Unless I’m missing something, DRIPPIN’s The One is the final big postponed K-pop release to arrive. Of course, it also happens to be the comeback I was most looking forward to. With The One, DRIPPIN have concluded their Villain series (until the inevitable repackage, that is!). Both Villain and Zero were highlights of the year, with the latter being a particular standout. Smartly, The One retains Zero’s production team. DRIPPIN + Newtype continue to be a match made in heaven.
The One feels like the closing of a chapter. It’s the aural equivalent of a hero’s victory lap — edgy in production but anchored by celebratory melodies. It’s not as funky as Villain and isn’t packed with as many great details as Zero, but its straightforward blast of energy gets the job done. Woollim artists have been lodged in their rock phase this year, and The One merges these big guitars with a skittering drum-and-bass beat. This alone sets it apart from the many K-pop boy groups opting for darker material.
While I’m not yet sold on the song’s scattershot verses, its double punch of a chorus works wonders. I’ll always love a descending melody, and The One’s centerpiece pairs this exclamatory energy with a sticky hook that loops around in concert with the high-speed percussion. Better yet, the track doesn’t skimp on a great climax. I love the way the bridge pulls back to deliver a funky interlude and pummeling instrumental before the final chorus crashes in to send The One off on a high. DRIPPIN have had a great 2022, and this adds another highlight to their year.