The Awakening is the fourth mini-album released by GFriend. “FINGERTIP” was used as the promotional track.
Released: November 8, 2000
1. Hear the Wind Sing (바람의 노래)
3. Contrail (비행운:飛行雲)
4. Please Save My Earth (나의 지구를 지켜줘)
5. Spring Rain (봄비)
6. Crush (핑)
Hear the Wind Sing opens the album and it’s phenomenal. This is easily one of my favourite GFriend songs. It is a bit breezier than the group’s usual material, but it still works really nicely with their sound due to its pulsing beat and straightforward focus. The beat is a bit odd at times, but it gets covered by the piercing string-like synths and catchy melody. It’s really gorgeous and feels like a breath of fresh air.
When FINGERTIP was released, it definitely got a lot of mixed reception. Some thought it was a great example of the group maturing their sound, while others found it to lack the same touch as their most popular material. I love this song. The song still has the group’s signature “anime theme song” style, but brings a bit of funk into it with a great bass and groovy synth. It has a punch to it that’s helped by the electric guitar, which really shines when the melody isn’t stealing the show. It’s catchy and exciting.
Bringing us back to the lighter pop sound, we get Contrail. It’s not as impressive as the last two tunes, but it’s laid back and bright vibe really brings a nice contrast to the last song. This song actually reminds me a bit of J-Pop and I like it’s more melodic take on the chorus. It doesn’t quite have the same energy, but there is something fresh about this one as well that keeps it a fun listen.
I would say the most classic sounding GFriend sounding song on here comes in the form of Please Same My Earth. Of course, that’s not to say it doesn’t change things up like the addition of the subtler brass throughout the song. The chorus is explosive and has that high energy, almost emotional quality about its delivery. My only gripe is actually with the singing. I feel like if Yuju was doing it, it would have been more impacting. Still, it’s a solid tune.
I wasn’t expecting Spring Rain to sound this great. It goes the midtempo pop route with some light R&B elements. The verses aren’t that memorable, but they are still a joy to go through and helps to build to that gorgeous chorus. I love the melody here and it ties in beautifully with the light bass and strings. This is definitely a pleasant surprise and I think it is one of the group’s best slower tune.
Considering how strong the first five songs were, I was really worried that Crush would end up as the black sheep. Luckily, this song is another quality pop tune. Here, we get a bouncy pop song that changes up the classic GFriend sound. The song builds up in a way that makes you expect the chorus to have a soaring quality to it, but it instead continues that light melody. It’s not as catchy as some of the other songs, but you can still hear the quality.
Overall: This is probably one of the best mini-albums I’ve listened to in a long time. Literally every track is great and there are great things to hear in each of them. This totally makes up for their first album, which I was disappointed by. I like that each of the songs tries to play around with their usual sound while still getting those powerful melodies.