The final album from 2021 that I will be reviewing is ONF’s Goosebumps, the group’s sixth mini-album. It follows a string of releases from the group in 2021, including Beautiful Beautiful (featured on their first studio album, ONF: My Name), Ugly Dance (featured on the repackaged version of their first studio album, City of ONF) and Popping (featured on their summer popup album of the same name). After the release of Goosebumps in early December, it was announced that ONF will undertake their military enlistment at the same time to reduce their hiatus. And by the end of the year, five members (excluding U, as he is not a Korean citizen) enlisted in the military, thus pushing the group into hiatus until (and I am guessing here based on the usual two year enlistment period) the end of 2023.
But while ONF is currently not releasing any music, they did leave us with Goosebumps, which features the title track of the same name and four other side tracks. Overall, Goosebumps was a terrific album that boasts high quality and enjoyable tracks. All the songs on here definitely throws me back to some form of ONF release, and has a unique tone that tells me that it is ONF’s album from afar. Check out the release below and let me know if you agree with my thoughts!
1. Goosebumps (Title Track) – Click here for the full review of Goosebumps. (9/10)
2. Whistle – Following the title track is Whistle, and it is a very creative and unique track on the lyrics front. Essentially, the members sing in a perspective a cat who is close by to their owner, who is actually a cursed human that is now being punished for their past actions in their human relationship with said owner. But they want the curse to end, and the only way for that to happen is for their lover to whistle. It is quite an abstract idea, but one that makes Whistle standout as a track. I like the sorrow, reflective and pensive tone the members take in this song, while I like the somewhat jazzy nature of the instrumental. There is a bit of bass and pop melody infused into the chorus, which makes it a strong centerpiece. But the best part of Whistle for me is the bridge, which had enough change to be different, but stay within the boundaries of the song. (9/10)
3. Fat & Sugar – Fat & Sugar is a return to the upbeat, vibrant and energetic energy that I associate with ONF. It takes a form of a funky hip-hop song that makes me groove along to the music every time I listen to the song. The chorus is extremely memorable, thanks to the repetition of the ‘I like bad things, Fat and Sugar, Fat and Sugar’. It does seem a bit childish (I remember passing over this song initially because of this childish tone), but it quite charming after many listens. I like the character they brought to the song through their vocals and rapping, which helped make Fat & Sugar so much more appealing than you think. (8.5/10)
4. Alarm – The album takes a turn with Alarm, this time entering ballad territory. It is a stunning piece. The verses were a bit typical and the instrumental is pretty standard for the ballad. But the stunning nature of Alarm comes during the chorus, where there is so much vocal layering. However, not once does it sound or feel overwhelming. It adds complexity to the otherwise simple track. Vocally, they sounded amazing throughout. The harmonies in this track are to die for. Talking about harmonies, the unexpected incline at the end of Alarm just makes the song even better! And of course, the swayable melody is also there. (10/10)
5. Show Must Go On –As mentioned in the introduction paragraph, this is ONF’s last album for a while. And a song titled Show Must Go On is very fitting for this hiatus. The direction that the song took us in was unexpected, however. But I love the fast pace nature of Show Must Go On and how it gives off and reminds me of the group’s title tracks. The fast pace nature also provides great energy and the chanting at the end is quite satisfying. It feels like ONF is going out with a big bang (in a way) with this release. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 9.1/10