[Review] So What – LOONA

Today’s major comeback is by LOONA. Finally, the group that took out the Best Female Group Choreography in the recent 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards with Butterfly has returned. This is the group’s first comeback since Butterfly, so it definitely has been a long wait. Hopefully, So What isn’t the group’s only comeback in 2020, as we don’t want to wait another whole year for a comeback! Unfortunately, this comeback does not feature Haseul, as she sits out due to health concerns.

The song is titled as So What and I think this is a great title for such an intense and attitude filled song. The song is probably best described as a hip-hop infused urban dance track. Usually, I would say that the song ‘throws at you’. But this time, I am going to say that the song kicks you (sorry with the violent analogies) with its intense moments. The chorus is just loaded and comes hurling in your direction with no warning. And I feel that way each time I have listened to the song today, despite knowing fully what is coming my way. Vocally, I have no complaints. There is a fair amount of rapping in the song due to the hip-hop direction, which makes total sense. The vocals were also quite strong, despite it being limited this time around. I did like the slow down in the bridge. It brought relief from the intensity and that they recovered all that lost energy pretty well in the final chorus (i.e. it didn’t ‘start’ a ‘drag down’ of the song). Overall, very impressed.

I only have a limited section in this review to discuss the music video. But my heading it whirling with theories at the moment as this video definitely connects with Hi High and all of their pre-debut singles. But that is another post. The teasers referenced the dark side of the moon, the side that we don’t know of the moon. In this video, we are shown the ‘dark side’ of LOONA or the side that we did not know existed. And it seems Olivia Hye, the final member to be revealed has some influence with their unveil. I remember quite fondly that red lighting was a thing in her music video, and at the end the members were shot with a red light over them. On top of that, a white feather is burning at the end. The feather is an important aspect of the video connecting Haseul (who is absent) and their animals to this video. In addition to the connection of their LOONAVERSE, the group managed to incorporate amazing cinematography, stunning closeup shots and a great depiction of the girl-crush concept.

Their knife-like precision is shown off again in this performance. I like the intense sections of the song feature powerful moves, while the slowed down bridge showcases a more elegant routine. The start, the pre-chorus section and the chorus all looked really cool. It was just so hard to choose a favourite section!

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

[Review] Butterfly – LOONA

After debuting with Hi High, LOONA has returned after 6 months with their repackaged version of ++. The mini-album, now titled as ××, features the title track Butterfly. While this is good news for the group and Orbit (the fan club name of LOONA fans), there has been some unfortunate news recently. In the lead up to the Butterfly release, Yves and Yeojin were injured during their concert in a stage accident. Yves has been confirmed to continue promoting, while news regarding Yeojin’s participation hasn’t been confirmed yet. Best wishes to Yeojin for a fast recovery!

Butterfly seems like it is in line with the aesthetics we got in their pre-debut works. It also features a mature sound and stands out for a variety of reasons. The first is the song’s instrumental. The song takes on EDM in a very unique manner. It combines different sounds together to create a very dynamically powerful instrumentation that really allows for the chorus to stand out. I also like how they used a very high pitched ‘Fly Like A Butterfly’ as part of the chorus. It does sound like screeching but you can make out the words and it really adds a depth of colour to the song. The second reason would have to be the vocals. It is that one line again that I think really makes the song stand out, this time slightly lower pitch for the members to be able to sing. The rapping also has to be commended as it isn’t a powerful approach but rather more delicate. But it works well with the rest of the song. I also found it rather interesting that the vocals/raps were minimalistic, as it is usually the instrumental. The third and final reason why the song stands out is the lyrics. They are all about finding oneself and usually, songs of this nature earn applause from me. Overall, Butterfly is uniquely different but so amazing.

The music video zones in the meaning of the song but puts it into focus alongside the LOONAverse (which I actually have previously theorised about). The music video features people from all around the world, who are trying to find themselves in a complicated world. We see a lot of imagery from the LOONAVERSE throughout the video including apples, cassette tape players and eye patches to name a few. Scenes from the music videos were also imitated, while the exact locations in Hong Kong, Paris, LA and Iceland were also revisited. To me, this is a way for LOONA to tell their fans that they are also able to enter the LOONAVERSE and be together with them, while also be able to show their individuality like in LOONA”s pre-debut singles.

Matched alongside the unique yet amazing sound of the song is the choreography, which looks equally as dynamic and intense as the song. I thought the lying down at the start was really cool and the moves during the chorus looked beautiful, especially for dance moves during a music drop.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.8/10

[Album Review] ++ (1st Mini Album) – LOONA

I know the album reviews are coming out at really odd times but bear with me for just this week as I make an attempt to catch up on the reviews. The next album that I will be reviewing is LOONA’s debut mini-album, titled as ++. It features both Hi High and favoRiTe, which I have both written separate reviews for. For those who also know about the music video theories that I had promised to write up, I have decided to put them on hold due to the sheer amount of time it takes to write them. They will be up sometime this year, so do not worry! But today, we are here for the album, so let’s get going!

