Review

Song Review: Rie (OnlyOneOf) – Because

Rie (OnlyOneOf) - BecauseOnlyOneOf’s Underground Idol project was on track to maintain its once-a-month course until the group took a few weeks to promote their Japanese single. Because of this, Rie’s long-awaited solo became even more long-awaited, pushed back an extra month. Now, it’s finally time to land back in the guys’ BL universe. The rock-tinged Because continues where Junji’s Be Mine solo left off.

Because offers a lighter touch that compliments Rie’s vocal tone. He’s always been one of my favorite members of the group and one who seems pretty underrated amongst fans. This track doesn’t stretch his skills, but its constant embrace of melody sneaks up on you. If I were to give Because a description, I’d call it “softly anthemic.” Some songs beat you over the head with challenging textures, but there’s something to be said for music that plays like a gentle breeze pulling waves of sentiment your way.

The filtered guitar that opens the track has me like putty in its hands. I’ll always be a sucker for this sound. It’s wistful and nostalgic and laces its pathos with a sense of optimism. I’m not sure the songwriting always lives up to this potential, but I love when the melody gets a chance to soar. The build-up to the chorus is especially nice and the hook scores bonus points for its canny reference to “Call Me by Your Name.” A robust vocal arrangement could’ve taken advantage of layering and harmony to add even more heft, but that’s harder to accomplish with a solo performance. Even without the bells and whistles, Rie’s evocative tone goes a long way in selling the vibe.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5

Grade: B

12 thoughts on “Song Review: Rie (OnlyOneOf) – Because

  1. This sounds like an old Big Bang song circa 2010, softer tempo emo stuff. “Haru Haru” “Blue” style.

    Yeah, nodding head, yeah, I mean, we are all missing that sound and Big Bang, so its a good song choice. Good job OOO, once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the extra wait for this will actually pan out nicely for their release schedule. The have two more members to fill out the last two months of the year. Presuming they plan on releasing a full album with all the solos (+ hopefully a new title track) in January, it’ll come around an exact year since their last full group korean comeback.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Really, really good. Love the series. I hope OOO comes back with a full length building on the development that’s occurred during these series.

    I like how this almost has a dream-pop/shoegaze influence in the airy guitar work. It’s going to be hard to surpass the excellence of KB’s “Be Free.” But “Because” offers something new to the OOO solo series, it’s very welcome and cool sonic exploration 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. It doesn’t have the verve of a Be Free but wow this is good and so suited to the fall. “Softly anthemic” is exactly how I would describe it. also, it reminds me of TXT’s Ghosting (one of my favorite K-pop songs ever) in that both have this slightly sad, wistful, muddled-guitar atmosphere.

    Like

  5. This type of sound is 100% my shit, and I undoubtedly love this song. Although, in my opinion, the chorus is a lil bit too repetitive, which makes me fear how it will age. Rating is about right.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This Underground Idol series has been my favorite musical experience in Kpop this year. This song is more to my taste than the others, but I love how even though they’ve all been different genres, they all feel somewhat similar. Musically, they’re very straightforward and maybe even underdeveloped (?) compared to other Kpop, but honestly I don’t mind because it gives it more of a soundtrack-like effect.

    Music aside, I’m just getting so invested in this storyline. Did Junji catch Rie on the phone in the previous MV and think he was cheating? Did they break up over a misunderstanding? It would be interesting if one of them ended up with Nine or Mill in the next video, since it seems like that one will be about a couple that’s already separated. That’s how I’m writing it in my head, anyway!

    Like

  7. music aside im just so happy that theres a kpop group out there thats passionate abt making queer ppl feel seen through their work (esp considering how homophobic skors entertainment industry is)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is great! I’ve been eagerly anticipating it since the teaser dropped a few weeks ago. I agree about the guitar intro, that the filtered dreamy instrumental is pure bliss to my ears. Although, the melody doesn’t have that much of a hook nor is it super memorable; after my first listen I couldn’t remember how the song went. I just felt satisfied and wanted to listen to it again. Which honestly is already good in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The song itself isn’t particularly memorable to me (I really cannot remember the melody after listening), but the video was by far my favorite of the series so far, and I adored the lyrics. I have to saw also that chemistry between Rie and Junji is amazing and they work wonderfully together onscreen. Junji especially is a really great actor!– There’s this one moment in one of the pool scenes when Junji is looking at Rie and his expression is so open and vulnerable and plaintive? I don’t know, I was just really wowed by him. Yoojung is a very good actor too btw, he was just stuck with a scene partner who is not similarly gifted (KB is just not selling it with his acting, for me… but he got the best song so far, so I suppose that makes up for it).

    Anyway, yup. This was a song!

    Liked by 1 person

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