Carrying the torch off of their debut track “Valkyrie,” rising rookie group Oneus has returned with “Twilight” and their second mini album “Raise Us.” Having returned to the music scene in just five months, Oneus has revealed their consistent skill set and distinct concept for older and newer fans to enjoy. For those who are unfamiliar, Oneus is the brother group to Mamamoo and Onewe from RBW Entertainment. This association may have brought hopes of Oneus also retaining powerful vocals and charisma like their senior groups, though they certainly haven’t disappointed.
“Twilight” is a song that compares a breakup with a lover to the sun setting, with darkness eventually hiding their past light. Hence, the often repeated line “The only light in this world.” Composed, written, and produced by Kim Do-hoon, the filming for this MV took place in Italy, with director Hong Won-ki of Zanybros – the same brain behind Mamamoo’s “Starry Night” MV. Through the use of setting, attires, symbolism, and more, this comeback provides a romantic, sensual, yet grieving song for a lover to stay.
For this comeback, a royal concept dons the boys in princely suits to dance in Italy’s elegant castles and meadow. The MV makes good use of contrasting light, attires, settings, and Hwanwoong’s eyes to fully portray their dreaded loss of light. If not for the sun and natural lighting, most of the video remains dark by comparison. Despite showing an occasional “box” background, this video deviates from solely using those settings by placing the boys in and out of beautiful structures. The latter half of the video further incorporates trees and nature – which symbolize both life and a need for light to live. In doing so, the boys are placed directly under the twilight that they continue to witness until the finale. In these ways, each setting contributes to a mood that embarks upon a romantic, classy tragedy.
As a nod to their debut, Oneus once again incorporates the concept of light. With “Valkyrie,” a lover was referred to as a “sun” and “lamp” that will “light up my life.” Fast forward to “Twilight,” where the lyrics depict their leaving lover as a light that they will grieve for in the darkness. Other items of symbolism include a ring, red jewel, bird cage, necklace, broken mirror, and a water basin – all having to do with either brokenness, love, or identity. In the case of the ruby, it is considered a jewel of love, passion, and vigor – specifically, it is thought to guarantee success in love. Meanwhile, a birdcage symbolizes both restriction and protection. The scene of Keonhee dropping a ring into the birdcage can imply forfeiting an impossible love, or choosing to protect it regardless. Lastly, while Seoho picks up a broken mirror, most likely symbolizing a loss in identity without the light, Ravn’s water basin stands for purification.
Rather than plot, this MV chooses to utilize articles of symbolism. However, it does a stunning job at showcasing the powerful choreography. The composition fully utilizes the ample space available, and their small number of six members. The use of unique formations, transitions, and even pairings sprinkled throughout the dance has made for an eye-catching choreography to watch – whether in a pyramid or flower formation. Hwanwoong stepping up on his members to “chase” after the twilight is particularly memorable to watch, as was Seoho’s flip afterwards. The camera work further supports their choreo through the use of drones for a “bird’s eye” view.
Meanwhile, the lyrics are dreamy and poetic, comparing their lover to the sun, light, and stars, with the darkness as bleak reality. The chorus proves to be addictive through the oft used phrase “Light is falling,” with the subtle mentions of twilight to keep the ears intrigued. The diverse, lighter vocal tones of Seoho, Keonhee, and Xion also make for an alluring contrast against Leedo and Ravn’s lower tones in rapping. Meanwhile, Hwanwoong’s voice joins the two in the middle with a slightly higher-pitched rapping.
When this darkness is gone and dawn comes
You too will be back here eventually
Even the beautiful trees and flowers wither
Even any fierce animal holds its breath
On the pitch dark earth that is frozen[You are] the only light in the world
The stars are hanging in the dark night sky
As I miss you I’m shaded
These romantic, despairing lyrics provide a good contrast to the strong choreography. The beautiful scenery of Italy’s architecture and nature further heightens this sensual mood. Despite “Twilight” only being their second title track, Oneus has gone beyond expectations to provide a powerful yet aesthetic comeback.
Having four choruses in the MV has made for a long track, despite the balance of rapping and singing embedded throughout. Though it provides ample time for each member to showcase their skills, it is debatable whether it is absolutely necessary. Granted, as a ‘To Moon,’ it would be nothing short of pleasing to watch their singers perform for a longer time than usual. And, the video works hard to include diverse scenery and solo shots of the members to keep viewers interested. The song further keeps its balance by keeping the introductory chorus short and using the last chorus to wrap it all up succinctly.
Still, the structure of the song could’ve worked to focus more on the verses – which show refreshing, restrained potential. The latter half of verse two and the few moments of silence before the last chorus are – while well-intended – a bit misplaced. The distinct delivery of the second verse sounds fresh and promising, with rappers Leedo, Hwanwoong, and Ravn shooting out raps with their own color consecutively. The song quickly speeds onto the rising verse and chorus without much breathing space. The track has risked redundancy, although the harmonization of Leedo and Seoho has made for a unique bridge that successfully leads to the climax.
Everyone got at least 20 seconds in the song, which is quite a fair distribution for all the six members. Though the main vocalists received a huge portion, time was fairly allotted towards their rappers and sub-vocalist, providing everyone with a distinct presence throughout the track.
Overall, “Twilight” is a great development from Oneus’ debut track and concept, since it continues but also expands their distinct color and skills. This consistency is further seen in their mini album titles – from “Light Us” to “Raise Us.” According to YTN’s coverage of their recent showcase in Seoul, Oneus explained that this mini album’s title comes to mean, “A ‘Oneus’ that will jump farther with the light that people have shown us,” as the light further raises them. Meanwhile, “Light Us” had signified “A ‘Oneus’ that was born from the light from others, meant to create their own music.”
Although “Twilight” is an expansion off of their debut, here’s to hoping that Oneus will continue to grow and define their own light in music – which, so far, shows great potential.