ONEUS - Valkyrie
ONEUS is a brand new six-member boy group coming out from RBW Entertainment, the same company that houses MAMAMOO and VROMANCE. I can only assume that VROMANCE didn’t take off as well as they’d hoped for them to, with the group seemingly falling off of just about everyone’s radar that I’ve personally spoken with. It’s unfortunate, but it makes sense that they would want to try their hand at a new boy group to garner interest with due to that. I hadn’t heard much about them apart from when they’d be debuting, and I just jumped into this review with no expectations.
Well, right off the bat I want to say that I think that this is a much stronger debut than VROMANCE had. The song is much more engaging, and it has a vibe that lies somewhere between modern-day mainstream-friendliness and a simpler vibe of older K-pop. The vocal presentations certainly weren’t as crisp and overblown, but that’s just fine. What we did get, however, were energetic deliveries with a nice splash of attitude mixed in, giving the song an overall feel that was pleasant on the ears.
The raps weren’t super impressive, but they were certainly competent and they flowed with the song, so it wasn’t like they detracted in any way. The second verse was probably my favorite part, giving a slight variation to the song while providing speedy raps to match the intensity of the instrumentals. The bridge of the this song was a little too noisy for my tastes, but that’s also a fairly popular trend, so that’s probably more of a personal issue. I will say that I’m not a big fan of the gunshot matrix part of this track, which surprisingly wasn’t just something in the music video. It interrupts the song pretty heavily, and while I can certainly see its use for live performances and in the video, I just think in terms of the song itself it doesn’t gel.
Overall, I’m actually pretty happy with this debut. It’s a solid title track to lead off with, and I think that there was enough personality infused into the song that it helped the group stand out against the current myriad of boy groups. I’m excited to check out the album and I’ll be sure to throw out my thoughts on that in the near future, too.
The music video was a bit less than I was expecting, but it wasn’t something overwhelmingly negative. The entirety of this video had some very 2014 vibes to it. The color palettes and outfits, the backdrops, and even the camerawork just threw my mind back to that time. That’s a big positive for myself, of course, as I adore that time in K-pop.
Now, I did just kind of shit all over the weird gunshot pause in the song, but in terms of choreography, I really hope that’s in there for live performances. If they can actually manage that as a group during lives, I think it will be a massive boon for the group. The choreography on the whole felt slick and nice, and I loved how much interplay there was between the members. The point dance during the chorus might bleed a little into some similar moves from other groups, but in general I think it was solid. My biggest issue with the choreography is that in terms of a song called “Valkyrie,” there really didn’t seem to be much done with that conceptually, but there were enough acrobatic movements that I don’t think it matters too much in the end.
The sets were actually pretty nice for a debut from a new group, too. There were plenty of eye-catching pieces all throughout the video and I think that the red room for their choreography was a fantastic choice. The choice not to have a plot and opting for this video to be more of a showcase of the members and their capabilities seems solid to me as well. Instead of letting those details get muddled with some kind of imagery to decipher or bizarre semi-plot, we just got a straight video that was essentially just choreography and individual member shots.
On the whole I think that this video is a great start for ONEUS. I’m definitely looking forward to their future ones as well, and I’m interested to see if they’ll keep this kind of forgotten (not outdated) aesthetic.
“Valkyrie” is probably one of the stronger boy group debuts that I can recall in recent memory. It showcases each of the members well while maintaining a cohesive and appealing atmosphere throughout. I’ll admit that at this point, my faith in RBW to properly create and manage groups is not exactly the greatest, but I think that ONEUS has a very solid chance of becoming something great. If you haven’t already given this one a listen, I actually think that this song would appeal to most people that enjoy K-pop, so I’ll be recommending this one to everyone.