2022 has seen an increasing trend of male idol groups releasing fan-servicey material while some (or all) members serve in the military. ONF and DAY6’s Even Of Day are prominent examples within the past two months. Calling your enlistment track “Still Here” is more than a little on the nose, but it’s reassuring to hear ONEWE connect with fans even during hiatus.
Unlike those ONF and Even Of Day songs, Still Here (기어이 또) sounds exactly like what you’d expect from this kind of single. It isn’t jarring because ONEWE have made their name on this style of ballad, but those familiar tropes make it tricky for Still Here to standout. The first time I heard the chorus, I was immediately reminded of Paul Kim’s mega-ballad Me After You. But really, these OST-sounding ballads all share a ton of connective tissue. So, their merits often boil down to performance and sentiment.
These are two areas where ONEWE excel. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I could happily listen to Yonghoon sing the phonebook. Luckily, Still Here is not the phonebook. Its lilting quality compliments the group’s strengths and its understated power offers a sense of healing that will likely serve as a balm to fans. The melodies are quite familiar and cycle around enough to forge a memorable composition. I wish the instrumental pushed further into the rock sounds that appear halfway through (that lead guitar is such a tease!), but other than that Still Here ticks most of the right boxes.
I can’t believe onewe went from being a group that I could really see filling the gap of Day6 to now being the most bland group I’ve heard in a long time. They are all hugely talented but the last few comebacks have been so, so disappointing. I genuinely get bored listening to them now and I’m gutted about that fact.
It’s a great song but slightly too tame. I really like this because I really love ONEWE but the song could have amped it up a bit more in the second half though. Still, overall a great song
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I get the relevance of the song’s mood, but I long to hear them rock out again. I’m so tired of the slow, ballady songs.
Well, I don’t normally listen to Onewe so I can’t compare this to their other stuff, but the vocals are so good in this song!