GFriend’s disbandment was one of 2021’s most unwelcome turns. They were a consistently great addition to the K-pop landscape, filling a niche not many other acts attempted. But though they never got the opportunity to grace the industry with a farewell single, their 2020 hit Mago stands as one hell of a send-off.
GFriend has fractured into multiple projects. Last month saw the solo debut of vocalist Yuju, and now it’s time for the highly-anticipated VIVIZ to release their first music. VIVIZ is composed of Eunha, SinB and Umji – a well-rounded trio. We may never get that full, wonderful GFriend sound back, but debut Bop Bop attempts to inject a similar energy. In fact, the song shares some connective tissue with Mago, taking a disco-inspired approach to dance music.
The problem – and I feel like I’ve written this so many times before – is that everyone is delivering this style at the moment. When it comes to standing out, Bop Bop has its work cut out for it — especially as it plunges into its ultra-familiar bass-driven chorus. To the song’s credit, it brings a heartier series of melodies to the template, ensuring Bop Bop never feels threadbare. I’m not a hundred percent sold on the chorus, but I appreciate its breadth. It would have been easy to retreat to a simple drop style. The instrumental bops along underneath, unveiling disco strings and swirling synths. The verses are less memorable, though the song’s opening minute harnesses a nice sense of build. Overall, I’d call this a successful re-debut. Bop Bop is a competent re-creation of current trends. But, I’m eager to hear what makes VIVIZ’s music unique and vital.