A K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
My favorite OnlyOneOf track from last year is Rie’s Because, and I’m hoping its dreamy, melodic sound will inform future releases. As much as I love Libido (and I do!), I fear its experimental, industrial style has become a bit of a crutch for the group. Their title tracks are starting to sound quite similar and new single Seoul Drift may have pushed this approach to its limit.
Of all the songs on OnlyOneOf’s new album, I find myself most taken with blueblueseOul. It feels a part of the same sonic universe as Because, though this one is more synth-driven. It retains that same sense of dreamy atmosphere, pulsing along like a brisk breeze. The tempo is high but song feels languid in its delivery. This is thanks to the production, which layers the members’ breathy vocals on a bed of textured electronics.
The space clears during blueblueseOul’s chorus, which stands as the most forceful moment of the track. Even so, there’s a sense of intangibility to the arrangement. The song doesn’t last long enough to transform into anything beyond a gentle interlude, but it works as a way forward for OnlyOneOf as they (hopefully) push themselves toward new challenges.
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