Theoretically, I should have been counting down the minutes to Butterfly’s release. But given 2020’s terrible track record I’ve chosen to go into every single k-pop comeback with absolutely 0 expectations. Cosmic Girls released my favourite girl group single of 2019 and are easily lodged within my current top three girl groups. But after Gfriend and Oh My girl returned with less than impressive singles, I was incredibly apprehensive going into this comeback. Nonstop was a decent trop-bop and I don’t think I’ve touched Crossroads since its release back in February. Thankfully, between Crossroads, Nonstop and Butterfly, WJSN are the clear winners.
Produced by Galactika, best known for their work with ITZY, Butterfly feels like it could have easily been an ITZY single. While is this in no way a bad thing, it takes away from what makes Cosmic girls so special. The layered, almost mushed vocal blend gives the track greater anthemic heft, but comes at the expense of spotlighting individual vocals. The girls have some of the most unique and powerful vocals of their generation and I don’t really think this track lets them showcase their skills as well as something like a As You Wish, Save Me Save You or even a Boogie Up. And while the ever pulsing instrumental is absolutely euphoric, most of it gets buried under the unrelenting vocal arrangement. I don’t mind it but I can see many people being overwhelmed with the arrangement.
Now you might think it’s weird that I called Butterfly the best of the bunch but spent the entire first paragraph outlining my quarrels with it. Well it’s because when Butterfly is good, its absolutely brilliant. The hook especially has that soaring anthemic energy thats been almost non-existent in our 2020 kpop landscape and as a result is incredibly refreshing. I would have preferred an extended Yeonjung power note to really take it home but honestly I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll accept any song that fits the labels of ‘upbeat’ and ‘has a chorus’. And Butterfly fits both those boxes with ease. And while it may not be the groups strongest effort, the album ‘Neverland’ might just be their strongest collection of songs yet.
Final Rating: 8.5 / 10