24K – “Only You” Review

(Music
Video)
/ (Dance Practice)

24K – Only You

Reviewed
on June 26, 2017

While
the song is far from being the best and admittedly does render—in my
argument—as somewhat generic, it still possesses solid points. Specifically for
what we will focus on in this review, I want to home in on how well the song
remains cohesive throughout its run. Afterwards, though, I wish to discuss the
problematic aspect of the song following a rather generic structure.

Personal Message:
Huge apologies to readers for delays
in reviews as mentioned in the prior, bonus one. While I am certainly not busy
at all due to summer break, I have been struggling to “get into the writing
zone” as I personally say. In simple terms: I am being lazy. But, for what is
the problem, I find that I write most comfortably and genuinely when I can
immerse myself in writing versus forcing
myself to write. Thus, this month has been relatively inactive as I,
unfortunately, have been leaning towards the latter. However, I am now finally
feeling motivation to write and more so as there are many comebacks and review
requests to cover. (In particular, I will skip MAMAMOO’s comeback as I have
excessively covered the ladies on the blog. However, Blackpink’s comeback is
one I plan on reviewing along with Girls Next Door’s “Deep Blue Eyes”—even if
they are merely a “project group” for Idol
Drama Operation Team
. Additionally, there are two requests to cover as
well.)

On topic with this review, this
request is perhaps the most special one I have received: it is from Choeun
Entertainment directly. Thank you to Choeun Entertainment for that and I feel
very grateful for this request. And, to clarify, this review will remain
genuine: I am not being compensated in any form to write a favorable review or
to suddenly begin advertising for 24K’s songs or the idols themselves. After
all, the purpose of song reviews are about the intellectual side; I write
reviews for the discussions that come and as a way of allowing readers to have
even  more respect for music as an art.

Regarding 24K in a general sense, as
readers might be aware of, the group is rather unpopular. Even personally,
prior to this review I was completely unaware of them. The most saddening part,
however, is that their lack of popularity is far from how the men are lacking:
it simply is just that they are overshadowed by other, prominent artists. They
are not the only ones in such a situation: Nine Muses and Stellar are other
groups who relate—though, even then, they are more popular than 24K. Overall, I
have expressed on numerous occasions my take to this and it is that achieving
popularity in the K-Pop scene is incredibly difficult. There are, without any
doubts, artists who are musically incredible or fantastic dancers, but many
will probably never be known as a mainstream artist. If time permits, I might end
June with a Critical Discussion post on this very interesting topic of
popularity in K-Pop as it is far more complex than many would intuitively
assume. Ending on an optimistic note, however, for fans of 24K who might
stumble upon this review or for readers who are fans of unpopular groups,
popularity in of itself is not important. Financially it certainly does
matter—and arguably this is the most
important factor as it determines if an artist can actually continue—but
assuming finances are not an issue, then popularity is not a concern at all. In
fact, smaller fan sizes can lead to many benefits: a closer, more loyal
community, and a chance for there to be more interactions between fans and
idols. For 24K, as long as the group is financially stable and is treated well,
fans should not worry about popularity—and this mentality, of course, applies
to other groups who might be lacking popularity.

Onto the review itself, “Only You,”
from what I am aware of, is their latest song. While the song is far from being
the best and admittedly does render—in my argument—as somewhat generic, it
still possesses solid points. Specifically for what we will focus on in this
review, I want to home in on how well the song remains cohesive throughout its
run. Afterwards, though, I wish to discuss the problematic aspect of the song
following a rather generic structure.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 5/10
(5.25/10 raw score) – “Average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 5/10
(5.00/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 5/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 3/10

5.     Bridge: 6/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 4/10


Instrumental: 5/10


Lyrics: 5/10

Yeah
Oh
Listen

I’m falling, I’m falling
When I’m holding you, girl
I don’t need anything else
Your warmth that fills me up is my everything
The heart fluttering feeling I got when I first saw you
It won’t change, stay with me, always remember
Forever ever, forever ever
I see you every day but you’re always pretty,
even when you’re mad

Take me away with your beautiful eyes
Trap me with your soft touch
Only look at me, no one else
I can’t live without you, it has to be you

It’s only you
It’s only you
I see you every day but my heart flutters
It’s only you, so beautiful
It’s only you
It’s only you

Hold me, it’s only you, only you
You’re my scent of the day, only you
I’m falling more with time
Allow me to get in deeper
Awaken me from inside
Always stay like that
I’m falling, I’m falling
When I’m holding you, girl
I don’t need anything else
When I’m with you, it’s like Heaven

Take me away with your beautiful eyes
Trap me with your soft touch
Only look at me, no one else
I can’t live without you, it has to be you

It’s only you
It’s only you
I see you every day but my heart flutters
It’s only you, so beautiful
It’s only you
It’s only you

I’m drunk with your sweetness
So dangerous, so dangerous
I can’t escape, you and me
Addicted, addicted, falling for you

It’s only you
It’s only you
I see you every day but my heart flutters
It’s only you, so beautiful
It’s only you, stay by my side just like now
It’s only you

_______________________________________________________

Analysis:
To begin, the first aspect I wish to address with “Only You” is how cohesive
the song is. While the numerical ratings do not capture this as the ratings
focus more on the individual aspects, the song deserves credit for how well
each component links to the other. Already, one prime example is the vocals: if
we pay attention to the vocals in each section, we find that everything
ultimately relates. For example, the vocals at the verses begin typically with
a slower, calmer demeanor. However, with the pre-choruses, the vocals become
more gradually intense but even later during the vocal chants at the choruses,
the vocals remain at this heightened state as a simple way to show how each
section builds upon the prior. Even at the bridge this linking occurs: with the
bridge being placed between two choruses, the bridge does not adopt the
traditional form of being a dramatic pause in the song, but instead it
continues to be at a higher intensity in order to fit both its surrounding
choruses. Furthermore, the benefit here besides allowing listeners to easily
track the song’s progress is also that this allows the song to aurally vary:
each section gives its own style of vocals and instrumental.