loona-++-2
++ Album Cover

2. Hi High (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Hi High. (9/10)

3. favoRiTe (Pre-Release Song)Click here to read the full review for favoRiTe. (9/10)

4. Heat (열기)Heat fits the more aesthetically pleasing side of LOONA that we got through their pre-debut singles. The song has a very mature feel to it, something that you would not expect if you know LOONA through just their debut track. I like how peaceful the song sounds. It flows very well, and the minimalistic vibes of the instrumental allows their amazing vocals to fill the void and shine very brightly. I thought the suspense building, despite the minimalistic vibes of the song, were pretty good as well. (8/10)

5. Perfect LovePerfect Love has that upbeat feel that you expect from a Summer season song. It is literally your standard pop song but done right. The chorus features a simple yet addictive hook, in my opinion. I think more could have done to the verses to really bring the song to another level, as it felt very plain. The song ends off with a short instrumental section, which I thought was cool. But not so much for that squeaky synth. And while the song does have fantastic vocals, it needed some rapping in it. That would have added a layer of texture. (8/10)

6. Stylish – I like the vibes from this song the most as it has a ‘stylish’ feel to it. It takes on that aesthetically pleasing sound and mature sound, like Heart (earlier song on the album). I like the start of the chorus, which has the instrumental omitted, allowing for the vocals (and filtered background vocals) to be in the spotlight. It created a nice level of suspense and amazement, which I thought was quite cool. I would like to see a performance for this song, as the song has that epic feel suited for the stage. Once again, I think the song could have used a rap sequence, but it was still amazing anyway. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10

loona-++-3
favoRiTe Single Cover

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

[Review] Hi High – LOONA

After a long pre-debut period of almost two years, LOONA have finally made their official debut with Hi High. Yes, this is not a pre-release but their actual debut track which they will be formally promoting on stage. The song features on the group’s first mini-album, which is called ++. The group previously made a pre-release with favoRiTe, which is also featured on the said mini-album.

Hi High is an extremely energetic and bright song that felt very unexpected. I saw that because LOONA’s predebut consisted of a wide variety of genres and styles. Yet they went with something a little cliche for a debut. Not that is a problem as the song does a really good job of presenting that youthful side of the group to the listener. There is a sense of familiarity, however, as it does remind me of their predebut style. I really like the ‘Woo-Woo-Ah’ lines within the verses, which were really catchy. The chorus itself was really addictive with the repetition of the English and the chant vibes that come from it. Even though it just came out, it has already been replayed an unhealthy amount of times. Vocally, the song was amazing and the rapping was quite good. The high note during the bridge was spectacular, kicking us with some impact just before the song ends. Overall, it was a fun song that definitely shows their potential.

These are just my observations from the music video but there were a fair bit of reunions. Furthermore, a number of scenes reminded me of some of the predebut music videos, such as the dark room and the athletic track running scenes. Based on this (and the fact that LOONAverse flashes across the screen at the start), I think the context of the video is that they are rejoining as a group after being apart in their own worlds for quite some time. For those who don’t know, I will be posting my LOONA music video theory in a number of weeks (there will be scheduling changes for that) and this video will find its way onto that theory. Storyline aside, it is a good video on its own.

The performance of this song consists of a lot of members. There are other groups who consist of more members but their choreography has been very tight. LOONA’s performance, on the other hand, is a lot looser. The members had to do a fair amount of running to get from one side to the other. I like the cuteness in this choreography, especially during the chorus, which made the performance very inviting.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.9/10

[Review] favOriTe – LOONA

For me, LOONA is now the most anticipated debut of 2018. So I am a little disappointed with the fact that this isn’t a debut but rather a pre-release or taster to what is about to come. For those who do not know LOONA, they are an 12 member girl group who spent the last 2 years releasing solo tracks and subunit mini-albums, whilst also building up hype to their end-goal, their debut.

favOriTe is the title of this pre-release single and it is going to knock your socks off. It is an interesting yet very jam-packed song, featuring what I would call an intense instrumental. I am not sure how to exactly describe the instrumental besides a cluster is synths that work extremely well together. I think each section (minus the pre-choruses) have something different within them, which in turns prevented the song from becoming repetitive, which I was slightly concerned about. For example, the second chorus featured the high pitch screeching (which resembles mosquitoes for me, hahaha…), whereas the first chorus didn’t. While we are on the topic of the instrumental, the very start felt like it was a throwback to a number of the solo releases, with a very LOONA sound being heard. Vocally, the song was quite good. I did expect more rapping though, given the intense nature of the song. I also found the song very easy to get into, which should be hard given the number of synths featured. But hey, if they managed to make it easy on the ears, imagine what else they can do.

The music video was mainly choreography shots in an abandoned warehouse and a number of closeup shots in a grayscale filter. Not a bad video for a pre-release. If I was to be critical, their outfits look very plain and poorly chosen for this video. Sure, they have that supposedly cutesy and youthful side but the song calls for something edgier.

