ONEUS is another boy group that I sort of follow but haven’t really gotten into yet – although I HAVE finally learned to correctly pronounce their name as “One us” and not “Oh news” like I was doing for the past TWO YEARS. (Lesson learned: always check the names in Hangul.) I really enjoyed watching them on Road to Kingdom, and it seems like their time on that show greatly inspired their performances and aesthetics – their latest single “No Diggity” really pulls out all the stops. While I’m a little iffy on the English song title – mostly because it just makes me think of the original “No Diggity” – I’m very impressed by how creative ONEUS is with this release.
For me, the most impressive aspect of “No Diggity” is by far the music video. The second I pressed play, I got lost in the incredibly dramatic aesthetics (but in a good way). Everything is done on a big scale, from grandiose set pieces like that giant golden horse down to the wild hair colors and the bold outfits. There’s so much going on: fire and flames, vividly bright colors, and some seriously dangerous looking props and costumes. The name of ONEUS’s latest album is Devil – I’m not sure if this was intentional, but I did get kind of a villainous feel from some of the music video’s shots and settings. A few of Hwanwoong’s scenes gave me Joker vibes, especially with all the neon green in the background.
As a song, “No Diggity” is pretty aggressive and it goes hard. Normally I’m all for that type of music, but I’m having a bit of trouble getting fully immersed in this one. There’s just something about it that I’m not connecting with – I like it, but I can’t seem to remember it well. However, that doesn’t mean I think the song is bad or unappealing. I believe it’s more of a “me problem” because I’m not really familiar with ONEUS. As a multifan, I often find that many K-pop songs end up having the same kind of energy – so what really makes a track stand out to me is how each member makes their parts their own. Since I don’t know ONEUS all that well, I can’t really see any of that – and I think that makes it harder for me to vibe with “No Diggity” as a song overall.
That being said, I enjoy the song much more while I’m watching the music video and/or the choreography with it. I have nothing but good things to say about the music video, but I also find the choreography really entertaining. It’s so high-energy and dynamic, and it matches the music well. Personally, I think it even gives the song a bit more dimension. So while I feel “No Diggity” doesn’t necessarily stand out to me when I’m just listening to it, it’s significantly aided by the dance and the music video. When all three are working together in harmony, it’s like a rollercoaster from start to finish. It’s *almost* too chaotic to really grasp what’s going on, but that doesn’t bother me because I sense that frenzied mayhem is kind of the point. In any case, I highly approve of the “go big or go home” attitude ONEUS is projecting here.
MY OVERALL INTEREST LEVEL
(NOTE: My options for each category are “Love,” “Like,” “Neutral,” “Not My Style,” or “Dislike.” But I rarely dislike anything, so I’ll mostly be using the other four.)
I think ONEUS is a super talented and ambitious group. Their high-concept approach to comebacks reminds me a lot of VIXX – not saying their music sounds anything alike (because I don’t think it does), but there is definitely the same attention to detail and heavy emphasis on production design. Everything about “No Diggity” is incredibly thought out and well-executed. Even to a non-fan like me, it clearly shows their drive and potential. That being said, I’m not so sure how long I’ll personally be interested in this comeback – I was really intrigued by the music video and the choreography, but less so by the song itself. But this comeback has inspired me to make more of an effort in getting to know ONEUS, and I think I’ll be able to enjoy them a lot more when I do.
(“Knee Jerk Reaction” is a column I created to talk about comebacks or debuts when I don’t have a lot of time to write in-depth reviews. A knee jerk reaction is like an automatic response, so it’s a post about my initial thoughts on the song, the music video, and the performance if it’s available. Compared to my reviews, everything is more stream of consciousness and less analytical. And everything is 100% my own opinion!)
SOURCES: Cover Image and music video belong to RBW Entertainment.