[Review] ONE (Lucid Dream) – Golden Child

Recently, Golden Child participated in Road To Kingdom but was eliminated after the first round for having the least amount of points out of all the teams. If you are interested in my thoughts of their performances in the competition, you can view Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of the special review series. But while the group did not last as long as we hoped, they announced their comeback soon after and hence why we are all here today. Golden Child returned today with their 4th mini-album, Take A Leap, which features the title track, ONE (Lucid Dream). The group pre-released the music video for this comeback 18 hours prior to the official release, but I was asleep then and was not able to review it. Instead, the group has landed on the top of my review list, so let’s get cracking.

The group has definitely gained attention with their dark sound and mature change, which contrasts greatly from their more brighter and energetic releases. In addition to that, Wannabe and Without You has become some of their best works in my opinion. But it seems like Golden Child hasn’t completely unleashed their new sound as ONE (Lucid Dream) raises the bar even higher than those other tracks can reach. The song’s instrumentation is quite unique and individualistic, something that will definitely allow the group to standout in a sea of typical and generic releases that will be due throughout Summer. The verses are made up of a very strong electronic vibrating synth and strong thumping beats. It feels quite grounded and impactful. The pre-chorus opts out of those two elements and goes for a more floating-like vibe, which really adds some smoothness to the roughened song. The chorus opts for some funky beats that adds character to the song and this fuses with some violins in the second half. The hooks just glide over and this too helps gives the song some smoothness. From where the song’s bridge should have started, ONE opted for with heavily distorted and high pitched vocals that form part of an instrumental break, before throwing us into dance break to end the song. I feel like Golden Child could have kicked it up a notch in this section to give the song a much needed climax. It just feels like a missed opportunity in my opinion. After all, they ended the song without diving into a final chorus. But it is still a very strong piece, regardless thanks to everything they had set up prior. The vocal work and rapping delivery are just on point. I liked how they kept their vocals relatively linear in comparison to the instrumental. This really helps add definition to the background and adds some contrast (that you know I like). My favourite part has to be the whispering in the first verse! Overall, a very strong effort, just a shy away from that perfect label.

So I wasn’t aware that Wannabe, Without You and ONE (Lucid Dream) were a trilogy until I scrolled through the comments to see what some viewers thoughts on the music video were. Why am I always the last one to find out that a string of comebacks are trilogies or a series of some kind? Based on those comments, Wannabe was about becoming the best version of oneself. Without You was getting lost in that idea. ONE is about realizing that best version of oneself was them originally. That is a pretty interesting interpretation of all the music videos. As for ONE by itself, the visuals for this music video was really cool. The visual effects were very strong. For the some of the individual scenes, I couldn’t tell if they were dreams or nightmares, which forced me to watch the music video a few times this morning to try to work it out. Some of them were obvious, others were a little hard to decipher. But I can agree that all of them were aesthetic.

This performance is very captivating. It, in a visual sense, looks very aesthetic as well. I really liked how they made it punchy once the song enters the first verse. I like how there was a lot of twisty formations and ‘over and under’ type of movements as they move around. The moves for the chorus has this subtle smoothness to it which matches perfectly with the music. And the dance break ends the performance on a very strong sense.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

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