Song Review: GFriend – Sunrise

Over the past few years, GFriend’s title tracks have gradually transformed. Their are still hints of their “powerful innocence” concept, but with the absence of producers Iggy and Youngbae, their sound has grown more nuanced. It’s a shame that we’re unlikely to hear a Fingertip-style banger again (at least as a promoted single), but the group has adopted an ornate, almost suitelike sound that suits them almost as well. Songs like Time for the Moon Night unveil their charms gradually, making them growers rather than instant hits. I predict the same trajectory for new single Sunrise (해야). I’m not yet completely smitten, but I’m curious to see how it grows on me.

Sunrise begins where Moon Night left off, employing a similar symphonic sound and graceful melodic structure. The two songs share the same composers, who seem to have a rock-solid vision of where they want to drive GFriend’s music. Sunrise ups the tempo after a brief piano opening, giving the song some kick as we build toward the chorus. The verses veer from languid to sprightly with a balletic finesse, though the melody itself doesn’t leave much impact.

In contrast, Sunrise‘s chorus is quite instant, marrying the sentiment of Rough with the lyrical style of Memoria. Like most GFriend singles, it has a robust, fleshed-out appeal that’s deepened further by an orchestral post-chorus refrain that ties everything together. Vocally, Sunrise feels like the most overwrought arrangement the girls have ever been given. It builds to a fever pitch of power notes, with some faring better than others. I’m all in for the drama, but I kind of wish the climax balanced the reach-for-the-sky vocal moments with a more bombastic instrumental. With that said, I will never complain about a Yuju power note. As usual, she steals the show (though Eunha more than holds her own).

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9


17 thoughts on “Song Review: GFriend – Sunrise

  1. Now that Gfriend has released 10 title tracks (excluding Memoria), I am curious how you’ll rearrange your Gfriend’s best 10 songs!


    • One of these days I’ll get around to updating that post. Some of my top ten songs posts are woefully out of date. I’ve gotta give Sunrise more time before deciding where it falls in the overall ranking.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. that trap verse at 1:46 was a dangerous bet but it pays off: i actually dont hate it as much as i thought i was going to. i think this is the first time ive heard hihats like that in a gfriend title track

    loving the bouncy post-chorus hook, and the G# that it ends up in is just so delicious – especially how it builds up to the dominant like its begging to. really loved this right off the bat. great track!!


  3. I absolutely love this. The only critique i have is that the verses are not all that memorable but the chorus and the last 45 seconds all but make up for it. I think you were slightly harsh on this. I might have bumped this song upto a 9 or even 9.25. This song truly is immense and now probably ranks as my second favourite gfriend song beating Navillera but still behind Rough. Great review though!


    • For me, it’ll be awfully hard to beat the Iggy/Youngbae run of their first five singles (five of the strongest girl group singles of the past few years, imo), but that’s down to personal taste.


    • There will definitely be one! I’ve only had time to listen to the album once all the way through, but I’m eager to dig in and see which song really sticks out. I can already tell there will be several.

      Liked by 1 person

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