Song Review: ONEWE – Q (ft. Hwasa)

Though ONEWE’s most recent single never made it onto any of my year-end lists, I ended up liking Regulus far more than my initial review let on. I enjoyed it despite its unnecessary, trap-inspired moments because when the song actually embraced ONEWE’s strength as a band, it totally soared. But overall, I don’t understand RBW Entertainment’s handling of ONEWE at all. Most of their music has squandered the group’s greatest assets in favor of ill-fitting trends. And with the members themselves participating in the composition of their songs, this may not be entirely agency-driven.

You would think that having Mamamoo’s Hwasa on board would make Q (모르겠다고) the band’s big breakthrough, but it’s easily the least-inspiring single the guys have released. Rather than cast ONEWE as the idol band they are, the song saddles them with the kind of uninspired trap beat you could find anywhere. And for the second time in a row, Q completely wastes frontman Yonghoon. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. I consider him to be one of the most promising vocalists in K-pop right now, with performance skills to match. Yet, ONEWE’s music insists on spotlighting other (often autotuned) members. This isn’t a dig on them, but right now Yonghoon is a main vocalist who barely gets any time to shine. It’s frustrating.

Enlisting Hwasa as a duet partner steals more time away from the guys, though she delivers a reliably magnetic performance. Unfortunately, the slurry, repetitive melody doesn’t give her (or anyone else) much to do. Q’s structure riffs on the same general hook across its entire running time. This results in a head-nodding groove, but one that feels needlessly listless. Thank goodness for the jazzy guitar break towards the end that reminds us that these guys actually play instruments. I keep waiting for this rock band to release an actual rock song. Let the instrumentalists shine, let Yonghoon’s incredible vocals shine. Enough pussy-footing around.

 Hooks 7
 Production 6
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 6.75

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4 thoughts on “Song Review: ONEWE – Q (ft. Hwasa)

  1. This is….really not it. What I wouldn’t give for them to release a song that sounds like their cover of Mamamoo’s HIP…they even released a studio version of it and I think it spoiled me because now I enjoy it more than the original. That’s the kind of fun, playful rock + pop fusion I would kill to hear more of from idol bands like OneWe. C’mon, people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The producers seem to forget that Onewe are a Band, and bands play instruments. They don’t just hold them for decorative effects. Hwasa was also used for decorative effect. The hook does nothing to showcase the singer’s talents, and it repeats and goes on like a Winner song.

    The brief jazz break is the clear highlight.


  3. I’m glad there was the MV to remind me that they are not just a boygroup but an actual band. The song does nothing wrong but it will fall among the hundreds of forgettable songs we will listen to this year. It’s disappointing to see them take this road because as Nick said, they have a great vocalist, guys who I’m sure can play very well and even Hwasa could have been interesting in the mix if the material was stronger.

    And yes, the break was very cool.


  4. Though this is an older posts, I couldn’t agree more! Because I LOVE this band, I have to say: Guys PLEASE trust yourselves, stay in your lane and give the audience the unexpected. This song could have been so much better by having lots of interesting highs & lows because this band is fully capable! I have been saying Yonghoon’s voice is absolutely one of the best ANYWHERE!!! PLEASE USE IT!!! His vocals when he goes up into the high ranges always give me goosebumps…use that magic! I kept waiting for this song to kick it by way of escalating note changes, new rhythm or soaring instrumentals on the chorus or bridge but it just never happened. The highlight for me was Yonghoon’s ethereal high notes at the very end but sadly it was too late because we had to endure a Lackluster, predictable arrangement that doesn’t come close to showing this super talented bands full potential. Meanwhile I’m keeping watch,waiting for that a-ha moment where they realize how expansive & enormous their talent truly is!!!


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