The choreography was amazing. Really enjoyed all the sections that I saw in the music video. The most favourite part was the dance break, which definitely added more of that edge to the performance than any other section. I would like this to be performed on stage (But I believe this was already performed on stage before but I like to see it in more HD – with fan chants).

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10

[Album Review] Beauty & the Beat (1st Mini Album) – LOONA yyxy

Wrapping up LOONA’s pre-debut project is LOONA yyxy, which is the subunit of the 12-member group, made up of Yves, Chuu, Go Won and Olivia Hye. Beauty & the Beat is their first mini-album and presents us with love4eva as the main title track. I thought that I shouldn’t avoid this particular album, especially with the quality of LOONA’s predebut solo exceeding my debut when I reviewed them a few weeks ago (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). So here is my album review for LOONA yyxy’s first release.

loonayxyy-beauty&thebeat-2
beauty&thebeat Album Cover

2. love4eva (ft. Grimes) (Title Track)Click here for the full review of love4eva. (8.5/10) (I have noticed some issues with this particular review – spelling mistakes, missing performance review and incorrect member identification. I will fix it as soon as possible. Just feeling a little ill today so I will try to do it tomorrow).

3. frozen – The song (and the verses overall) focused on a softer sound while the chorus takes a more explosive approach, where the latter was my favourite sections of the song. Honestly, the thing you think of every single time you hear the song is how these two polar-opposites manage to go together. However, you remain surprised that it works each time. The contrast between these two makes the song interesting. I also liked the vocals, with certain moments (such as the high note) showcasing their abilities. The rap-speak right after the high note was a smart way of delaying (and creating suspense) to the final chorus. Overall, a very enjoyable song. (9/10)

4. oneway – This song is a ballad which was apparently on hold for a May 2019 release (according to the teasers) for LOONA the Ballad. It is unknown why they released early though but I am glad it does. Like the previous track, it also presents their vocal capabilities. The instrumentation felt very typical of a classically styled ballad however it did give the song a very grand feel. Overall, I felt the song was a little dry for my liking but its elements allowed it to stand out. (7/10)

5. rendezvous 18.6y – Finishing off the album is a retro-like sound, which I thought was a little odd at first. I don’t know but the song felt a little out there. However, it is one of my favourites off this album. Their vocals weren’t exactly the strongest here, however, there was this youthful element which really made the song sound light and sweet. The instrumental was nice and had a lively feel. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

loonayxyy-beauty&thebeat-3
LOONA yyxy Behind The Scenes Shot

recommended red round grunge vintage ribbon stamp

[Review] love4eva – LOONA yyxy (ft. Grimes)

For the first time ever, I am doing a LOONA review on the very day it is released and not a couple of months (or a year) down the track. LOONA is finishing up with their pre-debut project with the final subunit which features the last 4 members revealed (Yves, Chuu, Go Won and Olivia Hye). The unit is named LOONA yyxy, with the final part standing for Youth Youth by Young (shrugs shoulder – but reading some unofficial sites, the name is based on chromosomes xx and xy).

love4eva is a song produced by the same people who brought you Gee by SNSD. The very start of the song does remind me of the famous song, along with I.O.I’s Very Very Very. It is a bright and bubbly song, overloaded with the cuteness from the members. It truly keeps to their name, youthful and young. I thought the pre-chorus was an interesting change-up from the verses and chorus. The chorus is super catchy and definitely one of the highlights of the song. Vocals and raps (though limited) were good. The other highlight of the song that I love is the instrumental sequence just before the bridge. You’d expect them to do something traditionally cute, which I had expected. However, they added electronic synths and autotuned muttering on top, which adds a completely different yet extra cute feel to it. I don’t know how to exactly describe it words, so do check it out. Overall, great song from the girls.

I will be reviewing this music video based on what I see and will not relate it to any of the solo predebut music videos. Essentially, the video is set in this etiquette school, where the 4 members are currently students. And the school also has this strict headmistress. Yves tends to go off into the woods and dirty her socks, which clearly upsets the headmistress. She tempts Chuu (and later Go Won) into joining her and running off into the woods, leaving Olivia behind. At the end of the video, we see that Olivia remained behind as the only one, to which she gets all the praises in the end. However, she comes off as looking possessed or seriously angry as a result, which I am now unsure of. We see that there was some hostility between Olivia and the other girls, who often left her out of things. From reading up on other theories, there is a reason why they act like this towards her, however, that overlaps with other videos, which I do not have time to write about. In the coming weeks, I will publish ‘my’ entire theory of the LOONAverse and will most likely factor in this music video. It is a good video and I apologise if I got the member’s names wrong.

It is a very cute dance, which fits well with the song’s sound. I love the arrow hearts they shoot with and the kidney dance they do during the chorus. The dance break was also super cute, which I thought was the peak of the performance.

Can I just slide in here and say how insanely cute Olivia look when she isn’t serious or possessed looking?

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 9/10 [updated]
Overall Rating – 8.9/10 [updated]

 

[Special] LOOΠΔ Predebut Solo Song Reviews – Part 4

Please note these special posts are designed to be long and may require some time to read (if you plan on reading the entire post). To help shorten the length, the music video will be inserted as hyperlinked titles, so feel free to click the title of each section to watch the video.

