Though GFriend may be no more, its members have kept busy in 2022. VIVIZ are wading their way through season two of Queendom and Yuju debuted as a soloist. Next up is Yerin, who has signed with Sublime Artist Agency and is out with her first mini album. Debut solo single Aria isn’t worlds away from GFriend’s material, but lacks the punch and individuality that marked their best work.
At just two-and-a-half minutes, Aria is a wisp of a song. It comes and goes just as you’re starting to get into it, and pulses on an unassuming dance beat that wouldn’t feel out of place in a fashionable boutique. Yerin is a competent vocalist, but doesn’t bring much personality to the track. Of course, a song like Aria doesn’t offer much opportunity for identity. Its push-and-pull beat drops are slavishly fused in lockstep, moving in all the expected directions. On one hand, this continuity is satisfying. But, it’s also kind of dull.
While I’m happy the ex-GFriend members have branched out on their own, the sting of their sudden disbandment has been compounded by how generic most of their post-group output has sounded. Aria exacerbates this fear. It’s perfectly fine, but feels as if it could have appeared as a b-side on any number of girl group albums. It’s very IZ*ONE in execution, which may scratch the itch of those still mourning that group’s dissolution. At any rate, I’d love to see Yerin embrace a sound more unique to her. The punchy pop-rock of b-side Believer is already a more promising start.