K-pop Katch-up: ONEUS – 'Valkyrie'

As always, real life goes on, but K-pop never stops! Which makes it almost fitting that the first K-pop Katch-up of 2019 is hitting in the third month of the year. That means, of course, that I have tons of new music to backtrack on. To get us started, I’m diving into a debut group that had my Twitter timeline all aflutter in January: ONEUS.

For those of you that are just tuning in as well, ONEUS (pronounced one-us, not oh-nee-us like I keep wanting to say) is a six-member boy group with RBW. This the same company that is home to MAMAMOO, which means these boys are in really good company, vocals-wise. Most of the group has done their time on reality shows, including “Produce 101” and “Mix Nine,” coming together in a pre-debut group called RBW BOYZ before gaining a final member and ending in the final iteration of ONEUS. The group debuted on January 9 of this year with their EP “Light Us,” led by the title track “Valkyrie.”

“Valkyrie” is like four songs in one, but it works.

In my opinion, it works really, really well.

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The song comes in a guitar line that I swear would feel at home in the ’80s, then adds some catchy finger snaps before sliding into the beginning vocals. There’s a building intensity that captured (and kept!) my attention throughout the song. And well, it’s got one hell of a catchy chorus — I literally woke up the next morning with it echoing through my head.

Visually, the music video is simple yet slick. It takes some standard K-pop sets (lone rooms, gritty/plain coloring) and spices it up with some awesome scene transitions, laser lights and a truly wicked set piece — a three-dimensional set of light shards made up to look like wings. Pretty to look at, painful to the touch. I was also a big fan of main rapper and vocalist Ravn’s feathered shoulders, as well as the use of black versus white outfits throughout the music video. This contrast was extremely striking to me, most especially during the scene with members Leedo and Seoho back to back, the camera panning around them as they traded off vocals.

While I’m talking about effects and transitions, there’s one that is pretty quick but really neat and beautifully done. I don’t want to give everything away if you’ve not yet watched the music video, but it involves stop-motion and some sweet editing.

All in all, this is a pretty stellar debut in my honest opinion. Catchy as can be, pretty visuals and some really solid talent. My only complaint was that the choreography felt lacking. Not because the members couldn’t carry it, but perhaps it just didn’t quite fit the song itself? Grain of salt, though, as I’m neither a dancer or a choreographer!

What do you think of this debut? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Life moves fast. K-pop moves faster. K-pop Katch-up is a weekly feature that offers a second chance on that one music video that got away!


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