Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
As has been the case with all of their post-2017 albums, GFriend’s Song Of Sirens boasts a few b-sides that are stronger than its title track. I actually like Apple quite a bit, even if I don’t think it draws upon the aspects that make this group so great. A more quintessential GFriend sound can be found across the brilliant trio of Eye of the Storm, Room of Mirrors and Tarot Cards. I seen a lot of fans raving about Eye of the Storm, and I agree. It’s definitely worth “buried treasure” status, and feels like GFriend-meets-Dreamcatcher in the best way.
But, I’m just a bit more partial to Tarot Cards. As with a few of Sirens‘ tracks, it comes to us via a veritable army of composers, but my eyes went directly to the names e.one and Monotree. That’s a match made in heaven, and a perfect compliment to GFriend’s dramatic appeal.
I love Tarot Cards’ intense energy and high tempo. Right out of the gate, it sprints forward with symphonic drive that feels like the opening to an anime. Its verses are brisk and exciting, with Yuju rattling off a wonderfully aggressive note after the second chorus. But, my favorite part of the track is the transition between the pre-chorus and (what I suppose you’d call) the chorus. In some ways, it doesn’t feel like Tarot Cards has a chorus at all. It plays more like an extension of the verses, but it works thanks to the breathless arrangement. I love how the percussion briefly pulls away, only to slam back a split second later with renewed vigor. It’s just super dynamic. When GFriend are good, they are freaking great.
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I figured you would end up picking Tarot Cards! This mini album is super solid, probably one of their best yet in my opinion (even if the last two songs were a little unnecessary). My personal favorite is Eye of the Storm, probably because of the amazing Yuju-driven bridge, which is one of the most show-stopping climaxes of the year. Apple has also grown on me quite a bit (and I liked it from first listen, so it’s become even more of a personal favorite), which is great, because it’s not often that a group has a strong single and a strong mini album in 2020. As far as albums go, I feel like Red Velvet & GFriend are heads and tails above everyone else right now, with WJSN & LOONA potentially joining them if they keep it up.
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I agree on Creme Brulee being unnecessary, but come on, Stairs in the North is a great closer!
I still love Apple a lot more than you do, but this is a great pick for a buried single! Right now I’m in love with Room of Mirrors but anything from the trio you mentioned is a solid pick here.
“only to slam back a split second later with renewed vigor” This right here, I absolutely love when Gfriend does this. It feels like they leave you falling for a split second and then just everything comes back in again with extra force. I like Gfriend’s current sound but can’t deny I miss their super upbeat stuff.
Best song e.one has produced this year.
His April songs tend to sound the same, so it was good for them to change their sound for their latest comeback