Chuu Howl Review


This is the solo debut for Chuu (aka Kim Jiwoo) of the disbanded kpop group Loona. Chuu was always my bias wreaker in Loona, after my girl Vivi of course, so I have been excitedly awaiting her solo debut. I love her vibe and honestly am kind of happy she gets to shine on her own now even though I miss Loona. I think ATRP (her new company) has done a great job with her so far. I'm still not over the kkoti fanname reveal/lightstick teaser video. They perfectly captured the cute, bright, and kinda weird energy. The kkuka lightstick is so cute too! Also I'd like to preface that, while I think it's fun to try and connect the post loona projects to the Loonaverse lore, I won't be doing that with Chuu's solo stuff. It all seems much more personal to her and I want to engage with it through that lens. Now to get into the songs!


*photo links to mv*

lyrics: 10/10

The lyrics are so sweet and so sad! It depicts Chuu and the listener are protecting eachother and giving eachother strength despite a cruel and dark world. Also the part about her hiding behind a cloak of laughter is so sad bc it's so Chuu. It could be seen as a romantic song but I kind of like the idea of it being a fan song. A detail that supports my reading is the "be my little hero" teasers which seems to be a request to the fans. She refers to the other person as her "little hero" in the song. It's written by Seo Ji Eum who is a soloist. I feel like I should check out her own work now bc I really love her lyrics for Howl.

mv: 7/10

It's nice to look at and the 3d animated monsters look good. I wish there was more of a story though. I feel like there was a lot of potential with the monster concept and I'm not sure they quite reached it. And if they didn't want to do more of a story I at least would like more dancing. You gotta pick one.I do really like Chuu's styling though. She looks very cool and cute.

music: 9/10

You can never deny that Kim Jiwoo has VOCALS. She sounds great and the song is really pretty. I enjoy listening to it a lot but I marked off a point bc I can't seem to remember how it goes when it's not playing. It's good but not catchy.

overall: 8.7/10

I was expecting something more cutesy pop for her title track but I really like this direction instead. I hope a lot of people enjoy this debut and it does well in Korea.


*photo links to mv*

lyrics: 10/10

It seems to be about some sort of inner turmoil which it explains with a metaphor of being underwater. In the lyrics it seems like being underwater is Chuu feeling isolated, lost, and confused. I also think the part about no one knowing where she is means that no one knows that she's struggling. It is hopeful though with the part about her swimming towards the sky and believing that there will be a path for her to walk on. Overall it's really beautiful and poetic.

mv: 9.5/10

Interestingly the music video seems to interpret the underwater metaphor differently from the lyrics. The mv seems to show Chuu going underwater to be freeing and the scenes of her in her house seem to be her feeling trapped. The whole video is about healing. Despite it being confusing, I can see why they made this change. The scenes of Chuu swimming are absolutely gorgeous and do a great job visually showing her feeling light and free in contrast to the indoor scenes that seem much more cramped and dreary and has the shadow monsters. I also think the video references Chuu's relationship to food which she's talked about before. The parallel between her hesitently grabbing a cup of ramen near the beginning and the scene of her happily eating a candy bar on the beach at the end feels important. Especially if you consider the teaser photo of her eating that exact ramen cup with the words "why are you eating now?".

music: 10/10

It's so prettyyyyy ;_; If you know me you know I'm a huge Taeyeon fan and this is such a Taeyeon song! It's light and wistful sounding and the vocals are gorgeous.

overall: 9.5/10

I still think it's a bit confusing how the lyrics don't seem to quite fit the vibe of the mv or the song itself but I can happily excuse that. It's fantastic and I'm so happy they made it a prerelease single instead of a b-side. It deserves the attention. Oh also blonde Chuu slays.

My Palace

*photo links to lyric video*

lyrics: 9/10

So cute! It's all about how Chuu is the adorable princess of her own cute castle and how she's welcoming you in! It's sweet and silly.

mv: N/A

music: 5/10

I don't love how it sounds. The effect on her voice just kind of abrasive sounding. Also I don't love the Yahee Yahee Yahee's.

overall: 7/10

It's not my favorite on the album but it's still good. I just wish it didn't have that scratchy voice effect bc it takes me out of it. It's very Chuu though, especially the lyrics!


*photo links to lyric video*

lyrics: 8.5/10

It's a fun song about how opposites attract. I like how she keeps listing things that could be different about them like the color of their blood or number of limbs lol.

mv: N/A

music: 9/10

Fantastic I love the 80's pop vibe and her voice sounds amazing as always. It's both fun and upbeat while also sounding emotional and dramatic.

overall: 8.8/10

A highlight on the album for me. It's really good and again I love the 80's sound.


*photo links to lyric video*

lyrics: 7.5/10

They lyrics are about her discovering a new planet. It seems like she's describing Kkoti (the world that was shown in that instagram video with the living flowers). Kkoti is also her fanname which is fun that theres a whole fictional world for her fans.

mv: N/A

music: 9/10

I really like it! It's light and bouncy and while I wasn't sure how I felt about the whisper-y back up vocals at first, I decided that they're a cool choice that works well in the song.

overall: 8.3/10

It's good! I could see it being the pre release single instead of underwater, especially with the lyrics, but I'm glad they made the choice they did. I still would have loved a music video for this one though showing us more of kkoti. It could even be all animated like the instagram video was.


Average Rating: 8.5/10

I really enjoyed this debut. It feels a little wrong to compare it to the other post loona projects bc it feels so different, but I think I think I'd place it over Loossemble's debut but under Odd Eye Circle's redebut in my personal enjoyment. I really do love Chuu and I wish her nothing but the very best. As far as will I buy this album I'd put it at a 100% for if I saw it in a store and a 50% for buying it online. I think the visuals are really great for this album and I love that it comes with a booklet of mv storyboards. Thats honestly a major draw. So yeah go check it out and let me know what you think! (You can use my comments if you'd like. It's a hidden secret page on my website but I'll spoil it here. Just click the gif above the main menu!)

~Going Home~