Oof. Okay buddies, looking at the low scorers list, I'm thinking maybe I need to reevaluate my friendships!!! What the hell is wrong with you gays? My My My! is not good, it's GREAT. The intro serving hold music with added guitars, the short bridge shared by Umji and Yuju, the slightly more energetic last chorus... I love it all! Maybe the song suffered from being a track from their Japanese album and thus less known than most of the other songs in the rate? I'm not sure! All I know is that it deserved better.
Written by Jang Jeong-woo, who also worked on La Pam Pam and JOE, who was part of the team behind the magnificient Memoria, My My My is a song about yearning for someone and it sounds like it in the best way. It's neither sappy nor too dramatic and it isn't what I would call a sad song either, instead it sounds... hopeful? The lyrics play on that, with lines such as 'is this what true love feels like? I'll keep shouting it out until it reaches you' or'I can't hide it anymore, everything within my heart, to you I'll reveal it all now.' I just hope the poor girl doesn't get rejected after pouring her heart out because that would be embarazzing!
Anyway, I clearly don't agree with this result but the public has spoken!
@M24 (8.25) : BOP! Their best japanese song? Yes, I think so, don't @ me! That chorus is catchy as hell, and the electronic instrumental is very much appreciated. @Attis (6.5) : Ugh I'm not a fan of this hook either, additional point for another exceptional note from miss Yuju
@Wills (6.5) : Nice that it’s sonically adventurous, but mostly makes me appreciate how good their production quality usually is fff
With this elimination, 'Fever Season' loses its first song! And look at the hosts scoring below the average ff...
Composed by Lee Won-jong and written by all six GFRIEND members, Hope is an upbeat pop song that clearly draws inspiration from the early and mid 2000s. I love the production here and the r'n'b influences sprinkled throughout the song are most welcome. GFRIEND and nostalgia kinda go hand in hand so it's not surprising that this track evokes those kind of feelings and here it's done very well. It doesn't sound dated but from the very first notes, you understand what Lee Won-jong wanted to convey through Hope.
The lyrics here are really beautiful and a perfect companion to the girls' peppy delivery and how positive and upbeat the whole thing sounds. Of course, it's once again about love (though you could argue it's about friendship I guess), but this time there's a little something about them that makes them more remarkable to me. Or maybe I just woke up on the good side of the bed today and I'm seeing things through rose colored glasses. Still, I think this verse in particular is very pretty:
The moments when we cried and laughed together
They will be a pretty memory
We gave each other a gift that glowed brightly
And our hearts became one
Okay. Reading it again it is pretty much your typical Kpop love song fare. Just nod and smile and let's move on to you guys' commentary:
@eatyourself (10) : A great soundtrack for walking on the seaside anywhere in Côte d'Azur. @M24 (6.5) : It's serviceable. I can understand why it's special to so many Buddies because it's the one song all the members co-wrote… I just don't really like it sound-wise. It's very one-dimensional.
Next, ONE album loses TWO songs and I need YOU to guess what those songs are!!!
You ever wondered why GFRIEND doesn't do rap sections in their songs? Let me introduce you to L.U.V!
With lyrics by Lee Seu-ran (whose credit list is just too damn long to choose highlights from) and arranged by Sean Alexander and Darren Smith, L.U.V is, according to its official description, a 'synthpop song with a somewhat @vague atmosphere' and highlights the 'girly voices of GFRIEND'. I mean, no argument here but I'm surprised they didn't mention pretty rapstar Sowon's genre-defining rap.
I know I made fun of it right here in the opening of this post, but Lil Kim Sowon (real name Kim So-jeong Denise Jones) rapping is definitely the highlight of the track. Is she good at it? Not at all. She is bad and everything about her parts sounds corny and straight out of a SNL parody instead of a real song and yet... I stan. Ironically, unironically, I don't know, but I do! Because it makes what is otherwise a pretty mundane track memorable. It even had me wondering... Did Sowon take notice of Lil Uzi Vert stanning the group on Twitter and asked him for some guidance?
Outside of the rap sections, the rest of the song is very good even if it's not offering anything new. One thing I love is the kind of ping pong effect of the chorus. The first time we hear it, Eunha sings most of it with only one line sung by Yuju, the second time it's the opposite and the third time it's back to being a Eunha-fest with Yuju as a supporting role. Very nice!
This one got you girls all chatty:
@eatyourself (9) : Why does this remind me so much of TWICE? Sowon shines here. @ysev (8) : A lovely tribute to Lil Uzi Vert, including inspiring rap parts by the Notorious So-Won.
@M24 (8) : One of my favorites of the album… that chorus is wonderful, and the "barago baraedon" bit sounds so poetic to my ears. And a Sowon rap is always a welcome addition for me personally!
@Attis (8) : After 84 years, miss Sowon finally do her job actual position @Slice of Life (9.5) : I forgot how much I STANNED this album OH MY GOD!!!!!! The return of rapper Yeoja Chingu let’s go!!!
@Crisp X (8.5) : Something about this always gave me Girl’s Day vibes, or 2nd gen K-Pop overall.
