After a promising start as a soloist in 2017, ex-2NE1 member Minzy kind of disappeared from the idol scene. But honestly, every 2NE1 member has struggled in some way when it comes to solo music. It’s a shame, because their legendary run as a group should have set them up for immense success in the future. Instead, we get new music in drips and drabs, often without robust promotion behind it. Lovely is Minzy’s first work in over a year, and the first since leaving her agency and going independent.
I’d love to report that this is some kind of return to form, but Lovely is forgettable at best. It bears none of the energy or attitude Minzy displayed as part of 2NE1. However, I’m not sure that was ever the real Gong Minji. Instead, Lovely is a bland pop mid-tempo, held aloft by her always-solid vocals. I could listen to her sing anything, so it’s telling that I don’t see myself coming back to Lovely.
I like the song’s ephemeral quality. It fuses a generous supply of airy backing vocals and harmonies to an acoustic guitar instrumental. At times, I almost get Lonely vibes from the arrangement. But, that’s probably my nostalgia talking. Unlike that classic, Lovely’s melody is a bit of a bore – particularly the trite chorus that hinges on an irritating phrasing of “lovely” with the emphasis put on the last syllable just to drive me crazy. It all sounds like something you’d expect to hear an indie artist strum in the corner of a coffee shop. I’m sure that will appeal to some, but it’s not at all what I’m looking for.
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