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Written 6/26/2022

Loona's new album, "Flip That" finally arrived today! I say finally but really, the shipping was so much faster than expected. I preordered version B and expected it'd take at least two weeks from release to get here. In reality, it ended up only being five days! I ordered from Music Plaza so I'd highly recommend them based off how fast and secure it shipped. They also gave me some bonus photos. For the photocards, I got one of Yves, Jinsoul, Vivi, Haseul (AR photocard), and Chuu (preorder bonus). I have no pics to show of it, but it's a beautiful album and I'm so happy to display it with the others I have (Loona's 12:00 and Sunmi's 1/6). To be honest, I was very relieved to get this today. I've had an awful week so getting this was the kind of blessing from the universe I needed.

Physical release aside let's talk about the music!

The Journey- Definitely one of my favorite intros from Loona! It flows really well into "Flip That" since, like with most Loona intros, it's using a lot of the same samples and sounds. Though the soundscape here is a lot deeper in tone than "Flip That" since it's more focused on setting up the album and less on the vocals.

Flip That- It's been so, so long since I had a cute concept for Loona. Much as I love Loona and groan about the discussions of the "Loona sound," Loona has changed it up since # and "So What." I like "So What" and love "Why Not" (I listened to that song well over 200 times in the first month of its release) but I really missed Loona's brighter concepts. I'm also a well known lover of summer kpop songs more than anything else. I hate summer but when it comes to kpop, it's the best season! "Flip That" is downright addictive to me for those reasons. It's fun, bright, and it's been stuck in my head for the whole week. I attribute some of that to the choreography. The movements synch perfectly and it makes it even more addictive to dance along. That said, I do think this release is playing it a bit safe. The MV, while beautiful and well filmed, is not revolutionary. Neither is this song as a title track. Considering the eyes on Loona after Queendom, I think this was the right call. However, I think especially in the chorus, there was room for a little bit more in the production. It's straightforward, for all the best and worst reasons. Solid, but in the middle as far as their title tracks go.

Need U- I am a notoriously picky person when it comes to ballads. It takes a lot to get me to like a ballad. I like the production on this one. It's simple, but the bass in the chorus and the deeper, wider production does hit when it comes in. Unfortunately, my biases about ballads and my tastes for faster music hurt my enjoyment here. Not bad, but nothing significant to say either.

POSE- The inclusion of "POSE" in this album was expected following Queendom but still feels out of place with the album as a whole. This album is full of bright, fun songs for summer and is focused a bit more on vocals. "POSE" is solidly a performance song and meant to stand out, enough so that it can serve as the finale for Queendom. As a song, I do like "POSE." Loona hasn't done this exact kind of performance focused, a bit chic and combative sound before. The choreography for it is great too and seeing it on Queendom was electric. That said, I wish it had been included on a different album because I'm a bit picky about cohesiveness.

Pale Blue Dot- This song took me a couple listens to click with. Sometimes it takes me a minute to click with the exact rhythm of a song. The anti-drop with the pared down chorus compared to the pre-chorus is a common sound in pop music but it's common for a reason. The second and third choruses with the most complex sound steadily building over it is satisfying. The use of the words "pale blue dot" also do a lot for me. That sort of celestial concept and the actual sound of the words aside from their meaning just appeals to me.

Playback- This is another song we'd heard before this album as it was sung during Loona's concert several months back. The transition from "Pale Blue Dot" to "Playback" is so satisfying. They have similar samples and the sound is quite similar despite "Playback" being a ballad. As a ballad, I actually do like "Playback!" There's enough going on here with the production to keep me interested despite the slower pace. "Need U" is fairly pared down the whole way through but "Playback" has a more compelx production through most of it and it picks up a bit later in the song. (Sidenote- If you want to know what I like in a ballad, "One of these nights" by Red Velvet is my gold standard for ballads. The production is absolutely gorgeous.)

Overall, not my favorite Loona album, that honor still goes to XX, but still very enjoyable. Beautiful packaging, gorgeous photobook, and a super cute, fun title track for the summer. Objective ranking 6.5/10 (seems super low but the way I do number ratings is lower than most people) but my personal enjoyment is a 9/10. Very happy to add it to my slowly, but steadily, growing kpop collection. Definitely recommend checking out "Flip That" "Pose" and "Pale Blue Dot" plus "Playback" if you like ballads!