written by: McRoth
It was only two years ago that rookies set out to abide by the mainstream trends set by elite idols to, ironically, try to stand out, but today, the more ‘unique’ they try to be, the better off they are. This ambition for specialty takes credit for the broad set of styles that rookies are debuting with this year, and today we’re treated with yet another nugu group that is taking their creative destiny in their own hands and away from the cookie-cutter mold we used to know.
This week, Nega Network‘s Lunafly – Sam, Teo, and Yun - debuted with ‘How Nice Would It Be‘, a light, acoustic-pop single. It’s a first of its kind in K-Pop, in that it feels very home-grown and grass roots. It’s very different from the highly produced and processed music in K-Pop, because it’s literally none of that. In fact, it’s so bare and simple, that it’d be more accurate to compare Lunafly to familiar YouTube/indie artists who create their music on their own (as a matter of fact, Lunafly actually composed their lead (lead!) single, “얼마나 좋을까“, which speaks volumes here). It’s an interesting route for a rookie group to take, especially in K-Pop, because we’re so used to the exact opposite. Could YG Entertainment‘s Yang Hyun Suk be on to something here?
As a single, “얼마나 좋을까” is a fresh perspective to hear next to the clutter of K-Pop electronica, but as a song on the whole, it’s only partially impressive. It’s, quite frankly, derivative of most acoustic music released online and not exactly special in that sense. It’s pretty, but easily forgettable. But as true as that may be, that doesn’t take away from the sheer talent that Lunafly possesses, which is the clear take-away when you listen to their music. Their voices suit this style to a T and they perform it really well. In songs like “One More Step“, a Jason Mraz inspired ditty, or the light-hearted pop track “니 이름이 뭐니?“, their strong vocals are married with sweet, uplifting styles that places them in their element. Their music is easy to listen to and highly rewarding for listeners who are looking for something less grating in K-Pop.
Lunafly have set a refreshing tone to their career with this single and are bringing a different point of view that most idols could never. There’s a lot of room for experimentation here and if there’s anything I’d like to hear, it’s for them to be even more vulnerable in their music. This acoustic-pop style is at its most powerful when there’s a deep emotional story to tell and I think Lunafly has the wherewithal to express that in really beautiful ways in the future.
Singles of any kind are not rated using the same rating system used for mini and full albums.