After multiple requests about LOOΠΔ and reviews for their pre-release singles, it is time to start focusing on what seems to be a very promising girl group. Each Wednesday for the month of May, I will be releasing a special set of reviews for the LOOΠΔ members, which will focus on both their main and side-tracks as well.

LOOΠΔ is a 12-member girl group under Blockberry Creative. While they have yet to officially debut, their pre-debut promotion is extremely unusual. Starting in October 2016, each month a new member of the group is unveiled to the public. This continued until the end of March 2018. And with the completion of this pre-debut promotions, the group will be preparing and gearing up for their official debut which has been rumoured to be October this year.

Once I heard the project, I decided to wait for all the songs to be released (similar to what I did with previous project releases). I just didn’t anticipate for it to be such a long wait, as they also unveiled subunits made up of the already revealed members along the way, which drew the project out even longer. Talking about subunits, this is not the first time I have spoken about LOOΠΔ, as I have taken some time out to review and look closely to their subunit releases, which you can find out below.

LOOΠΔ 1/3 – Love & Live & Sonatine
LOOΠΔ Odd Eye Circle – Girl Front & Sweet Crazy Love

Today’s post will look at the side tracks that were released alongside the main tracks for the final 6 members. I couldn’t find any music videos for these songs, so the reviews may appear shorter.


Love Letter (Jinsoul & Kim Lip)

jinsoul.gif

Jumping right at me for this song is how well the song flows. And with that, there was also a very delicate feel to the song. I liked how the vocals from the two members were brought out, highlighting their potential well. At first, I thought the song could have had a bolder drop into the chorus. However, what we got seemed to compliment their vocals quite well and I am satisfied with it. I particularly liked the twinkling sounds just before the chorus. On the other hand, I am not a major fan of the verses, which felt dull. And the poor English. But other than that, it was a decent song.


Puzzle (Jinsoul & Choerry)

choerry

The song had an exotic vibe to it, which I thought was nice. Once again, the vocals do jump out at me. But rather their normal pitch vocals didn’t do much of the screaming. Instead, the falsetto which they sang the chorus with stood out really well. However, while I do praise their singing, I am a little conflicted how it went with the instrumental. The vocals built up and you can hear the contrast between the different sections. The instrumental fell flat when it should have carried the vocals further. The whispering raps were too soft for my liking, as they could easily be missed. But it did offer some more texture to the song.


D-1 (Yves)

yves

In contrast to her main track, new, D-1 manages to bring out the more delicate vocals that Yves didn’t really get to show. There is a mixture of singing and rap-speaking, which shows off some versatility. The song is honestly too dry for my taste. However, it did feel like something that Lim Kim or Jang Jane would release with their nasal vocals. I did like the harmonies with the background vocals and the indie-changeup during the bridge. I also liked her falestto note, which peaked the song nicely.


Girl’s Talk (Chuu & Yves)

yves_chuu

We start to enter some grey area with the next few songs. I personally thought the vocals for this track was too light and high-pitched, in comparison to the rest of the songs on this list. The song does have a pop-diva type sound (almost disco with a modern twist), which was one likeable element. I really liked Yves rapping. It was limited but sounds awesome. I felt like the song was missing a breakdown, which could have given the song some life and appeal. Maybe it is because I put a lot of emphasis on the vocals, that I don’t really feel like they appeal to me in this song.


See Saw (Go Won & Chuu ft. Kim Lip)

gowon

Two things liked about this song: the opening vocals for all three members (Chuu was the best sounding overall in the entire song) and the drop into the chorus. The rest of the song just didn’t have enough for me to like. The chorus could have been more dynamic and filled more with content to become more catchy and appealing. Same could be said about the instrumental. I am not too sure why Kim Lip featured in the song, as she seemed to only get one line. Someone said that her line linked back to her song but I just don’t see the necessity to feature someone just for one line.


Rosy (Go Won & Olivia Hye ft. Heejin)

oliviahye

The final song I will be reviewing for the entire LOOΠΔ predebut project is Rosy. And I am glad it ends on a good note. The song contains youthful vocals that do sound quite cute, something that we didn’t get to see in either of Go Won’s or Olivia’s main tracks. The harmonies were nice. The bridge was my favourite part as it sounded quite random and quirky. Likewise, the instrumental on the end gives it a lasting impression and it also adds to the quirky side of the song.


Click here for Part 1 of the LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews

Click here for Part 2 of the LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews

Click here for Part 3 of the LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews


Thank you all for reading the final part of my very late LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews. I will be back with a new special segment in two weeks time, so click the follow button below so you know when it is out!

[Special] LOOΠΔ Predebut Solo Song Reviews – Part 3

Please note these special posts are designed to be long and may require some time to read (if you plan on reading the entire post). To help shorten the length, the music video will be inserted as hyperlinked titles, so feel free to click the title of each section to watch the video.

