Oneus’s third album puts the group on ‘Stand By’

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Oneus’s third album puts the group on ‘Stand By’

The blue sky outside, a direct symbol of Oneus's new track and hopefully, the place they could aim for in the future.

The blue sky outside, a direct symbol of Oneus's new track and hopefully, the place they could aim for in the future.

Jacqueline Sumida

The blue sky outside, a direct symbol of Oneus's new track and hopefully, the place they could aim for in the future.

Jacqueline Sumida

Jacqueline Sumida

The blue sky outside, a direct symbol of Oneus's new track and hopefully, the place they could aim for in the future.

On Sept. 30, 2019 super rookie boy group Oneus released their third mini-album “Fly With Us” with “high” expectations. The album has the word fly in it after all.

Oneus is a six-member boy group managed by Rainbow World Entertainment, a relatively new and smaller company. The group consists of main rapper Ravn, main vocalist Seoho, main rapper Leedo, main vocalist Keonhee, main dancer Hwanwoong and maknae Xion. Debuting Jan. 9, their debut track “Valkyrie” distinguished them from other groups with their lower vocals and darker vibe.  

Their debut EP “Light Us” was creative and intuitive with each track having its own unique feeling while processing a lot of the same sounds. Near the end of May, Oneus came back with a new EP “Raise Us” and its amazing lead single “Twilight”. The track showed a darker side to Oneus supported by a royal music video taken in a beautiful castle.

On the other hand, “Fly With Us” was especially different from its predecessors by being a much softer, more subdued album. It’s a side that even within one year of existence, Oneus has never truly shown in their music. 

Its intro track “Intro: Fly Me to the Moon” is carefully crafted with light piano backing and the synth riff straight out of Cherry Bullet’s debut “Q&A”. All the members except Keonhee take turns going back-and-forth with phrases of being alone and wanting both happiness and an escape to a better place. The intro itself sets up the album very nicely overall.

After this quick track comes “Plastic Flower,” the song with backing music that sounds like an updated version of the Wii theme song. Seriously, it’s a super weird song with vocals that don’t flow very well alongside the instrumental and a chorus that’s a bad kind of repetitive. This wasn’t Oneus’s proudest moment.

However, Ravn sounds amazing on this track, with perfect vocals the entire time. The other five stay within the same range 90 percent of the song, which is annoying because the boys’ vocal skills were kept under wraps. This trend sadly repeats throughout the album.

Honestly, comeback track “Lit” is the worst title track in the short history of Oneus. 

The best part of the entire song is the first ten seconds where only the instrumental can be heard. Backing traditional Korean strings are accompanied by soft electric sounds after a gong signals the track’s beginning. The sound itself is comparable to the first ten seconds of senior legends BTS’s comeback “Idol,” a more traditional feeling backed by a more modern synth. 

Otherwise, this track is slowly placed vocal wise with no special or outstanding moment throughout. Random shouts can be heard during the song’s duration and make absolutely no positive contribution and instead, made me more confused about their purpose overall. They don’t even sound unique or cool, just unnecessary.

“Blue Sky” makes up for whatever this album lacks though. The track is the opposite color of anything Oneus has done before, sounding more like “Always You” comeback Astro or “Fear,” Seventeen’s most recent title track. This really shows off the impressive vocal skills of Xion and Seoho, allowing them to go into their higher belt range without falsetto.

Each chorus is capped off by an electronic section of zigzagging notes, giving rest from straight vocals and introducing something more danceable. The chorus gets shifted on its final entrance, becoming instead a harder rap part by Leedo and Ravn with a different timbre from the rest of the song.

“Level Up” is a more forgettable track with an easy rhythm and confusing vocals throughout. Trying to decipher one verse is a complete whirlwind, let alone the entire song.

Finally, we come to the soft, delicate closer “Stand By.” If there’s something the six boys haven’t shown ever, it’s a ballad and with all of them being vocalists, their fans should have gotten one by now. Well, now To Moons, their recently named fandom, can get the beautiful song they finally deserve.

The vocal harmonies are killer and give the album a sense of purpose or at least a clear conclusion. It’s a great b-side to an overall mediocre album.

In the end, Oneus has only been around for one year and they were going to hit a rough spot eventually. “Fly with Us” is the rough spot that came and could have been way worse. They’re still rookies with plenty of years left for them to improve and make up for this little misstep.

Oneus just needs to take its own advice and “find the blue sky.”

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