Release Date: July 12, 2023
- Did You Wait?
- Air Force One
- Je Ne Sais Quoi
- Love Me Like
- My Secret Playlist
ODD EYE CIRCLE is LOONA’s second sub-unit, whose membership consists of Jinsoul, Kim Lip and Choerry. Their 2017 album Mix & Match contains one of the catchiest K-pop songs of recent memory (Girl Front) and is an excellent blend of memorable dance-pop and R&B.
In September 2022, they returned with a b-side track on LOONA’s Japanese single LUMINOUS called SICK LOVE. This included future MODHAUS signee Heejin joining in as a member of the song. And that was pretty much for original material from this sub-unit as they returned to focusing on LOONA activities.
At the end of November 2022, the members of LOONA (except for Hyunjin and Vivi) filed to suspend their contracts with the company. Many fans were worried that the members would be stuck in months of litigation and that it would be a long time before any member of LOONA could release any new music.
However, it didn’t take long for something to happen, and in mid-January 2023, the members of ODD EYE CIRCLE were freed from their contracts with BlockBerry Creative. Shortly after, they signed with MODHAUS and, in mid-June, announced a comeback with a new mini album titled Version Up.
By the way, all the information above is well-known to the LOONA faithful and people following the circus of their contract issues. However, there you go for those late to the LOONA party and are looking for a very abbreviated catch-up.
Since it’s been six years since the release of Mix & Match, the anticipation for Version Up was expectedly high. Could ODD EYE CIRCLE match the greatness of their first album? With LOONA’s former A&R, creative director and music producer Jaden Jeong being one of the CEOs of their new label, the chances looked pretty good that expectations laid upon Version Up could be met or surpassed.
The final product is some good shit.
The title track, Air Force One, sets the bar high immediately with its Jersey club beats, catchy chorus and the LOONAverse reference heavy music video. However, this type of song might not be everyone’s cup of tea as it might be a bit too “noisy,”, especially during the chorus.
The b-sides/album cuts are probably the more sonically pleasing on Version Up.
Je Ne Sais Quoi was the secondary track promoted alongside Air Force One. It’s the opposite of the hard-hitting a-side, opting for a smoother and sexier vibe overall. The vocals are the real star on this track, with each member working that sensual feeling to the max.
The remainder of Version Up follows the same mood as Je Ne Sais Quoi. So, if you’re looking for more banging tracks like Air Force One, you’re out of luck. Of the three remaining songs, Love Me Like and My Secret Playlist are the most natural follow-ups to Je Ne Sais Quoi. But if you’re more inclined to something slower, Lucid would be the more fitting track to listen to.
Overall, Version Up is a fantastic EP that probably would not have been created if LOONA had not dissolved. So, I guess consider the return of ODD EYE CIRCLE a happy fallout from that entire situation.