Review

Song Review: LOONA – Why Not?

Fans have had to wait ages between LOONA comebacks, but 2020 marks the first year the group has released multiple albums. Why Not? follows February’s So What, which steered the girls in a more brash direction. Judging from the songs’ titles alone, you get a sense of how both might sound. They thrive on a certain type of energy, and deliver hooks that rely more strongly on attitude than melody. This has been a hallmark of new-gen groups like ITZY, so it’s not a surprising twist. However, it does seem like a bit of a waste for a group with this many members and individual talents.

Why Not follows many 2020 girl group tropes. From instrumental to performance, there’s a boisterous sense of rebellion that fuels the entire track. It’s far more rap-driven than expected, reserving its only melodic segment for the pre-chorus. This particular refrain reminds me of everything I enjoyed about second-gen SM girl groups like Girls’ Generation and f(x). I’d love to hear LOONA lean into this sound further.

Instead, Why Not bends over backward to pitch LOONA as sonic rivals to ITZY. The girls pull off the style reasonably well during the song’s verses, though the twisting NCT-esque bass running underneath feels recycled from too many recent tracks. Rather than segue into a traditional chorus, Why Not offers a two-part hook. I enjoy the first half, which comes across as some vaguely creepy playground chant and provides a needed switch-up in vocal texture. But, Why Not misses the mark during its next segment. Rather than build to a satisfying centerpiece, the song just kind of hangs aimlessly in the moment, laying out a halfhearted, spoken-word follow-up that doesn’t bring anything new to the track.

Why Not is a fun bit of girl group attitude, but as infrequently as LOONA return with new music, I was hoping for something that felt more momentous.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

49 thoughts on “Song Review: LOONA – Why Not?

  1. I was worried when I heard the teaser and thought we were getting another ‘So What’ but nothing prepared me for how crushingly awful I find this song.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. If this were released two years ago, I would love it more than I do now. As it is, its sounds like a “make me a song that is bold and punchy like Itzy Icy” copycat. Actually with the toneless rap in here for the verses and the sing song chorus, one could do a mashup of the this song on top of that song quite easily, because the dominant key is not very dominant in either.

    There are parts of it, the chorus especially, that sound like an ad, especially the “Deeee daaaah dum di dum” which sounds like it could be abstracted into ads of any length from 5 seconds tik tok style, and if you add in the “ooh la la” part of the chorus it can stretch up to 60 seconds. Bonus that those lines are not in any particular language so it could be a global promotion. Look, how fun, everyone is freestyle dancing on the street with a can of Coca Cola, the world is all together again.

    This sounds like I hate it. I don’t hate it. Its just the nth song I have heard like this, and is somewhere in the middle of the pack.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is definitely the worst song on their new album. Although I do find it quite catchy, I liked So What way better than this. But the new mini album is quite solid for me

    Like

  4. I like this a lot, but it’s definitely not the strongest song in the album.

    Voice and Universe, in particular, are the kind of delicate, slightly left-field synth-pop songs LOONA excel at, and I wish they had received title track treatment.

    With that said, I think this is their best mini as a full group (second best if we have to consider ODD EYE CIRCLE’s album).

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel the chorus just kills the song, funny you compare it to f(x) chorus bc i never got to really enjoy their chorus.
    But the album has really good songs

    Like

  6. This cb tries too hard on the conceptual side with all the festivals and stuff and teasers, while the actual song lacks. Perhaps the budget is a factor?

    This is not So What, or Weki Meki’s COOL, where the talking parts actually fit the song very well and has a strong chorus, or in So What’s case, an extremely strong bridge to back it up for the polarizing chorus.

    Off topic but I swear I saw Heejin reappear like 8-9 times in an MV of 12 members, I hope BBC does a better job at sharing next time.

    I don’t think I rate this the same as SVT’s Homerun. This is probably a 7.25.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t hate it but this song will definitely take multiple listens to really get into, similar to So What. Luckily, there’s plenty of other better songs to make up for it on the album. I’m surprised that there haven’t been that many buried treasures for their b-side songs.

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      • Yeah, So What grew on me quite a lot. But that’s because the bridge is really good and the chorus is fun to me. Sadly Why Not does not have that, however the pre-chorus and the damdididam is starting to grow on me.

