[Album Review] DEVIL (1st Studio Album) – ONEUS

After 2 years in the KPOP industry, ONEUS joins the many artists who have made their comebacks in 2021 with a studio album. Titled DEVIL, ONEUS’s first studio album features 11 tracks, which includes an intro track, the title track No Diggity, the December pre-release single BBUYSEO and an outro track. And for the first time in a while, all 11 tracks will be reviewed! This album continues on from a busy year, with includes the A Song Written Easily and TO BE OR NOT TO BE comebacks and their participation in Road To Kingdom (I know, I keep on bringing it up). But that was last year and we are reviewing a 2021 album. So let’s continue on with the review.

DEVIL Album Cover

1. The Devil is in the Detail (Intro Track) – Introductory tracks tend to be instrumentals. But vocals are not uncommon. ONEUS’ introductory track for DEVIL falls into the latter category and it really gives us a taster of what is to follow in this album. Powerful vocals, strong rapping and quite an epic instrumental piece. It starts off as a smooth dance track, but slowly becomes quite choppy as it progresses along thanks to the trickling of EDM. (8/10)

2. No Diggity (반박불가) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of No Diggity. (8.5/10)

3. Leftover (식은 음식) Leftover is a pretty straight forward pop track, though with a pitiful take on breakup as its lyrical focus. Don’t let its bright aura and playful tone convince you otherwise. Apart from that, Leftover is quite paced and consistent from start to end. ‘Pleasant at best’ is how I would describe the song. Nothing really sparked my interest in this song musically, aside from Ravn’s rap sequence which managed to briefly infuse some energy into the song. However, that fizzled out before the song could act upon it to potentially enhance itself. (6.5/10)

4. Incomplete (완벽하지 않아도 괜찮아)Incomplete is a return to form for ONEUS, following the previous song. It is a dance track, detailed with electric guitars that come off atmospheric. I also like how the additional rock band influence comes into play throughout the song and enhances the song a new level of dynamism. Though I feel this could have been taken a step further. I wanted something more along the lines of Ravn’s rap sequences throughout the song. If this was fulfilled, I think Incomplete would have potentially rivalled No Diggity as the title track. The vocal work from the rest of the members was also quite good. Overall, a strong showing from ONEUS in this song. (9/10)

5. Youth – I just love the pop rock vibes that Youth manages to exude, especially during the pre-choruses sequences. It just makes this song so much more powerful. ONEUS’ delivery in Youth is also expectational, with an amazing high note from Seoho, the falsettos in the pre-choruses, Leedo’s raspy vocals and so much more. Youth is so satisfying and so enjoyable. There is so much to like in this song. Hence it is my choice for hidden gem on this album. (10/10)

6. BBUYSEO (Pre-release Track) Click here to read the full review of BBUYSEO. (9/10)

7. Rewind (우리의 시간은 거꾸로 흐른다) – There is a lot going on in Rewind. Every few seconds or so, the song shifts its direction. Interestingly, it isn’t off-putting in any way. I actually like the journey it took me on. From the typical clock ticking to the dubstep to the other EDM influences during the chorus. It was definitely a roller coaster. That being said, Rewind packs a punch, was quite dynamic and showed off the members really well. I guess you could call it a ‘all-in-one’ package. (9.5/10)

8. Lion Heart Lion Heart’s best attribute was how aggressive it was. You don’t expect it in the opening sequence (I thought the song was going to be bland with that opening). But Lion Heart manages to whip itself around with a really abrasive and deep beat that accompanied Leedo and Ravn’s harsh rapping. It was quickly followed up with a steep incline to the chorus, before we are blast with powerful energy and synths in said chorus. There is more twists and turns in the song as it continued on, all returning to the same bombastic and intense chorus. It is another song that really shows me that ONEUS is at their best in similar high energy and powerful songs. (9.5/10)

9. What You Doing? – ONEUS answers the trending call to have a funky song on their album with What You Doing? I really like how sleek the first half of the chorus was, before honing home the funkiness in the second half. Unlike the other songs on the album, I did think the vocals were a little weak in this song. They just didn’t have the same level of appeal. But they sounded good. It is a different story with their rapping and the accompanying instrumentals. Definitely more appealing and attractive. (8/10)

10. I.P.U (눈부시게 빛이 나던 그날)I.P.U (I Promise You) is the closest ONEUS gets to a ballad on this album. Actually, the only similarity between I.P.U and a typical ballad would be the emotional heft you can feel from the song. The vocals definitely evoke some emotion within you as you listen to the song, Aside from that, I.P.U still has a lot of energy from its instrumental, which feels to fall into a band direction. I also suspect synths were used to make the song. Altogether it is a stunning piece. It is another 10/10 from me. (10/10)

11. Connect With US (Outro Track) – The outro track is very different to anything we have heard thus far on the album. Connect With US is more pop than anything, but I liked how there is some acoustics in it thanks to the guitar. It is also quite melodic and flowy, before a cut in transmission occurs at the end, finishing up both the outro track and album. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.7/10

DEVIL / No Diggity Teaser Image

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