GFriend have already packed a lot into their 2019. In just two months, they’ve released a full-length Korean album and a Japanese single. Now, they’re back with another new J-pop track, funneling various sounds from their four-year career into the upbeat Flower.
Last year’s Memoria was a lyrical, slow-burn affair, but Flower punches right out of the gate. The aggressive synths that characterized past dance tracks like Navillera and Fingertip are replaced by a brassy salsa rhythm, opening the track with a surprising genre shift. The rest of Flower is more straightforward, but touches on many classic GFriend elements. Orchestral influence abounds, crafting a breathless instrumental that still retains a touch of the ethereal.
As with many J-pop tracks, Flower’s melody is pretty long-winded, taking several different refrains and melding them into one intricate chorus. Because of this, the song lacks the direct and immediate impact of the group’s best work. But, its complexity also rewards repeated listens. It’s like an endless buffet of melody lines – none of which hit quite as strongly as I would have liked. However, the impressive pre-chorus has an addictive swell that draws upon the girls’ satisfying vocals before coasting into the brisk arrangement that underlines Flower’s central hooks. We even get a patented Yuju power note towards the end (something I missed during Sunrise, even if Eunha compensated during that song’s go-for-broke climax). Perhaps most importantly, though, Flower fits right within with the rest of GFriend’s solid discography, acting as an easy bridge between the Korean and Japanese markets.