As part of their recent online concert, ONEWE unveiled new digital single Parting (소행성). While I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of the band’s music so far, I’ve often noted that many of their songs feel like idol group material that just happens to be performed by a rock band. When it comes to title tracks, ONEWE have never really drawn upon the strength of their configuration. With that in mind, Parting is probably the most straightforward single they’ve ever released.
Here’s where I get hypocritical. As much as I’ve complained about the musical dalliances that ONEWE have taken since debut, I kind of wish Parting had a bit more pizzazz. I understand that it’s not designed to be that style of song, but it’s almost too safe for its own good. While I applaud the focus on frontman Yonghoon’s vocals, the melody doesn’t allow him much room to stretch. Funny enough, the track’s most dynamic moment comes courtesy of a Cya-fueled rap break. I love how the guitar amps up here, briefly imbuing Parting with added energy and drive.
Elsewhere, the song is driven by a moody atmosphere and perched upon simple, repetitive refrains. The angst amps to a crescendo during Parting’s final moments, but I wish it would have gone even further. Yonghoon feels poised to launch into one of his incredible power notes, yet the song restricts him to a brief spike of falsetto. Parting’s bones are strong. It just doesn’t take us on the kind of emotional journey I would have hoped for.