Song Review: ONF – Goosebumps

ONF - GoosebumpsIn a show of solidary, all eligible members of ONF are set to begin their mandatory enlistment later this month. This announcement was a shock to the system – especially coming on the heels of their strongest year yet. But, I guess the move makes sense. The members haven’t pursued many solo works and enlisting together ensures a speedier return. It’ll be a rough year-and-a-half without new music, but the guys are jolting us with one more megawatt comeback before we move into 2022.

Given the same situation, other groups may opt for a treacly fan-service ballad, but ONF and their producers are having none of that. As usual, Goosebumps comes courtesy of the Monotree team, with chief architect Hwang Hyun arranging the track. His touch is felt in every curve of this dynamic electro stomper. The instrumental is crisp and exciting, pulling elements from ONF’s various 2021 releases and fusing them to brilliant effect. The track is anchored by a rugged synth loop, but this backbone is pulled and twisted as needed. It’s strong and confident, even when it slows to accommodate a subdued pre-chorus.

Structurally, Goosebumps is more daring than expected. It’s a multiple chorus affair, with “chorus one” relying on a simple, chanted repetition of the title. From here, the song unveils a stronger hook. I much prefer this melodic “chorus two,” which teases the edges of the groove to bring the funk. From here, Goosebumps climbs into an ever-ascending volley of group chants, climaxing with a throwdown of aggressive vocals. It’s an odd turn, and I’m still not sure if the approach totally works. But, the entire thing is delivered with so much unbridled energy that it’s almost critic-proof. What a way for ONF to send-off a fantastic year!

 Hooks 8
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9

36 thoughts on “Song Review: ONF – Goosebumps

  1. Okay, this rocks! It took two spins for me to buy the “goose goose goose goose goosebumps,” but I’m sold!
    The beat is out of control and exemplifies the power of ONF and Hwang Hyun’s collaboration. Curious what/with you he’ll be working on during ONF’s enlistment.
    This song flies by you, but it’s a jolt of fun. On first listen, I was surprised when it ended because of its experimental structure. I thought it had cut off. But I like the move. It’s bold and shows their confidence in the material.
    I’m just glad ONF kept it 100% fun and exciting with the music this year. Really what a stand-out year. It never felt like they compromised for the trends, and that’s rare!

    I can’t lie that “Pirate” is definitely shaping up to be my favorite release of the week, but “Goosebumps” is right there next to it. Love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not quite as taken with this. It’s like a mashup of a late 3rd gen song with a late 2nd gen style like an EXO song. It could use a sung chorus with real melody. Its almost like a drop chorus with ad libs. Other than goose goose goose there is no hook that characterizes and epitomizes the whole song.

    Not bad, but more like a low 8 for me.


  3. Man…ONF….they’re too good. This track is brilliant, from the production to the melody and performance. The perfect conclusion to their perfect 2021. Seriously, All of their singles are gonna be in my top tens after this. They’ve legit made solidified their place as my favorite K-pop group..of all time.

    Goosebumps..what to say about this track? It’s daring as expected, and it doesn’t feel predictable too. Dude, Hwang Hyun is a genius. My man has like 200+ IQ when it comes to songwriting and it is no different here. It’s so intense and funky, makes use of ONF’s impeccable talent as performers and it’s so expertly produced.

    This is perfect. ONF are perfect. Hwang Hyun is perfect. Their partnership is perfect. WM is lucky to have such perfect talents. Man…this year for ONF was just perfect.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. “Given the same situation, other groups may opt for a treacly fan-service ballad, but ONF and their producers are having none of that.” — 1000%

    I really, really appreciate the fact that they refuse to conform to trends in any way; how they keep ‘challenging’ themselves, even weeks before enlistment. I will miss them :’)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think ONF and Golcha are the two groups I feel I could almost love but there’s always been something holding me a bit back that I haven’t been able to put my finger on. This pushed me a little closer to the “love” cliff, though, and prompted a re-listening mini-marathon that got “Popping”, “It’s Raining”, “Complete”, and “Why” added to the playlists for the first time. I still don’t love the English at the beginning of “Popping” but I put it on the playlist I only listen to when I’m in a good mood so it should be okay there. Maybe that’s part of the problem – I ended up moving BB from the good mood playlist to the car blasting playlist, and am going to give “Goosebumps”, “It’s Raining” and “Why” a shot there too. We’ll see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve heard it and playlisted the SPIN OFF version but for the life of me can’t remember the last time I listened to it before just now. It must be on a playlist (because I have a playlist to tell me when a song isn’t on a playlist), but I have no idea which one it is without pulling up iTunes on my laptop to check. Which is probably the issue – I like a lot of the pieces of this, but it doesn’t fall nicely into one of my mood-based BGM playlists, which is how I primarily listen to music these days.


