I’ve spent pretty much all of ONEWE’s debut year complaining about their music’s lack of energy. I’d followed the group since before their re-branding, and it always seemed like they were playing fun, upbeat pop-rock at their busking shows. Yet, 2019-20 gave us the subdued trilogy of Reminisce About All, Regulus and Q. Two of those three songs were quite good, but none really showcased the band as a… well… band.
End Of Spring (나의 계절 봄은 끝났다) isn’t a full-on rock track either, but it finally injects some energy into ONEWE’s sound. The track fuses their style with a generic instrumental-drop-as-chorus EDM banger. The result isn’t nearly as uninspired as that description sounds, and much of that has to do with the performance. Every time I write about ONEWE, I mention that frontman Yonghoon has one of my favorite new-gen K-pop voices. End Of Spring finally gives him a bit more to do, though I would have loved to hear him tackle a more engaging chorus.
Spring opens with its central synth-rock loop, and I feel like I’ve heard this particular riff a million times before. It’s like ONEUS’ BingBing meets iKON’s Dive meets any vaguely rootsy Avicii track. Still, in a world of gloomy trap music, It’s nice to hear something that aims for more of a widescreen appeal. So much of the song is driven by this central riff, including the entire chorus. But, my favorite moment occurs just before that big beat drop, when Yonghoon is given some space to stretch. His tone and performance is far more engaging than the track itself, which makes me long for a more vocal-driven comeback with this same energy. For now, I guess we’ll just have to settle for generic fun. I guess it’s better than no fun at all?
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