After nearly two years of pre-release build-up, LOONA is finally upon us. Well, almost. favOrite is technically another pre-release, but it’s the first taste of what the entire 12-member group will sound like together. So, with all of the hype the girls have garnered since 2016, did they manage to stick the landing?
Yes… and no. favOrite is not perfect, but it points towards better things to come. Rather than go cutesy or tropical, the song feels decidedly old school, like a K-pop re-imagining of Beyoncé’s Crazy In Love. Right from the start, the song engages with a series of brassy synths and a prominent break beat. From here, favOrite launches into its rapid-fire verse and even ballsier chorus. It’s not the most melodic of hooks, but gives the girls opportunity to captivate through sheer charisma. I just wish the second verse maintained the same level of energy. The notes become more drawn out here, and feel a bit meandering when compared to the tight structure that preceded them.
favOrite’s brass-heavy instrumental is all about power, stuffed with percussive elements that give it a real sense of bombast. However, it seems to be missing some oomph in the lower end. The track has an oddly compressed, claustrophobic feel. Everything’s stuffed so closely together that there isn’t much room for the groove to breathe. This is a shame, because the production’s intentions are in the right place. It’s wonderful to hear a girl group tackling this kind of dynamic, beat-heavy style. It bodes well for LOONA’s future debut, but favOrite isn’t quite there yet.