LOONA – '+ +'
1. + +
2. Hi High *Title
5. Perfect Love
This EP is LOONA's debut album, released one day after they officially debuted. It's been nearly two years, through individual releases and sub-units, and now they're all together again on '+ +'. "favOriTe" marked the first time all of them performed as a group, and now we get six fresh LOONA tracks.
"+ +" is the intro track. It contains some strings and some cute singing -- the high pitched tones that we know are LOONA. You can hear the occasional ad-lib in here. The thing ends really abruptly. "Hi High" has some of the vocals we heard in "+ +," only more fully-realized. It's a bright, cute, summery-song. I've been waiting for LOONA's proper debut for a while and this song is worth the wait, sort of what might happen if "Girl Front" and "Kiss Later" had a kid together.
We have a pre-release track in "favOriTe," and I love the heavy club-banger feel of this one. I was impressed with the energy and overall vivaciousness. The little parts also make it even better, with ad-libs, speaking parts, and that tongue roll! This song is a serious bop.
"Heat" starts out as a quiet, unassuming, smooth R&B offering. But then they take it to the next level. Gowon, Yeojin, and Olivia Hye on the post-chorus ("Do you want to float higher?") are amazing. And the vocal work on the chorus gave me chills. If you're looking for a truly awesome song, look no further. "Perfect Love" is not only perfect for love but also a perfect party rock tune. The chorus is the hook, easily sung along with and the tune itself is a nice jam. The tune is nothing amazing, but it's a whole lot of fun. "Stylish" combines the smoothness that LOONA excels at with some of the cuteness. And you end up with this jam. The vocal power in the chorus is what really makes this tune pop. I like the ending, as well.
TL;DR: I liked it. This album was full of fun danceable tracks and I think even the most skeptical fan should enjoy it. I was a bit uncertain on what to expect, given the uneven quality of some of their releases (I still say Odd Eye Circle is their best subunit). But they pulled through here. A couple of the songs are cute, a lot of them are pure jams, and I wouldn't remove any of them from my playlist.
In keeping with the whole concept of the song, the video is quite cute. Scenes of the girls playing in the grass, singing in front of some kind of pink contraption, and other shots of smoke bombs and the girls running to some location abound. You find out what they're ultimately up to at the end, but in some ways that raises more questions than answers.
There are some gorgeous shots here, with colorful sunsets set against the industrial grime. They definitely knew the angles to use for best effect, and the framing of the scenery served to give you a sense of how much (or how little) space the members had. The whole thing had a sense of movement, too. You didn't have time to be bored.
Was it something I said?
The dancing was okay. I have to say they had some of the most animated movements I've seen this year outside of a boy band, and it is refreshing. They still kept to their concept, and they were definitely feminine, but it was nice to see some moves that might present at least some challenge.
So you might ask if I liked the MV. Why bother? I've told you everything you might need to know about how I feel about it.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6