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.
In the midst of their ONEUS Theatre project, ONEUS also released the Japanese version of their spring single Black Mirror. I don’t often listen to J-pop re-recordings of Korean songs, but occasionally they’ll come paired with a new b-side. That’s the case here, and Only One is definitely worth a listen! In fact, I’m a little angry that it’s buried so deep in their discography. I nearly missed it until a kind Bias List reader brought it to my attention.
My love for Only One is no surprise. Its brisk, propulsive sound will always appeal to me. And even when the track lulls for a couple ill-advised breakdowns during the second verse, it always rights itself without trouble. Over the past year, I’ve been so happy to see ONEUS’s music increase focus on the guys’ vocals. The group has some incredible performers, with Seoho especially sticking out for me in 2021. Only One’s powerful energy allows the guys to really belt out the chorus, which bolsters the track’s intensity.
Melodically, Only One feels composed of scraps from other tracks. SHINee is obviously a huge influence, but I can hear echoes of a few notable idol discographies. This gives the song a workmanlike quality, but thankfully the producers have drawn from the best inspirations! Only One’s blistering dance beat moves at such a pace that there’s no time to focus on any shortcomings. Huge slabs of synth push the instrumental forward, occasionally swelling to create a dizzying flurry. The song is like one long climax, and will have you quickly reaching for the ‘repeat’ button.
Gosh! This is absolutely amazing. I love the chord progression, it feels fresh. The production also sounds so clean! The synth bass is so sick and I love the consistent beat. I’m not too interested in the vocals, but I honestly don’t care because the instrumental is so damn good. I’d give it a [8,10,9,9 = 9/10].
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Oh my gosh I am so happy; I knew you would like this song and I knew you would call it propulsive! I almost missed it myself and I too am baffled as to why they released it in such an obscure fashion. Oh well I am just thrilled to be able to add it to my Oneus playlist, and exactly as you said I have been reaching for the replay button quite frequently. As a loyal fan at this point, I could not be more pleased with their output this year and yet I fully suspect they’re not even done. Tis a good time to be a ToMoon:)
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Please can you write a review on Zelo’s latest release that is “Back on the road” ? Thank you
Oh about burried treasure, this song reminds me of Yoo YoungJae’s “Feel it with this music” of his “Forever Love” single. You should check on it : strongly recommended. He got some nice burried treasures like “Hope” and “Gravity” as well. Hopefully you will write on them as well. You appear open-minded and you like good music
ONEUS just continue to impress. Given me feeling pretty lackluster about some of their 4th gen peers this year (SKZ, ATEEZ, and TXT), they’re definitely moving up my ranking for fav 4th gen BG
This isn’t as much my style as it is Nick’s, but it’s still great – I saw someone mention it recently and have been meaning to give it a listen, so it was great to see it pop up here. Of the half dozen groups at the top of my personal bias list, I really think ONEUS might be the most well-rounded. Lots of groups bounce between musical styles but usually there are some styles that suit them better or worse than others. ONEUS doesn’t have my favorite vocalists, rappers, or performers, but they are really, really strong in all of those areas, and it gives them an impressive versatility that’s been on full display recently.
And yeah, Seoho has absolutely been killing it these last few releases. He might not be my favorite kpop vocalist but that’s more a matter of personal preference than anything else.
While far from as good as Black Mirror, this is a really strong b-side.
Ah, I knew you would like this one. I thought you had somehow missed it but here the review is. The song is really propulsive and the chord progressions are so much fun. Could’ve made it a title with a little more polish.
It made the Roller Rink playlist within 20 seconds of playing. Very nice!