Next album I am looking to review is LOONA’s fourth mini-album, & (pronounced ‘and’), which was released at the end of June of the year. It features their title track, PTT (Paint The Town). This is the group’s first comeback since the release of 12:00 and Why Not. This comeback also marked the return of Haseul, who has been on hiatus for their last few comebacks. Like the recent album reviews I have been writing, I too also made a few remarks regarding the intro track but have not included it in the overall album rating, which will instead feature the other 6 tracks on the album. Anyhow, on with the album review!
1. & – Kicking off the album is the howl of wolves and synths in this intro track. It is powerful intro track that features those traditional Indian elements also heard in PTT, teasing us with what is to come. But & is more than that. Dramatic and suspenseful synths precede and set a very strong tone.
2. PTT (Paint The Town) (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for PTT (Paint The Town). (8/10)
3. WOW – WOW is an upbeat jazzy number that comes off as an exciting addition to the album. There is also a bit of a familiarity with WOW, as the song sound similar to Wow Thing (a collaboration between Seulgi, SinB, Chungha and Kim Soyeon from 2018). Like Wow Thing, LOONA’s WOW is extremely lively and energetic thanks to the jazzy influences. It also adds a nice classy colour to the album, whilst also reminding some of their pre-debut work. The vocals shown off in WOW was impressive and had the right level of oomph for the song, which just makes this a satisfying track to listen to. Altogether, WOW was a great song. (9/10)
4. Be Honest – Be Honest follows a similar upbeat and energetic nature as WOW. However, I didn’t find anything that grand within Be Honest, as I did with the preceding song. This song was a pleasant retro pop track and LOONA does pack a punch with their chirpy melodies and lines. The upbeat energy gives the song a nice kick and I will agree that it makes for a fun summer track. However, Be Honest just doesn’t come off as memorable for me. (7/10)
5. Dance On My Own – Dance On My Own is this album’s English track, similar to how Star was LOONA’s English track. It is also the start of the album’s more toned down side, tapping into the R&B ballad general. It is a nice listen, with pleasant melodies. I liked the overall lightness of the song and the catchiness from the repeated ‘Dance On My Own’ hook. The issue with this song, in particular, is that it gets pretty repetitive, which may not be many people’s cup of tea. (8/10)
6. A Different Night – A Different Night is another pleasant ballad. It is very light on the ears and is quite a blissful piece. Instrumental-wise, A Different Night isn’t anything different to your typical ballad. Classically instrumented. There isn’t anything wrong with this when it is done right, and I feel that A Different Night is an example of it being done right. Another great aspect of the song are the vocals. In A Different Night, harmonies are more prevalent and adds a soothing factor to the song. (9/10)
7. U R – Another R&B song to end the album. U R is a nice listen that continues the toned-down nature of the second half of the album. I like the breathy nature of the vocals and the lo-fi beats give U R a different profile from the rest of the toned-down tracks on the album. However, to me, it doesn’t have a memorable factor to it. I also find the song to be on the dry side. (6.5/10)
Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10