One of the biggest benefits to GFriend upon joining Big Hit Labels has been the ability to expand their field of collaborators. While their sound hasn’t shifted drastically, bringing in producer Frants has been a goldmine for the group. This partnership kicked off with February’s extraordinary Labyrinth (which still should have been a single!). It then coasted into July’s Apple, and climaxes in the disco-kissed MAGO.
GFriend have often made their name on bombastic tracks ornamented with swirls of symphonic drama. In contrast, MAGO casts its sights narrow. It aims to be little more than a sophisticated dancefloor filler. But, this focus allows the track to shine. The chugging beat gets going right from the start and never lets up, gliding along with a reassuring ease. The thumping electronics aren’t something we haven’t heard a million times before in pop music, but MAGO doesn’t seek to impress through daring instrumental twists and turns. Instead, it stakes its claim on a good chorus.
And, like many of K-pop’s recent retro offerings, MAGO has a great chorus. It’s a two-parter, kicking off with an effervescent refrain that feels like a big centerpiece without going overboard. This is followed by an even catchier hook that fully embraces the track’s disco leanings. In some ways, it comes across as the successor to both Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) and Madonna’s Hung Up (which famously sampled that song). In other words, MAGO is well-aware of the roots it draws from, even as it twists these charms into a format more conducive to K-pop. GFriend’s had a prolific 2020, and this caps it off in sterling fashion.