After multiple requests about LOOΠΔ and reviews for their pre-release singles, it is time to start focusing on what seems to be a very promising girl group. Each Wednesday for the month of May, I will be releasing a special set of reviews for the LOOΠΔ members, which will focus on both their main and side-tracks as well.

LOOΠΔ is a 12-member girl group under Blockberry Creative. While they have yet to officially debut, their pre-debut promotion is extremely unusual. Starting in October 2016, each month a new member of the group is unveiled to the public. This continued until the end of March 2018. And with the completion of this pre-debut promotions, the group will be preparing and gearing up for their official debut which has been rumoured to be October this year.

Once I heard the project, I decided to wait for all the songs to be released (similar to what I did with previous project releases). I just didn’t anticipate for it to be such a long wait, as they also unveiled subunits made up of the already revealed members along the way, which drew the project out even longer. Talking about subunits, this is not the first time I have spoken about LOOΠΔ, as I have taken some time out to review and look closely to their subunit releases, which you can find out below.

LOOΠΔ 1/3 – Love & Live & Sonatine
LOOΠΔ Odd Eye Circle – Girl Front & Sweet Crazy Love

Today’s post will look at the side tracks that were released alongside the main tracks for the first 6 members. I will be focusing on the song and music video standalone, as I am interested in doing another special post focusing on the connections between their music videos.


I’ll Be There – Heejin & Hyunjin

illbethere_hyunjinheejin

Jumping right at you is the funky and groovy synthesizer-overloaded song. It just creates an uplifting atmosphere that you cannot really avoid. I think a good word to describe the song is ‘crunchy’, as that is what you get with the synths and overall beat. I also really enjoyed the “dum dum” that was present at the start and during the bridge, almost bringing an acapella effect to the song. The lines and vocals don’t really stand out but the instrumental does a good job covering up that aspect. For the music video, I liked the home video concept and the brightness of the video seems to match the song. Likewise, the choreography looked good.


The Carol – Heejin, Hyunjin & Haseul

thecarol_haseulhyunjinheejin.gif

The Carol coincided with the Christmas season of 2017, so it makes sense for a Christmas styled song. Following I’ll Be There, the song does make you smile, which is definitely a great thing. However, I thought the song was relatively typical for a Christmas song. The vocals did stand out and I really liked the piano in the background of the instrumental. The video also focuses on the Christmas season, with good vibes coming from it. You can’t really go wrong in that department. There was no choreography for this song.


My Sunday – Heejin & Hyunjin

mysunday_heejinhyunjin

While this is also another bright sounding song, they toned down the energy and atmosphere. Instead, it is a more acoustic sounding and quite different from any of their main tracks, so it was quite nice to hear it. I don’t remember what I expected at first but the chorus sounded quite different to what I thought it would sound like. Despite that, what we got flowed very nicely. The harmonies between the two members were nice and the bridge really gave the song that peak it needed. The video was quite nice, showing the pair throughout the beautiful sites of Taiwan/China. Once again, there was no choreography.


My Melody – Yeojin & Haseul

mymelody_yeojinhaseul

Interestingly, My Melody is a similar song to My Sunday. The verses were quite similar (by ear), while the choruses felt quite different. This produced a completely different feel, leaning towards a soothing vibe, which I thought was equally as nice as My Sunday. The bridge did showcase some vocals but it sounded like they were pushing themselves. But it sounded quite nice overall. Like the previous video, it shows the pair hanging out on a nice day.


Everyday I Need You – ViVi ft. Jinsoul

everydayineedyou_vivi

Following the same concept as before, the song is a much slower version of the ViVi’s main track, Everyday I Love You (ft. Haeseul). It is interesting because while the two songs are very similar, the difference in tempo offers a completely different feeling. The slower song does point out her weakness in the vocal department but it is a fair effort. Jinsoul’s rap did push the song along, which I felt was needed towards the end. The shots of the music video were much more graceful, fitting in with the slower speed of the song. It also felt like a lover filmed the entire video, with ViVi being the main focus. Jinsoul did ‘appear’ in the video, however as she was not unveiled yet, her face was not captured.


Twilight – Kim Lip

twilight_kimlip

Sadly, there is no music video for Twilight. Knowing how Kim Lip focused a lot on the performance side for her main track’s music video, I don’t know why I was caught off guard by the changeup. It started off as a ballad, with a nice piano instrumental layered on top of a heavy beat. Then it develops into a dance track. But it isn’t over the top. Rather it keeps in line with the verses but it isn’t a ballad-like sound anymore. The entire track does focus on her vocals as you can grasp a beautiful tone from the track. The song definitely becomes interesting with the chorus. And for that, it is probably my most favourite on this list.


Click here for Part 1 of the LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews

Click here for Part 2 of the LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews

Check back next week for the 4th (and final) part of the LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews

[Special] LOOΠΔ Predebut Solo Song Reviews – Part 2

Please note these special posts are designed to be long and may require some time to read (if you plan on reading the entire post). To help shorten the length, the music video will be inserted as hyperlinked titles, so feel free to click the title of each section to watch the video.

