Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Before I get on with this review...
ONEUS FIRST WIN, Y'ALL. MY DARLINGS. I AM AN EMOTIONAL DISASTER OF A HUMAN AND I AM SO PROUD. I'M SO HAPPY FOR THEM, THEY DESERVED THIS SO MUCH.
OKAY. Now, from here it shouldn't surprise you (either by the first few sentences or by the literal hints in the updates sidebar and weekly emails) that this review is for the newest release from ONEUS, Blood Moon.
ONEUS really would have to put more work and effort into disappointing me than impressing me, if I'm going to be 100% honest with y'all. Their more recent albums have been really fun to listen to because you can hear their growth and can see the way they are experimenting with new sounds and techniques. Even as they grow, they still stick with their unique color and values of highlighting the pride they have in their Korean heritage and culture.
Although almost always an undercurrent through other tracks, either in their styling, stages, music videos, or just inspiration, ONEUS really began bringing Korean culture to the frontline with "LIT". Since "LIT", we have received beautiful stages, performance videos, and reinterpreted songs, but another Korean-focused bop from this group was definitely a need. And, guess what, chickadees? WE GOT IT.
WINTER FLOWERS BRING MOONLIGHT SHOWERS... or something beautiful that Ravn needs to write, not me
We really were provided such a treat this November. This album as a whole really just feels like a love letter to Korea, especially thanks to the intro track and "Luna". This album just feels so good to my heart. It probably wasn't intended to feel like that (re: the whole album as a love letter to Korea), but with the start of the album leading us down a beautiful, autumn-dyed road in the Sobaek Mountains, I can't help but feel like every song after is another contribution to their love of their home.
"Yes Or No" is so upbeat and I fall in love with it more each time I hear it thanks to the beat switch when rapline comes through. "Life is Beautiful" is just so positive and IMMEDIATELY goes on my smile tag playlist; how can anything feel dark and painful in life when this song is playing? It just has a way of turning my perspective every time I listen to it. "Shut Up 받고 Crazy Hot" is an absolute banger and is way too much fun. "We're in Love" is a little softer, but is still so hopeful and puts a pop in your step. Plus, Youngjo's part spices it up even more and I love it here. And ending the album with "Who You Are" is such a good way to make everyone desperate for the next album.
I see you. I see what you did.
And yes, just as a general life rule, Youngjo's "raspitoutflame" producer/rapper tag hurts me every single time, thanks for not asking or caring.
PRETTIEST SCARLET PETALS FROM THE LUNAR FLOWER
Let me just ask a quick question. A tiny little one, I'm sure I'm the only one who is bothered here. But, like? WHY THE FUCK DOES YOUNGJO HIT SO HARD IN THE INTRO TRACKS?
"Intro: Window" featuring Choi Ye Lim is one of those ICONIC ONEUS songs I was talking about earlier. Y'know the ones where they really emphasize their love of their culture and heritage and do it in such a stunning and beautiful and creative way? Well, not only did they give us this insanely stunning song, bUT THEY GAVE US A VIDEO, TOO. ENJOY.
It's obvious that "LUNA" would be a favorite track of mine, right? The oriental instruments they used and the combination of vocal tones are just *chefs kiss*. AND YOUNGJO'S VERSE AFTER THE FIRST CHORUS? y'all. We, as a society, do not discuss how unique Youngjo's rap tone is. Or vocals. Or just his talent in general, really. And it shows. High-tone rappers do nOT GET ENOUGH LOVE OR RECOGNITION AND YOUNGJO DESERVES IT. Also his choreo slaps. See the music video below for reference.
OH. ALSO. His line translation "You are beautiful even when I close my eyes" coupled with his choreo of him covering his eyes and doing his leg bounce on the beat? Something about that combination, plus the pitch of his voice, just absolutely sends me reeling. I don't know why, but it really puts me in my emotions and I don't like to be there so we are mOVING ON.
"Life is Beautiful" heals my dumb shrunken Grinch heart and makes me a human again. Everything from the song itself, the gorgeous message, and the heart-pinching video makes this whole thing a win for me. I mentioned it in the overall album talk, but I did put this song immediately on my smile tag playlist. The instant healing this song (and video, really) bring. I'm just so proud to know that I can come to this song whenever I need to for relief.
You know how some people have those laughs that just make you lose it because their laugh is so contagious? They have smiles that just make you smile back and feel lightness in your heart.
For ToMoons, we have lived and loved "Shut Up 받고 Crazy Hot" for a while now since it was dropped in August 2021. Thank everything they put it on this album along with "Life is Beautiful". Plus, the Mad Max vibes in the performance video? YES, THANK YOU, SIRS. The choreo is so good, the fits are incredible, and I refuse to not dance to this song in my chair at work when it comes on.
"Who You Are" actually took my breath away when I first heard it. Right away, the tone is different from the rest of the album and the vocalists take no prisoners. And I say 'vocalists', but I mean literally every member of this group because there are no holes here. I love the ad libs, I love the falsetto, I love the beat, I love the rhythm, I love everything about this song. I also really enjoyed how they ended the song abruptly and placed it at the very end of the album because now we all want more music from ONEUS (even though I already did, but, y'know).
I love this album so much. Each album gets better and better and I'm either scared or excited for the next one. Maybe both. Probably both.
I hope they will continue to gain notice for their wonderful talent and music and personalities. I'm looking forward to seeing them be overwhelmed with happiness once more. ONEUS, fighting!
Until we meet again,