        Yeah the B-sides are stronger.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I mean its not an ITZY song. Itzy is known for having a wild side but they would never release something like this (esp that chorus). Anything abrasive or different isn’t exactly ITZY lol. I also feel like you guys keep looking for a 2nd gen kpop sound but fail to realize its outdated and not in style anymore. Some kpop songs are just meant to be fun and lighthearted (and thats true in every kpop generation). Its not Hi High amazing but its great in its own way and in my opinion better than So What. Its not a KARA or SNSD reject its just a LOONA track. Their bsides really shine though.

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    • My reasoning is that Home Run’s hooks are the main factor why I don’t love it, whereas Why Not’s hooks (while potentially grating…) are one of the song’s strengths.

      It’s best not to compare individual song ratings to each other because it’s like comparing apples and oranges. My ratings tend to be a better reflection of what I like and don’t like about an individual song. Hope that makes sense!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ahh that makes alot of sense. I completely disagreed with the fact that Areal’s ‘Wake Me Up’ and Dreamcatcher’s ‘Boca’ received the same ratings for hooks [7]. Although i still disagree, i now understand why, i think.

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  8. I like it, i do. But. It’s frustrating seeing such a melodic group choose this kind of song for a title track. All their other songs are very melodic and overall really good and very loona sounding. This kinda of songs are always going to be compared to itzy.
    Though i like it. The hooks are ok and i started jamming to it at first listen. The creepy sounds are an istant like from me, and the “oh la la waee, andwe” i think actually added to the creepiness. I just like it and that would havr gone better gowon’s crunchy voice. However, that part could have ended up better. I think with the bridge and the melodic parts this feels like a missed opportunity. All that rap-talk isn’t their forte. I don’t know why they keep insisting on it.
    The mv was beautifuuuuul but i hate they keep showing these random girls, like wtf, those seconds could be for choerry, gowon or any other member that isn’t Heejin.
    I look forward to rest of the album cause i know it sounds like Loona and that’s what i love.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Before writing my actual review just saying people in China are appreciating Heejin’s looks way more than other members and that’s why they do it, if they can make it in China it can constitute 30% of the sales and more Melon streaming advantage. What they DON’T understand is that China only appreciates groups that have made or with Chinese members in it.

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  9. Fuck, my comment was erased 😦
    Anyways, i like it though i think is a missed opportunity. I love the loona melodic sound, i don’t know why the keep insisting on this rap-talk thing, it’s not their forte and it makes for too many itzy comparisons. The melodic parts and the bridge were fine. The creepy hooks are an instant like from me. The “oh la la wae, andwe” parts added to it and i like that creepy vocaloid feel to it.
    The mv was beautifuuuuul though i keep hating these random girls appearing, wtf. Those seconds could be for another member that isn’t Heejin.
    I don’t know why they are choosing this title tracks that had no cohesive continuity with the rest of their discography.
    I look forward to the rest of the album cause i know it will be very Loona sounding.

    Like

  10. Personally, I was shocked to get a very light-hearted summery hook (akin to Dance the Night Away) within a rap-heavy verse and a sliding bassline. The initial dark sound to the sudden bouncy hook reminds me of a reverse Zimzalabim however it’s still has that creepy factor to it.

    What I also really like about this song is how during the bridge and so on, it starts getting less danceable and creepier than it should’ve been. That last “di dam damdi dam” over that specific portion of the instrumental recontextualizes the hook. Instead of a fun, catchy hook it’s more of a cult chant than anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Why can’t Loona make a group song that I enjoy? Their predebut solo stuff has some fantastic songs like New and Eclipse, not to mention the whole Odd Eye Circle EP bangs hard. Yet every single group song grates the hell out of me. I want to like you Loona I really do but you make it difficult.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I am so terribly disappointed by this song… I will say that it has, paradoxically, made me realize how much I love LOONA. I realized this because halfway through watching the video, I realized I would have closed the tab already if it weren’t LOONA. Now that is love.