After multiple requests about LOOΠΔ and reviews for their pre-release singles, it is time to start focusing on what seems to be a very promising girl group. Each Wednesday for the month of May, I will be releasing a special set of reviews for the LOOΠΔ members, which will focus on both their main and side-tracks as well.

LOOΠΔ is a 12-member girl group under Blockberry Creative. While they have yet to officially debut, their pre-debut promotion is extremely unusual. Starting in October 2016, each month a new member of the group is unveiled to the public. This continued until the end of March 2018. And with the completion of this pre-debut promotions, the group will be preparing and gearing up for their official debut which has been rumoured to be October this year.

Once I heard the project, I decided to wait for all the songs to be released (similar to what I did with previous project releases). I just didn’t anticipate for it to be such a long wait, as they also unveiled subunits made up of the already revealed members along the way, which drew the project out even longer. Talking about subunits, this is not the first time I have spoken about LOOΠΔ, as I have taken some time out to review and look closely to their subunit releases, which you can find out below.

LOOΠΔ 1/3 – Love & Live & Sonatine
LOOΠΔ Odd Eye Circle – Girl Front & Sweet Crazy Love

Today’s post will look at the main tracks from the final 6 members of LOOΠΔ. I will be focusing on the song and music video standalone, as I am interested in doing another special post focusing on the connections between their music videos.


Singing In The Rain – Jinsoul (June 2017)

singingintherain_jinsoul

Jinsoul is the seventh member of the group. Currently, the song was one of my favourites. However, this wasn’t the case when it first came out. The EDM chorus (which was the song’s big moment) felt plain at first. However, now I think that is quite powerful piece of instrumental. I think the song should have featured a more defined drop because it caused the song to come off weak (hence my initial thoughts). It became quite catchy and enjoyable. I particularly liked the second half of the bridge and the pre-choruses, which did give some hype to the song. For the music video, it was rather aesthetic. I really liked the dominance of the blue colour throughout the video. As for the choreography, I thought it was extremely fitting for the song (really enjoyed the scenes where Jinsoul performed on water, that was quite cool).


Love Cherry Motion – Choerry (July 2017)

lovecherrymotion_choerry

The eighth member of the group is Choerry. The song was quite smooth, which complimented her vocal styles really nicely. The song flowed effortlessly between verses to chorus and vice versa. While I did appreciate the upbeat vibes of the song, I was a little disappointed with the chorus. I felt like it could have been a little bolder and interesting. I really liked the post-chorus instrumental break, which changes as you go along. It prevents the song from becoming too repetitive, which definitely made it a lot better. The music video has a nice mysterious concept which definitely makes you ask questions about its meaning. I really liked the emphasis on the purple. As for the choreography, I thought it was extremely fitting, with when the song changes up (post chorus), the choreography seems to divert in the same direction.


New – Yves (November 2017)

news_yves

Yves is the ninth member of the group. Her song has to be one of the best sounding songs, which also had one of the best buildups to the chorus that I have heard in a while. The thumping in the background for the verses was quite cool, in my opinion. The chorus was definitely my favourite part, with the deep voices in the background providing a unique form of instrumentation to the chorus. Her vocals were also really good in the song. While it is clear that the video has connections to the other LOOΠΔ videos, I have to say that when it is considered alone, it has this really pleasing aesthetic feel to it. The choreography also seems to be the best in the entire project with those choreography scenes definitely captivating me.


Heart Attack – Chuu (December 2017)

heartattack_chuu

Hands down, Heart Attack is the best song in the entire project for me. Throughout the entire song, I was blown away by the extremely strong vocals, with them being the main selling point of the song. The entire orchestral-liked instrumental manages to remain upbeat and energetic, which I also think made this track extremely memorable. Her raps were okay but they added an extra fun element to the song, which definitely added more to what was there. I love the chorus, which sounded catchy and incredibly cute. The music video was also quite cute but extremely creepy at the same time. Essentially, Chuu is stalking Yves throughout the entire video. And I am not too sure if Yves knows about it or not. I personally liked the video because it puts a twist on something that could be a little too creepy for some people, which makes it memorable. The choreography was also a weak point of the video but it doesn’t affect the song’s impact for me!


One & Only – Go Won (January 2018)

one&only_gowon

Go Won (the eleventh member of the group) presents us with what I would consider being a weak song. The elements alone were nice but as a whole, the song lacked impact. The repetition of the ‘One & Only’ was intriguing. The instrumental was nice. The raps were good, while the vocals felt standard. Just when you put these together, it just didn’t work out to be that winning combination. The music video also seemed to play on from Chuu’s video, with Go Won being stalked by some members in the background. However, it is a lot more eerie and dark. The framing of the video was interesting and not seen so often. There wasn’t much choreography in the video to make a comment regarding it.


Egoist – Olivia Hye ft. Jinsoul (March 2018)

egoist_oliviahye

Olivia Hye is the twelfth and final member to be revealed as part of LOOΠΔ. The song was amazing despite it misleading me into thinking it was just a standard dance track. Instead, the song leans towards the EDM spectrum, featuring awesome synths. I really liked the whistling effect and the instrumental breakdown featured throughout the song. The song did lack edginess but this was added through Jinsoul’s rap sequence (which I also quite liked). Olivia’s music video started off mysterious but took a turn to creepiness with the appearance of the red eyes. The choreography was pretty good just not that mindblowing as the song.


