Unless you’re living under a rock or you’re far, far away from the realms of K-pop Stan Twitter, you’ve probably seen the words “Stan Loona” at least once, often times attached with a video of one or more of the members of the girl group dancing, singing, or just being adorable in general. If you took the time to watch said videos, you’d probably understand the acclaim. If you haven’t, this article aims to enlighten you to an extent.
Loona, often stylized as LOOΠΔ, is a 12-member Korean idol group that has been taking the K-pop world by storm since 2016.
Under record label Blockberry Creative, the group is composed of Haseul, Vivi, Yves, JinSoul, Kim Lip, Chuu, Heejin, Hyunjin, Go Won, Choerry, Olivia Hye, and Yeojin.
Loona also has three sub-units. The first subgroup is LOONA ⅓, which comprises of Haseul, Heejin, Hyunjin, and Vivi. Next, we have Odd Eye Circle, which includes Jinsoul, Kim Lip, and Choerry. Lastly, we have yyxy, comprising of Yves, Chuu, Go Won, and Olivia Hye. These girls were presented individually for a span of twelve months and had their own solo and collaborative tracks before debuting as a whole with EP [ + + ].
What sets Loona apart from fellow girl groups is their very own “Loonaverse”, an intricate universe supported by various fan theories developed from the girls’ solo, subunit, and group tracks. Now, full disclosure, I am barely a full-fledged Orbit, so I suggest that you do some supplemental research on the Loonaverse after reading this article.
On February 19th, Loona came back with a repackaged EP entitled [ X X ], with lead track “Butterfly”. The song has received acclaim for its music video properly representing diverse women and for its general appeal. For this article, I, a casual listener of the group, will review the repackaged EP track-by-track.
Intro – “X X”
X X is quite an exceptional intro track, and while it only lasts or 48 seconds, X X is a delightful arrangement of instrumentals and isolated vocals worthy of your listen.
Track 1 – “Butterfly”
[ X X ]’s lead track, “Butterfly”, is an ethereal portal into another of Loona’s masterpieces. The rhythm is flowy with complementary vocals that will surely give you an out-of-body experience. This is the only song from the repackaged EP with a music video so far, and as previously mentioned, the video has gained praise for being well-made and diverse.
Track 2 – “Satellite”
Arguably the best B-side on the EP, Satellite is a cool and chill bop. The pre-chorus is evidently lovely, leading to a refrain that’s sickeningly addicting. Personally, I loved JinSoul’s rap in the second verse, the bridge’s chord progression, and Chuu’s high notes. Aside from the musical aspects of the song, after I read the English translation of the lyrics, I found the celestial metaphors very on-brand and enjoyable.
Track 3 – “Curiosity”
A slightly hidden head bop, Curiosity will manage to get you moving in any way. However, since this succeeds stronger songs “Butterfly” and “Satellite”, it’s easy to dismiss this as one of the weaker songs on the EP. It’s the third least streamed song off the album on Spotify, and it’s personally not one of my favourites, but to each their own.
Track 4 – “Colors”
I honestly don’t know how to feel about this one. On one hand, the verses and pre-chorus are good, but on the other, I’m not really digging the chorus. The melody’s great, but I feel like I’ll need to wait some time to let “Colors” grow on me if it even does. That’s probably just my personal taste since a handful of people say it’s one of the most underrated songs off [ X X ]. If it’s any consolation, I like this track better than “Curiosity”.
Track 5 – “Where you at”
The final song of [ X X ] is a hearty ballad that deserves everyone’s attention. The lyrics are wistfully poetic and beautiful, and anyone is bound to enjoy Loona’s vocal abilities on this track. I’m not usually a huge fan of ballads, but you can feel their yearning in this song whether you understand the Korean language. Aside from Satellite, this is personally one of the best B-sides of [ X X ].
If I were to rank all the tracks off of [ X X ] besides the intro track, “X X”, “Butterfly” and “Satellite” would be tied for first place, followed by “Where you at”, “Colors”, and finally, “Curiosity”
Overall, [ X X ] is an ethereal body of work proving that the hype surrounding Loona is justified. While not all the songs will grow on you immediately, this repackage is still very much worth your time. Even as a casual listener, this repackage is pretty much enough to convince me to join the “Stan Loona” movement, and probably insist that non-stans join too. With all that said, the next time you see the words “Stan Loona”, take a moment to consider it since these 12 really are talented and worthy of the public’s praise.
Featured Image courtesy of Bugs Music