Song Review: ONEUS – Dopamine

ONEUS - DopamineWell… this is awkward. Just a short time after Ravn left ONEUS after allegations were made against him, we have a Japanese track that places him front and center. Obviously, these releases are planned and recorded far in advance, but it still feels weird to see ONEUS as a six-member group and know that this will be the final time that happens.

The opening of Dopamine gave me great hope, and a sliver of that hope remains throughout much of the song. It has a propulsive quality that appeals to me, even if the melodies are boiler-plate K-pop-turned-J-pop in a way we’ve heard hundreds of times before. Still, if you underline a lackluster hook with a brisk, funky beat, it’s bound to elevate a song’s appeal. Like so many boy group releases of this sub-genre, Dopamine can’t quite commit to its strengths. We’ve got a thrilling burst of energy during its chorus, followed by a lifeless post-chorus hook that lands with a thud. A second-verse tempo shift also does the song no favors. I’m not sure why producers remain so intent on screwing up the momentum, but it remains a consistent problem on tracks like this.

At its best, Dopamine tries to take advantage of ONEUS’s vocal line. Whenever the vocals are allowed to soar, the track nearly takes off. But, these moments are truncated in a frustrating way. Rather than hit us with a blaze of glory, Dopamine settles for the style of aimless sing-talk that fills space but doesn’t thrill in the long run. It’s too bad, because the song’s electro-powered chorus has tons of potential.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

Grade: B-


14 thoughts on “Song Review: ONEUS – Dopamine

  1. I like this. Not as much as their other releases but I know for sure that it’ll grow on me. It’s weird seeing Ravn here when he’s not apart of the group anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, if this was before the allegations and the controversy, I probably would have listened to this on repeat all day but today, I didn’t play it once after the first listen. I don’t think I realized how much I actually liked this group that I’m genuinely lost. I don’t think I’ll be as into ONEUS as I used to which is a shame. Kinda sad to be honest. They were the perfect group for me discography wise, performance wise and I also genuinely liked the members. I went back to listen to their older releases and they just don’t make me feel good anymore. ONEUS is my third most listened to artist on Spotify but it’ll be sad to see them drop as time goes by. I know people will say it’s not that deep but damn, to me it is. I’m experiencing the same feeling I felt when GFriend disbanded.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I think that people really do underestimate the emotional connection that we can have with music and groups, even if we aren’t “crazy stans”, it can be “that deep”. When you spend so much time enjoying what someone has created it is only natural imo to feel a sense of sadness or betrayal when one of those people turns out to be not what we hoped (to put it very lightly) and for it to throw everything off balance. I’m mother dust in terms of kpop stan age so I’ve seen a lot of stuff but the sense of disappointment never gets better when something like this happens again. It’s okay to not feel good anymore about listening to past material, at least you aren’t one of those fans that are purposely covering their eyes and ears and furiously yelling “OT6”.

        Liked by 4 people

      • I relate to this so hard. Among all my fourth gen bg discoveries Oneus was always special. I don’t know why, but they just were. The group, the members, the content, the songs – everything was always my style and made me feel something quite unique. And I must admit, I had quite a soft spot for Ravn too. And so with everything that happened, honestly even I don’t know what to feel anymore – sure I’ll try to keep up with the music and I saw snippets of their tour on YT where they are covering their old songs and though it felt bitter-sweet it was of a little comfort knowing they were still going on – but I’m not sure if I will feel the same way as I would before.

        TBONTB will always be THAT song to me and Oneus was actually the group that opened the doorway for me to explore smaller groups and widening my horizons so I’ll always be thankful for that!

        This is probably the first group that I really love where something like this happened and yes, however I steeled myself I do feel a bit down about it. I don’t know how things will go forward, it won’t be the same but I do wish the other boys the best and hope their music continues strong!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m old, so the news of some kid getting kicked out of some group is a scroll on by oh what now eye roll event.

    The song is solid, if generic. It has a similar up tempo vibe as Cravity “Adrenaline” and Drippin “Villain” of this year, and that is just the short list of what came to mind.

    I mean, back in my day we were happy when our favorites didn’t die on stage right in front of us. There was no purity test at all. It was literally and figuratively sex, drugs and rock n roll. Rock stars were not lifestyles to be emulated. These days, if you were a meanie back when you were 10 years old, 10 years later it gets you kicked out a job or something, keyboard warriors purging the world of this great menace. Look, now we are all safe.


    • He was literally accused of r*pe. This isn’t a bullying case. Don’t think those comparisons are apt in this instance. I know you probably didn’t know and didn’t mean anything by it, but it’s not really appropriate to be so dismissive here.

      Liked by 7 people

    • I don’t think this is the time to be all “back in my day” about it all if you don’t realise the full picture about why Ravn left.
      Also even if this was about bullying, I still don’t think it is appropriate to dismiss it, bullying is serious and has consequences that can affect a person for life. Whether it is right or not to go after people 10, 20+ years down the line and make them lose their careers is one debate, but that doesn’t excuse the behaviour and doesn’t mean we can be so dismissive towards victims.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Slow down there. It’s unfair to expect that everyone is following every bit of K-pop news that comes out. Let’s give each other some grace and not assume things.


  3. hi i hate to sound over critical here but u framing the whole ravn situation as a “controversy” just feels very poorly worded and insensitive bc he literally was outed as an @bu$3r with very concrete proof AND not to mention the other oneus members want nothing to do with him now and have asked fans not to bring him up so uh. yeah thats my two cents just letting u know

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very awkward…

    I like the song but I just wish K-pop can just get rid of trap breaks now. It’s been, what, nearly five years since it’s popularization??? Give it a break, I’m begging!


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