After months of interconnected releases, OnlyOneOf’s Underground Idol series concludes with Nine’s Beyond. This series vaulted the group onto many of my year-end countdowns, tackling a variety of genres and moods while letting the members showcase their individual charms. For me, Rie’s Because and KB’s Be Free stood as highlights within the series. But, all six solo tracks forge together to create a satisfying sonic universe.
Of these songs, Beyond feels the most like a typical OnlyOneOf b-side. While the group’s title tracks tend to be quite catchy, much of their surrounding material has a denser sound that can be a bit inscrutable. Beyond follows this approach, underlined by fitful, muted synths and hushed percussion. Nine’s breathy tone adds to the atmosphere, full of texture and character. And as Beyond builds to its chorus, the songwriting becomes more straightforward. I like the sound of its hook, but we could have done with a stronger melody.
Overall, Beyond feels like a mood piece rather than an obvious standout like Because or Be Free. Multiple listens bring out the charm of its hook, but the song has a different ambition than others. The verses pull down the energy with a series of shifts in tone and execution. Though intentional, this approach makes the track feel a little piecemeal in places. I’d be interested to hear how Beyond might sound if it had built upon the fullness of its chorus. The production here almost approaches city pop, which would be a cool addition to the group’s sonic toolbox.
I quite like this one. I’ve been listening to it for an hour and a half, and I think it fits in so well with previous highlights (begin, be free, because, be mine). It lacks the immediacy of begin & be free, but its melody and mood makes it a fine companion piece to be mine (especially after the cacophonous Beat, the lone track that doesn’t really do much for me – although admittedly I haven’t spent much time with it). For me, it’s at least a solid B, and will probably trend higher with time.
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I wished more people appreciated this kind of subdued alternative R&B. This quintissential sound of OnlyOneOf made them separate from the predictability of mainstream Korean boy group music, maximalism of the electronic ones, and the obnoxiousness of it all.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I was already getting quite critical of the high-octane releases, I feel like they are doing a constant formula without it being truly experimental or revolutionary.
Anyway, OnlyOneOf with this sound made me stan them, and this song will surely be on my top of the year. I expect something transcendental from them in the coming months as they are gearing for that full comeback, and I do hope that project truly revolutionizes the group itself. beyOnd is a 9 for me, everything I want to hear and a total replay drug.
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I like this. It’s not my favourite of this series but it’s still good. I do wish that the ending of this song had more impact to it. That would have elevated this song so much.
At first, it did sound a bit piecemeal to me too and I really couldn’t grasp the song that well. But after a few listens, the next day the song started to sound really good, and I think that the fact that it is piecemeal is one of its strengths actually, cause imo there are lots of good little parts and details of the song. I started to appreciate the individual melodies too and really sink my teeth into the mood of the song. It’s a fun song
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