From the beginning, girl group Lovelyz debuted with a quirky synthpop sound that seemed all their own, even as it complimented the general vibe put forth by most of their peers. That’s a credit to main producers OnePiece, who have steered most of their work since 2014. At times this has worked wonders, though it proved to have a slightly diminished effect with last year’s Destiny. I rated that song relatively high at the time, but it did not age well for me at all.
New single WoW melds Destiny’s vivid sound to the bubblegum bounciness of Lovelyz’ older material, resulting in a mixed bag that doesn’t really break new ground for the group. Of course, one could argue that Lovelyz have been away for almost a year and — more than anything — need to reestablish their music’s unique color. To that effect, WoW’s bright synth blips and girly vocals certainly do the trick. The song’s verses show incredible promise, built on a groovy mix of prominent percussion and rhythm guitar. They feel more lively than Destiny’s lockstep arrangement, and allow the song to build necessary energy heading into the chorus.
That chorus itself feels very reminiscent of Destiny‘s, borrowing its sweeping melodic refrain but breaking it into a more nimble arrangement that gives WoW a much-needed sense of dynamism. I’m still not sure that it’s the right hook for this particular song, as it does more to diminish the energy than build it, but at least it’s a step back in the right direction. There’s a way to blend a mature sound with the ebullient pop hooks of Lovelyz’ 2015 material, but I don’t think the group has quite found it yet. Ultimately, WoW feels like a fun, if uneven, stage in Lovelyz’ inevitable growing pains.