Battle of the B-Sides: GFriend Edition

Battle of the B-sidesK-pop’s title tracks might gain most of listeners’ attention, but many album tracks are worth equal spotlight. I call these “buried treasures.”

Beyond this, K-pop’s albums deliver thousands of additional tracks that settle for a more limited audience. It’s these songs that will become a part of my “battle of the b-sides” feature.

In this feature, I’ll be putting on my A&R hat and taking a listen to five randomly-selected K-pop b-sides. I’ll write a mini review for each, including a Bias List rating, and rank them from least to most favorite. The winner will join a special Bias List B-side playlist. Think of it like my own little agency, hand-selecting songs I’d like to pitch to my nonexistent artists!

You can check out all rounds of my Battle of the B-sides here!

Battle of the B-sides: Round Fifty-Six

Glow (2019)

This is what I’d call a vibey b-side. It’s not designed to be the huge centerpiece of an album, but its breezy energy and solid, mid-tempo bounce is relentlessly pleasant. The group has definitely found stronger melodies than this (the chorus is particularly repetitive), but it’s difficult to dislike a song this chipper. This sound is also a great match for the lighter sides of the members’ tones.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

Eclipse (2020)

This is such a signature style for GFriend. It’s ornate and lush while maintaining a sense of whimsy that prevents it from collapsing under the weight of its own fussiness. As with Glow, I don’t think this is one of the group’s stronger melodies. The song mostly traces lines we’ve heard before in their work. But, the package is wrapped in such lovely bows. It swells and surges and then pulls back when you don’t expect it to.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

Wanna Be (2018)

It’s two times in a row we’ve had an OST song as part of this feature! Wanna Be is utter pop fluff, and that’s fine. It’s missing the weightier elements that often make GFriend’s music so enjoyable and that prevents it from being a discography standout. However, these songs usually have a specific mission when it comes to the drama scenes they’re soundtracking. Wanna Be casts off an innocent, carefree vibe with total confidence.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

Fall In Love (2016)

Now we’re talking! Early GFriend has a special place in my heart, whether we’re talking about title tracks or b-sides. This isn’t even one of the stronger songs from their first album, but I love its refreshing sound and lush, melodic chorus. Seriously… that chorus just keeps going! When you think it’s finished, another sweet series of hooks rush in to keep the momentum aloft. All we need is a guitar solo and Yuju power note to seal the deal. Alas, neither materializes.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.25

Gone With The Wind (2016)

Back in the early days of this blog, I didn’t write nearly as many “buried treasures” as I do now, meaning a ton of great 2016 b-sides passed by without a full review. Gone With The Wind is one of these treasures and replicates so many of the facets I adore about GFriend’s early sound. I love its off-kilter structure and unpredictable melody lines. Then, there’s that flawless blend of powerful and innocent – neither extreme overplaying its hand. And unlike Fall In Love, we get both a guitar solo and a Yuju power note. How spoiled we were!

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

My Verdict:

Fifth: Wanna Be
Fourth: Glow
Third: Eclipse
Second: Fall In Love

First: Gone With The Wind

Congratulations to GFriend’s Gone With The Wind – the fifty-sixth winner of my Battle of the B-sides!

Readers, what do you think? Did you discover any hidden gems? Leave your own ranking in the comments!


11 thoughts on “Battle of the B-Sides: GFriend Edition


    Glow is so repetitive, making it one of my least GFriend b-sides.

    Eclipse’s instrumentals are great, but the melodies quite of fell short.

    Wanna Be is such a fun OST from them. The hook is cute, and Yuju’s voice is such a treat to hear in that one.

    I LOVE Fall in Love. One of the many reasons why GFriend is my ultimate group is that their music TOUCH my heart. The strings, the melodies, the FEELS!

    Gone with the wind deserved the win. That climax!

    BTW, Nick, may I know what is your favorite GFriend album?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agree with all ratings.
    Personally think Gone with the Wind is one of the best b-sides in 3rd gen. It basically represents the GRFIEND sound. Production is very clean, everything is just right. Unpredictable melody lines by e.one further proves this song unbeatable. A kpop b-side classic.

    (p.s. lyrics for Gone with The Wind are great as well)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. GFriend is one of the few KPOP groups where IMO their title tracks are universally better than their B-Sides. not that their B-sides aren’t great, but their title tracks are SO fantastic across the board that nothing really lives up to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Finally someone that shares the same view with me!
      B-sides of GFRIEND are good, but their titles are better. Most of their titles are well-produced with unique flavors. Its pretty amazing to see a non big-3 GG achieving this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gone with the Wind is absolutely one of Gfriend’s best b-sides, ever. It’s everything I want (guitar! Yuju! orchestration! a sense of dramatic melancholy!) in a Gfriend song dialled up to about fifteen. I really wish it was more common in k-pop to release multiple singles off of an album, because I would have loved to have seen a music video and more promotions for this stellar track.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree exactly with your ranking! We have identical taste in gfriend songs haha. Glow is far too repetitive for my taste. Fall in Love and Gone With The Wind are both masterful old-school gfriend songs. Fall in Love’s chorus makes me feel so wistful and emotional I love it! but Gone With The Wind has that instrumentation that really puts it over the top. It’s also the only one of these that I could easily recall the melody of— it’s sticky.

    LoL was the first kpop album I ever bought so it will always have a special place in my heart, and it’s nice to see it spotlighted here 🙂

    Part of me is holding out hope that we might see a full-group gfriend reunion in the future, given their ongoing legal negotiations. But I’m not putting too much stock in it because I don’t wanna get burned 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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