Review

Song Review: ONEUS – Luna

ONEUS - Luna
Though January’s No Diggity left many of us scratching our heads, ONEUS have gone on to have a very fruitful 2021. If you count their ONEUS Theatre tracks, they’ve released a whopping five singles in Korea, blitzing the industry with a variety of sounds. Over the past few weeks, I’ve lamented the lack of new ideas within idol comebacks. Perhaps the guys heard my plea, because Luna’s mix of icy synthwave and traditional Korean elements feels novel.

ONEUS have explored traditional instrumentation before, most notably in 2019’s Lit. That song is a firm fan favorite, but doesn’t have enough melody to fully capture my heart. Luna (월하미인 (月下美人 : LUNA)) improves upon the formula with a knockout chorus. Better yet, the song twists and pulls at this refrain for maximum effect. It knows how strong its hook is and doles out the goods sparingly. I love how the instrumental moves between smooth synthwave and punchier exclamations, drawing out two contrasting sides of the chorus.

Luna’s weak points arrive during its inconsistent verses. The subdued performance that opens the track is very atmospheric and smooth. The pre-chorus weaves in traditional sounds to great effect, building interest without shifting momentum. In theory, the second verse rap should be amazing. But, I wish the instrumental didn’t lurch backwards during this segment and the vocal melody that follows. A driving second verse would have offered an extra shot of excitement. Still, this is a relatively small critique for a song that’s very strong overall. By the time Luna builds to its dynamic climax, it’s hard not to get swept up in its compelling vision.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

36 thoughts on “Song Review: ONEUS – Luna

  1. This was a return to form for them for me. I haven’t connected to their releases since their first year (a solid 3 mini albums) so I was really glad to enjoy this entire mini-album.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Honestly, this felt like the first time I heard BTS’s “Blood Sweat and Tears”: something new and dynamic and ambitious, synthesising elements in a way I hadn’t heard before. It felt like a really dramatic leap forward. I was really excited by this song.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. now that is how you do a many syllable chorus. Just pure energy and a through line, no stop start spurts.

    I think this is awesome! on first listen this is one of my fav BG choruses of the year.
    Hard agree that the verses could use a punch up.

    I feel very cynical in that my first reaction to the opening instrumental was “sounds like a splice loop” not “sounds like traditional instrumentation”….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. While I cannot read Hangul, the writing in Hanzi roughly translates to ‘Beauty under the Moon’ (correct me if I am wrong, I am trying to learn lol). Just a random fact I’d throw around.

    I really enjoy the song. The lyrics are strong and wax a little poetic, while the chorus hits hard.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The Chinese characters stands for “Beautiful person under the moon”
    I was polarized by this song… While I’m not a fan of the second verse, it transitions really smoothly into another vocal part. And they have enough variation in the Choruses that unlike Twilight, it doesn’t get repetitive or boring. I agree with the 8.75, maybe even a 9 if the that rap part grows on me.

    Like

  6. I really, really liked this. In fact, this was by far the most satisfying comeback from any of my favorite groups since they became a favorite group, which was a bit of a relief, because I was thinking about end of year stuff and how it was kind of a drag that 4 of my 6 favorite groups had a somewhat lackluster year, musically at least (ACE, SKZ, VICTON, and Pentagon are the four – I’ve been perfectly happy with Ateez’s releases this year).

    Anyhow, I love the repetition at the end of the first few lines of the chorus, I love that they worked the Pansori singer from the intro into the climax, and the vocals all sound great, especially Seoho, Leedo, and, pleasant surprise, Xion. This is the first time I’ve thought his vocals sounded like his brother’s, so good job to him and RBW’s vocal trainers. The visuals are very VIXX “Shangri-La” and while I don’t think the choreo is as impactful as their prior titles, I know I’ll enjoy the live stages. This really does feel like a step up for them capping off a really strong year and it would be great to see that reflected in sales and, who knows, a first win? I think they’re the last RTK group except TO1 to hit that milestone and they’ve really earned it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My only criticisms are that I don’t like the level of distortion on Ravn’s verse or the ultra-long extensions on Xion. Felix just barely pulled them off and Hanse’s looked amazing (although maybe that was a wig – in any case his look was much fuller and more androgynous) but I’d really rather not see that particular style spread any further.

      Like

      • I feel like Oneus have slightly flirted with becoming the 4th gen Vixx for a minute now. They haven’t jumped into that level of high conceptness YET. But i see it in their future.

