Returning earlier in the week was ONEWE, with their new lead single, Universe_. And yes, the underscore is purposely present in the title of the song for whatever reason. Universe_ is featured on the band’s second mini-album, Planet Nine: Voyager, which dropped on Tuesday. This comeback follows the June 2021 release of Planet Nine: Alter Ego and Rain To Be, the release of single STAR (which I will review at a later date), and the release of the collaboration single with their brother group ONEUS, STAY (which I will also review at a later date).
I found Universe_ to be a stunning and beautiful track. The new song is a ballad for the most part, though the song develops more into a rock ballad as the song builds. Universe_ starts off as a very delicate piece with soothing and warm keyboard melody and soft vocals from both Yonghoon and Dongmyeong. This lasts for all of the first verse, before Yonghoon takes us into the chorus. I love the breathtaking nature of Yonghoon’s part. The instrumental is stripped to its bare minimum (i.e. the sparse use of keyboard once again) before the band instrumentation comes into play. His vocals were also so delicate and soft like how the song started, but ended up escalating in such a satisfying manner as the band instrumentation comes into play. The second verse was a lot shorter, given that it didn’t need to build as much as it maintained the band instrumentation. However, I thought the melody to be so beautiful in this part of the song. Not sure why, given it was the same melody throughout the song, but it just felt so pleasant and neat here. After the second chorus, ONEWE brought to us a relatively powerful electric guitar solo that just has the right punch of energy for Universe_, after which the final chorus is played out with the energy from the guitar solo also being maintained throughout via the presence of some high notes from the band’s two vocalists. To really reiterate Universe_‘s roots as a ballad, the song slows down for its outro, bringing back the song’s delicate and soothing start to close out the song. Overall, Universe_ delivers a great song and addition to ONEWE’s discography.
The emotions didn’t really hit me as much when I listened to the song alone. But it definitely hit me when I listened to the song in tandem with the music video. I liked the homey vibes of the first half of the video. We see the members individually, and then with their love ones. Not entirely sure if they are really the members actual love ones, but I assume the additional characters represent either siblings, friends, lovers, mothers, grandmothers and pets. The members then go on a road trip to bury a time capsule-like object. At first, this part threw me off. It was such a warm vibe video, but then they switched it a industrial mining site in the night time. It was a random change in scenery that I wished wasn’t the case. Maybe something closer to home would have been approriate (i.e. trip down to the beach, for example). Anyhow, after burying the capsule, the members start running around in like a celebratory manner as the song reaches it peak. Those additional characters run alongside them, making it look like whatever is buried in the capsule is actually a piece of those additional characters that the ONEWE members hold dear to their hearts. This got to me (just loved the beauty of this final set of scenes) and it brought a tear to my eyes.
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.6/10