With last years dynamic libidO, OnlyOneOf finally managed to find that perfect match between song and concept. Its dark, evocative production coupled with its thrilling collection of hooks proved to be truly iconic in a year that was already filled with its fair share of icons. As such, my ears have remained perked for any new material coming out from the group. Obscure promotional strategies and all. And though their latest comeback Skins proved to follow a rather standard release schedule, their latest involves a 6 part rollout with each member releasing a solo track each month until every member has had a chance to show off their skills. First up is Yoojung, who distills his talents into the gorgeous, synth laden fantasia of Begin.
When I talk about songs that are my 100% shit, my mind immediately goes to tracks like Begin. I simply adore the production on this track. The synth laden undertones and heavy percussive backing work wonders alongside the classic OnlyOneOf vocal filtering to paint an utterly transcendent atmosphere. It’s not the most complex of productions but it gets every single element of its relatively simple brew just right. A relatively rare characteristic in today’s often scattershot musical landscape. The production also recalls some of my favourite moods. The nocturnal drive. A term often associated with similar, darker sythwave tracks and one that I simply can’t get enough of. It’s a more reserved variant, more akin to a darker back alley faintly lit up by the neon lights of a neighbouring bar than a drive down a brightly lit highway. Though given the right mood, it could fit either quite nicely.
However as strong as the production on Begin is, I feel as though the melody is slightly lagging behind. It’s gorgeously arranged don’t get me wrong but feels as though it could have gone just the extra step. Both the verses and the chorus do a masterful job in furthering the atmosphere but other than the repetition of the tracks title during the chorus, few of the tracks hooks felt as memorable as they could have been. The same could be said for Yoojung, who performs the track with gusto, supporting the production with an equally emotive performance that is great but lacks the kind of unique calling card that could have really made Begin a transformative experience. But further listens have been very kind to Begin, with the chorus already getting more and more addictive, something which could hint towards great longevity for the track. A promising sign for a song that gets this rather ambitious rollout off to a strong start.
Final Rating: 8.5 / 10