Review

Song Review: Golden Child – One (Lucid Dream)

After their brief but shining stint on Road to Kingdom, Golden Child have returned with the final installment in their current trilogy of singles. Like Wannabe and Without You, One (Lucid Dream) was composed by Woollim in-house producer BLSSD. As incredibly talented as he is, I’ve been hesitant about him steering Golden Child’s sound. He tends to prefer darker sounds and more minimalist arrangements. And when I think of Golden Child, I long for the exact opposite. This made Wannabe (and especially) Without You a little frustrating, as much as I enjoyed both songs.

However, One (Lucid Dream) stands as the best entry in this trilogy, adhering to the BLSSD sound but bringing in more unique elements and an oomph of added energy. In this way, the song reminds me of Infinite tracks like The Eye. Yes, Golden Child may be the umpteenth boy group to journey down a darker route this year, but One does it with style and panache.

The song’s opening verse is a thing of beauty, powered by a crunchy, abrasive electro backbone that goes hard without feeling like needless posturing. Its texture feels new for both Golden Child and 2020 K-pop, yet manages to throw back to earlier eras at the same time. This segment opens up brilliantly for a gorgeous, vocal-rich pre-chorus. I will always argue that – voice for voice – Golden Child is the new-gen boy group to beat. Joochan and Y are a dynamite pair of main vocals, and they sound absolutely mighty here.

Next up, One swerves into the first part of its two-pronged chorus, perching a catchy hook over even more addictive bass guitar. I was afraid that this trendy element would steal most of the song’s attention, but it’s used sparingly enough to deliver maximum impact. An ethereal post-chorus follows immediately after, providing a nice sense of contrast as wisps of strings tickle the backdrop.

One’s second verse isn’t as structurally cohesive as I’d like. It feels like the song may lose the plot at any time, but there are still a ton of interesting things happening within its atmospheric arrangement. And any concerns I may have are countered by the fantastic dance break that comes later. I love the filtered vocoder effect during One’s final moments, and like most BLSSD tracks I only wish the song continued for another minute or so to completely fulfill this potential. A walloping climax would have sent this over the top, but I’m still very pleased with what One delivers.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.25

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

31 thoughts on “Song Review: Golden Child – One (Lucid Dream)

  1. I thought this would release tomorrow? Also, YES! Wow this track sounded great from the teaser but it was great to see that the full track still had tricks up its sleeve. The first verse is a little coonfusing upon first listen, but it sure was a lot of fun! The instrumental is pretty standard for a dark Woolim track but that guitar was a nice touch and I love the interplay between the spoken and instrumental melodies. Also that chorus is killer. The instrumental break at the end keeps up the momentum and sounds like they’re hitting pans and kitchen utensils together, but I kind of like that.
    -Also If the album is good I might become a Goldennes because I LOVE this track. For now I enjoyed it more than Answer to its my new track of the year.
    Rating: 9.5

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  2. I am gonna throw myself out of the window! This song was amazing. If it just had a little bit of that golden child energy and a good climax , then gosh! I’d love this comeback to the fullest!!
    The Instrumental was on point! In a day where comebacks suck and disappoint ! ( why?! Seventeen! Just……….WHY?!) This was what I needed and it had a great impact on me since the BLSSD composition is over , we’ll probably start something With awesome hooks and all that stuff! This is just the starting of The 2nd Golden Child Imperial Phase and I Love It!
    Hooks: 9
    Production: 9
    Longevity : 9
    Bias: 10
    Rating : 9.25

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      • Yeah same. Out of the three, I think Without You may be my favorite because I just love the vocals in it so much, especially during the chorus! But I also really love One (Lucid Dream), all three are great songs! I was really excited since t’s my first Golden Child comeback after becoming a Goldenness from watching RTK 🙂

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  3. When I heard the album teaser and heard the chorus I was really excited for this comeback because I’m a heavy sucker for bass based kind of songs (don’t really know how to phrase it). On my first listen the first verse really threw me off, I’m really not a fan of the electro sound behind the instrumentals, I can’t focus on the vocals at all. But from then on, for me, it improves and I am able to enjoy the song a lot more. Maybe it was a expectation vs. reality tupe of shock obetween what I wanted the song to be and what it really is. Maybe the song grows on me as time passes, who knows?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I became a GolCha fan with Wannabe, so I’m glad they continued the sound with Without You. the first part of the song reminds me of Infinite so much. the actually chorus is a lot more “minimal” than I wanted, I wish it was more bombastic. I almost quit the song when the rap part came on, I REALLY don’t like how disjointed it made the song feel.

    I think I like this trilogy because BLSSD can put together a lot of sounds/instruments and make it not sound messy and tiresome. like the part from 3:47 to 4:04 in the video just sounds SO GOOD. vocal wise the pre-chorus is my favourite, the boys sound so good.

    also the outro of the mv sounds amazing, I need a concert ver. of this song with that kind of style.

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  5. I am going to be honest here …I would have loved the song if that repeated electro sound (crunchy electro backbone as you put it) was not there in the song. This is not on them, it’s on me.. I have never liked those elements in a song so I was sad when I realized this song will be a victim of that.

