OnlyOneOf’s spring single Angel was a sleeper hit for me, thriving on its catchy funk-pop groove and airy vocal delivery. That song came from the first part of a “produced by” project, in which the group has worked with a variety of big-name producers and tagged them as part of their song titles. New single A Song Of Ice And Fire (얼음과 불의 노래) pairs OnlyOneOf with duo Groovyroom. Groovyroom were everywhere a couple of years ago, emerging as one of K-pop’s trendiest producers. We haven’t heard nearly as much from them lately, and they’ve hardly ever worked with idol groups.
Make no mistake, A Song Of Ice And Fire is first and foremost a production showcase. To a certain extent, OnlyOneOf act as vessels for the song’s groove and effects. This gives the track a unique soundscape. Most of the vocals are heavily processed, teasing out the groups’ already-airy tones and using heavy layering to give the performance a seamless, overlapped sound. In this way, it feels as if the guys have melded into one, delivering the song in a single voice. Apart from the second-verse rap break, the texture never really changes. This is both a strength and hindrance. It creates a beguiling aesthetic, but it’s stretched a bit thin as the track goes on.
Because of this, A Song Of Ice And Fire would have benefited from a stronger melody. Its verses and chorus tend to run together, all in service to the same sensuous atmosphere. Given its evocative title, you might expect a greater sense of contrast. And without a knockout hook at its core, the song has a hard time compelling attention all the way through. Still, I applaud OnlyOneOf’s willingness to embrace new techniques and collaborators.
I have to admit, the band sounded vaguely familiar and then it hit me. Yes! This is the muppet hair band. All guys in kpop all have the same damn haircut except for that guy with the muppet hair on a broomstick. I mean this really truly lovingly, as I adore Jim Henson.
This song is a lot more straight ahead typical boy group fare, falling back to their earlier style with “savannah” and “sage”. They do dance with an earnestness. There are a few pleasing high tenor and falsettos in there. I prefer “Angel” from May, neon, more of a beat.
Rating is about right.
BUT THEN then I read the agency’s commentaries on their videos, and I have to think OH COME ON.
For example, here is an excerpt of the youtube texty commentary for this song: “Existence precedes essence (l’existence précède l’essence).” (Jean-Paul Sartre)” … “The main single, “a sOng Of ice and fire,” produced by Groovyroom, borrows the fantastical perspective of George R. R. Martin. In a virtual space, one season repeats itself for years andyears. And love is like a fantasy that takes place in that virtual space. As long as you and I exist. As long as we love and fight each other. It forms our own story that’s different from the flow of time for others. Like fire and ice.”
Yes this song is inspired by Sartre! You have got to read the whole thing, it is a work of art. Meanwhile, I looked up the lyrics, and they are basic metaphor of how our love is like fire and ice and chemistry.
This is an excerpt the texty commentary from their debut “Savannah”: OnlyOneOf aims to have understandable music and two titled songs while 21st boy group’s music is nowhere understanding to the public, filled with their own anger. The song ‘savanna’ is actually for fandoms and filled with OnlyOneOf’s attraction more manly than the boy’s beauty. “savanna” is mainly urban dance beat, unlikely be heard at K-POP, a tune that is like decadence raising its aesthetic criterion, approaching it more like Charles Pierre Baudelaire or Arthur Rimbaud’s point of views.
Right, Baudelaire. Rimbaud.
This band also made a song called “dOra maar”. Let’s take a poll. How many know who Dora Maar is before looking it up? Agency, knock off the fake intellectualism. What’s next, a drift into architecture? Their next song will be inspired by Le Corbusier. Or Avant Garde cinema like TXT did this summer (which wasn’t so bad actually). Alphaville! Oh wait, that name is taken already in pop music … I know, Proust! Ah, they should quote Proust next. How about Brancusi?
Nothing but unrelated to Game of Thrones’ references that already almost died down. OnlyOneOf still looked like disappointment to me because of unusual rare boyband name.
Did you hear the full album, Nick? Off angel caught me completely off guard, it has everything to enter my list of all time favorite ballads, i think you will like it too!