus has an earnest appeal that draws on the smooth, polished tones of the group’s vocalists. I especially love the moments when the refrain hits a cathartic crescendo. It’s like several climactic key changes spread evenly across the track.
As with many modern K-pop releases, Easily’s verses feature a bit too much pussy-footing around. I get the need to feature the group’s rappers, but these segments don’t feel as crisp or engaging as the chorus. There are some fun moments, like the rapid-fire, descending hook that immediately precedes the second chorus, but overall I crave a greater sense of focus. Still, I think this song’s appeal will only improve as time goes on. It has a cool, calming vibe that reveals another facet of ONEUS while still complimenting the rest of their discography.
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