After the excellence of recent comeback libidO, I was in the process of laminating my OnlyOneOf stan card, only to be interrupted by an unexpected message from 8D Creative:
8D: By the way, Love (the group’s leader) is leaving OnlyOneOf. Just thought you should know.
Me: What?!? Wh-
8D: Yep, he’s out as of this moment, and we’re not telling you why.
Me: But he was just…
8D: Please don’t speculate! In fact, just forget this ever happened.
8D: And the group is prepping for a comeback.
Me: Um… good?
8D: But it’s not a real comeback. Just some random ballad.
Me: But you said…
Ok, that was obviously a dramatization, but it crystallizes just how yanked around OnlyOneOf’s fans feel right now. As a longtime K-pop listener, I’ve grown pretty numb to line-up changes. It comes with the territory. But, there’s something fishy going on this time, and it’s totally marred the group’s momentum.
These issues aside, new track mOnO would make a decent b-side. It’s a synth-fueled ballad with a beat – expressive and atmospheric. Maybe it’s a pre-release for a proper comeback? Or, maybe it’s just a stopgap. Either way, it offers a peek at how awesome these guys are. Musically, it feels like something you’d find on the second half of an ONF album – all icy electronics and sentimental refrains. The track never builds to much, preferring to cycle around its gentle production. A climactic key change adds lift to the final chorus. Otherwise, mOnO is simply a pleasant exercise in fan service.
But, you know what would be even better fan service? A little transparency and an awesome follow-up to libidO.