Review

Song Review: OnlyOneOf – Chrome Arts

OnlyOneOf - chrOme artsI woke up today resigned to the fact I’d be writing about yet another K-pop song from twelve years ago. It turns out, it’s quite challenging to run a K-pop review blog without new K-pop releases! But, Bias List favorites OnlyOneOf have swooped in to save the day, unveiling their new Japanese single Chrome Arts ahead of their upcoming EP.

With a Korean comeback on the way and their individual Underground Idol series wrapping up, the guys have been busy. Chrome Arts feels more like a detour than an expansion of their story, but if you’re eager for more prickly pop in the vein of Libido and Skinz, this song will definitely scratch an itch. In many ways, Chrome Arts feels like a mash-up of those two tracks. It has the same energy, twisting and lurching on a fitful bed of angular, industrial percussion. It’s chanted as often as it’s sung, and its dangerous aura almost dares you to keep it at arm’s length. Each iteration of this sound struggles to match the sheer power of Libido – a true revelatory moment in their discography. But, the formula still pays off.

When all is said and done, I don’t think I’ll play this as often as either of its predecessors. The hook is a little undercooked for my taste. But, there are plenty of highlights to be found. I’d like to spotlight the second verse – a segment that often draws ire on this blog. It’s my favorite piece of Chrome Arts, unveiling a new flow and energy that pushes the song forward rather that run it off a cliff. A track of this style feels like an ever-evolving beast. Its best moments occur when it feels like that beast is about to break from its shackles. A powerful bridge echoes this intensity as the instrumental grumbles and roars behind it. The tension is palpable.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5

Grade: B

18 thoughts on “Song Review: OnlyOneOf – Chrome Arts

  1. I’m genuinely surprised by OnlyOneOf every single release. chrOme arts is no different. It is so progressively metallic, cacophonic yet it maintains this sense of cohesion, a sense of finesse that not even the most talented trainees in the current late-4th generation era of K-Pop can even possess. chrOme arts has everything it takes to captivate the crossover audiences of alternative, indie, electronic to the Korean music scene.

    There is something sinister, deadly yet enchanting about the chorus, the ouch coupled with the funky topline, urgent delivery, and creative arrangement deliver a delirium that cannot compare to the timidness and patheticness of any mainstream act releasing material these days. OnlyOneOf truly has the edge in creating the revolutionary sound in its raw form and unleashing it to the world.

    This is absolutely a treat, and I am definitely excited for seOul cOllectiOn. 9.25/10.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this. It’s like a combination of the avant/abrasion of Libido & Skinz with the more palatable solo Underground series (by far my favorite work they’ve done; more of that, please!).

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  3. Yee hah honey we have a hot one!
    It is in turns OnlyOneOf with dashes of EXO and Taemin, all gritty and dirty and sultry and on FYAH BABY!

    I think it works well as a mashup of their Skinz and Libido – the sum is greater than the parts with the best of both songs.

    If I have one complaint, it is that it is not on US itunes, yet, hopefully, soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To your other comment, Nick, my usual go to list of upcoming kpop reviews lists one for 27th Jan, and two more on 31Jan, and =that is it=. Three known releases between now and the end of the month.

    Sheesh. That’s all I got, in essence, as we can all go on for paragraphs opining why but it won’t change anything.

    ‘https://www.kpopmap.com/update-january-2023-k-pop-comeback-schedule/

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  5. I love this. It feels like a sister song to Libido, in that it feels like the natural evolution of the sound they carved out for Libido back then. Not a copy cat effort trying to chase the success of it predecessors. I’m impossibly more excited for their korean comeback if this is any indicator of what they’ve been cooking for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is my two favourite things rolled into one: sexy and low budget. Still not on board with them taking so long to have a Korean group cb (esp as they are touring in April?) but this fills the gap for a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Love this one as hell. Every time I hear a new song released by these guys, they make me dive even deeper into their absolutely everything. Though I can agree that the hook is a little undercooked, it’s still forgivable. OnlyOneOf is not a dull, grey boy group of the industry spinning their wheels on noise music and other outdated, unimaginative shit. OnlyOneOf is art. 8.75 for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Elsewhere I’ve seen their sound compared to Nine Inch Nails, which made me realize why I like it so much. This is a million times better than any other “experimental” music Kpop has to offer. I hope they perform this at their concert (and in those outfits).

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  9. I think OnlyOneOf is one of those groups that aspirationally, I wish I loved but I just don’t. I tried hard to get on the Libido and Skinz bandwagon after everyone here seemed to love them but I struggled to feel anything more than “it’s fine, I guess” for both. I appreciate that they are doing things so differently than the average boy group and I wish I was more into it. Are there b-sides or other tracks that might serve as a better gateway for me? Maybe I should just listen to the music rather than watch the videos, so I’m not distracted by all the sexiness? Lmao. I would love for someone to change my mind about them, honestly! I want to get the hype! I feel lowkey left out!

    As for this song, I think I feel the same about it as I do for the others. It’s objectively good but just doesn’t stick out to me somehow. Idk!

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    • Their bsides are largely alternative rnb and art pop, if you found the industrial sound of Libido and Skinz (Skinz was actually very divisive, even among fans) too abrasive or not your thing, their bsides are absent of that but still have a lot of the production choices that fans find attractive in their discography. They’ve definitely as of late have chosen their most “experimental” tracks for their titles.

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    • My gateway was their Underground Idol series last year. Listen to them in order. My favorites are 1,2,4, and the most recent one, 6. In order, they’re: YooJung ‘begin’ (be #1), KB ‘be free’ (be #2), JunJi ‘be mine’ (be #3), Rie ‘because’ (be #4), Mill ‘beat’ (be #5), Nine ‘beyOnd’ (be #6).

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  10. Hello, Love the blog and have a suggestion to fill the void of the drought of kpop comebacks, revisiting the post wanna one debuts with ranking the Post X1 debuts since it’s been a Long time since theyve disbanded! Also I loved this song in every way :v

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  11. This song is a certified banger, might be one of the best Japanese releases I’ve seen in a while. Probably closer to a 9 for me.

    OnlyOneOf are establishing themselves as one of the more consistent acts in the industry, both solo and as a group.

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  12. I usually don’t comment on any of the OnlyOneOf song reviews on the site because I know you absolutely love them and that a majority of people here hold them in high regard and consider the songs masterpieces… and personally I have absolutely never enjoyed their songs 😅 But Chrome Arts is finally something I loved from them. I wasn’t planning to listen to it initially as the review mentioned it was similar to Libido and Skinz – again two of their songs I really didn’t like – but somehow it popped up on my feed, I liked the thumbnail and gave it a go because I was in a generous mood.

    I really liked the vibe of this song. Especially the instrumental. Maybe the Japanese just makes the song more pleasing? Idk. So I would say this is by far my favorite song from the group 😀

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