Song Review: ONF – Beautiful Beautiful

I kind of feel like I willed this song into existence. Between my constant mentions of ONF’s electro-funk mix of It’s Raining last year, to The Bias List’s latest endeavor involving 90’s techno J-pop, I’ve all-but erected an imaginary shrine in honor of songs like this. And when even SHINee refused to bring the funk for their title track, ONF was left to pick up the slack. After all, they’re the ones who delivered the incredible Complete in 2018. And with another track produced by the always-great Hwang Hyun, what could go wrong?

Nothing. Nothing could go wrong. Beautiful Beautiful is fantastic. Its verve and energy brings me right back to my early days in K-pop, but nostalgia only gets you so far. The track succeeds on its own merits. It’s a taut, exciting blast of funky dance pop without misstep.

Anchored by a catchy “rum pum pum” refrain, Beautiful Beautiful opens in thundering fashion — like a pop punch to the gut. Before you can orient yourself, it swerves into a fantastic electro-charged verse. The instrumental here is among the best things I’ve heard this year, and things get even funkier during the second verse when MK’s smooth vocals weave effortlessly along the groove. It’s so clean and propulsive and thrilling.

Beautiful’s chorus takes advantage of this high-octane energy, offering a descending, harmonized refrain before exploding in that “rum pum pum” hook once more. This would have been enough to please these funk-loving ears, but the track becomes even better during its standout bridge, which moves from effusive chant (underlined by electric guitar solo!) to inventive – almost carol-like – choral piece without even switching gears.

Longtime readers will know that I don’t give 10/10’s only hours after a track’s release, but I won’t be surprised if Beautiful Beautiful gets there quickly. It’s hard not to see this as “song of the year” material.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10


59 thoughts on “Song Review: ONF – Beautiful Beautiful

  1. YAY! This is so fun. Just… so bloody fun. I love it and I’m so glad they blessed us with this. MK deserves more hype for his stunning voice, it’s not everyday that someone has such a pleasant yet recognizable one.

    PS. Very excited for Buried Treasure if you decide on it! (I’ve been switching between this and The Realist all day lol).

    Liked by 5 people

  2. They smashed it! They picked up on what’s missing in the genre, right now, but it’s uniquely ONF. They’ve really crafted a sound uniquely there’s. Parts of the chorus really remind me of Complete, and Sukhumvit Swimming (the group rum-puhs).

    I love the bridge and the acapella part. The whole song smashes, I’ve just had on repeat this morning. I do think the bridges and verses are slightly stronger than the chorus, but there’s nothing wrong with the chorus. that’s the part that’s been growing on me with each listens.

    I also like that we’re in the same world as My Name Is and the intro has some of those acoustic guitar strums. I love the world-building in this promotion.

    MK is also the coolest. I love that he works closely with Hwang Hyun and plays the part of a hacker in the video. When his vocals come in, I always take notice.
    Wyatt killed it in the second verse. I think every member has a moment to shine. I feel like they’ve crafted a dynamic where each member’s charms are obvious.

    Gosh it’s so much fun!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Why is Wyatt’s voice so appealing? there’s something kinda clunky and technical about his rapping, yet he is definitely one of my favorite rappers in the genre!

      there’s a unique charisma and an unmatched attitude.
      He’s just one part of the chemistry that makes ONF so appealing.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The b-side”Trip Advisor” is right up Nick’s alley too.
      Horns, funk, and a touch of new jack swing beat.

      The album also has an English version of Beautiful. The lyrics are unintelligible enough to be completely unoffensive on casual listen. Really, I have no idea what English words they are singing most of the time.

      It only hit me on reading Nick’s review and with repeat listens of “Beautiful” how much we should appreciate that the producers stick with the ONF soundscape from Complete and others and expand on that. It is an ONF song, not anyone else’s song.

      Liked by 4 people

      • This song definitely reminded me of complete and fly to the moon for some reason. Not that I’m complaining, it is a great type of song to have.


      • Definitely picked up on the ONF soundscape! Even on first listen already. On repeated listens, I think those keys in the first half of the chorus are the same ones used in Complete. I want to find the producers and offer them some home baked cookies.

        Liked by 1 person


    I honestly think one of the only good things 2020 gave me is that I got to know ONF. They have so many excellent songs, and this one is another addition to the list.

    It’s also doing good on the charts, I hope this will be that comeback that they can finally rise.

    Again, may I insert my review here it seems we coincidentally graded it the exact same score haha

    The highlight medley let me down a bit, but the songs are actually better than I expected. I vote The Realist for Buried Treasure!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ONF have amassed great success from last year’s Road To Kingdom, and for great reasons too. Their partnership with Hwang Hyun (of momotree fame) definitely has a knack of massive melodic hooks and shots of pure energy. In this way, they are one of the most consistent boy groups of their era, I just wish that WM’s promotional ideas didn’t botch up the group’s consistency. Hopefully, 2021 might be ONF’s blossoming year, and Beautiful Beautiful might be a good song to start out with, It’s the most refreshing boy group track I have heard in a long time.

