Song Review: ONEWE – Star

ONEWE - StarAs expected, ONEWE and ONEUS’s careers are closely entangled. I’m still waiting for another inter-group collaboration, but the acts often seem to release music within weeks of each other. In ONEWE’s case, Star (별) is a pre-release for upcoming projects, setting the stage for the return of their melancholic rock sound. It’s a very affecting track, but I hope the group has more daring material up their sleeve for next month.

ONEWE songs tend to leave me with the same reaction. They’re always artfully performed, but often lack melodic surprises that would really pull me in. Star has its moments (the familiar instrumental line that opens the track is gorgeous), and when it circles back to its central refrain I can see the appeal. The sweeps of strings and prominent use of keys gives a stately appeal, and I’ll always love a dramatic guitar solo. But too often, the song feels meandering rather than intentional, building toward a number of mini-peaks rather than one or two absolute knockouts. Yonghoon and Dongmyeong offer brilliant vocals – as always – but Star lacks the focus of their best material. Then again, this is a pre-release so I suppose we shouldn’t be expecting miracles.

I’m happy to see that the track is co-composed by two of the members: Yonghoon and CyA. It’s not necessary for a band to compose all their music, but it certainly adds weight to a song. While Star may not be targeted directly to my taste, I appreciate its importance to the group. In a short time, they’ve established a recognizable sound that feels more indie than idol. But, their live performances suggest a rollicking energy that I’d love to see harnessed in a comeback single.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

9 thoughts on “Song Review: ONEWE – Star

  1. It’s funny that you say that — I think ONEWE’s melodies are one of their biggest strengths, at least within their prechoruses and choruses. Though, it probably helps that Yonghoon sounds so ridiculously compelling all the time. He could sing Twinkle Twinkle and I’d be hooked.

    ONEWE has absolutely skyrocketed up my list over the last couple of months. Planet Nine: Alter Ego is an easy album of the year for me. There’s only one song on there I’m inclined to skip more often than play (and I’m a big skip button abuser), and even that song I’d place higher than middling songs on other albums. We’re not quite in Spotify Wrapped season yet, but I imagine they’ll top mine!

    (If anyone hasn’t given Planet Nine a listen yet, Cosmos is my favorite! It’s hopeful nihilism, somehow. I loved it long before I read the lyrics, but I took a peek at them recently and this is one of the few instances where I think they make the song significantly better.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s not that the melodies are weak, necessarily. Their style of songwriting is just a little leisurely paced for me. But, I fully understand how others would see that as a strength.

      Also, I agree that Yonghoon’s vocal can make anything compelling.


      • Ah, I get that. I wouldn’t normally jive with their style much at all, honestly! I much prefer something that scores higher on the danceability and/or happiness scales, but ONEWE works for me for whatever reason. Suppose I’m not complaining!


  2. I live for Yonghoon’s vocals and so I always love their songs!🤗 The guitar instrumental bit was absolutely amazing!

    My favourite Onewe song is probably End of Spring❤️ But I like their melancholic songs too.

    I’m looking forward to a Oneus collab too someday because together they are definitely dynamic!!❤️✨


  3. a bit too generic for my taste but their last mini was so good that i’m not even mad. they have yet to top regulus but rain to be was a strong contender and easily one of the best kpop songs released this year (along with aurora, veronica and cosmos).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I too am waiting for another Onewe/Oneus collaboration.
    Oneus themselves actually said they also really want to do a collaboration album with Onewe yesterday on a radio show they went on for their Luna promotions.

    Let them do it RBW!

    Also shout out to Dongmyeong’s vocals in Star, he’s improved so much since their debut and its lovely to see.


  5. Younghoon’s voice reminds me a lot of Woohyun’s voice for some reason (particularly in this song). Not surprising considering Nick loves those two


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