        Liked by 4 people

        • ONEUS remind me of VIXX more than anyone else active right now – there are more concept-heavy groups, but they seem to stick to a single concept longer (maybe because everyone’s all about storylines now), whereas VIXX and ONEUS both change concepts pretty fluidly. I’d love to see ONEUS really let loose “On and On” or “Voodoo Doll” style – they’re still a little restrained.

          Liked by 3 people

  7. As a massive Oneus fan I could not be more pleased with the year they have had and Luna really feels like wonderful way to top it all off. I’m already completely in love with Luna and I think its going to age particuarly well given its not too hype and not to sentimental either. There is a nice balance in the vibes it gives off and I think that wiil help to enhance its staying power as a title track. I am also particuarly fond of the lyrics which is something I hardly ever take into consideration, given I can’t understand Korean. However, Luna’s lyrics are beautifully poetic and I quite enjoy them.

    Like

  8. The chorus was instantly a big plus for me, but I also like the whole song as a whole. It’s definitely an improvement from LIT. I still think ‘Valkyrie’ is their best song simply because the instrumental hook is super electronic for my liking. Not to mention it’s also ridiculously catchy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved this so much!! Oneus is one of my ults and among all my ults the group I have a real soft spot for!🤗 I especially loved Xion’s verses this time… And the instrumental!!!❤️❤️ Omg!!!

    I loved the mixture of traditional and modern! The whole song seemed to be on this concept for me – Ravn, Hwanwoong, Xion on the traditional front; Seoho & Keonhee on the more modern front and Leedo shifting between the two (traditional vibe in vocals and modern vive in rap) The idea struck me because if the one shot of Leedo breaking from one side to the other:)

    I know from the meaning of the title that this has a slightly melancholic touch… The chorus actually reminded me of Cravity’s Veni Vedi Vici chorus!😅 They start the same way but of course they progress differently…

    The dance break… surprisingly felt ok. I usually hate these 😂 but the addition of the traditional instruments there made it work for me. Aesthetically – GORGEOUS!!!❤️❤️❤️

    Like

  10. Okay take 2 of posting. This song was an extension of a concept they can execute really well. They took their concept with lit and built upon it with their new flair and confidence.

    What I liked: the chorus, the concept, and the bridge.

    Seoho was a great choice for the chorus. He is often used for their choruses, and I support this choice because of his strong stable vocals.

    I admired hwanwoong being used in bridge. I usually imagine keonhee or seoho to be in charge of the bridge with their power vocals, but it was nice to see woong get a major highlight in the bridge.

    Only thing I wished could be better: the verses. There is a lack of momentum at some points. Not too noticeable, but the chorus is so strong that the verses have a lot to work up to. I mean with a chorus this vocally driven and memorable- it’s hard to keep up.

    Overall, great comeback from one of my ultimate groups. I hope they continue to build off this concept since it’s clearly their strong suit. For now, To Moons fighting! Let’s get them a win!!!

    Like

  11. This song is catchy and just what k-pop does best. Imaginative concepts, impressive styling, an above average song to promote, I think this comeback is the standard that k-pop groups should try to meet just for doing every aspect right.

    Like

  12. This is … quite good. The chorus really kicks in, and does what a chorus should do which is elevate the energy. There is something very Seventeen about it too, which is a good thing. The running energy of that chorus resembles the Ready TO Love / Anyone styling.

    The other obvious styling comparison is to VIXX “Shangri La”, as others have noted, which is also a good thing. And as others have pointed out on youtube comments, its all in Korean with not one word in English or another language. Bonus point for that.

    But its not perfect, it isn’t quite this year’s Wonderland or Under Cover. I’ll call it pretty gosh darn good. For example, for the Seventeen comparison, it is for recent Seventeen work where there is a lack of the Seventeen signature DK SK vocal powerhouses. From what I am hearing here and the handful of prior singles I have, Oneus doesn’t seem to have that to showcase even if they wanted to. (and for whatever reason my 17 man DK isn’t getting enough lines. “Nice” came around on the shuffle, and note how much kick it gets from DK just booming on the opening lines.)

    I’ll take it anyway.

    Like

  13. Lordy I love this so much. The traditional instruments, the melody, the vocals, the gorgeous mv, the costuming, the choreography. The fans. They even added the sound of them opening to the mv. Their live performances are also beautiful. To me this is magical.

    Like

  14. I usually don’t pay close attention to Show Wins but Oneus is a special group to me and seeing their first ever win for Luna… wow I’m feeling emotional. 😭😭😭 I’m so happy!❤️ I absolutely love this song and their stages are so incredible! They gave us such a great year of music. I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy now…✨✨

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.