Oh, we were wrong for this. 'Luv Star' leaves us today, exiting just before the top 80. Deserved? No, not at all. 'Snowflake' really did give us some quality b-sides and this one is no exception. It was written and composed by the legendary e.one and he really captured the early GFriend sound perfectly here. I love it so much!
'Luv Star' is bursting with bright, powerful optimism. The spoken section that opens the song is very cute, though sadly I can't find a translation so I have no idea what they're saying. It feels very "best friends in the schoolyard" type vibes, if that makes sense? And then the song immediately hits you with that chorus! What a chorus it is! It's euphoric and it's truly had me in a chokehold over the last few days. I really should have given it a 10 for that alone. The verses are more understated, which works perfectly to give the chorus that punch. I really do love the verses too, and especially the pre-chorus. The "shureu shureureu" part sounds so sweet and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy like a teenager in love or something.
I am obsessed with the instrumentation too! Thank you to Kwon Suk-hong for the chirpy, incredibly fun strings arrangement. I absolutely adore it. I am a huge strings fan in any song, but in more upbeat songs they're even better. It just adds something extra special. I love how they pick up in the second verse, making it sound more impactful and dramatic. And of course, the post-chorus section sounds so energetic and exciting. It gets stuck in my head all the time. That final chorus is so powerful too. I just think that the instrumentation and melodies here are a true highlight in their early discography.
I honestly don't have much to say about the vocal performances here. I find it interesting that so much of the song is sung in unision, which is actually a really fun aspect of it. It does mean that nobody stands out particularly, at least to my ears. I mean, of course Yuju's ad libs at the end sound fantastic as always. Actually, SinB might be my favourite here. Maybe it's because she got the "shureu shureureu" parts and I just think she sounds lovely there.
My only real complaint is that the song feels a little short. The climax of the final chorus is great but it could have been more impactful with an actual bridge to build from. The song just kinda ends too soon for me. Regardless though, I wish I had given it a 10. Or at least a 9.5. That's my mistake and I'll have to live with it. This song has been a little ray of sunshine over the past week, which is something I've really needed.
@eatyourself (4.5) : I appreciate the usage of Björk's tesla instrument but this ain't getting no stars from me, luv.
@M24 (8) : This is very cute, Source really improved the quality of their bsides starting from this mini. Yuju's high notes at the final chorus are probably the best part, it was great that they let her showcase her voice even for a cute song like this where vocals tend to be soft. It's also commendable that they had live vocals during one of their performances of this song too, not many groups do that these days.
@ysev (10) : The chorus!!! Such a rush of emotions.
What are your picks to leave before the top 70? Are there any songs you're still mourning like I am? Please stop calling for 'LOL' tracks by the way, you're hurting me!
Today we return to the album 'LOL', though I'm sure @boombazookajoe is going to be disappointed it's not 'Water Flower' getting the axe. Instead, it's the more lowkey track, 'Mermaid'. The song was composed by GFriend's labelmates, vocal group MIO. We'll see them pop up again on one of my least favourite GFriend tracks and one of my all time favourites later on. 'Mermaid' even charted on both the Gaon Digital Chart and the Gaon Download Chart, debuting at #83 & #41 respectively. Not bad for a song we only deemed worthy of 80th place.
Now, I am a big fan of this album. It might even be my favourite release of theirs. However, if we had to cut another song then I'm not too upset that it's this one. It's kinda just there? Super pretty and enjoyable when you're listening to it but once the song changes to 'Sunshine' I've honestly forgot about it. Both songs are softer, more relaxed moments on the album but 'Sunshine' just hits the mark more for me. It has something special to it that keeps me coming back while I only really listen to 'Mermaid' in the context of the album. This might actually be the first song I think I slightly overscored instead of underscored.
I can't find any confirmation of this, but based on the lyrics I definitely think 'Mermaid' is written about the story of The Little Mermaid. The girls sing about loving someone who doesn't know them. Hopeless love where you can only watch from afar and wish. Lyrics like "Because I can't go to you, because I can't say anything. Even if my heart disappears like foam," and "Even if I can't say a word, I hope he feels it" are just giving me Ariel vibes, you cannot convince me otherwise. In the original Hans Christian Andersen story, she even turns into sea foam at the end so....I sound delusional but I'm right and that's it.
The instrumentation is lovely! The introduction is actually the highlight of the song for me. The wave sounds and the way the strings and guitars intertwine. I love it! I like the vibes of the softer verses too and the melody of the "badaya" and "barama" bits! I think the vocals are actually my least favourite part of the song. There's nothing paricularly impressive about them, not even Yuju really. I mean, she always sounds good but her high note isn't really anything to write home about. And my girl Umji sounds really rough on the bridge! Whoever decided to use that vocal take needs to be fired for Umji sabotage!
Since I'm all out of things to say, lets hear from the three people who left commentary.
@eatyourself (7.25) : Very cute and I love the instrumental flourishes.
@M24 (7.5) : A real grower, I don't think I appreciated it the first times I listened to the album. The melody in that chorus is lovely, maybe the verses drag it down a bit for me.
@Wills (5) : A debut full-length with only one dud? Unheard of! Sadly this is the dud. That power note… a nightmare.