Buried Treasure: OnlyOneOf – Instinct

OnlyOneOf - InstinctA 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.

OnlyOneOf’s libidO just gets better with each listen. To me, it’s the most musically visceral K-pop track in recent memory. There’s an almost unbearable level of tension within the production and arrangement. In a brilliant bit of sequencing, the next song on the album releases that tension immediately. Instinct carries an equal amount of texture, but its breezy nature feels like a much-earned exhalation.

In general, I worry about how the demands of streaming has affected song production. With so many pop songs forcing themselves to fit within a tight three-minute running time, the music isn’t always given a chance to breathe. At just over two minutes in length, Instinct seems as if it might play more like an interlude than an actual song. But, it accomplishes quite a bit within that narrow frame.

Opening with a dramatic guitar strum, the instrumental is quickly joined by percussion and sweeps of exciting synths. The production builds as the first verse unfolds and segues into the chorus. The backing vocals here are immensely satisfying, adding an extra shot of rhythm to the already-funky brew. Then, ninety-seconds in, Instinct pauses for a vocal showcase that acts as both a breather and a brilliant climax. The whole thing is groovy as hell, and may please those who found libidO to be too intense. I think both songs work best when paired together, showing off OnlyOneOf’s versatility.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8


15 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: OnlyOneOf – Instinct

  1. Man it may be slightly OT but I have to say I can’t stand the way OOO are getting dragged not just by homophobes domestically but also by people within the LGBT community internationally for “queerbaiting.” It’s making me crazy. I think it is so cool and brave of them to do a concept like this in an industry that has historically preferred to ignore gay people altogether.

    Speaking as a gay person, here. I really don’t care if the members are straight or not. I love the concept and the music is good. And I’m so, so tired of other gay people telling me to “stan Holland,” a kid who brings absolutely NOTHING to the table. I can’t stand being told I’m shallow for not wanting to listen to somebody who can’t sing. The OOO guys are talented and they’re bringing us gay content. Now c’mon now…

    Liked by 5 people

      • To be fair, I did not name Twitter specifically, but it’s true that a lot of this idiocy is taking place there lol, so fair guess.

        I try to avoid getting into any discourse on twt and spend most of my fan-time on Tumblr, which I generally find to be much more relaxed. However, in this case, twitter is leaking a bit…

        On the bright side, I am still very amused by a twitter user’s claim that a gay artist would never use BDSM imagery. They really said this while Lil Nas X is topping the charts with a song where he gets railed by the devil in a harness. Amazing what fandom brain will do to a person.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Heavens yes. I got told off by someone when I took exception to her tirade about this. I was polite; I get where it’s coming from. She told me that I “obviously” didn’t know what queerbaiting was and not to “talk over queer voices.” I’m thinking,”Does my bi voice get a chance?” Someone else told me queerbaiting is done by non lgbtq people. Hmm, giving side-eye to openly gay Mark Gatiss who queerbaited the entirety of Sherlock in a culture that’s much more tolerant than South Korea.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherlock is like the defining example of queerbaiting, so much for that I guess. I honestly think that “queerbaiting” means whatever people want it to mean to help them win arguments / justify their hatred at this point. I mean celebrities like Harry Styles et al get accused of it simply for showing some level of gender nonconformity and not being out as gay. Schewpid.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I realized just the other day why I wasn’t seeing all the crappy articles on allkpop about the latest nonscandal, what ___ thinks about ___, what “record” is BTS breaking now, and all that. The feed was actually good, though stuffed with teasers, it was all that I wanted to see and no gossip. I didn’t realize that I had clicked the filter for videos only. That button was a good button. There are filters, other sites, other places.

      Also, rule number one of the internet is to not argue with strangers on the internet. Some 5% of the population is nuts, another 10% are intolerable, and another 10% are just out there. (And 38.34% of all statistics are made up.) Scroll on by.

      Another story – there are still people within the ELF who will still rant about this that and the other thing about former members, while the rest of us moved on a long time ago. Just belonging to a subpopulation of people who ____, doesn’t mean everyone gets along within that subpopulation.

      whoosh that was long, but if anyone beats you up here, let me know and I will go all mama tiger on them. I’ll start quoting how OOO really embodies the poetry of Rimbaud, with full citations, in French, and they will scurry off.

      Rock on, Libido, its a great song.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Libido has grown on me a lot!
    More so than I Loved You, I just love the intense nature of the track and that building tension. And it makes me wish we had The Boyz Prism as a single so we could get a one-two punch of this type of music.


      • I still Love both songs, but something about Libido instantly connects with me. Loved You’s emotion has washed over me greatly, so I still like it.
        Completely unrelated but when you heard SHINee’s atlantis in live, how good did it sound?


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