One of the main things I took away from Road to Kingdom is that ONF is insanely talented yet criminally underrated. Luckily, it seems like their appearance on that program has started to pay off. Since I’m late to the party as always, I can tell you that ONF just won their very first music show trophy for “Beautiful Beautiful” and it was 100% deserved. And I’m not just saying that just because I’ve been waiting for them to get a win – I genuinely like “Beautiful Beautiful,” and I think it’s absolutely delightful.
I really can’t get over how amazing the music video for “Beautiful Beautiful” is. K-pop agencies invest so much money into their music videos, so they’re always top notch… but this one somehow manages to look even more high-quality. It truly feels like I’m watching a trailer for a Hollywood movie or something. I’m a big fan of bright colors, so my eyes are instantly drawn to all of the glossy hues. And I love the futuristic sci-fi setting with its complex virtual technology and fun floating hoverboards. I was so curious about this whole world that was set up in the music video, and I just wanted to know all the details. I normally watch a music video maybe five times max and then switch over to performances, but I find myself clicking on this one again and again.
While I’ve said before that I don’t really like over the top styling in K-pop, I must say that I admire ONF’s dedication to their fashion choices here. The hair colors and styles are wild – and I’ll never be a fan of Hyojin’s long almost-mullet – but it really does help make the world of “Beautiful Beautiful” come alive. The members look like they’ve come straight out of an anime. (Side note: the whole music video actually reminds me of one of the dozens of manga I sped read through during quarantine, but I can’t remember which one and IT’S BOTHERING ME.) They really committed to the concept, and I respect that.
While I was clearly fascinated by this music video, the one downside is that I was so absorbed in it that I didn’t notice much else. I liked the one performance of “Beautiful Beautiful” that I watched, and I thought it was entertaining and well-danced… but now I’ve completely forgotten what it looks like. Seriously, I remember exactly zero moves. And that’s very out of character for me, since I usually focus on a K-pop release’s choreography more than anything else. I know ONF are fantastic dancers – they had some of my favorite performances on Road to Kingdom, and they know how to fill up a stage. But I guess when it comes down to it, I find the music video way more interesting this time. It’s not a big deal at all and it’s 100% a personal thing, but it just bemuses me because like I said, preferring a music video over a choreography is pretty rare for me.
Thankfully, my feelings about “Beautiful Beautiful” as a song fall somewhere in between what I think about the choreography and the music video. As I always say, I’m not usually a fan of the happy go lucky type songs. But there’s something about “Beautiful Beautiful” that’s just so fun and infectious; I can’t help but smile when I hear it. I think it’s because ONF has some truly amazing vocalists, and their voices are so clean and clear and filled with joy. It makes it harder to pull my usual, “Meh, I’m not really into bright and bubbly K-pop” when all I want to do is listen to those harmonizations on repeat. I do have a list of K-pop artists whose upbeat music I do like; I guess ONF is now one of them.
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.)
Truthfully, I don’t know how much attention I’ll give to “Beautiful Beautiful” and for how long. I liked it, and I was quite surprised by just how much I did. But I know myself pretty well, and I have a feeling my interest will fade once the comeback is over. That being said, I’ll have a fond memory to think back on. Last week when this song came out, I was dealing with some developments at my job and a new chaotic schedule that left me anxious about how everything was going to work out. (Incidentally, this is why I’m a week late with most of my posts.) And I think I latched on to “Beautiful Beautiful” because it was a breath of fresh air, and its shining positivity was exactly what I needed at that moment in time. So even if I don’t put it on replay for the rest of the year, I’ll always appreciate it – and ONF – for being a bright spot during a stressful time.
(“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: YouTube, WM Entertainment