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.