What to do with ONF's new world (신세계)? I'm only interested in classification, and this song doesn't really fit into the usual categories of K-Pop. I would not normally consider a song that has received a performance video as an actual music video. However, I don't think you can really call New World a B-side because it isn't advertised alongside everything else and is called a comeback (at least in the context of the Road to Kingdom variety show). But the route is too great to descend into the Kingdom's flashbacks.
Do you remember a few years earlier when Biopic Bohemian Rhapsody's massive success sparked a sudden interest in Queen's music? K-pop idols played cover by cover, but none of these grandiose influences went back to their actual music. I say this because New World has serious Bohemian Rhapsody energy. It's not that structurally complex (or that long), but it manages to pack a cavalry of moments within four minutes.
New World was produced by the amazing Hwang Hyun and takes all of ONF's previous singles and throws them into a blender, adding a generous dose of theatricality. After a brief atmospheric introduction, the track plunges into a cascade of synthesizers and throbbing drums. This verse moves at breakneck speed, interrupted by a filtered chorus of voices. The pace slows down a bit for New World's grandiose pre-chorus, but the energy continues to be generated.
Like We Must Love and Why, the chorus from New World slows the pace to half-time, and I wasn't happy with it the first time I listened. I have been convinced since then, and this is mainly due to the great vocal range and the sense of musical catharsis that drive the melody.
After another outstanding verse and refrain, World delves briefly into a soft, symphonic interlude that prepares things excellently for turning off a high point. In addition to some truly queen-like guitars, this grand finale allows the boys to deliver goosebumps-inducing power notes. Few songs have reached such a satisfactory endpoint this year, and this sense of storytelling makes New World incredibly compelling. I would put it in the same family as TVXQ's classic Rising Sun. It's not that good (I mean, what's that?), But his ambition is electrifying.
** Here's the real question? Do I count this as the title track for my monthly summary and end-of-year countdown? What do you think, reader?
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