    I loved “Voice” (and its English version too!) and also enjoyed “Oops” and “Hide & Seek.” I wonder if you’ll be doing a buried treasure for this one? I really feel like they chose the worst song on the album for the title track in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really like that pre-chorus and instantly felt the 2nd gen vibe from that too. Too bad there’s not enough of that and instead so many spoken parts that..exist, but aren’t all that memorable.

    I like the chorus hook, but it’s a bit too repetitive – I don’t think this will hold up very well in the long run. The production is not nearly as interesting as your average Itzy title track either. Overall, it’s alright.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. The chorus is one of those choruses that make me laugh…

    And laughing while listening to a song is never good for me. The “ooh la la” is just me shaking my head laughing at how cringy and silly this part is. And the “dum di” part sounds like it’s ripped out of a random CF.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yeah, this is yet another no for me. This one is at best a second-rate clone of Icy, and Icy is my second least favorite Itzy title. The bridge has some interesting ideas that aren’t fully developed, and this sing-talk thing works for me pretty much never.

    It’s not the worst title I’ve heard this year (Oh My God probably still has that honor, followed by HYLT), but it is so incredibly faceless and another disappointing outing from a group I badly want to like. It’s hard to believe that this group brought us New and OEC’s amazing stuff.

    Like

  16. Wow, I really don’t like this at all. The chant chorus is horrible in my opinion and it feels like the company gave more importance to the concept rather than to the song itself. Sorry to be one of those people, but their pre-debut releases are still unbeaten.

    Like

  17. Huge Loona fan here, and I gotta say…Why Not sounds like a waaayyy undercooked f(x) title track. Not like an actual f(x) title track. A half-baked one. It sounds like Red Light, but without the punchy chorus, the super-melodic bridge topped off with Luna’s (heh) climactic high note OR the weird & amazing bassline. It’s depressing. TT^TT

    Like

  18. I was so excited for LOONA’s debut considering some of the girls’ solo releases produced some of my favorite K-Pop releases in their respective years like Ives’ New or the OEC Max & Match EP. I’ve enjoyed some of the moments of their group releases, but when you take away the aesthetics and group mythology accompanying them, the music has left me mostly underwhelmed and this is the worst of the batch for title tracks (well, not quite a batch lol…). When you have so many group members, it can be difficult for a song not to feel disjointed. Just me personal opinion, but there just really isn’t room for 12 people to have individual parts in a song, especially with roles that aren’t defined, and I wonder if part of the issue is just the difficulty of the request to even write a song to accompany that many people and sustain a melody, and mixing and sort of real chorus means bouncing between catch phrases and hooks. It’s also a shame because nearly half the group winds up with very few parts, so what’s the point? At least in sub-units, the girls all served far more of a purpose and it also led to a variety of genres being explored. I just hope they bring them back at some point, because bottomline I don’t think LOONA as a full group is offering nearly as much as they did as 3 separate groups and soloists. Not to mention, a relatively new group only putting out one or two comebacks per year gives far less leeway for a title track being a big miss. Just overall, it feels like Blockberry doesn’t exactly know quite know how to manage LOONA as a regular idol group focusing on music now that the elaborate roll out and extensive mythology are taking a backseat.

    Like

  19. I think ever since the guy from sm started working with em`(After XX era.), their music is becoming more bland, or rather the feeling of `this is a loona track` is quite gone, I hope it makes sense…

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    • Since SM hasn’t got any new gg, it seems to me, he is experimenting with them instead. Loona has become quite literally female version of NCT….

      Like

  20. One of my pet peeves about big Kpop groups is how one member can be an attention hog – whether intentionally or unintentionally. Heejin has too many lines, too much screen-time. How do people, particularly new fans recognize other members, if all they see and hear is Heejin? Loona is 12-member-group, not 4 or 5. BBC should learn from Seventeen.

    In short, So What > Why Not.

    Like

  21. You said it’s not the type of song that needs 12 members. That makes me wonder, which members of Loona do you think were necessary for this song?

    Like

    • I don’t know LOONA very well, but I wonder if any of them were. What I mean is, this track sounds like it could be done by pretty much any girl group- it doesn’t have a strong identity to it. The sing-talking and chant chorus doesn’t give much room for unique vocal performances. It’s a shame because we know from previous stuff that they have a ton of potential and talent!

      Like

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