Release Date: September 15, 2021 (digital), October 20th, 2021 (CD)
- Hula Hoop
- Star Seed ~ カクセイ ~
- PTT (Paint the Town) – Japanese Ver.
- Hula Hoop – City Pop Ver.
Total Runtime: 00:12:56
Recommended for: those who loved LOONA’s earlier releases and synth-pop
NOT recommended for: those who enjoyed LOONA changed in sound as of late
LOONA had made their Japanese major debut with a double single, Hula Hoop/Starseed~Kakusei~! Both songs are Japanese original tracks and the single also includes the Japanese ver. of PTT (Paint the Town) and a City Pop ver. of Hula Hoop. Without further ado, let’s get right into the review.
Track 1 – Hula Hoop
Hula Hoop starts off with an ear-worm of an opener, synth notes and everything. When the chorus comes around, it’s like a synth fiesta. Piano, trumpets, violin, you name it! “Hula la la, Hula la la, Hula la la Hula Hoop,” is one of the catchiest lines ever, brings you back for more. Chuu’s high note into the final chorus was everything, it really packed a punch. One thing though that had me go “eh” was an adlip right after Chuu’s high note, I’m not sure who sang it but it wasn’t well executed. Overall, this might be one of my favorite music releases in general this year.
Track 2 – Starseed~Kakusei~
Another track filled with synth pop beats, Starseed really gives off the J-pop idol scene vibes. The instrumentals don’t go too overboard, with just the base and some glittery synth notes in the back. One thing I want to say is that all the members really fit the song really well, no one felt out of place. The mixing can be quite questionable in certain part of the song but nothing to unlistenable. This song would be great to hear at a concert, like an encore performance.
Track 3 – PTT (Paint the Town) JPN ver.
PTT (Paint the Town) was picked to be the Japanese ver. in this single and I feel like they could’ve picked a different title track. Something like Hi High would fit the tracklist better but I’m sure they included PTT instead since it’s their latest release. That aside, the Japanese version was made very well. There was no odd translated lyrics, everything flowed pretty great. One thing that was odd was the mixing on Vivi’s and Gowon’s vocals, could’ve been done better.
Track 4 – Hula Hoop – City Pop ver.
I was very excited to hear the City Pop ver. of Hula Hoop but was left disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great remix of Hula Hoop but it’s just didn’t give city pop vibes. Past that, it’s like a stripped down rendition of Hula Hoop and you get to focus more on the vocals more compared to the original version.
Overall, Hula Hoop was a strong Japanese debut that brings in new and old fans alike. There could've been a better track-list to make the single more cohesive but it's not the worst thing. I hope that LOONA continues to make music of this style.