As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the end of September through the beginning of November is basically Kpop comeback season. Or comeback season for many of the groups and artists I hold near and dear to my heart. In that post, I mentioned that I might put the releases on my calendar so I wouldn’t lose track, and I ended up doing just that (instead of remembering to submit that big abstract to a conference – oops). There are at least two releases a week with several on the same day in more than one instance. One of those doubled-up dates was a biggie with both Oneus and Zico.
I’m very, very tempted to put both MVs in this write up today, but when I do that I screw myself over for a future Musical Monday or Throwback so I’m going to refrain this time. It’s not like I don’t have enough to say about either release to warrant a whole post. Just know, with all of your soul, that both EPs are superb – I’m not ignoring Zico because it isn’t absolutely wonderful. I listened to Thinking Part 1 over and over today and frankly, every single song was a precious gem showing his range, skill, and perfectionist tendencies. I’m just going to wait a bit to talk more in-depth because he has Part 2 coming out next month and I’m curious as to how the two compare and contrast.
A few weeks ago, just before Oneus announced their glorious comeback, a friend and member of the Nerd Herd sent me a message about her interest in learning all about Onewe. As a huge fan, I was happy to spew everything I knew about them, starting off with the fact that Dongmyeong, their keyboardist and vocalist is actually the twin brother of Oneus maknae, Xion. This tickled her fancy like nothing else and sparked a great desire in me to make sure that she became a HUGE fan of this lovely sextet. With a couple of starts and stops – because I went to see Pentagon and she went to see Day6 – we managed to work our way through a group overview and all of the members (I may still owe her a day dedicated to Xion – and all of Onewe, of course) just in time to learn that we were getting a new EP to wrap up their current concept.
What a reward for all of that hard work!
I have to admit, I get really nervous on the third comeback of any group. A first album is usually the culmination of years of hard work and picking the absolute best of their music to make a splash. The second is most frequently the other ‘really good’ songs that didn’t quite make the cut, but still go along with the theme of the first release. It’s typically good, but not quite as good. The third though is time to either wrap up a prolonged concept, to transition into something newish, or to start fresh. It could be the dregs of their existing musical catalog or it could be altogether different from anything we’ve heard thus far. I could love it, hate it, or I still worse, be disappointed. It’s scary.
I’m not going to bury the lead here. I LOVED it.
The EP, Fly With Us, falls a bit into that second category of transition – both in concept and in music. We still have styling akin to a contemporary prince throughout much of the MV – very similar to the title track from their last EP – but we also have gorgeous nods to historical Korean clothing, architecture, and mannerisms. The music has the same rich vocals with hits of Leedo’s deep tone and Ravn’s speedy rap that has quickly become their signature sound, but the whole EP is full of unique vocalizations, quirky moments, and perfectly timed points of interest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pop through and through, but it doesn’t feel generic – not even for a minute. I’m pleased that Lit is the title track – it’s gorgeous and lush – but quite frankly, any of the songs could have been selected to fill this role. Any one of them would have made a beautiful MV and comeback stage. After many, many listens I think that Blue Sky is actually my favorite track on the album, but that’s by the tiniest of margins – it’s all good.