[Review] ONEUS ride the traditional/hip-hop fusion cheat code to success on “LIT”

ONEUS impressed with their “Valkyrie” debut, effectively putting the group on the K-pop map. “Twilight” was less impressive, but they returned with “Lit“, which marks probably my favorite release of theirs yet.

The intro featuring the gayageum hooked me into this immediately, and while I should be used to how well it seems to work with hip-hop fusions by now, it always feels refreshing when it’s done. I feared the trap-esque drop was coming and when it did as expected I braced for the worst, but it was incorporated well and it stuck with the strengths of the instrumental. That’s about as high a compliment for that element as you’re gonna get from me.

The chorus incorporates the foundational instrumental, but is much more melodic in execution and it was much needed when it came in. The almost chanting delivery of the “woo” hook is made for performances and it’s not hard to envision that becoming embedded into your ear. The tempo could’ve probably been played with more and it’s nothing overly dynamic, but I enjoyed the overall rhythm to the track more than I ever expected, and the booming climax of the song capped things off with yet another highlight.

Not sure where ONEUS’s sound goes from here, which might be their biggest issue in terms of identity, but as a standalone “Lit”was definitely a welcome addition. It’s not perfect and it’s not one of those dynamic offerings that embeds itself immediately, but it had a certain allure to me that kept drawing me back.

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TheBiasList was a lot more mixed in his review of “Lit”.

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