Reviewing all of Loona (이달의 소녀), Part 2 – Odd Eye Circle and yyxy

This is part 2 of my comprehensive reviewing exercise of all of Loona’s musical output. In the last post, I covered everything Loona 1/3 and the respective solos had to offer. This post will conclude all other solos and the two remaining sub units. All published posts in this series are listed here:

Part 1 – Loona 1/3
Part 3 – From [+ +] to #
Part 4 – 12:00 and & (Finale)

Basic information about how to interpret the grades can be found in the last post. I will now just jump right in where I have left off, starting with all the solos from the Odd Eye Circle members:

Loona – Kim Lip, Single

1. Kim Lip – Eclipse

I have literally never heard anyone say they dislike “Eclipse”, and I will not be the one to stand out of line here. It’s a great song, though I really have troubles communicating why (probably my non-existent musical qualifications showing). All I can say is that it is indeed very good. My only pet peeve is that Kim Lip is a bit too often too “husky” in her singing, and the bridge between chorus 2 and the final chorus is a bit unspectacular, but that would be it, really. I cannot say that it is as good as “Let Me In”, though, so I would give it an 8/10.

2. Kim Lip – Twilight

Really not exciting at all; a boringly mediocre B-side if I ever saw one. 4/10

Loona – Jinsoul, Single

1. Jinsoul – Singing in the Rain

I like everything about this more than “Eclipse”, except for the pretty bad rap part. The instrumental is great, especially when it leads up to the drop, and the writing in the whole first verse works so well with the beat – this all goes down the drain when you don’t get anything like that again in the second verse. What you get instead is slow, grating rap break where Jinsoul, much like in Vivi’s “Everyday I Need You”, tries too hard to sound like she is rapping, pressing her voice, trying to sound “cool” or whatever. Haseul (in Vivi’s “Everyday I Love You”) and Yeojin (in her solo “Kiss Later”) showed that BBC don’t always require their artists to do shit like this and can just put out a rap part in which the girls just rap without this annoying bullshit to it. This is my main problem with the song, and every time I listen to it, I get excited for the drop, then get annoyed for a few seconds, and then I get excited for the next drop. It’s not too long of a part and also not as bad as it could’ve been, so it’s still an 8/10.

2. Jinsoul – Love Letter

Let me quote myself here from not too long ago: “Really not exciting at all; a boringly mediocre B-side if I ever saw one.”. It’s a bit better than “Twilight “, though. 5/10

Loona – Choerry, Single

1. Choerry – Love Cherry Motion

I love most things about this song. Almost everything about this is perfect. Really the only thing I dislike about it is the heavy whispering, especially in the “Imagine” part in the beat drop after the second chorus. I guess it is, just like “Eclipse” did, trying to sound “hot” and “seductive”? It’s not really doing that, it’s too forced for that, at least for me. If she wouldn’t uncomfortably breathe into my ear this often this would’ve been a perfect song. As it stands, it is still an amazing one. 9/10

2. Choerry & Jinsoul – Puzzle

The beat is nice, but they didn’t do a lot with it. There are some nice musical ideas here and there, but it fails to really take on any momentum, I guess. The rap part in this one is at least not plain bad, but plain bland – just intensely boring. 6/10

Loona Odd Eye Circle – Mix & Match, Mini Album

1. ODD

It would have suited this much better if they wouldn’t have talked random cringy phrases over the interesting buildup of the instrumental. 5/10

2. Girl Front

They should stop giving Jinsoul rap parts already; they apparently don’t know how to make her sound good, so just let her sing and stuff, what’s wrong with that? She doesn’t need to rap, you know? Choerry does it well enough, why not let her just do all of it? The song is lovely outside of that, carries a lot of energy that is builds up beautifully and all comes out in an exciting and memorable refrain. 8/10

3. Loonatic

“Loonatic” is weird, but in a good way. I am not into the “faded out voice” thing very much, but the song itself is very upbeat and energetic over its whole track length. 7/10

4. Chaotic

“Chaotic” seems to be a euphemism for “messy”. Random noises sadly don’t make a good beat. At times they sing so energetic and soulful that it makes you wonder if they originally recorded it over an actually listenable instrumental. 3/10

5. Starlight

Stop it with the Jinsoul rap parts goddammit, especially if there is no good song to make up for it! 3/10

“Mix & Match” is a bit underwhelming since all the creativity and energy there is in “Girl Front” and “Loonatic” would have made for a great mini album if extended over a couple more songs like that. Instead, we got two quite bad and absolutely forgettable B-sides in top. Such a waste of so much potential for an incredible fun release.

