Favorite have one of the least-searchable group names on the internet. Without a grasp on Hangul, international fans are going to be sifting through hundreds of pages on “favorite k-pop groups” before stumbling on one dedicated to these girls. But rather than rest on one ill-conceived name, the group has returned with their second mini album and its mouthful of a title: “Love loves to love love.”
All of this aside, I’m happy to even be writing about Favorite. After their debut last summer, they seemed to disappear from the k-pop landscape, briefly re-emerging as part of YG’s car crash of a survival series, MIXNINE. Where Are You From (어느 별에서 왔니?) has a lot riding on it, as it feels like these girls are almost starting back from zero. And as a fairly typical girl group comeback, it does its job well enough.
Where Are You From opens with an addictive bass guitar that drives the freewheeling first verse until we enter the synth-drenched pre-chorus. Breaking with this year’s most glaring trend, Where is an example of a song whose verses are stronger than its chorus. They’re bright and unpredictable, while still retaining a sense of direction. In comparison, the chorus isn‘t bad, but it goes on a bit too long without amounting to much. Rather than settle on one juggernaut hook, Where takes a series of chirpy exclamations and stacks them one after another. In theory, these pieces should fuse together to create something astounding, but their similarity threatens to cancel each other out. Thankfully, the song’s effervescent stabs of synth and insistent guitar cover up many of these flaws.