[Review] KB (OnlyOneOf) provides a funky and … well, free solo effort with the addictive “Be Free”

OnlyOneOf are apparently doing something like LOONA‘s pre-debut concept but in reverse with all of their solo releases coming now, and while I was skeptical of that plan given their current place in the market, things have gotten off to a great start at least musically. I wasn’t critical of Yoojung‘s debut offering in Begin, I also wasn’t immediately enthralled with it, yet now it’s likely to appear on my next mea culpa list. KB isn’t going to have that problem as the funky “Be Free” was an immediate earworm for me.

In a lot of ways this just hits on so many things I enjoy in a pop song. The funky guitar played over the synth bassline that comes with industrial tinges creates such a foot-tapping instrumental foundation that KB would almost have to try and ruin it. That’s been unfortunately accomplished by artists before, but instead he adds to it with a moody vocal that does well to express the level of intrepidation and anticipation at the core of the theme.

That theme can bog down into self-seriousness, but KB gifts listeners with a dance floor ready hit that’s mindlessly attractive to a listener but also has the depth to hold up to closer listens. Perhaps most remarkably, while I almost always hate the vocal effects used, the ones in this chorus actually fit due to matching the instrumental notes used. “Be Free” doesn’t have an explosive chorus but it doesn’t need one, instead smartly opting to let the funky guitar take over, which is more than enough to support the addictive refrains.

Perhaps the best choice that “Be Free” makes is at the end of the chorus and in the bridge. These songs always run the risk of getting repetitive, but instead of going bombastic to switch up the atmosphere, the choruses close by dropping the guitar and focusing on the synth and vocal, whereas the bridge provides a change of pace with an instrumental section before leading the listener back into the finish.

Other than providing great songs, I’m also curious as to where these connected music videos go, providing a nice conceptual backdrop to all this. Really this is all going well for OnlyOneOf, as people like me weren’t really familiar with them individually or what solo music from them would sound like, but “Be Free” marks another strong entry into their discography and I’m looking forward to hearing more.

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