Review

Buried Treasure: Hyojin (ONF) – Before Today Is Over

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.


What’s up with WM Entertainment continued failure to build upon ONF’s hype? After Road to Kingdom, they were ripe for a big breakout. And yes, their album sales spiked in 2020. But releasing one version of one mini album each year is not a viable plan when it comes to the overcrowded, cutthroat K-pop market. ONF need to blitz the landscape with multiple, continuous releases for at least a year. Hopefully that begins with co-leader Hyojin’s new OST for True Beauty.

I watched the first episode of True Beauty and couldn’t get into it (I’m a much bigger fan of competing drama Run On — and its great OST from Lucy!), but the show has resulted in solid music so far. ONF themselves recorded an excellent OST last year for web-drama Love Revolution. Similarly, Before Today Is Over (오늘이 지나기 전에) is a ton of fun. It’s the umpteenth track to anchor itself with a retro synth riff a la A-Ha’s Take On Me, but that bright energy continues to feel welcome in K-pop.

Hyojin is a great vocalist. Some of you have asked why he’s not a personal favorite, and that just comes down to preference. While technically sound and powerful, his voice hasn’t yet connected with me on the emotional level that it takes to become part of my (made up) “top vocalists” club. Still, he delivers Before Today Is Over with panache. But at under three minutes in length, this song feels like it’s missing a huge chunk. Where’s that third chorus? And for that matter, where’s the intense climax that the driving instrumental seems to be promising?

Regardless, this track is a blast, and not too far from what I hope ONF comes back with (if WM ever lets them come back…)

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5


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24 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Hyojin (ONF) – Before Today Is Over

  1. Oh! Thanks for letting me know about the vocalists club!

    This is a total panache, I love everything about the song, from Hyojin’s emotive and I really hope ONF come back next month. what is WM doing?
    Are you going to review that Lucy OST too?

    Like

  2. I forget that OSTs can be fun sometimes (that’s not a dig at the common ballad, but when I hear the phrase “OST” my mind immediately jumps to whatever song from Goblin feels like being an earworm that day)! And, frankly, the more K-Pop tries to sound like A-ha, the better.

    Ditto on Run To You, as well. One of these days Spotify is just going to automatically make me a playlist that’s every single Lucy song and nothing else.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! Hyojin is my current ult, so I’m so glad to hear him on such a great track. This is one of those “I give it a 10 and can’t think of a single criticism because my brain is in stan mode” moments. Thanks for flagging this, I might’ve missed it!

    Like

  4. Any plans to cover the original songs from ‘Miss Back’? Mainly I’m asking about Soobin/DALSoobin’s new song ‘sign’ but the others too

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  5. Hyojin was one of the best vocalists on RtK, behind only Jinho and Hui. He is a member of my vocalist club, along with DK (Seventeen), Kihyun (Monsta X), Kyuhyun (SuJu), and Doyoung (NCT). I’m happy to hear him get a solo track. I watched the first 9 episodes of True Beauty & really enjoyed it, but I’m waiting for the show to finish so I can watch the rest of the episodes altogether. I’m glad there’s an excellent OST waiting for me. I agree it could really use that 3rd chorus, but it’s a song I enjoy all the way through regardless.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Its like Blinding lights meets Flashdance “Maniac” via a-ha “Take on Me”. The beat is all “Maniac”. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aclyuqS1MmA

    I am going to be the contrarian here. I think it is a competent vocal. I think we are so used to mediocre vocals, heavily processed, that when we come across a competent vocal it suddenly becomes above average. Its like grade inflation.

    The problem is range. He does very well from about G3 to A4. He can also belt that A4 very well, Possibly a Bb too. But anything above that tends to get screamy, and not in a good way – for example “We Must Love” high notes live. Sure he hits them, kinda in tune, but it isn’t pretty or notable (2:42, 4:27 – why doesn’t he hold it longer?). There are very few examples of low notes in chest voice, only “Moscow Moscow” briefly in passing.
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7LO6t2PkOI

    That said, he has potential. DK has grown a lot since debut. Hyojin can grow too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. All I have to say is his voice is amazing as per usual. His vocal ability during road to kingdom really drew me into ONF.

    This makes me excited for their comeback this month 😍 I can’t wait. I have high high hopes, so I praying I am not setting myself up for disappointment.

    Like

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