While I need to catch up on reviews for songs released many weeks ago, I also need to do some catching up on some new releases from this week. First up is ONEUS, who returned on Tuesday with their new single BLACK MIRROR. This new single is featured on the group’s fifth mini-album, Binary Code. This comeback follows ONEUS’ recent return with their first studio album, Devil, and its lead single, No Diggity.
BLACK MIRROR adds itself to the re-emerged trend in KPOP of groovy and funky songs. It also continues what was set up through the release of BBUYSEO (a digital single released by the group at the end of 2020 and featured as part of the Devil album). BLACK MIRROR ticks everything that is quite common in this class of songs, aside from the brass component that I enjoyed as part of BBUYSEO. I am a bit disheartened that it was left out of this song. But at the same time, I feel that BLACK MIRROR does a good job of maintaining that level of funk without using brass. Instead, the funkiness and grooviness comes prominently through the use of the deep rythmic guitars and disco-sounding synths. I particularly enjoyed the stripped back formula of the first half of the chorus (i.e. the ‘dudududu‘ part) and how it slowly builds back to the wholesome and upbeat vibes of the second half of the chorus, which felt substantial and fulfilling. The ‘dudududu‘ part was also super catchy, and in combination with the instrumentation, we got a really nice sleekness to the song. Once again, ONEUS showcases strong vocals and rapping throughout the song. I felt this was most evident in the bridge of the song, which had a vocal and a rap half. The latter half really caught my attention. Leedo and Ravn’s deep and raspy voices, along with the energy that really throw behind their delivery, gave the song that extra oomph I wanted. I wished their rapping parts earlier in the song shared more of that same intensity. Overall, I think BLACK MIRROR is an awesome song from ONEUS. I don’t think this is my favourite track from them, but I still find it enjoyable and filled with great energy!
What I really liked about this music video are the sets and the member’s outfits. The black and white sets look really stylish and simple. The light does wonders and really opens up the music video in a physical sense. I also like how the coloured sets don’t really give the video that vibrancy colour tends to beings to music video. Instead, it feels as if the colours in the sets are somehow blended with the other black and white, and you don’t really pick up on a difference. I also like the sets with the mirrors which the reflections are doing somehting else. Gave the video a sense of creepiness, which I thought was a nice contrast to their upbeat vibes! I also liked the outfits the members wore. They too tap into the black and white domain, but the white is more sparkly rather than straight white. Also this comeback is meant to have a Michael Jackson influence, and I feel that the outfits are the best example of this influence coming through. The black and white colours and the sparkly glove are all portrayed in some capacity in their outfits. Also the hats as well!
We got more of that homage to Michael Jackson in the performance. The entire performance defintiely screamed MJ in many ways, but I feel that the actual moves/poses were subtle. I wished those moves are a bit more explicitly shown (who doesn’t love a good full-on moonwalk?). However despite that thought pattern, ONEUS held their ground with their take on a choreography to suit those funky and groovy vibes. The ending sequence after the final chorus was definitely amazing to watch. Those bending knees made my ones hurt (and that is just by watching them). I also thought their charisma and stage presence really made it a captivating performance to watch.
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10