[Review] Lovelyz’s “Wag-zak” feels and sounds like a perfunctory summer release

I’m never one to balk at the thought of new music, but “Wag-zak“’s existence is a bit of a head-scratcher. Released quietly on a weekend, days before the comeback of another Woollim Entertainment act and without the participation of main vocal Jin, I’m not sure what the song’s commercial goal is supposed to be. But hey, new Lovelyz is never a bad thing, right? The group has had a remarkably consistent run so far, and are coming off of the success of April’s fantastic “That Day.

The peculiarly titled “Wag-zak” isn’t nearly as memorable as “That Day”, even if it’s well-suited to these summer months. Its vaguely tropical dance beat feels much trendier than Woollim artists usually tackle, and this sense of been-there, done-that limits the instrumental’s effect. The chirpy electronic squiggles that open the track aren’t particularly promising, but thankfully fade into the background as a bubbly house beat takes hold. “Wag-zak” scores zero points for originality, but rides a tried and true formula that guarantees a certain level of success.

Without Jin present on the track, most of “Wag-zak”’s heavy lifting falls to members Kei and Sujeong. I’ve always enjoyed both of their voices, and they do a solid job guiding the cheerful chorus. But compared to the gorgeous layering on “That Day”’s chorus, the song lacks the warm tonal diversity that might have set it over the edge. A more robust vocal arrangement would have helped it feel less generic. Instead, “Wag-zak” comes across as exactly what it is — a pleasant summertime diversion between fully fleshed-out comebacks.

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