GFriend sit comfortably at the top of my rookie girl group bias list, and that’s due mostly to the incredible pop songs they’ve been given by composing duo Seo Young-Bae and Iggy. So what happens when the girls cover an older kpop track instead of working with their normal songwriters? Well, like most CFs (ie: advertisement songs), it sounds pretty darn generic.
I don’t mean to take anything away from the kpop of years past, but it’s a simple fact that the music industry in Korea has grown. This means additional resources, and a heightened sense of globalization. While many of the core influences remain, kpop circa 2016 is a totally different beast than back in the year 2000, when Wave was originally released by the group UN. As such, the song itself sounds incredibly old-fashioned and surprisingly scattershot.
Wave hits us immediately with its sunny hook, and even if you’ve never heard it before, it feels universally recognizable. It’s the sound of summer in a bottle — celebratory and more than a little cheesy. But the verses are a different story. They seem endless, simply counting time between hooks in a lightweight series of melodies that evaporate immediately after they’re heard. GFriend normally has a tight, propulsive sound that squeezes hooks from each millisecond, but they’re working with a slightly different style here. After all, the song’s main purpose is to sell fun, and in doing so, sell the luggage that the girls are peddling. In that regard, it does a fine job, but I guarantee their next official comeback will blow Wave out of the water.