    Beautiful Beautiful borrows from the funk house genre and uses it to massive advantage. The Song begins with a harmonized chant, quickly snowballing into an immense blast of hooks, the bombast drizzles away as the guys welcome us to the verse. It’s underlined by a fantastic rhythmic backbone, which sweeps you with all its mighty funk!

    This all builds to an impossibly catchy centerpiece, I absolutely love this chorus so much. It’s rousing and buoyant, ONF sing as if they’re shouting at the top of their lungs, and this leaves for an effusive post-chorus. The harmonized chant comes back with a bold confidence, barging in with a striking fashion as the instrumental gets more tense. It’s not over yet folks! The bridge is an absolutely epic segment, electric guitar comes into the potent brew. Adding one more edge of awesome to a track which already feels like it’s taking victory laps. The harmonized chant is given a heavy sense of build, as ONF offer an acapella-like performance to rip through the ending with it’s go-for-broke chorus.

    But the best part about Beautiful Beautiful are the members themselves, they offer an optimistic performance which practically forces you in smiling. Every bit of their carefree personalities are fused into the mix of the song’s segments. The funky second verse rap, the almost-dramatic pre chorus and even that massive centerpiece. Beautiful Beautiful is one hell of a good time, and I love every moment of it. It’s going to be hard deciding whether Breathe or this is going to take the crown at the end of the month.

    My Rating would be a 9.5!

    But seriously Nick, Can you please answer this question, Is it really hard that you have to put either Golden Child’s Breathe or Beautiful Beautiful at second place at the end of the month?

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Ever since I heard the preview of the song, yhe “rum pum pum” had stuck in my mind like glue. I think that was a sign that this song will deliver more than I expected.

    Man, this song feels so refreshing yet energetic at the same time! I like how the chorus sounds, it reminded me greatly of their another track “Complete”. I don’t know how, but let me just say it. The arrangement also gives me a reminisce of “We Must Love” as well, especially right after the second chorus to bridge. Again, I don’t know how, but let me just say it lmao.

    Honestly, I really didn’t find anything that could be a turn off in this one. This song is so packed with big energy from start to finish, an addicting hook, and a satisfying end as well! All these 3 formulas are ingredients for a favorite song of mine. They really redeemed themselves from Sukhumvit Swimming, as much as I also love that track.

    This track is a 9.5 for me! I gotta check the album to spot on some neat tracks as well. I’ll definitely play this song for the rest of the week alongside Golden Child’s Breathe lol good luck family.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh and before I forget, I really REALLY love the a capella part after the bridge! I think that’s one of my most favorite part of the song. It really helped with the build up of intensity towards the final chorus! I was quite worried about that formula, but hey it’s Hwang Hyun, he could pull it off!

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Omg I love love love this song. The music video kinda messed with my perception of it, but once listening to just the song- it was great. (I appreciated the message of the music video later when I took it scene by scene).

    I had to make sure to take a step away from what I was expecting after new world (darker fantasy scifi) in order to not let my perceptions of the song be biased. I do love their more “drama like” sounding songs, but this was a pleasant surprise once I gave myself away to its spirit.

    It’s vibe gives me something similar to fly me to moon. This definitely harks back to their earlier works and sound. Much brighter than most of their recent tracks.

    However, the b sides that really drew me in have to be the realist (gave me some drama that I wanted 😆) and the beautiful I.T.I.L.U. Now I am not a ballad person typically. But it sounded breathingtaking and the emotion is poured through the vocals. I’m so glad ONF is back. Let’s get them a win.


  7. You know that feeling when a song hits you on the first reason, I got that feeling from the teasers, this song was stuck in my head. Thus, when I saw the positive reviews, I went on YouTube to watch the song. Like 4 Grammarly ads later, I am in the song. It is amazing, and perhaps better than everyone is saying, so I thought I should say something funny and cool in the comments, but I cannot decide on what. In the end, I think those who don’t like this song should get tested for COVI- no, that is already used, ugh. So I think I’ll just the song is amazing, the bridge in particular.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Somebody please help me! I am having trouble deciding which song should take the top song of the month. Breathe or this!

    Both are equally amazing songs!


    • I think I won’t know until the Breathe MV drops. While I’d love to rate based on the song alone, I do think the promotion, MV, visuals and performances really factor majorly.

      I think this will be it for me. The scifi warrior punk concept is just *chefs kiss*


  9. Nick, when I listed. To this track this morning, I literally thought “This is going to get a 10/10”. It’s so much your jam, that I am not at all surprised to see you wanting to potentially give this the ever elusive perfect score. Also, this song was freakin’ great! 2021 has been a bit lite on songs with fun energy and this delivered in spades! ❤


  10. This song what i missed for long long time!

    This also remind me of Road to Kingdom It’s Raining cover! MonoTree really have a weldone job!


