Snowflake is the third mini-album released by GFriend. Rough was used as the promotional track and became the girl group’s biggest hit.
Released: January 25, 2016
1. Intro (Snowflake)
2. Rough (시간을 달려서)
3. Say My Name (내 이름을 불러줘)
4. Luv Star (사랑별)
5. Someday (그런 날엔)
7. Rough (inst.)
The mini opens Intro (Snowflake), which is pretty dramatic with its ticking and synths. It has a lot of power to it and ties in to the next track perfectly. Rough is essentially GFriend’s biggest hit and it’s not surprising to see why. It has a powerful arrangement that focuses on string-like synths to give the song a very uplifting feel. What’s so great is that the chorus has a melody that is not only catchy, but intense. It fits so perfectly with the music that they both complement each other and it really makes things feel like an anime opening. The girls also sound really great, although its Yuju’s performance that really escalates the song in its final section. Say My Name is different. While it is another upbeat pop tune, this one has some Spanish elements in it. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of this song as it doesn’t have the power of the last one. However, it has an old school quality about it and it reminds me of something from the early 00’s. The chorus doesn’t blast off, but it does have a smooth charm to it that is only heightened by that nostalgic hook in its second half. Luv Star is definitely more on the cuter side of things. The verses are a bit forgettable, but the chorus does have a great sound to it. I wasn’t expecting to like it that much, but this one does have a late 00’s sound to it that reminds me of Girls’ Generation’s older material. It is catchy and I like how the chorus is in unison. A solid tune. Someday starts off sounding like a ballad but soon explodes with some energy. I feel like this one is the most similar to their usual title tracks as it has that J-Pop quality to it with its focus on flaring synths and flying Yuju vocals. I really enjoy the pre-chorus and the build-up into the chorus, which dips down from the vocal climaxing before building things up again. It’s a really interesting style to go with. Trust is the mini’s ballad and has a gentle R&B beat under the piano and sparkling synths. I think the verses are dull and not memorable at all, but the chorus is much better. The melody is stronger and the harmonies in the back really help to elevate the vocals. I would say the bridge is the highlight of the song as Yuju’s voice really brings a lot of colour to the song. A decent ending.
Overall: This is a great follow-up to their great second mini. All the songs on here are solid and there are two stand out tunes. Even if some of the songs weren’t totally my style, there were elements to them I really enjoyed. I would just like some of the verses in the songs to not be so forgettable.
Flower Bud is the second mini-album released by GFriend. Me Gustas Tu was used as the promo track.
Released: July 23, 2015
1. Intro (Flower Bud)
2. Me Gustas Tu (오늘부터 우리는)
3. Under the Sky (하늘 아래서)
5. My Buddy (기억해)
6. Me Gustas Tu (Instrumental)
Intro (Flower Bud) opens the mini on a bright note with its steady beat, gentle piano and light synths. It also ties in with the next track as it utilizes the hook a few times here. Me Gustas Tu is the song that caused GFriend to blow up and it is still one of their best tunes. It’s a bright pop tune with its bouncy beat and explosive synths. The coolest part is the electric guitar that comes up throughout the song. The song is infectious and has such a catchy melody. It’s simple, but the hooks are really effective and even the second half of the chorus works well despite being quite repetitive. I think my favourite part of the song though is the bridge where it slows down and Yuju’s voice just blasts off. Under the Sky continues the explosive pop sound. This one is a bit different because the chorus isn’t as hook heavy. It’s still catchy and the melody works well on top of the full instrumental. The touches of brass helps to give the song a bit of life. I do wish the vocals were a little stronger to really propel the chorus, but the girls do sound good during the verses. A solid tune. One cools things down with something more midtempo. It still ties in nicely with the other songs on the mini. Unfortunately, I don’t think this one is as strong. The melody isn’t as catchy and the music isn’t as exciting. It’s a nice song, but the only thing that really draws me to it is Yuju’s voice in the chorus. Not my favourite song nor the most memorable, but still a decent album filler. My Buddy starts off sounding like a ballad, but soon gives way to an upbeat pop tune. This is the song to the group’s fans and it does well living up to its expectations. It follows similarly to the other upbeat songs on here, but reminds me more of something from Girls’ Generation’s first album. The harmonies really work nicely here and the unpredictable melody helps to bring an edge. A good finisher.
Overall: This is a pretty strong mini album and better than their first. I like that the song had a theme and it felt very cohesive. There were a few differences in how the upbeat pop tunes were presented that helped to bring out the charms of each of them. The midtempo tune was a bit weaker, but it wasn’t terrible, just forgettable. Definitely a delight to listen to.
GFriend debuted in 2015 and started off somewhat rocky with comparisons to Girls’ Generation. Despite that, the girl group gradually released hit after hit and their bright and innocent songs and relatable charms allowed them to become one of the top girl groups of this generation. Season of Glass is the group’s debut mini-album. Glass Bead was used as the promo song.
Released: January 15, 2015
1. INTRO (Season of Glass)
2. Glass Bead (유리구슬)
4. White (White Heart) (하얀마음)
5. Glass Bead (Instrumental)
INTRO (Season of Glass) is really weird and dark sounding. It does get a bit lighter as the song progresses with the touches of synths and piano, however, it’s pretty dramatic. It’s cool though. Glass Bead is totally different though. While it opens with a piano, the chorus is largely focused on percussion, which really drives the song. There are some light synths and a bit of guitar, but it’s largely placed on the lowdown. It’s a really stark contrast to the melody that is really sweet and works nicely with the synthline. What’s great about the melody is that it doesn’t rely on repetition or a drop, but is instead quite melodic. It’s still an earworm and does a great job of highlighting Yuju’s vocals. Neverland changes things up by switching the innocent pop sound for something a bit disco-influenced. It still retains that bright atmosphere of the last song, but is funkier. I don’t think the chorus is as catchy as the last song, but there are some really nice hooks and it works well with the steady beat. Also, there are some fun parts that pop up throughout the song like the bits of rapping and weird synths. White (White Heart) is unfortunately not my cup of tea. It’s not terrible, just really forgettable. It has a bright pop sound, but doesn’t have the powerful percussion or charming melody to really help it stand out. It’s like a B-side from a 90’s K-Pop girl group album. The girls do sound really nice though.
Overall: The intro, Glass Bead and Neverland were all pretty solid songs and they each have their charms. The last song is unfortunately a bit forgettable in the sea of girl group songs, but the other two songs easily make up for it. This is a decent debut.