Published on January 21st, 2015 | by ponyforprez0
G-Friend: ‘Season Of Glass’ album review
Okay. Fine. Yes. G-Friend’s (short for Girlfriend) debut single ‘Glass Bead’ does look and sound like Girls’ Generation’s ‘Into The New World’. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, do I personally like G Friend? Yeah, I actually really do.
Similarities to Girls’ Generation and APink aside, they’ve nailed the cute concept to a T. Also, ‘Glass Bead’ is really catchy. It’s as simple as that. There’s really no vehement reason to dislike the 6-member girl group when they’ve only been around for less than a month with a spanking clean record. They’re young, seemingly earnest and possess the elixir of youth. Here’s a quick rundown of names before we get any further: Umji, ShinB, Yuju, Eun Ha, Ye Rin and So Won.
Criticism and finger-pointing of concept copying is inevitable for any new group in the industry, but let’s face it: girl group concepts have long been narrowed to either The Cute or The Sexy. Occasionally, we get some edgy, hip-hop-esque image that female groups may or may not carry off well. Either way, the bottom line is: It’s unfair to accuse a girl group of copying when there are only so many ways around a completely ‘New! Refreshing! Unique!’ conceptualised unveiling of new artistes.
Mini album ‘Season Of Glass’ is yet another one of those albums that mashes pretty, quaint words which make little to no sense at all (though lyrics usually attempt to string together some relevance to romantic relationships) in a bid to come up with a whimsical album title (see APink’s ‘Seven Springs Of A Pink’, ‘Snow Pink’, ‘Pink Luv’, Lovelyz’ ‘Candy Jelly Love’ and so on), but it’s really not as bad as it seems.
Music critics might dismiss it as an album with little or no originality, but perfecting the ultimate earworm hit isn’t easy, and title track ‘Glass Bead’ accomplishes that. It’s well-packaged, fantasy-like, has a great lifting tempo and synth hooks, and I’ll give credit to the fact that the girls manage to elevate the spirits and energy of the song, heightening the overall feel of it. It’s dynamic right from the get-go, which is a huge plus for a promotional song.
‘Neverland’ retains the enthusiasm that ‘Glass Bead’ has, but sounds a lot more modern and sunshine-oozing. It’s got a zippy, cute vibe to it, and could easily pass off as a summer hit. ‘White’ on the other hand, has all the ingredients of a loop-worthy B-track. It opens with twinkling notes, and then follows a consistent build-up to a chorus completely enveloped in cute. Easy on the ears and hard to dislike. The girls get to focus a bit more on their singing control here – don’t expect mind-blowing notes though – which is rather nice. My main gripe? That ‘White’ is the last song on the album and I still find it hard to differentiate between their voices. Even main vocalist Yuju’s voice blends in with the rest of the girls because the members have a similar singing tone and pitch.
For those who love girlish, pure bubblegum pop, ‘Season Of Glass’ is a real treat. Finding a secure footing might be a challenge for these girls, because so many factors play out in determining one’s success in the industry, but for now they seem to be garnering good favour. I hate to bring this in again, but it’s a fact: reigning girl group of cute APink won’t be stepping down from their recently mounted throne anytime soon, so G-Friend will have to constantly step up their game if they want to stay relevant and interesting. At present, with their similar hairstyles and generic stage outfits, even visual individuality is scarce. But they’re young (leader SoWon, also known as miss A Suzy‘s doppelganger, is the oldest at 19), pretty, sing and dance decently, and have more than a ton of room for improvement, so I believe they’ll stick around for a while. Will they be one of 2015’s standout groups? We’ll see.