  6. I’m sorry but this is clearly the “bias” living up to its website title. This song is no where near as good as ONF’s previous singles. It’s so forgettable I’m actually surprised it’s this bad as I really line ONF.


  7. The song’s unexpected structure really threw me off on the first listen! ONF is a group who sells better in the live stages for me and I immediately checked it out and DAMN!!! ✨ Yep! Definitely a strong way to end this year!! Fun, exciting and performed like crazy! Would definitely miss them next year but their plan makes sense too! ONF is definitely one of the strongest groups this year and I loved all their comebacks this year!


  8. I absolutely adore the chant climax. Everytime I replay it I look forward to it. The guys have had a great year so I’m ok with the break. I just hope this approach doesn’t affect their success. As a fan, I prefer this approach cause I don’t like groups having several different configurations. I’ll use the time to catch up with their variety content


    • Excuse my profanity but love this track. Kinda reminds me of Gambler with some slight disco accents and a bit more poppier in it’s overall approach. Great song, might be the 3rd best produced song this year behind Killa and Bad Love for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. i don’t get the overwhelming praise this group.. on first listen this was very messy and unpleasant and i really don’t feel like giving it it any more tries than that.


  10. Surprised by the 9. I’m tired of drop choruses and mash up songs so this is a turn off for me. Sounds like a knockoff SM boy group song.


  11. I know it’s December, but this felt Halloween-y to me. I’ve struggled to get into some of ONF’s discography because a lot of their songs have sections that sound pieced together rather than really flowing. I feel that way about Goosebumps, especially Hyojin’s pre-chorus into the chorus. The song feels more cohesive from the 2nd chorus on, so I like the 2nd half more. The first part of the bridge is very ONF & my favorite part of the song until it goes to the out of tune ascending line. I’ve never been a fan of that production technique. ONF have definitely had an incredible year of releases, & I hope they have a healthy enlistment!


  12. Am i hallucinating or the beginning is actually really similar to Dua Lipa’s Hallucinate? With that said, I now can’t help but compare that Hallucinate had a stronger chorus while Goosebumps only had the instrumental carrying the song. It’s an 8.5/8.75 for me (8,10,8/9,8). This is a nice treat for Fuses and wishing ONF the best for their enlistment and may they come back healthy!!


  13. Most releases are somewhere on the spectrum from bad to forgettable to fine or even really-quite-good, but every now and then you get something that makes you sit up at first listen with the feeling that something joyfully, confidently strange and wonderful is going on – those moments, and songs like this, are the dopamine hits that keep me coming back to wade through the rest like an addict at the pokies [slot machine for those not in the antipodes].


  14. Okay so this is what I would call a grower. At first the song comes across as jarring. Especially with the music video attached to it. I had to listen to the song by itself to truly understand its structure and soundscape. Once I listened to it 3 more times, then I liked it. It’s not my favorite title track, but far from boring a predictable.

    However, the b sides did win my heart over. If I had to recommend any I would give a nice big shout to Show Must Go On. It almost sounds like it can be an anime opening if I’m honest. It starts off smooth and powerful from the beginning which hooked me in. This b side is worth a listen.


  15. This is depressing. Beyond listening to standout songs, I don’t follow boy groups. Even so. ONF has more songs on my 2021 playlist than any other group, even the ones I have soft spots for. Now they give us excellence again and I find out through your review that they are all enlisting? That’s… depressing. They set a high benchmark this year and I’d be shocked if someone manages to pass it while they are away… and speaking of away, why do I feel like they only debuted about 3 years ago or something? 😿


  16. I just saw your tweet on year end music lists and totally agree. That said, just this morning I read Time’s best k-pop of the year and was super impressed – the reviewer and I don’t have quite the same tastes (although their album picks almost all are in my top quartile, at least) but they made a good case for each pick, and didn’t just stick to the big names. Spoiler alert based on where I decided to leave this comment.


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