Earlier in the year, ONEWE added an EDM layer to their moody rock sound, delivering the potent End Of Spring. They followed this up with the relatively forgettable Parting. And now, nearly two seasons later, they’re back with a song befitting December. A Book In Memory (기억 속 한 권의 책) slows things down for December. Oddly, this track is sandwiched between more interesting, dynamic material on the group’s latest single album. But, I guess the demands of winter cried out for a ballad.
And really, ONEWE have proven themselves very adept at balladry. If nothing else, A Book In Memory allows the band to spotlight their vocalists. This is a welcome move, and results in a great performance. Yet as swelling and emotional as Memory attempts to be, very little of it resonates with me. That’s mostly due to the melody, which feels surprisingly inert. Apart from the tail end of the chorus, which peaks in wisps of falsetto, the song passes by without much in the way of memorable refrains.
Instead, the verses have an almost conversational structure, deepening the mood but never amounting to much on their own. A post-chorus instrumental break injects a jolt of interest, yet Memory has a hard time crafting the clear build and payoff that is so vital to a great ballad. Instead, the track retains a steady energy throughout. Thankfully, we have ace vocalist Yonghoon as our shepherd through Memory’s ups and downs. His emotive performance is easily the best thing about the song, but that’s hardly a surprise!