Though I’ve been, ahem, busy with other happenings recently, a LOONA song is always something anticipated (especially internationally) and so there’s a lot of requests to cover it. Understandable, and after some concern about their company, they’ve returned with “Why Not” as their second release of the year.
Since they officially debuted as a group, I feel like something of a broken record on LOONA reviews. In a way perhaps they’re victims of their own expectations due to their pre-debut solo and unit releases being lauded around these parts and landing all over my year-end lists, as by comparison their group efforts have been decidedly more mixed for my tastes.
That trend continues with “Why Not”, which like “So What” sorta sounds like a title track rejected by ITZY or something. Any attempt at melodic excellence is abandoned and replaced by brash attitude and sparse beats that don’t quite work and can’t compensate. Additionally, the emphasis on quasi-rap for a group really not built for that kind of release is an odd choice and further cements the fish-out-of-water feel one gets from this. To be fair, there’s about 10 seconds (20 total) in the build to the drop where LOONA seem to be in their zone, but it’s promptly abandoned faster than they appear to have scraped the previous group identity.
It’s not that “Why Not” is shit or anything, it’s that it’s another reasonably passable effort in one genre or another from a group that used to produce standouts. Perhaps the issue is my own preference for LOONA to have been a supercharged follow-up to WJSN and Lovelyz, and instead they’ve effectively opted to trend-ride and suddenly bank their ship towards girl crush even as the personnel don’t seem quite fit for it. But their biggest issue at the moment, regardless of direction or genre, is that their group efforts have generally lacked the same melodic strongpoints as their previous work, and that’s what they should get back to sooner than later.
TheBiasList felt “Why Not” was a solid effort, but also found it lacking at least in comparison to expectations.