    The mini album is great and I will give it a 9 rating.
    The vocals are breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WordPress doesn’t allow to delete a comment, does it…I mixed up the review of this and seventeen’s mini-album, so I was trying to rectify it…googled it but found no way.

      So the mini-album line was meant for Seventeen although I believe Take a leap would be great.
      I apologize for the mistake.

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        • Thank you for the kindness Nick..I am thankful as u said ‘I think they meant the title track’ .
          Tbh I panicked when I pressed the send comment and realized what I have done. I don’t know why but I was like goodness now everyone is going to think I just comment without listening to the song or album.

          I didnt even think of the alternatives, that I could just make another comment under it.
          I was like okay just leave it as it is.

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  6. Hello everyone. I am not an expert in music or anything like that, but music is very important to me.
    Having clarified that point, I am going to talk about this new song. This song is a gem, truly beautiful. That chorus that slides like silk and the string top that follows is the most INFINITE moment I have heard from GOL-CHA since debut and that makes me very happy.
    I have always thought that you can have the best producer, the best lyrics, the best composition but if you don’t have voices that do it justice, you don’t have anything. Example “More” from Twice. But Gol-Cha has a vocal quality that makes any song work. In the past album songs like “Lately”, “Don’t run away” “She’s My girl” also highlight the vocal lines of the boys.

    Going back to “ONE” at the end, when Bomin opened his eyes I thought the song would continue but instead ends up leaving a feeling of inconclusiveness.
    This can be for two things:
    1. Conceptually it may mean that the story is not over.
    2. From a commercial point of view, the songs are giving the feeling of inconclusiveness to force the brain to repeat the song and thus promote the stream.

    Whatever the reason I want more. But don’t misunderstand what I heard and saw is magnificent.
    9.5
    P.S. I used a translator, so please excuse the English.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What. A. Ride. I love it with all my heart, what a gorgeous track. Won’t list everything I love (would take forever), but the last Jaehyun-Y-Seungmin part at 2:32; the whispierings; the incredible main instrument in the verses; the second part of the choruses?!?
    There is so much to compare with Punch, and please let this be the next trend in Kpop, I beg!

    Btw I’m really not a fan of the latest GolCha/BLSSD collab. Once they started to have darkest concepts, I didn’t find any it compelling. Gonna re-listen to the whole albums then!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I gotta admit I never pay attention to who produces the songs, but a series of coincidences made me pay attention to this BLSSD guy (team?).

    At first listen this song reminded me a lot of Without You. Both Wannabe and Without
    You aren’t songs I *like* but they’re interesting enough on headphones to make me never skip them on a shuffle. NCT-ish instrumentals with a focus on vocals instead of something that resembles cement-gurgling? Besides, even if most Woollim songs aren’t completely up my alley, the timbres of their vocalists certainly are.

    I might yet get to like this somewhat disjointed, lean and punchy style of Neo Golcha.

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  9. Golden Child making a comeback on my birthday, what a gift!
    Out of the Wannabe trilogy this track is my favorite. I love the funky baseline intro and the extended instrumental outro. Solid instrumental intros and outros are sorely underrated. As always, their vocals are immaculate, and I love the echo effect during the pre-chorus. Honestly if you told me the members were doing that themselves, I would believe you, but it’s probably an effect. If it is an effect, it’s a vocal effect done right in my opinion. I am usually not a fan of vocal effects, but I really feel like this one adds to the vocals rather than diminishes them or covers them up. Literally my only complaint is that there is not enough Daeyeol, but to be fair I would always be up for more of him and his underappreciated vocals within the heavily stacked vocal line. This song falls right within my personal favorite wheelhouse of what I think Nick called “harder hitting but not unnecessarily angsty.” I can’t wait to listen to the B sides when they are released.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow this would have been a stunner for the final round on RtK.
    I found the whirring crunchiness just abrasive enough to not really be pleasing but the bass in the chorus and the almost Daft Punk-y bridge make it really a standout release from this year. I think listening to it a few more times will make it so it doesn’t even bother me though. Honestly like…a 9.5 out of 10 for me.
    My favorite title from them so far.

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  11. Counter argument: the bass part is WAYYYYY too loud, my volume bar at 30 and I can barely hear any dynamics from vocal but the bass simply rocking my ears.

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  12. What a gift this is! This song really stands out from the rest of the bunch being released. The bass is the highlight of this along with the sick synth work they did in this track. The vocals feel heavenly, if I could be in love with one song this would be it!

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  13. I was skeptical because the teaser sounds too much like Without You, and I don’t like that song… I’m relieved! This is epic, it just need a little more extra-something toward the end to be perfect (like stick the latter half of ONF’s New World to the start of this please)

    I hope the album will surprise me as well.

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  14. The pre-chorus *chef’s kiss*

    Also I haven’t listened to the studio version of it yet so idk how long was that ending but in the MV at the end of the song where it turns into an extended instrumental break, I was sold.

    I always tell myself to not like more kpop groups, well……another one comes to make me fail…

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  15. Ive said it before: Im not a fan of my favourite boy groups ‘going dark’. I did not enjoy the two title tracks that came before this one, but I gotta say, this one is different. More dramatic, I like it. The music part for the dancebreak is AMAZING. I just wish the rest of the song sounded a little more like that! That said, still love Golcha as performers and singers. Super skilled & talented.

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