Album Review: ONF-ON/OFF

Release date: August 2nd, 2017

Tracklist:

1. ON/OFF
2. Difficult
3. If We Dream
4. Original
5. Cat’s Waltz

Total Runtime: 00:16:39

Recommended for:  Fans of upbeat and energetic music

Not recommended for: Those who enjoy  hip-hop tracks

WM’s new boy group ONF has burst onto the music scene with their début mini album ON/OFF. Having produced the now iconic B1A4, all eyes on this new boy group. Can they live up to their senior’s name and more importantly stand out in the ever-growing K-pop world?

Track Review:

1- ON/OFF

The second the instrumental kicks in, ON/Off sucks you in.  The verses are strong and are aided by the atmospheric backing track. The best part of the verses is the call and response section (e.g 0:34-0:44), the contrast between the two makes the verses memorable.  MK’s vocal tone really suits the bridge and serves as a nice energy boost before the chorus.

Moving on the chorus, the instrumental break is catchy and get’s your head to bop to the beat. The vocals during the chorus also sound good and complement nicely with the beat. My only complaint regarding it that I would have liked to hear more vocals during the chorus. Whilst I appreciate the different approach to it, on first listen the chorus can sound a little bit indistinguishable. This problem is fixed in the second chorus, which sounds more memorable and powerful.

During the bridge, the beat slows down allowing for more of a focus on the vocals. Towards the end, the beat starts to get faster as if teasing something and then. Nothing. The excitement created by the bridge disappears,  I do feel this was a poor choice but the song redeems itself with the instrumental break that follows after. The rap section towards the end does feel a bit tacked on, but the backing vocals make the ending interesting to listen to.

The song does feel unique and fresh and is very catchy. It does a nice job of showing ONF’s potential by showcasing both their vocals and rapping abilities.

 2- Difficult

Difficult has a nice instrumental that is pleasant to the ears. The pre-chorus is great in drumming up hype. The real highlight of the song is the instrumental break at 0:52 which sounds fun. The repetition of ”It’s so hard” is a tad cringy but that is chalked up more to the lyrics than the actual delivery itself. Again the rap section towards the end gives a nice break from the vocals and complements the beat well.

All in all, Difficult has a nice fresh vibe surrounding it and immediately raises your mood when listened to.  The instrumental break during the chorus is the most memorable and energetic part of the song in comparison to the vocals. Despite this, the rap and singing parts are also enjoyable

 3- If We Dream

This calming ballad offers a nice break from the previous uptempo tracks. The overall atmosphere is calming and almost ethereal. ONF’s vocals shine more here, which is a delight to hear. The instrumental is incredibly smooth and helps to the set the tone of the song. The chorus is beautiful sounding, with the members crooning ”If we/I dream” that help to produce a relaxing effect on the listener. Lastly, the bridge prevents the whole song from being one note.

Whilst this is a ballad, it is not boring at all. The instrumental keeps your on your toes whilst ONF’s vocals really help to set the emotional tone of the vocals, but the variety in their vocal tones and singing prevent the song from falling on one note.

 4- Original

Original uplifts the mood set by If We Dream, it’s perfect for the summer with a bright beat and catchy melody. The use of call and response in the verses help them to stand out more and help to raise the excitement of the song. The chorus is especially good, with a nice instrumental to keep your blood pumping. Followed by some nice vocals from J-US in the chorus which contrasts nicely with the beat. The rap section seems better placed than the previous songs and is less jarring.

This is a fun and extremely catchy song to listen to. As mentioned before there are very strong summer vibes and I can see this being title track material. The combination of the energetic vocals and powerful vocals create a track asking to be replayed.

 5- Cat’s Waltz

From the use of a cat meow in the first few seconds, Cat’s Waltz shows itself as a unique track. It offers a chill closure toe album and showcases a different side to ONF. The chorus is especially dreamlike with the repetition of ”Hey, Hey, Hello” which adds some catchiness. The beat is a great combination of funky and smooth and suits the vocals quite well.

The English outro feels weird but at the same time kind of works as a method to end the song. Overall, the song is very relaxing to listen to but still retains its memorableness. It’s a pleasant end to the album, that is neither boring or derivative.


 

Review overview
Summary This is a very strong début album that showcases ONF quite well. It helps to establish a unique sound for the group and I eagerly anticipate more music from them in the future.
3.5
Tagged

Similar Articles

  • Mei Matsumoto

    Looks like Sadface turned into Madface 🙁

  • lilyalana

    with so many groups churning out songs in hip-hop genre/influenced by it/debuting with fierce image whatever points that is in the context of it, ONF’s debut is like a breath of fresh air

Top