Click here for Part 1 of the LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews

Check back next week for the 3rd part of the LOOΠΔ Solo Pre-debut reviews

 

[Special] LOOΠΔ Predebut Solo Song Reviews – Part 1

Please note these special posts are designed to be long and may require some time to read (if you plan on reading the entire post). To help shorten the length, the music video will be inserted as hyperlinked titles, so feel free to click the title of each section to watch the video. 

After multiple requests about LOOΠΔ and reviews for their pre-release singles, it is time to start focusing on what seems to be a very promising girl group. Each Wednesday for the month of May, I will be releasing a special set of reviews for the LOOΠΔ members, which will focus on both their main and side-tracks as well.

LOOΠΔ is a 12-member girl group under Blockberry Creative. While they have yet to officially debut, their pre-debut promotion is extremely unusual. Starting in October 2016, each month a new member of the group is unveiled to the public. This continued until the end of March 2018. And with the completion of this pre-debut promotions, the group will be preparing and gearing up for their official debut which has been rumoured to be October this year.

Once I heard the project, I decided to wait for all the songs to be released (similar to what I did with previous project releases). I just didn’t anticipate for it to be such a long wait, as they also unveiled subunits made up of the already revealed members along the way, which drew the project out even longer.  Talking about subunits, this is not the first time I have spoken about LOOΠΔ, as I have taken some time out to review and look closely to their subunit releases, which you can find out below.

LOOΠΔ 1/3 – Love & Live & Sonatine
LOOΠΔ Odd Eye Circle – Girl Front & Sweet Crazy Love

Today’s post will look at the main tracks from the 6 members who were revealed first. I will be focusing on the song and music video standalone, as I am interested in doing another special post focusing on the connections between their music videos.


ViVid – Heejin (October 2016)

vivid_heejin_gif

Opening up the entire project is Heejin with ViVid. And I personally cannot think of any song that would have been able to leave such a strong impression on me. It is extremely catchy with its unique chorus and jazzy instrumental. The “Oh My God, Yes” just repeats in my head since I first heard it. The song was also spoken, which gave it character and uniqueness. I also really liked the music video. From the obviously high production value, bold colours and eye-catching choreography, what more can you ask for!


Around You – Hyunjin (November 2016)

aroundyou_hyunjin_gif

Hyunjin’s song is more soothing and less dramatic with its sound. Unfortunately, right off the bat, the song did fall on the dry end of the spectrum for me. She had nice vocals, which was nasally. The ballad-like song had a nice instrumental but it just felt like a let-down, especially after the eye-opening ViVid track. The music video opens up in the POV of a cat and the music is muffled here (to give the effect of listening to it via radio or CD). The audio kicks back into normal mid-way. Not exactly sure what happened in this music video with the many cat heads and the hairdresser guy. But I can say the hazy nature of the lighting did match the song’s style.


Let Me In – Haseul (December 2016)

letmein_haseul_gif

Following Hyunjin’s song is Haseul, who kicks the standard up back to the level set by Heejin. What we have is a tango and classical based song and a grand feel that you cannot avoid. This was particularly felt leading into the chorus and as a whole, producing an epic feeling.  It also compliments her very nice vocals. I really liked how she ended the song with a sort of whispering, which was also quite chilling. With regards to the music video, I absolutely love the scenery. Everything from the transition between the outfit she wore outside to the white outfit on the black background to the crashed plane, everything was purely breathtaking.


Kiss Later – Yeojin (January 2017)

kisslater_yeojin_gif

Yeonjin seems to be in charge of the innocence and cutesy side of the group. I love the retro and showtime vibes that the song is channelling. Her vocals don’t really seem to be her strongest point but they do contribute to the overall cutesy charm of the track. The speak-rap that was similar to Heejin’s but more traditional in nature. Overall, I thought it was rather catchy and had a cheerful tone. The music video was fitting for the song. It did creep over to the odd side of things, especially how she was crushing on the gigantic frogman. I particularly loved the ending scene, where they were going in for a kiss but Yeojin turns away and vomits out the rainbow soft serve. So cutesy and such a funny video.


Everyday I Love You (ft. Haseul) – ViVi (April 2017)

vivi_everydayIloveyou_gif

ViVi’s song starts off as a ballad like (with echoey vocals) and surprisingly develops into a pop dance track. It was a decent song. The pleasant-sounding chorus works really well ViVi’s vocals and becomes the main attraction with its more upbeat melody. The verses could have been more interesting. I feel like the rapping was good, preventing the song from becoming too repetitive and literally saved the song from feeling too ’empty’. The music video was also quite nice, set in a retro rollerskate park. There were some scenes (like when Haseul and the other members were featured) that reminded me of the style of the 90s KPOP music videos. The choreography was also quite nice to watch.


