Giving off one of the most boldest impressions for a comeback ever, ONEUS utters one of the most well known lines in English literature for their comeback today. Ironically, ONEUS’ return with TO BE OR NOT TO BE is also a breath of new life to the group’s discography and story-telling, carrying on from their Road To Kingdom days, a show they participated in earlier this year to win a confirmed position on the upcoming and now delayed season of the Kingdom. This is also the group’s first official comeback since their A Song Written Easily comeback earlier this year.
ONEUS already has a discography full of powerful songs. But TO BE OR NOT TO BE overtakes, conquers and triumphs this discography without a doubt. Just with the initial listen, I was in awe with this new release. It had everything I had wanted and wished would come as the song progresses. The harsh and rough instrumental for TO BE OR NOT TO BE is a dramatic synth dance track, infused with rock elements at the right moments to give the song a much appreciated layer of textures. I also really enjoyed the brewing atmosphere that the song dives into for the suspenseful pre-chorus. The choppy melody that brings the pre-chorus to life is probably one of the best ‘on the edge of my seat’ moments of 2020. I also loved how the producers of this song amped up the final chorus, differentiating it from the rest of the song in a specticular fashion. It is what I desired for the final chorus as we got to it, dreading a return to the same chorus we had earlier (as this is what has been happening with a number of releases lately). Aside from the amazing instrumentation, the members blew me away with their amazing showcase of vocals and rapping. My favourite part has to be the pre-chorus that I had already mentioned, along with the ‘To Be Or Not To Be‘ post-chorus hook, which continued the choruses’ monentum in a subtle manner. I think that based on my prasies, you probably know where I officially stand with TO BE OR NOT TO BE.
Obviously matching the song’s atmosphere is the music video. I really liked the imagery and darkness. My type of atmosphere. Based on the story films for this comeback, the plotline of the story relates back to the Come Back Home video and fits into Greek mythology. I am not clever enough to break down the video to the fine details today (though this one seems interesting for a music video theory series). Some fans have already done the hard work in the YouTube comments. So below is one of the theories.
The music video builds upon this, though. We see the members being locked up (as stated in the second story film) and in the ‘light world’. As they had been locked up by Helios, their end goal is to free themselves. But the catch is told in the second story film. The members end up breaking the curse themselves by drinking the blood of the descendants (as foreshadowed, but I am not exactly sure what triggers this). They go back to steal the necklace from the first story film to regain their powers, their monarch title and to go back to protecting the people, who now need to suffer pain as a result to the their actions. Do note that this is just one of the theories and there can be many others. Another could be that while locked up, they were tortured by their memories of failed love and breakups, which lead them to breaking free and regaining their powers to ‘forget’ their past relationships entirely.
The choreography looks amazing. We don’t see much in the music video, as there was a whole cinematic storyline to tell. But the bits and pieces we did see looked amazing. It was powerful and definitely shows off an edgier and angsty side of the group that we haven’t seen before. Some of the formations looked really cool and some of the moves defintiely have a wow factor, such as that jump we see at the end (definitely something ONEUS had picked up and built upon during their Road To Kingdom days).
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 10/10
7 thoughts on “[Review] TO BE OR NOT TO BE – ONEUS”
I am so happy to see someone praising this song! 😭😭 It is my fave song of 2020 ! I listened to so many kpop songs & groups this lockdown period – skz, ateez, dreamcatcher, clc, bts, bp, boy groups, girl groups, debuts, veterans……. A huge list! But the one song that struck me on a deeper level, on a soulful note was To be or Not to Be. This was my first Oneus song…… I listened to so many of their stuff after that and Oneus is Amazing! 💖💖 Maybe because I’m someone who doesn’t mind dark themes I found the whole song powerful on another level! I’m happy to see this song being reviewed! 💖💖
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Agreed!!!! Hopefully their time to make it big comes soon.
Make sure you vote for ONEUS and your other favourite artists of the year in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards (see the home page for more details)!