Next rookie we are visiting is YOUNITE, who made their debut back in April this year with 1 of 9 and the mini-album, Youni-Birth. A nine-member, the group consists of Eunho, Steve, Hyunseung, Eunsang, Hyungseok, Woono, Dey, Kyungmun, and Sion. You may recognize Eunsang, in particular, who made his solo debut back in 2020 with Beautiful Scar and later returned with Lemonade. They find their home at Brand New Music, which is the home of AB6IX, BDC, Bumkey and Han Dong Geun (to name a few artists). Following their debut, YOUNITE made their comeback in July with AVIATOR (which will be a focus of a future review, and a much preferred single over their debut).
So, if you read between the lines for that last statement, you could probably tell that I am not entirely a fan of their debut single. YOUNITE didn’t do a terrible job per say with 1 of 9. It was just a forgettable single for me. The individual aspects were fair, but when you piece them together, 1 of 9 isn’t the standout debut track I am looking for as a first step into the industry. 1 of 9 is a pleasant pop track, with a bright instrumental that leads into the Summer period quite nicely. There was a retro touch to the song, which lends well to how I have described the song. It was a decent piece, but I feel like a more dynamic flair would have been appreciated in the instrumental back to give the backing some more oomph and bite. It also leans over into sweet territory just slightly too much for my liking. But I do appreciate the pleasantness of the instrumental, as already described/mentioned. The vocals and rapping are just as bright and sweet-sounding, so it definitely works well with the instrumental. The members did a decent job and I felt it was also a good showing of potential. I did wish there was a more catchy hook and weighty melody to the 1 of 9, just to give it a more memorable ring. This would have really boosted the appeal of the song for me, as well. Everything I have mentioned so far that I wished 1 of 9 had done or incorporated would have boosted the memorability factor of the song and solve the forgettable issue I had with 1 of 9 as a whole piece.
The bright and sweet descriptors that I have used to describe 1 of 9 have also been carried over into the music video, with a fluffy and cute music video to accompany the release. Not really my personal style, but it was a good introduction to the nine members with steady shots of the members and a very colourful/bright tone that helps show off the members (as opposed to the usual dark or edgy concepts). I quite liked the idea of the YOUNITE Village that the video is set in.
I feel like the performance was a strong part of this debut. Obviously the song doesn’t enable anything hard hitting to really happen in the routine. But the members and their choreographer still managed to put together a piece that has a bit of energy and fun to it. The movement of the members was quite smooth throughout the performance, especially when they moved about the stage.
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10