Song Review: LOONA – Hula Hoop

LOONA - Hula HoopLOONA’s Japanese debut Hula Hoop has no music video, and there doesn’t seem to be one forthcoming. This usually means I skip writing about the song unless I’m ridiculously enthused or enraged. But, enough of you asked for a review and today’s a slow K-pop day. So, here we are!

Like so many recent idol tracks, Hula Hoop is co-written by the prolific Ryan Jhun. He’s currently embroiled in some controversy, which spawned an uncomfortable Twitter meltdown and cast a bit of a shadow over this song. However, Hula Hoop’s enthusiasm is too bright to extinguish. After a few edgier tracks, we’re back to the hyper energy of LOONA’s Hi High era. I came around to that song eventually, despite having a low threshold for chanty, chirpy affectations. They’re still not my preferred style for a girl group, but they make sense here.

In alignment with its title, Hula Hoop’s chorus twirls around, revolving with a wave of high-pitched exclamations. Again… not my favorite approach. But, I like how the vocalization expresses the unsteady motion of its subject.

Other segments within the track recall the quirky synthpop of groups like WJSN. Hula Hoop is at its strongest when fusing the girls’ voices together in a fizzy headrush. These moments bring needed focus to the musical frenzy. The song’s “city pop” version (also included on the EP) builds upon this approach in a more streamlined way, removing the incessant exclamations and digging into the meat of its melody. I prefer that arrangement, even if we lose some of the energy in the transformation.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

14 thoughts on “Song Review: LOONA – Hula Hoop

  1. Have you heard of a group Pritti-G? They debuted with this song Hola recently. I went it with no expectations really but it felt really nice! It’s a really simple happy kinda song but the MV/concept’s pretty cute and it has these strong shoujo anime opening vibes 🙃 . I thought it would be kinda like Ichillin’s Gotya because of the title but surprisingly it was not!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaaand I have now had my own aegyo fill for the day.

    Hula Hoop is in Japanese, but it may as well be in Korean. Its sounds like kpop, the tempo, the polish, the particular flavor of sweetness. Not a criticism, just saying.


  3. Finally LOONA is back with their bright sound. I didn’t hate the girl crush detour as much as other but after PTT being outclassed by WOW, I was ready for their return to more upbeat tracks. I think it’s solid and I also prefer the City-Pop arrangement more even if it isn’t really fully City-Pop. I will say I think Starseed is the better of the two.


  4. Ohhh it’s so fun, I love it! I took a while to come around to Hi High as well, and especially after the recent string of girl crush comebacks (which I didn’t dislike too much, but speaking of, PTT has really aged badly for me), I definitely appreciate the brightness of it and Hula Hoop.


  5. By far their best release since Hi High. This is exactly the sound you expect from jpop: high pitched chaos in a way that’s exciting and engaging. Such a breath of fresh air to hear melodic choruses and post choruses again. Hopefully their Korean releases follow and they pull a SJJD.

    Liked by 1 person

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