That
said, we have to acknowledge the ratings: roughly, the song in its entirety
scores as merely average. I argue one of the most problematic features of the
song is simply how generic it is, but before continuing with this argument, we
first have to understand what I mean by “generic.” First of all, generic in of
itself is not bad; a song that sounds or is structured “generically” does not
mean it will automatically be bad at all. In fact, many pop songs are “generic”: this is why the pop genre
exists as its main foundation is that songs follow a predictable pattern—and
indeed, predictability is addictive and comforting to listen to. The issue,
then, is when said predictability is excessive and thus appeal is lost because
of such. With “Only You,” while the song follows a typical pop format—verse to
pre-chorus to chorus then a reset—the problem is that the composers appeared to
have overly relied on that very
format without adding even minute details that would create some distinctive
points. This is why the choruses have been graded the most harshly: they fail
to bring anything new structurally or sonically and as a result are completely
repetitive and come across almost as pure fillers—sections that are there for
the sake of that very section existing.

For
a better understanding, let us compare “Only You” to other pop songs to see
how, despite other pop songs following the typical pop formula, are still able
to have their own signature sounds or structures. One example is,
coincidentally, the recent comeback of Blackpink’s “As If It’s Your Last.” That
song’s composition aligns exactly with the generic format of pop songs, but it
does differ significantly with the choruses (which will be further discussed in
the respective review). Thus, Blackpink’s song may be sonically typical and
even structurally, but at the choruses the composers delivered an entirely new
take and even if a risk, it indeed was rewarding. Another example is TWICE’s “Knock
Knock” where, despite how incredibly “pop” that song is both aurally and
structurally, it manages to stand out via its unique composition strategy of
using contrast throughout the song. The choruses, for example, utilized catchy,
filler lines that contrasted to actual, vocally intensive lines. Returning to “Only
You,” this song does not have those distinctive marks that vary from the
typical pop song in either its sound—as “Knock Knock” does—nor does it deviate
with its structure—as “As If It’s Your Last” does. In fact, I find that EXO’s “Dancing
King” is another perfect example to compare “Only You” with as, on the surface,
“Dancing King” seems exactly like “Only You”: both are incredibly generic in
sound and format, and in fact both have a similar chorus with an instrumental
taking the forefront. And yet, I have greatly praised “Dancing King” in the past.
The difference, I argue, is that “Dancing King”—besides how the pre-choruses
are excellently composed and executed—still does have something to differentiate
itself: structurally, the choruses were not merely for a climactic peak. In “Dancing
King,” the choruses served as both a
climactic point but also as a form of resetting the song through slowing down
in pacing—and hence why the verses in that song were able to start off
energetically. In short, though, “Dancing King” even if sonically it sounded as
another pop song, was able to distinguish itself due to how the composers
handled the structural aspect of the choruses. Again, with “Only You,” it lacks
some deviation from the standard
formula. Should the song have either sounded more unique or if structurally it
functioned in a manner that was true to the pop genre but was not a “textbook
example,” the song could have rendered more favorably to me.

Overall,
it still needs to be clarified that 24K’s “Only You” is not a bad song at all
and I do not wish readers to interpret it as such. The song is average which is
not bad at all; the song is not “faulty” to the point of actually being a song
I would argue is deterring. Instead, the issue is that—and more so with 24K’s
situation of not being too popular—an average pop song easily blends in with
all of hundreds of thousands of pop songs out there. (Though that said, music
quality is only one factor out of many that help an artist gain popularity in
K-Pop; as said earlier, a future Critical Discussion will at least attempt to
make readers realize how many factors are at play.)

All
in all, while 24K’s latest song may not be stunning—in my argument, that is—they
still definitely deserve more attention and respect for their hard work. In the
future, I do hope 24K’s composers take a risk and create a song that remains in
the pop genre but is different so that there is a clear uniqueness to the song.
But, that is a high-risk and high-reward deal and certainly there should never
be a pressure to actually do such if other songs by 24K already fit the group’s
style. In the end, regardless of my own personal take to the song, I hope
readers and fans recall that the purpose of this review is not to bash the men
at all but is to merely begin a discussion. I hope fans and readers openly
disagree with me and each other in a respectful, thoughtful manner. For now, I
do look forward to 24K and the men certainly have my support for future
releases.

_______________________________________________________

Once
again, a huge thank you to Choeun Entertainment for requesting this review in
the first place. It is an honor. Likewise, thank you to fans and readers for
taking the time reading or skimming this review.

Regarding
the next review, IU’s “Palette”—despite more than a month’s delay—will finally
be reviewed. This is mostly due to the requester, a personal dear friend,
making me realize the blatant lies I have been saying with how the review will “soon
be reviewed.” Afterwards, we will then finish with Monsta X’s “Beautiful” as it
is another request and from there end June with either one last review or a
Critical Discussion post regarding popularity. Until then, “stay with me,
always remember / Forever ever, forever ever.” Interestingly this entirely
corny quote-lyrics-ending is something I have done ever since I started the
blog but is something I should perhaps change as it is becoming quite
embarrassing. But my entire being is an embarrassment. Jokes aside, look
forward to IU’s “Palette.”