Buried Treasure: ONEUS – Incomplete

A K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

ONEUS’s Devil is a great album — solid all the way through. Its weakest moments come at the very beginning, which is frustrating. Its title track No Diggity is actually among my least favorite songs, though it’s slowly growing on me. The problem is, there are just so many buried treasures here that would have made for better singles. I could easily spotlight the funky What You Doing or the pulsing Lion Heart, or even the primo power ballads/mid-tempos Youth and I.P.U. But in the end, the song that’s sticking with me the most is Incomplete (완벽하지 않아도 괜찮아).

Honestly, a lot of this comes down to Seoho’s vocal. I think I’m ready to induct him into the small club of boy group vocalists whom I consider to be the best of this new generation. He would join Golden Child’s Joochan & Y, ATEEZ’s Jongho and Lucy’s Sangyeop (if you count Lucy as a typical “boy group”). Having this kind of vocal in an idol group goes a long way, and can make even meager material feel impactful and dynamic. He gets a chance to stretch his vocals on many of Devil’s tracks, and takes the first part of each chorus on Incomplete. It’s a rousing performance, bursting with emotion and power.

Beyond this, Incomplete just has a great build. Its first verse is rather understated, but supported by exciting percussion as it slowly snowballs with the addition of electric guitar. The second verse is even better, as the track upends itself and briefly transforms into a frenzied bit of speed rock. But when it comes down to it, Incomplete is all about that climactic vocal in the chorus. So many hooks rely on instrumental loops these days, but I’d much rather hear these knockout moments delivered by the idols themselves.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9


6 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: ONEUS – Incomplete

  1. Oh, I didn’t expect this pick! This type of track is just never for me. Something about this style does not resonate with me at all. Maybe I’m too impatient to wait for the track to build? I would prefer either a good ballad or an energetic dance track over this. I would pick Lion Heart (that production in the chorus: fantastic) or What You Doing (funky!) as my favourite bside.

    That said, some moments do impress me. The bridge is beautiful and I think I agree with you on Seoho. He caught my attention in No Diggity and continues to shine here.
    Speaking of No Diggity, it has grown on me, too – and I already quite liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The rest of the album was so good, my buried treasure is Lion Heart
    And yes Seoho is a star, but also i love the different colors in voices, and how much i love Leedo singing more.
    Thank you for adding guitar to their sound!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Recently, Seoho has grown on me a lot. I always had a soft spot for hwanwoong who got me into the group in the first place. But after hearing seoho in the PRECHORUS of no diggity- my appreciation of the group has grown further.

    Seoho sounds amazing in incomplete, and this is probably my pick for my favorite on the album too. But there are a lot of close seconds. Furthermore, I don’t mind no diggity as much now, but I would have been more intrigued to see the other songs on the album as the title track.


  4. Incomplete follows the template of EDM, but not the start/stop structure which has reigned the industry, I am talking about the Euphoric choruses, big instrumentals and build up of momentum. Incomplete successfully checks it all. Starting off with an airy vocal, before moving through its thumping pre-chorus, which is supported by electric guitar and an intense, ferocious rallying cry. The second verse represents the song much better, as its moves along tempos with the help of rock percussion and strong melodies.

    The chorus glides along ad-libs and high notes while retaining its sense of rhythm, before ending on a soaring high. Songs are rarely delivered like this, and that’s what makes Incomplete so amazing, It’s released with a sense of power, and drives along that sense of power with ease.

    One word to describle “Incomplete” for me is fist-bumping anthem! Also, why isn’t ONF’s Hyojin in the list?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Solid choice as the Buried Treasure of this album.

    Here’s my opinion [After 2 listens]

    – No Diggity – 7.75/10 [8,8,8,7]
    – Leftover – 7.5/10 [8,8,7,7]
    – Incomplete – 8.5/10 [8,8,9,9]
    – Youth – 8/10 [8,8,8,8]
    – Bbusyeo – 8.25/10 [8,9,8,8]
    – Rewind – 9.25/10 [9,9,9,10] – I love this.
    – Lion Heart – 8.5/10 [8,9,8,9]
    – What You Doing? – 8.25/10 [8,9,8,8]
    – IPU – 8.5/10 [9,9,8,8]

    Liked by 1 person

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