It’s been almost 16 months since the last Lovelyz comeback. For many, such a long wait would amount to nothing less than career suicide. Thankfully, Lovelyz have formed a strong, dedicated fanbase and have been spending this lost time giving their many members solo ventures. Kei’s 2019 solo debut was a fun Disney-esque single reminiscent of the groups backcatologue while Sujeong’s Tiger eyes pointed at sleeker and dare I say more sexy sound. New single Obliviate (great title by the way) adheres much more to the sound previewed during Sujeong’s debut and the results are mixed.
While the most of the music has been great, I don’t really know how to feel about this whole “Woolim goes dark” thing. Obliviate or as the girls say, Obliv-e-atae feels very much like a younger (older?) sister to Golden Child’s Wannabe from last year. From the sleek inspired production to the minimalist verses and dynamic pre-chorus, the atmosphere is quite similar. Now, Wannabe was one of my favourite songs of 2019 so despite my qualms about the overlap in sound, is something I’m definitely not complaining about. Especially since the girls pull it off so well. The soaring pre-chorus is especially invigorating and singlehandedly roars back in the momentum that was kind of missing during the opening verse, which while full atmosphere felt much less impactful than it should.
This could also be said for the hook, which brings together two rather enjoyable refrains into a chorus that doesn’t really manage to get itself off the ground. The deep house influenced opening refrain is great and would have served as a fantastic post-chorus to a much stronger initial refrain. Instead it leads to one of the tracks more grating elements, the “down down” hook. I know it might be the favourite for many but it just doesn’t do much for me.
The entirety of Obliviate feels very much like a Cosmic Girls track for me and while this does earn them points in my book, the execution isn’t quite up to par. Especially when compared to some of the other (and stronger) musical maturations we’ve seen over the past few years
Final Rating: 7.75/10