I'm so grateful to @junglefish for putting up with me and being so kind about my vanishing. I am truly sorry to everyone for just up and ghosting like that. This year has been......something certainly. Something bad. Can we put 2022 to bed yet? I'll save you from my long winded explanation of my trials and tribulations of the last few months but I want you all to know that I am still very invested in this rate, and that I intend to be back for good now. Not just in this rate but on the forum in general because I don't think I've been absent this long in quite awhile.
Expect an elimination very soon....I would react to the string of songs that left in my absence but so many of them were wrong decisions, especially goddamn Love Whisper. I say this with affection but you lot are deaf.
Oh and yeah @Slice of Life ... sorry for flaking on the monthly charts. You know life is really screwed up when I don't vote in those.
Oh, this feels weird. First elimination back. I can't decide if I'm happy or sad to be writing about a song I really like. Neither of the above guesses were correct. So, how are we feeling about 'Glow' being the next Time for Us track to make it's exit, hm?
'Glow' was composed by Daniel Sherman, Val Del Prete (Oh My Girl 'Colouring Book', TWICE 'Happy Happy', aespa 'ICONIC') & Caroline Gustavsson (fromis_9 'DM', Oh My Girl 'The Fifth Season', Le Sserafim 'Blue Flame') and the sole lyricist, Lee Mi-so, also wrote my favourite TWICE b-side 'WOW' so there was definitely quite the talented team behind this one. It also debuted at #128 on the Gaon Download Chart. Very nice!
To answer my earlier question, I'm not thrilled about this leaving. 'Glow' is one of my favourite songs from it's album. The song was described as an "R&B genre song with a sweet and warm atmosphere that harmonizes well with rich vocals and harmony, pop synths and drum grooves." I definitely feel the sweet and warm atmosphere. This is just bright poppy goodness. Not too sugary though, it's got this chill bounce to it that I really enjoy. In the commentary below @Crisp X talks about roller skating to it and I haven't been able to get that out of my head since. It's absolutely the perfect song for that. It's getting warm here now and all I can think about is buying a pair of roller skates, going out and listening to this on my headphones. Perfect vibes!
This is quite an Eunha heavy track, which works for it, as she has that sweetness to her vocals that you want for a song like this. It's Yerin and Umji that I feel really anchor the song though. I don't know if that will make sense but they feel like the foundation here. Yerin's beginning of each verse and Umji in each pre-chorus feel like such pivotal aspects of the song. I'm going to say something and it's going to sound like an insult to the lovely Yerin, but I promise it's actually a compliment. Her voice is on the plainer side, more simple with less of a unique vocal colour compared to the other girls. She's stable and really versitile so she can blend perfectly into every song and genre thrown at her. It's a blessing really. I adore the pre-chrous melody and I think Umji sounds absolutely lovely on it! So smooth and sweet! We even get another...sort of rap from Miss Sowon and I would say it's a little more successful than the previously eliminated 'L.U.V' but far less memorable.
And yeah yeah, the lyrics are yet another cute love song. I think the lyrics are quite pretty though. "You opened a window into my dark heart and let the light in", "My heart is growing larger, my hope is growing clearer. I'm embroidering all of them like starlight. In this universe, I can't take my eyes off you", "You're a flower road, that gives me surprises every day." Lots of great little lyrical moments that I personally really like! Is it revolutionary for a GFriend song? Not lyrically, no but it's lovely none the less.
Okay, I've rambled enough. Saying a lot while saying nothing at all I'm sure. Let's hear from our commentary panel!
@eatyourself (8.75) : A more juvenile offering from them at this point, but it kind of gives me The Postal Service so I'm good!
@M24 (7.75) : How the producers created such a catchy song from that quirky loop is beyond me. Surprisingly, my favorite parts are Yerin's and Sowon's lines in the chorus, they both slapped more than Eunha and Yuju here!
@Crisp X (9) : I can’t wait to roller skate to it at a roller disco soon, it just has that vibe about it.
Don't mind me spreading my ARTBEAT agenda further by adding their video to this post. Please stream, juseyo!
Now please induldge us by making a guess (or hopeful wish) as to which song leaves next! We'd love to hear from you.
Pleasantly surprised this song almost made the top 50! And that jump from #71 to #53!! The last six voters really came through huh!
Composed by Carlos K. (KARA, Akina Nakamori, NMB48, Miliyah Kato, Nogizaka46...) Emotional Days, the second track on GFRIEND's sole Japanese album 'Fallin' Light' is... so damn dramatic. You girls know I live from dramatic ballads and this is no exception. I go back and forth but most days I'd say this is my favorite album track from Fallin' Light. What I love the most in this track is the piano, of course. It's so pretty and delicate and gives off that J-Pop ballad feel that I adore. Which, for the record, J-Pop ballads >>> K-Pop ballads and that's not up for discussion.