Loona Odd Eye Circle – Max & Match, Repackaged Mini Album

1. ADD

This is just a nice instrumental. It is not “Love & Evil” level nice, but still nice. 7/10

2. Sweet Crazy Love

Stylish little song with a stylish video to accompany it. Nothing all too intense or outstanding, but not bad at all. I can’t even really fault the rap part here since it is not even 10 seconds long. 7/10

3. Uncover

The whole song sounds the same over its full track length, except for the bridge after the second chorus, where the song just kind of stops for half a minute. Not very good. 3/10

8. ODD Front

It’s a “Girl Front” remix with the instrumental from “ODD” from the original mini album. It doesn’t work that well. Loona is not that good with remixes generally, see Vivi’s “Everyday I Need You”. 4/10

9. Loonatic (English Version)

This is of course the exact same as the Korean original, but what actually bugs me about it is that some English sentences apparently kind of “went over the line” during the song writing sometimes and they end up changing pace or their tone in the middle of a sentence, which just sounds weird at times. At least we have a video with some offcuts of their solos and “Girl Front” to look at, I guess. 7/10

I wouldn’t call “Max & Match” an upgrade of “Mix & Match”, it’s just more of the same, really. The “big” add-on in this (Sweet Crazy Love) is just not good enough to really make up for the pretty mediocre to bad rest.

This was all the output related to Loona Odd Eye Circle. There are some truly good songs to be found here, with my favourite obviously being “Love Choerry Motion”, but many other songs are just really good as well. Sadly, as with Loona 1/3, the B-sides are a waste of time, mostly. “Loonatic” is nice and all, but that’s kind of it. Up until now, Loona continued to be a group whose full albums you really don’t need to listen to. Whatever is good came out as a single. Maybe that’ll change with Loona yyxy. Let’s see:

Loona – Yves, Single

1. Yves – new

The first verse is very tame, slowly builds up its pace and explodes in a big and beautiful, grandiose chorus. It repeats the same concept in the second verse. The absolute highlight for me is when it just keeps the momentum of the chorus after the second one and gives us this wonderful bridge (or third verse, whatever). The tension after that when Yves keeps singing in complete silence this time, culminating in a chorus that feels even bigger than the ones before, just finalises a great experience. It’s a great song, no doubt. Great video, too. 8/10

2. Yves – D-1

Pretty forgettable, and two terrible and completely unnecessary rap lines. 5/10

Vivi, Choerry and Yves – The Carol 2.0, Single

We really didn’t need the same song again with other girls singing. unnecessary/10

Loona – Chuu, Single

1. Chuu – Heart Attack

This is so full of energy, full of excitement and also full of Chuu’s powerful voice. It just suits her so well and makes me happy every time I hear it. The only thing I have to be sour about is the rap part (again). Chuu shouldn’t rap, ever, at all. Especially the “Uh”s in the rap part make me wince. Outside of this, this song is great. 9/10

2. Chuu & Yves – Girl’s Talk

Especially after we got such a powerful single, this is almost insultingly tame. The electronic sound fuckery in the background is not very appealing and the song never really does much. How good Chuu solos can be just makes it so much more obvious how good this could or rather should have been. I don’t want to bash it too much, though. At least the refrain is somewhat catchy and the song just doesn’t do that much wrong, I guess. It’s just so… disappointing. 5/10

Loona – Gowon, Single

1. Gowon – One & Only

I have absolutely no justification for what I am about to say. But let me start with the negative: Gowon is not very strong vocally; sure this “chunky” voice style is unique and I actually like it a lot, but that doesn’t change that Gowon couldn’t holler like Chuu could. The writing sometimes seems a bit confused and messy, just often tries to force too many syllables into a line. This “double time” sort of stuff is also just semi impressive. I am also less than impressed with the rhyming technique: “사람이” (saram-i) doesn’t rhyme with “One and Only”, not even a little bit. So I know there’s a lot to it that I should fault on a technical level, you know. And yet, this will be the first perfect 10 in this series. Gowon’s voice is actually lovely, the beat suits her so fucking well, the video is pure kino, just so aesthetically pleasing, and the refrain, especially Gowon singing the “One and Only” part has been in my head ever since I first heard it. I absolutely hate all the memes around it because Kpop stans are just generally never funny, yet I am completely obsessed with it in my own way. I love this song, and I am happy to enjoy it even though I know it’s quite flawed. 10/10

2. Gowon & Chuu – See Saw (feat. Kim Lip)

I really, really want to like it, but I just can’t really do that. It’s just painfully boring. This should have been two wonderfully chunky Gowon rap parts and a powerful hook from Chuu. It’s none of that. I also don’t really know what Kim Lip is doing here. 4/10

Loona – Olivia Hye, Single

1. Olivia Hye – Egoist (feat. Jinsoul)

This time, Jinsoul got a full rap part with this “faded out” voice bullshit. I hate it, I absolutely hate it. I especially hate it because it’s right in the middle of a great song and kills all the mood the song has built up until then. And it’s over 20 seconds long. Don’t get me wrong: It’s still a great song, it probably would have been a 9 (some smaller things I don’t quite like here and there), but the terrible rap brings it down to an 8/10.

