Lovelyz are right at the top of the newer girl group pack for me. Their quirkiness and fizzy synth pop sound won me over instantly, but then they delivered the double sucker punch of Ah Choo and (the amazing) For You last year. That pretty much sealed the deal. When I heard they would be going more “mature” this time around, I was worried. I didn’t want them to lose their unique appeal.
Destiny isn’t the generic midtempo I feared, though it does chip away at their sound just a bit. Its strongest aspect, by far, is its production. From the get-go, we’re treated with a lush bed of strings and dramatic, sweeping synths. There’s an absolutely gorgeous, cinematic orchestral refrain after each chorus that instantly becomes the track’s focal point. As far as the melody goes, it’s nothing new in the world of kpop. I don’t want to call it “basic,” because that undersells the song as a whole. But, it does sound like many, many other girl groups. Without the impressive instrumental touches, I honestly wouldn’t be as drawn to it.
Thinking back to the group’s past singles, the chorus has always spun off more energy than it entered with. in the case of Destiny, the central refrain feels stuck in a clunky pattern, ending each line on the same note rather than twisting the melody in interesting, novel ways. Instead of soaring, it dips. This contrast represents a personal preference more than anything, so I imagine many will disagree and find the chorus to be the song’s strongest asset. Either way, it’s still high budget, full-fledged pop that works very well, but it’s a step away from the Lovelyz I love most.