[Review] Obliviate – Lovelyz

It has definitely been a while since we last heard from Lovelyz. Their last comeback was in May 2019 with Beautiful Days. After that comeback, the last we heard from the group was via their participation on the TV show, Queendom, while Kei and Sujeong made their respective solo debuts. But after one year and four months from their last official comeback as a group, Lovelyz has finally returned with Obliviate, the title track off the group’s seventh mini-album, Unforgettable.

Obliviate steps away from the usual fantastical cutesy and innocent sound that we know and associate to the group. Their new song is a lot more mature and serious in sound, compared to any of their previous releases. It is an interesting change up. It might be a step into the more typical direction as Lovelyz has held their ground with their usual work for over 6 years now. But I enjoy a different sound once in a while. The song starts off with this interesting guitar sample. I cannot pinpoint what style the guitar is, however it does bring a hint of that fantastical sound to the song, meaning Obliviate isn’t too far from the group’s associated sound. We then enter a pretty standard first half of the verse. The song starts to pick up once we get to the pre-chorus, with the instrumental and vocals becoming quite extravagant. We are then led to a satisfying chorus. The extravagant pre-chorus preceding it alluded to a harder drop, so Lovelyz’s light approach with Obliviate was unexpected. But I quite liked it. It consolidated that mature sound noted earlier and the repetition of the title was catchy. The instrumental was mostly trap, though I did appreciate the bass that kicked in. The best part of the song follows right after the chorus (i.e. post-chorus hook). It was by far the catchiest moment of the song and I really liked the way they added a yearning tone to the ‘Down, Down, Stop It‘. Overall, Obliviate falls for some typical elements. But for the most part, it was extremely refreshing for the group.

The song is about forgetting a painful love. And the members portray that very well throughout the video. You can tell that the members had enough with remembering these painful memories and seek ways to forget about it. Another interesting theory is the video’s connection with Harry Potter. It makes sense, given Obliviate is also the incantation for the forgetfulness charm. We see the members hold various items including a ring and a book (or diary). At the end, we see these burning alongside a rose, thanks to a spell that the members recite, which an owl drops off to the members. Mijoo is also in a maze, similar to the maze Harry had to go through in the final Triwizard Tournament. Sujeong stands in a corridor with flying letters. The other members didn’t really fit into this theory, though you may have picked up on some other details. Or there might be a completely different theory to this video. As for the visuals, I really liked the darker atmosphere and the sets for this video.

The members in an interview said a sentimental concept for this comeback, rather than a sexy concept. However, I think the latter is a better description for the performance. I really like elegance of performance, which strongly aligns this comeback with their previous performances and concepts. However a number of the moves give off a sensual vibe, which is absolutely fine as well. Key examples include the post-chorus sequence and the second section of the final chorus.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

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