Eclipse – Kim Lip (May 2017)

eclipse_kimlip_gif

Kim Lip leaves a very large impression on you with her unique vocals. With the music, Eclipse is a very aesthetically pleasing R&B styled song. While the verses did seem plain, the chorus had an amazing melody. I really enjoyed the way she sang the word “Eclipse”. I also thought the bridge was really well done, showcasing the best moments of both her vocals and the instrumental of the song. The music video was extremely artsy, with the bold red colour being very eerie, but at the same time, very aesthetic. There were two sections of the video which I liked, including the transition at 1:16-1:17 and the change in colours at 1:08-1:09. The choreography was nice. It was sexy yet elegant at the same time.


Check back in next week for the 2nd part of the LOOΠΔ reviews!

[Double Review] Love & Live + Sonatine – LOOΠΔ 1/3

I am back with the second LOOΠΔ subunit double review. Technically, this is the first subunit unveiled, back in March and is made up of 4 members (HaSeul, ViVi, Heejin and Hyunjin. Their first song, Love & Live was released on 13th of March, while Sonatine was released as their repackaged single on the 27th of April.

Love & Live

While I want to say nice things about the song, I find is incredibly hard. The song was quite boring overall. I wish it was a little more poppy (despite the nice bubblegum pop vibes), which would make it more memorable and catchy. The song does seem to pick up around the chorus, it just isn’t enough to give the song some character.

But I did like the music video Love & Live. It is about a cyborg or humanoid designed to win races. But clearly, since she is a robot, there are many things that makes her envious of her team mates. The video depicts the cyborg as a perfect being but in reality she is bound to a battery pack. Clearly, at the end, she attempts to break away from the battery pack in an attempt to fit in. The concept was interesting and the background shots were nice (for the choreography scenes).

The accompanying choreography looked graceful. It just didn’t hit that memorable mark. I did, like however, the incorporation of the starting position of a track race.

Song – 5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10


Sonatine

The orchestral instrumental that basically stands out from the crowd is a great backbone for the track. It gives the song that really nice touch and makes it sound so unique. There was a nice Latin flare mid-way through the song. The vocals worked well with the song but they felt constricted somewhat due to the instrumentation. There really isn’t a catchy moment to look out for but I like this song far better than the previous.

The contrast between the colours in the previous video and the darkness in this video was quite nice. The difference between day and night made this entire debut a little more interesting, especially since the backgrounds for the choreography shots for this video were similar. The camera angles and different shots throughout the video looked cool.

Once again, the choreography was graceful like the music. It goes well with the song but it just doesn’t have that memorable factor (once again).

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 6.5/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

[Double Review] Girl Front + Sweet Crazy Love – Odd Eye Circle (LOOΠΔ)

I have decided to scrap my initial plans to compile all the LOOΠΔ releases into a couple of reviews. Instead, I will be doing the unit reviews separately and gather all the solo reviews into one. Today, I will be focusing on the recent unit of LOOΠΔ, Odd Eye Circle, consisting of Kim Lip, JinSoul and Choerry. Their first single, Girl Front, was released on 21st of September and their second single, Sweet Crazy Love, was released on the 31st of October.

Girl Front

What makes Girl Front stand out is the very poppy chorus. In a way, it does feel in your face but there is a balance that keeps it from being excessive. There were also quirky moments in the chorus which you don’t hear often in KPOP which makes it so appealing. The synths are thanked for giving the song such a bright and vibrant atmosphere. Vocally, it pairs well with the instrumental, as the members are at the forefront of the song, rather than hidden by the synths. But if you take the chorus away from the song, it ends up being very forgettable.

The music video seems to be very confused. It feels like they tried to overload many concepts into the one video such as mysterious, aesthetics, artistic and bold. And while there are videos that have mashed up these concepts successfully in the past, this video just doesn’t really get to the point. They seem to be in search for some eclipse in the sky, but that is the most I can get out of it. The scenery in the background was very nice, which was a plus.

The choreography is good but it isn’t outstanding. The pop vibes do come through nicely. There just wasn’t anything memorable when I watched it.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10


Sweet Crazy Love

The violins in the background just make my day so much better. The track is quite dynamic in its own way.  The instrumental is a mixture of classical sounds (from what I can identify) and synths, creating a very smooth and sleek rhythm.  The synths used on the track doesn’t feel over-the-top or can be described as ‘loud’, which is a good thing because it helps portray a more innocent sound. Vocals were very melodic and fits nicely onto the canvas that the instrumental provided. The only thing that I felt was missing was a climax. It felt too consistent from start to end and a climax would have made it more appealing. But overall, it is a great song.

Looking at the concept, it reminds me of F(x)’s Red Light (the eye badge and dark vibes) and anything Ladies Code has present us in their recent comebacks. I actually like the music video for this one more than Girl Front because it sticks to just one style and does a good job of portraying it. The cinematography in the video is also quite amazing.

The choreography isn’t that memorable as well, which is a little disappointing, given how good the song is. Like above, there isn’t anything worth mentioning.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10