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.
Thank you for the backstory – they seemed to be more polished than rookies, and now it makes sense.
It’s Alright! It has flavors of Twice’s Dance the night Away in it, so the song feels very old-fashioned, meaning trendy circa a few years ago. Yeah, I can also hear Dun Dun Dance in it too, that song being crazy popular for some reason.
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This is cute and fun. Not my fav song but I’m just glad to see them again. Mirror on the album sounds a lot like gfriend though, I think I might end up listening to it more than the title.
Like the other comments have said, I’m just mainly glad to see them again! And while the disco trend is far overdone at this point, I’m partial to that sound and Bop Bop is a lot of fun.
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The after chorus of this song is the best thing kpop has released so far this year
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As a TVXQ fan, I am used to terrible group splits from terrible agency management (cries), and I am glad to see at least half the group reunite. That said, this song is average at best, it does what everyone else is doing, and it just is not earwormy enough.
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I do agree that this sort of instrumentation is pretty common at the moment, but I find it decidedly uncommon that we actually got a true topline and a real chorus – so for that, I am extremely grateful! The whole album is really solid imo, Lemonade seems to be the fan favorite but I also really enjoyed Fiesta and Tweet Tweet. Mirror is giving me generic-Gfriend-bside, but I enjoy the nostalgia of it since it’s quite reminiscent of the old sound.
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I saw this review (and the MV) when both dropped on the 9th, but I decided to wait a couple of days before posting. Had I replied, I would’ve wrote something superfluous because that is how I initially received the song. I remember starting to write something like, “Well, GFriend is now 3Friend, but not the three friends we wanted.. ..(missing Sowon, Yerin, Yuju)”. Yeah.. ..I was in a snarky mood and I promised not to make posts like that anymore, so…
When they were six, I bounced between Sowon and Umji, so having Umji onboard gives VIVIZ a shoe in the door. That said, it took a few days for “Bop Bop” to “Pop Pop” with me. At first I thought the music was too cluttered/frenetic. I get that they were trying to elevate the energy, but there’s ways of doing that without going into the red. After a couple of days, I still think it’s busy, but I’ve adjusted a bit more.
If I review this based on the lineage, then it’ll get favoritism points.; but it that right? The girls wanted a new start, so they get treated like first timers. The funny thing is, if I judge them as a fresh debut, they actually get more points than if I took their pedigree into account because now I can forgive the parts that bugged me a bit. Imagine if Lightsum had released this. ..or Weeekly, or Woo!Ah!? Yeah, it was the fact that it was coming from 1/2 of GFriend that I was being a little harsh.
So.. ..it’s a good start for 3Friend (no relation to GFriend) and I’m curious what the future brings.
P.P.S. *winks at Umji*
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I am a little late on this but I want to make a point I have not seen.
A Kpop group depends a lot on the team behind it, the performers are maybe the last link in a chain made of musicians, producers, choreographers, stylists and a market team, even if the performers are great the impact they can have without that team is not the same.
Once Gfriend was disbanded and the girls followed their paths they lost the foundation and the team that made them in part Gfriend. SoMu, as much as it is in my black list, did a splendid job with them, knew how to exploit their best features and took care with great zealot on each of the girls’ presentations, music and concepts.
It is known that in Kpop there is a team or someone that approves the music of an album and the final word does not belong to the performer, even a group as successful and with great producers and songwriters as BTS has to subject their creations to the agency to be approved to be released. Whoever is this person clearly is the genius behind Gfriend music. I know the girls brought to life the songs and owned the concept but the vision belonged to someone else.
I consider this important because we are finally watching the girls to take that central role in their music, Yuju went for a more melancholic and mature sound, given her training she was the one I have always considered more a traditional musician so I am not surprised she had her own style even if we did not knew it before. Viviz for me is not Gfriend, Viviz for me is Eunha, Sinb and Umji loving their idol career and looking for continue it by themselves, Umji is the next one I consider more involved in music but still we have to have her creating a whole song. Viviz has the memory of Gfriend because it is what the girls learn to do and clearly love it but now they are getting out of their comfort zone and looking for their own path, their own vision and their own sound.
I love that clearly they are using the impulse of Gfriend to make a name for themselves but I feel it is limiting them in a way because people are going to expect them to be Gfriend instead of Viviz.
For their song BOP BOP, I loved it, for me it worked, nothing special but enjoyable to listen to, to sing and catching. I listened once at their debut and fell asleep to wake with it in my mind. For me it is just fun, diversion and funk in one song made to have a happy moment and no more. My favorite b-side is Love Like, It had the same magic that for me was to listen to Rainbow for the first time, an incredibly sweet and vulnerable song for more tender moments.
I love Umji for finally showing that she is not an average dancer nor vocalist. I love to have Sinb taking the lead again and even more. I want to watch Eunha improve and try new things with her voice. I am worried because they have this more honey sweet tone to their voice that blends amazing between them but do not exactly introduce a great contrast as Yuju and Yerin voices did. I am worried Eunha could be compared with Yuju. Above all I am worried people will refuse to stop watching Viviz like Gfriend 2.0.
Finally, Viviz are rookies, they are regrouping as idols, creating their team again, discovering how to make their own brand, sound and vision with more freedom according to what the girls have expressed. I think most people confuse being able to know what a powerful and wholesome music album and a performance is to being able to create both, it is not as easy nor it is as obvious as most can expect. The great difference with many other rookies is they have a lot more experience performing and understanding the process of creation but that doesn’t mean their team is not important. As much as I am mad at SoMu they did an amazing job creating opportunities for the girls, creating alliances and exposing them until they become what Gfriend was and I am sure they will do it again but SoMu managed to create Gfriend in part because the girls so I want to watch them to shine again by themselves and with their own vision.
Finally, please, let’s give a chance to Viviz, let’s treat them as rookies without chaining them to Gfriend standards. Gfriend is dead, as hard as it is, even if the girls recover their music and name, Gfriend died when SoMu chose to not keep their contract with the girls and dissolved their team. Viviz instead is alive, is new, is a beginning and is under construction. Let’s give them a chance to recreate themselves.