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LOONA made their comeback back in October with Why Not and their third mini-album, 12:00 (read as Midnight). And per my terrible planning skills, I am finally getting around to writing an album review for 12:00 one a half months later. But as they all say – better late than never! Alongside Why Not, 12:00 also features seven new songs. One of these new songs is just an intro track, which I do not review. The final song on the album is titled Star and is the English version of Voice (which is featured on the album). As they are the same song (just in different languages), I will only be reviewing Voice (but I have also included a link to Star if you want to listen to it. So before I delay it further, here is my album review for 12:00.
2. Why Not? (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Why Not?. (9/10)
3. Voice (목소리) – Voice has been selected as LOONA’s follow up promotion song, with the group currently promoting the song on Korean weekly music shows. The English version of the song, Star, also has a music video! Voice is a much lighter song that brings a bit of innocence to LOONA’s song. In comparison to the title track, Voice is a lot smoother and has a very simple melody that is super easy to get into. And because of these factors, Voice is super catchy. The instrumental is pretty synth-heavy and has this slight retro vibe to it that is extremely pleasant and likeable. Voice and Star are definitely highlights of this album. (10/10)
4. Fall Again (기억해) – Fall Again is a super soothing ballad. It takes on a bit of a R&B beat for the most part. I really enjoyed the acoustic guitars that peeked through the instrumentation. It was nice change up to the otherwise straight forward R&B side of the song. I also really liked how the bridge was just the acoustic guitar as the main central piece, as well. The song also features really nice vocals from the members, allowing the soothing vibe of the ballad to be heightened even more. (8/10)
5. Universe – Everything in Universe was so smooth to listen to. This smoothness creates a strong alluring aura that is almost hypnotic for me. I just wanted to keep on listening to the song every time it appears on my playlist. What really makes Universe stand out for me is the way it built up. It started off as a soft song. But as it progressed, the song’s pop instrumentation kept on building up its energy and momentum. Yet they managed to keep the alluring aura consistent throughout the whole song. Once again, the vocals in this song are just so sweet and proves to me that every member of LOONA is capable as a vocalist. (10/10)
6. Hide & Seek (숨바꼭질) – The album returns to a bit of an edgy vibe with Hide & Seek. The bouncy way the song started felt like an extension of the title track’s chorus, just a lot brighter and colourful with its pop sound. I also liked how the chorus ended up becoming bouncy as well, which made the song so much more fun for me. I also really liked the synthesizer in the pre-chorus, which helped infuse some energy into the song. The bridge was also super appealing, with one half being a great segment to show off some strong choreography and the other half helping make the final chorus feel bolder. The only thing I was unsure about was the rapping in the second verse. I wished they didn’t go down the typical route for this element. (8.5/10)
7. OOPS! – The final song I am reviewing today is OOPS! It is definitely something different to everything we have heard above. This also includes the title track, which I felt was more melodic than OOPS! Instead, OOPS! goes for the group’s edgiest sound since So What. Personally, I felt the hip-hop styled song was disjointed at times. While I love texture in my songs, I felt like the overuse of textural elements in the instrumental actually became a flaw. I did like their delivery and the energy that came from the group members/song. I just wished it was a bit more refined and cohesive. (6/10)
8. Star (English Version of Voice) – See above for my thoughts on Star / Voice.
Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10