LOONA - Butterfly
It’s been roughly half a year since we saw LOONA debut, so the timing for a comeback seems pretty fair. For me personally, I’ve never really been all too big of a fan of the group. I know that there are some absolute LOONAtics out there (and yes I’m aware that’s not the fandom name), but I’ve just never really understood the appeal in the same way. Still, though, I have enjoyed a handful of their songs via individual member releases and subunit releases, so I went into this music video with hopes of another song to enjoy.
Where do I start with this track? I guess with the positive stuff. The production values are all there and it’s apparently even within just the first few notes of the track. There’s a nice air of sensuality mixed with mystery and a sort of sly delivery to all of the vocals that gives off a sleek, clean texture to them. I enjoyed the verses a lot. The way that members would intertwine their portion of lyrics and play off one another was fantastic. The instrumentals are relaxing in a way while still providing a modicum of energy that propels things forward and keeps you engaged while it builds towards the chorus.
And, unfortunately, the chorus is where the song absolutely loses me. I’m not a big fan of instrumentally-heavy choruses, which this song most certainly is, but on top of that, the high-pitched vocals are.. well, they’re irritating. They’re so over the top that it grates on your ears, and it almost sounds like some kind of sick, twisted joke. Except that it isn’t - it’s real. It really just puts me off from the song on the whole because it is that bothersome in my opinion. Seriously, this is a different level of off-putting, the likes of which hasn’t been heard since Seoyoung’s pre-chorus vocals in Hello Venus’s “Wiggle Wiggle.”
Moving off of what destroyed what was otherwise an enjoyable track, let me just touch on the lyrics for a second. Let’s be real - talking about transforming into a butterfly and spreading your wings and what not isn’t exactly new or groundbreaking stuff. It’s a pretty common metaphor. However, it being common doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a nice sentiment that LOONA are sending to their fans. I’m happy to see that there’s some positive messages coming from a group that seems to have a nice grip on the international audience, and I truly do hope that it reaches them and helps them in some way.
The video is where I can really get some praises out. This is shot with such quality that a lot of the scenes come off as a commercial for a product. Obviously that product would be LOONA in this case, but you know what I mean. I could easily see how this could have been for a car, or a pair of a shoes, so big props to to the director (Wonmo Seong) for this and whoever pumped enough budget to get everything looking so nice. The set design for LOONA’s choreography shots were really nice, too. The choreography landed somewhere between soft and alluring, sprinkled with a bit of grace and theatrical flair, and it just made for a pleasing and welcome addition to the video.
The utilization of warm and cool colors provided some excellent lighting effects that really appealed to the eye, and the choice to have the girls wearing simple black outfits, or black and white, helped them stand out in such an elegant manner. Especially with the use of black and white scenes to really make all of the girls pop. They all looked amazing, too, of course. I’m sure that there are a ton of fans that will appreciate the racial diversity present in this video as well, though that really isn’t of much importance to me personally. Still, it’s nice to see them putting an effort towards that knowing that they’ve amassed a sizable international audience.
All in all, the video was undeniably impressive. LOONA might be opening the doors to a new tier of quality that could force other groups and companies to step up their game to compete with.
(Random note: HaSeul looks amazing with short hair.)
While the video is an extraordinary cinematic experience, “Butterfly” treads some rather divisive territory with its inclusion of piercingly high pitches for what is arguably the most important piece of the song. I don’t know that it will put off many of their fans, but as somebody that’s always remained a bit more on the fence with LOONA, this flatlined my enjoyment of the song. Ultimately, though, the track did appeal to me on every other level, and it does give me hope for the rest of the album’s discography.