LOONA returned last week with XX, which featured the title track Butterfly. It also features 4 other new tracks (which I will be reviewing today), on top of the tracks featured on their ++ release, which we first saw in August of last year. Their company has been teasing this comeback for some time. The first teaser was released in October and it featured the ending of the Hi High music video but in reverse. Interestingly, the order of ++ songs on XX is actually been reversed as well. While I think I may have cracked that code, there is still a lot more cryptic messages to work through. In the meantime, here is my review for XX.
2. Butterfly (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review of Butterfly. (10/10)
3. Satellite – Satellite is a very interesting track. It combines several appealing techniques to really make the song feel quite bold (but in a subtle way). The song starts off with a bouncy instrumental and very clear vocals. The pre-chorus takes a slight turn with a short yet sweet build-up, layered on top of a rolling drum beat. The chorus is what got my attention. It starts off with very melodic and wave-like vocals, which later moves onto a faster beat which provides a nice rush of energy to the chorus. It isn’t a combination that doesn’t really seem fitting, but it works effortlessly in this track. The rap sequences that make up majority of the second verse was also another well-done section, adding some texture to the track. I particularly like the inclusion of Kim-Lip’s section which sound like an electronic powering down (sorry for my unimaginative descriptions of each section). The rest of the track continues the same standard. Personally, Satellite is a very strong track if you are looking for something aesthetically pleasing. I also think this is a wonderful addition to their portfolio thus far. (9/10)
4. Curiosity – Curiosity throws a hip-hop feel to their aesthetic works that we got during their pre-debut period. It does create an interesting mix, to be honest. I just felt that there seemed to be a lot to focus on during the chorus and the instrumental, while it featured a deep sounding synth that sounds somewhat unique, was overpowering the vocals at times. But hey, that was my first impression. With more listens, the song is getting slightly better. But the one feeling that has remained from the start was how lacklustre the rap sequence felt. I wanted more. More definition and something to really kick the song up a notch. (7/10)
5. Colors – Colors is undeniably their most colourful work on the entire album. I attribute that to the certain level of brightness that you could feel during the chorus. The instrumental had a lot going on as well, which I think also contributed to this feeling. Once again, the instrumental did feel somewhat overwhelming, especially for the vocals of this track, which opted for a soft approach once again. However, I did like the instrumentation for the track, particularly the rolling drum beat during the chorus. The song also features a very conflicting dance break. It just doesn’t go with the rest of the song but for some reason it draws attention to the song in a way that I cannot really understand. To me, it attracted some good attention rather than a negative response (in my case at least). (7.5/10)
6. Where You At – Where You At is an R&B dance track that actually has a very addictive chorus. There isn’t much going on within the song, but it was still a very strong track overall. The ‘Where You At’ repetition within the chorus instantly gets me singing along. Come to the think of it, the entire track is quite pleasant, and I think the soft nature of the song is a major charm that they played right. The instrumental is on the more typical side of the spectrum, but I still thought it was nice. The vocals had this electronic filter applied to it, which also gave it a nice effect. It isn’t as extreme as autotune and worked well with the soft nature of the track. Interestingly, the track does not feature a rap. I personally think this was a good move as it would cut the softness of the track. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10