2. Olivia Hye & Gowon – Rosy (feat. Heejin)

Now this, THIS, is insulting. Why the actual fuck does Heejin have a rap part if the one with the rap solo is in there too? The song isn’t too bad outside of that, at least up until the end of the second chorus. Whatever the beat does there – it sounds like ass. Also, all of them just sound kind of weak, especially in the chorus. So, I don’t really mind it, but, my God, it has some problems. 5/10

Loona yyxy – One

Gowon looks so good in here, it’s not even funny anymore. Oh yeah, and the Italian opera type stuff they’re doing in the background is cool too I guess. kino/10

Loona yyxy – beauty&thebeat, Mini Album

1. dal segno

Nice beat, just some weird voices sometimes. I honestly always forget this exists and always substitute it in my head with “One”, which is just so much better generally and gave us such a great introductory video to the sub unti. 6/10

2. love4eva (feat. Grimes)

This was the first Loona song I ever heard. I was not completely sold at first: That shrill voice in the intro which is apparently “Grimes”, someone I just flat out never heard of before I found this song. To this day, I only know Grimes from “love4eva” and because she had a child with a weird name with Elon Musk – in any way, that intro is trash and should’ve just been thrown out. Grimes doesn’t even do anything else, she’s not even in the video, so what’s the significance of her “introducing” Loona? I don’t need her to know what group I am listening to, I can read the fucking title. Anyway – back to the song. Or let’s rather first talk about the video, because it is gorgeous. All four and especially my favourite Gowon look amazing in these outfits. I think they are supposed to be school uniforms? Weirdly enough: they aren’t uniform. In any way: the video looks great. They also wear the dresses they wore in “One” (“kino/10”, I remind you), and the forest shots are magnificent. But now let’s finally talk about the song: It’s a bit “chippy’ or “plastic-y” for me at times, especially in the refrain. That doesn’t bother me all too much, though, because there are still enough “unique” little characteristics that make it not just some throw-away: Gowon speak-rapping in the chorus, and her “You know?” in the verses are the best ones of these. The verses are not that interesting (besides Gowon’s “You know?”, of course), but the refrain is fairly energetic due to Chuu putting some power into it. The little bridge playing around with the beat after the second chorus is nice, and even without Gowon, the final chorus is good, too. So there are some things about it that I don’t find quite as endearing or that confuse me, but I think it’s overall still a quite nice song. I’m glad I found it back then. 8/10

3. frozen

The beat reminds me of some instrumental I heard in “Sonic Riders” for the Playstation 2. I have nothing to say about it outside of that. 3/10

4. one way

A piano/violin ballad is the single last thing I wanted to hear from this group. Utterly, utterly devoid of anything memorable. 2/10

5. rendezvous 18.6y

This is more upbeat, but also has nothing really noteworthy to it. At least it’s not insultingly full of nothing, but it also is just a B-side no one will remember. 4/10

This mini album has the exact same problems the other sub unit albums have: The single is great, the rest is rather… forgettable, to say it nicely. None of the songs on here besides the single are really any good. I said earlier that Loona 1/3 had the worst though – how can that be if especially the repackaged album has overall better rated songs on it? The only reason I have is that I have the “beauty&thebeat” physical album and the photo book looks gorgeous and I am a sucker for mindlessly enjoying aesthetics. Also, all of the solos of the yyxy members are absolutely great whereas 1/3 had one downer and only one exceedingly great song. This carries to their album for me as well and so I just have more positive feelings when I think of “beauty&thebeat” just by association. Also, Gowon is in here, and that’s an inherent plus.

We now have all the solos and sub units done. Part three will start looking at the songs with the whole group. Since neither the solo stuff nor the sub units ever came back (in fact, they care so little about the initial sub units that they just made up new ones left and right like with the Cocomong commercial or “We’re Not Friends”; these will also be looked upon later on), so I think I can give a comparative verdict on these: First off, the sub unit singles are about equal to me. All have some small things I’m not crazy about, but all are very good. What I can do, though, is rank the solos (best to worst):

  1. Gowon – One & Only (10/10)
  2. Choerry – Love Cherry Motion (9/10)
  3. Haseul – Let Me In (9/10)
  4. Chuu – Heart Attack (9/10)
  5. Olivia Hye – Egoist (8/10)
  6. Kim Lip – Eclipse (8/10)
  7. Jinsoul – Singing in the Rain (8/10)
  8. Yves – new (8/10)
  9. Heejin – ViViD (7/10)
  10. Vivi – Everyday I Love You (7/10)
  11. Yeojin – Kiss Later (7/10)
  12. Hyunjin – Around You (3/10)

That is it for this second part. Part three will be published in due time. Thank you for reading.

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