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DRIPPIN is back with another comeback, making it their fourth release of the year. They begun 2022 with the release of VILLAIN, the title of both their third mini-album and title track. Then the group released their Japanese debut single, So Good, before returning to Korea in June with ZERO. Fast-forward 5 months, DRIPPIN rounds out the year (I hope, these guys need a break after the busy year!) with the release of their latest title track, The One, and their first studio length album since debut, Villain: The End.
Going into this comeback, I was expecting an intense dance track that found its roots purely in the EDM genre. But I was genuinely surprised that The One ended having a much bigger rock presence than EDM. Don’t misunderstand, however. There is still EDM here and there in the song, and it was definitely used to intensify The One and give it some textural components. The instrumental for the dance break was largely EDM-based and provided an epic climax for the song. But going back to the rock aspect of The One, I found it to be quite appealing that DRIPPIN and their producers went in this direction. What really gets me is that the rock isn’t necessarily a dark and emo piece, nor is it grungy. Instead, the rock influences in The One were surprisingly upbeat and vibrant. The drumming is superb in this track, and the metal guitar was definitely intense in itself. The explosive energy (there is a lot of going on in KPOP these days) and tempo of The One kept the adrenaline pumping – this track is definitely going on my exercise playlist. Aside from the instrumental, I quite enjoyed the pop charm of the melody and hooks to The One. The ‘I’m The One, One, Only One‘ is pretty much keyed into my mind. I thought that this gave the song a more appealing flavour, and took the opportunity to really transform The One into a pop rock vibe track. I feel the vocals and rapping were solid, though I wished the verses had bolder vocal and rapping moments, just to really bring it up to par with the rest of the chorus. Something like the rapping in the bridge would have been ideal. Overall, The One is an awesome track that I should have reviewed much earlier to tell you all about it.
An action packed music video was served alongside The One, and I am all for it. Junho was the common thread between all the videos that formed part of the Villain series, and it was pretty much hinted from the start that he would have a villainous role in the end. In the Villain music video, he comes hurdling into the ground and leaves unscathed from such an arrival. In the ZERO music video, he is the last one we see and we do see a taste of his fire power as he overlooks the city. In this music video, he causes meteors to come crushing down onto Earth (similar to how he arrived), forcing everyone into hiding. Upon hearing that villain Junho had killed the good Junho, good Junho’s bandmates emerge from hiding and revived good Junho. A very tense superhero-like action fight scene ensues between the two Junhos (with the bandmates also pitching in). The fight ends with the bandmates knocked out and no Junho around. The industrial setting of the fight becomes the grassy fields (the same fields at the start of the video) and the members celebrate their victory. They later find Junho, who smiles back at them. But a quick zoom into his face allows us to see Junho bearing a red and blue pupil, suggesting one of the two Junho came out victorious and absorbed the power of the other. But it leaves a question, which Junho won and which lost. Honestly, a really cool video, and I hope we see which Junho turned out victorious in the future (maybe this sets up a repackaged album?). As a little critique, I would have liked the story to delve into the other members a bit more, just to give us more of the story. .
The choreography was great. It sure exuded a lot of powerful energy and intensity, just as you would expect when listening to a song like this one. The dance breaks were really cool, and the move associated ‘I’m The One, One, Only One‘ felt like it could have been a really catchy move had it really been pushed. I also liked how it really complemented the pop side of the song, going for a less intense move, compared to the rest of the routine.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 9/10