Now, why didn't I give it a 10 if I love it so much? Well, I'm nitpicking but the verses are definitely not strong enough for that chorus. It might have to do with some of the girls not being fully fluent in Japanese but some parts sound so flat and more like they're reciting something instead of singing and feeling it, which is criminal for a song like Emotional Days. Thankfully, the chorus saves it. Eunha and Yuju certainly understood the assignement, sounding like they're carrying the pains and woes of the whole world on their shoulders. The drama, the pathos! Eunha's wailing in that last chorus while Yuju is busy EMOTING through her singing!!! Legendary. Does it border on pastiche? Yeah. Yeah it does and it might even actually cross that border but I don't care, it works for me and with five 10s, it seems like it worked for some of you too!
Let's move on our very short commentary section:
@M24 (7) : Eunha's vocals here, whew! The song itself doesn't make me feel emotional at all tho ddd.
@Wills (9.25) : Chorus is good, but the verses are truly something special
It seems we are in a Time for Us cull right now as I return to eliminate another one of my favourite tracks from the album. Written by Lee Seu-ran and beautifully produced by B.Eyes, 'Our Secret' surprises me. In some cases, choruses that focus more on instrumentation than melodies and vocals can turn me off a track but it's irresistibly charming here! It feels like an advantage rather than a flaw.
The album description of the song calls it a "pop dance song with flying synth sound and a strong bass line", which definitely fits it well. Especially the part about flying synths because they really do sound like that, don't they? Every time I hear the production in the chorus I just feel lifted, like I'm flying too. I think the problem with some instrumental heavy choruses is I don't find them memorable but that couldn't be further from the truth here. It's so catchy, an earworm. I don't care how many times it that one part loops, I don't get sick of it. It seems like a lot of you agree with me, considering how many high scores this was awarded.
The vocals are perfect too. It isn't a song that relies on vocal gymnastics or Yuju's gorgeous belt. It's simple, understated but gorgeous. Every girl sounds lovely with these melodies. It's comfortable and breezy with a lot of room to breathe and for their tones to shine through. There's something really warm and charming about Sowon's lines here actually. I really enjoy them! And Eunha is my other stand out. I absolutely love the airiness at the end of a lot of her phrases, especially in the pre-chorus. She delivers every line perfectly to me. Give her a gold star!
In my head, 'Our Secret' and 'GLOW' walk hand in hand. They're sister songs. I always associate them with each other. I have no idea why, maybe they just both sound so sonically breezy and summery that they just fit together in my head? Eliminating them both so close together feels both right and wrong. Right because of the pairing of them in my head and wrong because it's just too soon.
Now, when will the next Time for Us track fall? Soon? What do you think it will be? While you ponder your answers, let's hear the commentary.
@eatyourself (10) : Also my favorite song in the album along with Show Up and obviously another one of my 11s. One thing I appreciate about Gfriend's music is that it always... makes sense? The melodies are never too complicated or gimmicky, nor do they have to sing in an unreachable key to be effective. The instrumental on Our Secret may not be the most original ever ddd but I think it is successful at what it's doing. This to me has the same glossy summery vibes of the Fever Season mini. It makes me want to go diving!
@M24 (6.5) : How the producers created such a catchy song from that quirky loop is beyond me. Surprisingly, my favorite parts are Yerin's and Sowon's lines in the chorus, they both slapped more than Eunha and Yuju here!
@Slice of Life (9.5) : This is how you do an instrumental-heavy chorus!!!!!
Now it's time to type the answers I told you to prepare earlier in the comments section of this thread. And until next time xx
After staying virtually untouched for the majority of the rate, 'Time for Us' is bleeding songs. Deservedly so? Hmm... In Show Up's case, it's hard to say!
Composed by frequent collaborator No Joo-hwan and Lee Won-jong, Show Up, whose Korean name translates as camouflage, is described as a FutureHouse song with a chorus that switches things up. And oh boy, does it switch things up! I might have overscored this track because the verses are so, so good. At the time, it was probably the more mature and sexy the girls ever sounded? There's something bright and airy about them but somehow also sensual with those synths and the throbbing bass underneath it all.
Then we get to the chorus.
Listen, it's not a bad chorus and I love how, huh, fresh it is, I really do. Just not in this song. I understand it's interesting to switch things up in a song, it makes it more memorable and all that, but sometimes it's not needed. Sometimes you should just take the easiest route and make that damn chorus fit with the rest of the song. I wish No Joo-Hwan and Lee Won-jong had taken a more traditional approach to Show Up because, like I said it before, the verses are brilliant and were at the time such a nice departure from what we expected of GFRIEND.
Oh well, I can't be too mad at the duo who gave us Time for the moon night, Labyrinth and Three of Cups. Let's see what you buddies and buddy-adjacent people had to say about Show Up
@eatyourself (10) : My actual true 11, but I didn't want to flop myself. So I gave it to a single.
@M24 (8.5) : In an extremely consistent album like Time for Us, many of the album tracks felt around the same level. This was the standout for me, because that chorus is a blast, particularly Yuju's first lines! Also surprised this was their first mention (I think?) of the word "girlfriend", considering that most groups namedrop themselves sooner or later, it took them like 5 years since debut for that. @Crisp X (9) : This is what Chromatica wishes it sounded like. @Wills (7) : Great verses let down by a lame chorus