Given that LOONA scored about as many songs on my Top 100 Korean Songs Of 2017 as any other group, it’s safe to say that I’ve grown to anticipate their releases. Unfortunately, Go Won‘s “One & Only” was easily the group’s weakest effort yet.
While listening to the song, it’s hard to escape the feeling that “One & Only” represents a noteworthy step backward for LOONA, who rolled out quality song after quality song in 2017. As most readers are well aware by now, I don’t tend to hand-wring about vocals in K-pop, at least as long as it’s not distracting. Well, Go Won tests my mettle here with her talk-singing and otherwise sounding rather awkward throughout.
Despite that, it would be salvageable if the song itself did what K-pop instrumentals tend to do in order to compensate for the struggle vocals of idols, which is come out with something dynamic and catchy or atmospheric and sensual, but neither ever materializes. For a somewhat bouncy song, it never feels that way because the melody just repeats without changing much, something that eventually lulls the listener into boredom. On top of that, the chorus basically stoically repeats “my one and only” before seguing into that awful talk-rap thing.
Even for LOONA songs that I didn’t love, I could usually get through the track without much effort because they were eminently listenable. For Go Won’s “One & Only”, I struggled with doing that, and if I wasn’t doing a review I would’ve turned it off after discovering what the chorus was going to be the first time around. Given that LOONA have been more hit than miss, one has to hope this was just a rare misstep.