“Hey you there, hey you there / Please don’t sing sad song,” ONF sings as their spaceship is blown up off the skies. This is the situation we’re greeted with in the music video of their latest title track “Popping”.
After the success of ONF: My Name Is and it’s repackage City of ONF, the WM Entertainment boy group came back with Summer Popup Album: Popping. Beating the records of their previous albums, the new album topped the iTunes Worldwide Album Chart in 15 countries. The title track topped the Worldwide Song Chart in 8 countries. “Popping” was also their fastest MV to reach 10M views, hitting the mark in less than 48 hours.
onf's new song is so good, such a summer bop, so vibey
— niru ?? youngk loving hours ? (@the_kpopalypse) August 10, 2021
ONF looked me dead in the eye, said "oh Beautiful Beautiful is your favorite boy group release this year? How cute" and then dropped Popping to deliver the most loving and wonderful punch in the face
— Kaia (@Safe_Cave) August 9, 2021
Honestly ONF's new album is not only entirely no skip for me, but it's also on repeat material
— Yas (@choiyac) August 9, 2021
The title track “Popping” was co-written by member Wyatt and composed by Hwang Hyun of Monotree. Monotree is a recurring and almost expected name in ONF’s discography. He is present in the credits of the entire release.
Into the World of ONF and “Popping”
Despite the fun and fresh vibe, the group did not leave behind their ongoing storyline, which has been building up ever since debut days with “ON/OFF.” The music video shows great duality as the ongoing storyline and fun vibes are combined.
The ONF Universe has sci-fi and fantasy elements in every music video. From space travel, to dimension hopping, to evil clones, it is all there. Although nobody seems to be completely sure of what’s going on in the story – not even the members themselves – it’s fun to see the connections that can be made from one music video to another.
“Popping” stars the members under attack, as they’re on their way to a snowy planet in a spaceship. The bubbly side of the story is shown through a recorded memory (or is it a virtual reality?). The concepts are very contrasting, and that contradiction is not only highlighted through the summer versus winter theme but also in the lyrics of the song.
Different Summer Moods
One particularity of this album is that every track name in Korean contains the world “여름,” which means summer. According to the members, each song shows a different side of summer, exploring the feelings that the season may evoke.
The second track, “Summer Poem,” is a bossa nova inspired song that references the song “Girl from Ipanema.” The lyrics of “Summer Poem” compare young romance to “writing a poem together,” while calling up the feeling of the warm wind on summer nights. Meanwhile, the ballad “Summer Shape” is more sentimental, elaborating on the theme of different summer feelings for different people.
“Dry Ice” changes the mood completely, with a more hard-hitting pop beat and reggae inspired sounds. Describing the contradictory feeling of being drawn to someone as cold as ice, this track has its own choreography, as performed in their comeback showcase.
The mini-album is wrapped by “Summer End,” a sweet song about staying together as the hottest season ends.
ONF put on their own spin to what it means to have a summer comeback, showing their range over one single theme, without leaving behind their signature upbeat energy and engaging music videos, giving us the perfect soundtrack for the end of the season.
Need more K-pop music news? Check out our piece on Ten’s latest single here.
Thumbnail courtesy of WM Entertainment.