Momoland have been in an odd state of flux lately. They made their last comeback with only seven of nine members, and that configuration seems to be sticking for new digital single Love Is Only You (사랑은 너 하나). Instead of returning as a full group, the girls have paired with Vietnamese singer Erik for a pleasant mid-tempo duet with clear international aspirations.
To be honest, I worry about Momoland’s future. After an incredibly successful 2018, their agency doesn’t seem to know what to do next. Bboom Bboom and BAAM were massive in their native Korea, but the group also found pockets of success in various international markets. These included the Philippines and… you guessed it… Vietnam. A duet like Love Is Only You seems catered to those fan bases, which is admirable in theory. The problem is, the girls haven’t fully cemented their status in Korea yet. I fear we may be seeing the beginnings of a “Crayon Pop – Bar Bar Bar (Global Version)” strategy, with scattershot promotions designed to blitz the highest concentration of potential listeners they can manage at once.
A focused, intentional plan usually seems to work better in the long run, but Momoland have already proven their power to buck trends. Regardless, a forgettable track like Love Is Only You isn’t likely to win over many new fans. Its amiable melody has a very early 00’s b-side pop ballad feel to it, especially when Erik unleashes his English-language verse. Momoland are much more formidable when they bring the jams, and Love just doesn’t offer them much to do. Its nostalgic chorus is pleasant enough, but leaves little impact. It wafts in and out with a toe-tapping, head-bobbing manner. But, any K-pop group can do that. Momoland have already proven their campy, energetic charisma. That’s the calling card to build on.