  11. This song is just delightful. Definitely the pick-me-up I needed in gray February. I knew the minute it started with that “rum pum pum” refrain it was going to be something special, then the beat kicked in and, well, the rest is history. Definitely the song of the month for me – although Golcha’s “Breathe” is a close second, (the chorus of “Beautiful Beautiful” just sticks in my head more) – and for sure my favorite of the trio of back-to-back releases we got from SHINee, Sunmi, and ONF this week.


  12. Is this my favourite ONF song? No, its #2 with Asteroid in #1. Butttt it is my favourite ONF single, by a mile! First of all the melodies here are beautiful with great progression through the song. I love the duet in the second verse and the accapella is to die for. The hook is so good it almost feels like a dream and it all goes by so smoothly. I’m in love with the groove and the sci-fi swoops throughout are a great touch. The atmosphere this song build is pure glee and I’m HERE FOR IT. Nothing here was forced and just like Shinee, ONF make this feel completely effortless.
    This might be the best birthday gift I’ll ever get!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I feel like this song kind of came out of nowhere to slap me in the face. I knew ONF from Road to Kingdom and liked their Sukhumvit Swimming comeback last year, but holy shit this is the quality of song they put out?! I went back and listened to their earlier songs and I’m working my way through their discography and I really should have listened earlier when I realised Monotree had a hand in producing their songs.

    Beautiful Beautiful is musical perfection for me. It instantly makes me smile, their voices sound lovely and they have a pretty interesting contrast in vocal tones, there’s this sense of pure joy that I’ve been sorely missing in title tracks recently (the closest thing in 2021 so far I can think of is CIX’s Cinema which I think is more laid-back). This group is damn good, what even. This is the kind of song which makes me glad to discover when I follow kpop. Honestly wow.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Wow, this is easily my favourite song and M/V of this year so far.

    Also, the melody during the verses is similar to the chorus of X1’s ‘Like Always’.


  15. This is it! This is exactly the type of music I love.

    It’s immediately catchy, but it doesn’t fall into the trap of being too single-minded. What I mean is that this is not just one sugary hook plus filler. The verses are super solid, the song has versatility (random acapella bit? okay?) and the central hook changes up a little.

    As someone who knows pretty much nothing about ONF except from Complete – I can hear that this is ONF. There’s things in the production style that remind me of Complete. I love this! Anyone can make a simple catchy song – this one is not only catchy but versatile and also retains a signature sound. It does everything right.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I actually feel like the verses are TOO good. The chorus is actually great, but I enjoy the verses waaay more.

    I agree with everyone else who is happy to hear a Kpop group actually maintain a signature sound instead of trend hopping.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Those are some groovy verses!
    I’ll be honest, I love the driving energy of the chorus, but it doesn’t sound like one that’ll get stuck in my head. Beautifuuuuul followed by the sliding notes just isn’t particularly hooky. The rum-pum-pums are better, but not the catchiest thing I’ve heard in my life.

    WOW at the bridge. Was not expecting the layered different melodies/counterpoint(?) (I kinda wish it had gotten the chance to build into a more galvanizing final chorus, though.) And not a huge fan of the final spoken “beautiful,” either, but it doesn’t bother me.


  18. Although I really enjoyed ONF on RTK & definitely became a huge fan of Hyojin’s voice, I hadn’t really fallen in love with any of their songs until now. The vocal arrangement is amazing! The intro & first verse are SO strong, I almost feel like the chorus doesn’t live up to the beginning even though it’s a good chorus. My jaw dropped when I first heard the a cappella section. Outstanding is really what I think when I listen to this, so for me it’s a 9.
    I.T.I.L.U is absolutely my buried treasure. They really let their vocals do the work. I never realized that they are all such strong singers, not just Hyojin. His tone and delivery are still my favorite, & his parts give me chills. His vocal performance is just so good, especially during the climax of the song.


  19. I love this song too much! I’d give it an instant 10 right fricking now, I do believe it would be hard to top this.

    Nick, Can I pass off a request?

    Can you make a “Breaking Down a K-pop Song” feature to Beautiful Beautiful? It’s absolutely wonderful and each segment is amazing on its own!

    Though I understand if you don’t want to either!


  20. I have been obsessing and obsessing over and over again!
    And I will forever!

    I have been listening to the instrumental and there is so much to unpack here.


  21. This is absolutely amazing! Nick, Is this how you felt when you first listened to your current favorite k-pop songs back in 2012?


  22. I am actually excited for the upcoming repackage, and mostly for Ugly dance.

    Ugly Dance – Hip Hop 808 Bass
    My Genesis – Rock Jazz
    The Dreamer – Vintage Pop

    Hwang Hyun is really adventurous so I am expecting something big! These guys are just so talented.


  23. “Longtime readers will know that I don’t give 10/10’s only hours after a track’s release, but I won’t be surprised if Beautiful Beautiful gets there quickly. It’s hard not to see this as “song of the year” material.”

    Well…this comment has aged well.


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