Also making their comeback today is ONF, with the release of a new single and special mini-album, both sharing the same name, Popping. This is their third comeback of the year, following Beautiful Beautiful in March and Ugly Dance in May. I am super pumped for this comeback, especially since it follows what I consider to be some of ONF’s best work since their debut in 2017. So without further ado, I am going to get stuck into the new release and see if Popping lives up to the standards set by the group!
Spoiler alert – they do! Popping brings forth a very familiar atmosphere. I find it reminiscent of most of their comebacks. The instrumental reminds me of the really addictive Beautiful Beautiful, while the vocals brings me back to ONF’s earlier works, such as ON/OFF and Complete. It is quite an interesting feeling, as it has been a while since I have heard a song bring me down memory lane like this one. To further add to that already very appealing factor is a catchy melody and hook that just makes me reach for my mouse and take my cursor to the replay button every time the song finishes. I really like how chirpy and strong the vocals in this song are. They bring a very cheerful tone to the video, one that cannot make me stop smiling. I also really like the moments they chant along with each other in the chorus, bolding and defining the vocals already there to make them even more impactful. I do wish the song had a more substantial rap sequence, as I feel like this would have given the song a bit more dynamism. But what we got was still amazing nonetheless. Back to the instrumentals, instead of the brass we heard in Beautiful Beautiful, the producers of Popping changes up the song with flutes of some kind. I quite like this. It keeps the song in the realm of one of their most successful releases this far, but also maintains individuality. Overall, Popping is an awesome song that I think rivals the likes of ONF’s boldest and my personal favourite hits from the group.
But wait. Despite the song being so cheerful, the music video leads us on a different direction. The message I got from the song was that no matter what bad things happen, you can return to the happy memories. In this video, the bad event is everyone dies. The start where they are watching past videos felt like they were preparing for this mission. I am not too sure what the mission is, but there are a lot of elements throughout the video that are from their past videos. But I would need to go back through the videos to link them back to this one (no time for that). Instead I will focus on what happened in this video. The members venture off into space with MK and J-Us being astronauts, and the rest of the members staying behind at command centre. The misson goes array, though J-Us was the sole survivor but is alone on the cold winter planet. One of the spaceships they were on (there two ships) was infiltrated by the robots from the Beautiful Beautiful video. U sacrfices himself to distract the robots, while E-Tion was the one to ensure that no robots could get through the doors (i.e. he had to seal it with U out in the open). Despite that, bombs were hurled at the spaceships and blew up the spaceships, killing everyone on board (MK included). At the end of the video, we see Hyojin come in dressed in black and reaches out to end the video. I believe he killed his alterego, who somehow survived the explosion and was reaching out to Wyatt. I guess this means evil Hyojin (from Sukhumvit Swimming) was behind this attack and was the antagonist of this story. Also regarding J-Us at the end, I am not sure what he discovered. Aside from the plotline, the grand scale of this video (budget, quality, sets, production) is just another reason to watch this video.
To top off the already amazing nature of this comeback is the performance. It is energetic and super fun, reflective of the song’s tone and colour. I also really liked the swing of the various moves and the wholesome feel that comes from the performance. It make this aspect more appealing to watch and enjoy.
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10