After School‘s Raina was on the cusp of quite a solo career a few years ago with the release of mega-successful duet ‘A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness‘. But like After School itself, that momentum was blunted by a lack of actual releases to follow it up. Flash forward three years and Pledis Entertainment has given her another duet partner in the form of NU’EST‘s Aron. I’m sure the agency would love some of NU’EST’s ‘Produce 101‘ success to rub off on Raina’s solo music, yet they’ve drafted the only member who didn’t participate in the show. It’s kind of a head-scratcher.
Still, the inclusion of Aron is really beside the point here. “Loop” would have a hard time feeling momentous or exciting no matter who had been brought in as a guest rapper. The song is so unsubstantial that it might as well be nonexistent. It’s one of many singer-songwriter style Korean songs that seem to exist in this sort of ephemeral state, passing through with such lightness and inconsequence that they’re rendered utterly forgettable the moment they’re finished. Even Raina herself seems to acknowledge this issue, stating “it’s boring” in clear English during the opening verse.
“Loop” does exhibit a flicker of life during its more beat-driven chorus, but never ignites into something beyond the most lightweight of coffee shop pop. The fact that a song this insignificant is functioning as a long-awaited comeback is beyond underwhelming. Pledis Entertainment has proven they can do better.