September will be one big month for this blog as I make an attempt to catch up on album reviews (and other song reviews). My plan is to publish a few album reviews during the week, in addition to reviewing multiple albums over the weekend (like this past weekend). First up in this mammoth task is ONEUS, who previously returned in May with their 7th mini-album, TRICKSTER. Headlining the album was Bring It On. This mini-album precedes the group’s next comeback, MALUS, which is scheduled for 5 September (i.e. next week).
ONEUS really delivered with the powerful and punchy tracks that form the TRICKSTER mini-album. If you ever want something super intense, boastful and/or fierce, just tune into a ONEUS album. Chances are, you will satisfy your craving. It is quite interesting, as the group also stands out for their more delicate title tracks (see LUNA or A Song Written Easily). Goes to show that ONEUS is an all rounder group. Overall, TRICKSTER is another strong release from the group and it makes me eagerly await for their comeback next week.
1. Intro: Who Got The Joker? – This intro track starts off like any introductory track. Dramatic synths, suspenseful vocals and dynamic rapping. However, when we get to the chorus of Who Got The Joker?, the track steps it up. It brings forward rock influences and gives us a taste to the intensity that is to follow through the rest of the mini-album. Ravn’s lurching ‘Who Got The Joker’ was impressive and I sense a subtle growl to that line’s delivery. This introductory track earns a massive wow from me. (9/10)
2. Bring It On (덤벼) (Title Track) – Click here for the full review for Bring It On. (8.5/10)
3. Skydivin – ONEUS jumps on the pop rock train with Skydivin, and it is another massive yes from me. Skydivin comes off as a Summery track with the vibrant and refreshing tones present. As for the pop rock influences, ONEUS went in really hard with it. Said influences gave the song so much texture and oomph, especially during the chorus. The drumming left me stunned (in a good way). The vocals were clear as day and the rapping were dynamic and fun to listen to. (10/10)
4. Firebomb (두 눈 빠지도록) – Firebomb is another vibrant track added to the group’s portfolio. This is a lot heavier (thank the bass!) and falls into the realm of a dance track that we have associated with ONEUS. It starts off like any other dance track, but the chorus is where Firebomb really sets it apart from the rest. The squeaky brass synth that dominates the chorus is definitely an ear-catching piece and gives the song an interesting vibe. The bass helps add definition to the song, and the pair comes together to create a very vivid and robust number. The vocals and rapping were quite expressive and adds a further layer of ‘interesting’ to the song. (9/10)
5. Fragile (취급주의) – In the midst of dance tracks, there is always a need for a ballad or similar track to the same effect for some reason. For TRICKSTER, Fragile is that. However, it isn’t a ballad. It is more of a R&B track, with a hefty beat and bass to it. The rest of the instrumentation is pretty typical for a R&B track. I liked the upfront vocals and rapping in Fragile. They really drove Fragile forward and gave the song a neat melody to groove your body around. Overall, a decent but typical track. (7/10)
6. Mr. Wolf – The final original song on the album is titled Mr. Wolf. It is by far the most unique track, pulling its inspiration from a childhood game ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’. Oh, the memories are rushing back. From the very first second, the song sets it up as a suspenseful and dramatic song, and I liked that they maintained that throughout the song. You don’t really know exactly which direction Mr. Wolf would go in, so you have to be a bit cautious. Mr. Wolf does give a few surprises, such as the heavy thumping in the midst of the verses, the simple yet highly effective ‘Na Na Na’ hook, the hollow synths used for the dance break, the screams and even a wolf growl. The rapping and vocals kept the song dynamic and were on point. (10/10)
7. Bring It On (English Version) – Refer to the link above for the full review for Bring It On.
Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10
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