A few weeks ago, new boy group YOUNITE teased their debut with pre-release track Everybody. Its playful hip-hop sound was super engaging and made room for an equally enjoyable chorus. With so many boy groups opting for a dark, gun-slinging shout-pocalypse style, YOUNITE seemed to be a fresh group worth looking forward to.
However, when YOUNITE’s album preview arrived, Everybody stuck out as an obvious high point. While I applaud the agency leading with their best material, that doesn’t leave much room for title track 1 of 9. This song has good intentions: a bright, fluffy bit of retro pop. But, it lacks the melodic bite and focused through-line that would make it stand out.
Opening with a catchy synth riff, the track quickly moves into a hesitant verse. The percussion here is frustratingly subdued, though it becomes more robust as rhythm guitar joins the fray. Similarly, the melody feels all over the place – errant bits of tunefulness that don’t add up to any memorable whole. This might be fine if 1 of 9 cleared way for a knockout chorus. Sadly, the song bunts. The hook is pleasant and breezy, but feels more like a collection of pieced-together ad-libs than a dynamic centerpiece. 1 of 9 gets by on its good vibes, but I’m tired of “vibes.” I crave the full brunt of a great K-pop track. Thankfully, Everybody reappears next on the album and improves upon 1 of 9 in every possible way.