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[Review] ONF’s energetic & memorable return with “Complete” is outstanding

As a massive fan of ONF’s debut mini album, it’s been frustrating to watch their follow-up delayed because of their involvement with YG’s failed survival series ‘MIXNINE‘. Two of their seven members ended up “winning” a place in the program’s resulting project group, only to have the whole thing cancelled months after the series ended. But this change of plans freed ONF to return as a whole, and thank god for that. “Complete” is one of the strongest K-pop singles we’ve heard in some time.

It’s such a satisfying feeling when a comeback is exactly what you hoped it would be. “Complete” retains the synth-driven, tropical vibe from the group’s debut, but kicks up a propulsive energy that never tires. There’s no fat on the song’s bones — no unnecessary breakdown or brooding tempo drop. Right from the start, “Complete” impresses with its bright, high-octane beat. The opening verse has a refreshingly rhythmic appeal. Its clipped melody is simple, but immediately memorable.

After an extended build, “Complete” slams us with its secret weapon. This chorus isn’t complex, eschewing wordiness for one simple phrase pulled and twisted until it forms an extremely catchy hook. I’m not always a huge fan of vocal effects, but the warping here feels perfectly utilized, adding drama with a filtered, otherworldly effect. This is followed up by an instrumental sucker punch, as brass and electric guitar forge together to create a showstopping post-chorus breakdown. This isn’t the kind of cut-and-paste EDM drop we’ve heard a million times before. It spins naturally from every element around it, and adds an irresistible edge to an already fantastic track.

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