Buried Treasure: LE SSERAFIM – No-Return (Into The Unknown)

LE SSERAFIM - No-Return (Into The Unknown)A K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

When listening to LE SSERAFIM’s new album, I couldn’t help but feel its title track Unforgiven was its weakest link. The song’s trendiness and catchphrasey marketability make sense for promotion, but it’s the only piece of the album that feels remotely grating.

As usual, the songs are heavy on style and mood. Some  have interesting production choices (“Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s Wife”) or dynamic beats (“Fire In The Belly”), but as usual I’m on the lookout for memorable melody. And when it comes to glistening pop energy, No-Return (Into The Unknown) is the stickiest of the bunch.

The other two songs I mentioned may be more adventurous and pack a bigger wallop on first listen, but their hooks rely too much on sing-talk or chanting for my taste. No-Return leverages a retro dance sound to spotlight a great chorus. There’s plenty of swing to this hook, with fluency and variety packed into its three-part structure. Ebullient brass further accentuates the energy and I love hearing the girls’ vocals layered together. Like last year’s The Great Mermaid, this song reminds me of something f(x) might have recorded in the early 2010’s. There are few compliments better than that!

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.75

Grade: B+


14 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: LE SSERAFIM – No-Return (Into The Unknown)

  1. I feel the general production and chorus are very inspired by Lizzo’s To Be Loved while the end of the chorus reminds me of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off.
    It’s not a bad song but the lack of originality hurts.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Off topic: I just saw the comeback schedule for another group whom darling daughter adores. It starts tomorrow 4th May and continue until the real release on 24th May. Twenty days of concept pics and teasers?! Oooh, lyrics reveal … that’s really not a real thing. (Rant over)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s Wife is much better imo. I’m not sure if it’s a 10/10 but I haven’t been this obsessed with a song for a long time so it might

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that one’s more my speed too. I saw Le Sserafim as a weird, left-of-center group staking out their own sound, and this is the one tune that wouldn’t sound out of place on their work from last year.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. It kinda sounds like Manhattan Transfer covering a Phil Collins song from the 80s. Like, I like some things from the 80s; but there’s loads I could have done without.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was my easy favorite on the album, added to my playlists before I even finished listening. It just starts grooving and then never stops. I love how the melody line drops in pitch for the post chorus, and I adore the abundance of singing and lack of speaking. Added to my list of songs to dance like a dork to when no one’s watching.


  6. I can’t be the only who hears Taylor Swift “Shake It Off”… right?? Meanwhile, “Fearnot” also has that Taylor Swift vibe, only it’s the sappy rock/ballad snoozefest kind of vibe. This song is as pop as pop gets, but also as boring and generic as boring and generic gets. The whole “album” is a 3/10 for me. The only track which saved it from totally sinking is “Psyche, Eve, and the Bluebeard’s wife.” It’s a shame, considering how epic the teasers were, only to be presented by a Western spaghetti, “I’m not that typa girl” track, and a dark concept that’s true to Hybe/Bighit’s obsession with sinning, fallen angels, and turning dark, a la “Blood Sweat and Tears,” GFriend’s “Apple”, and TXT’s “Sugar Rush Ride.”


  7. you know what? i actually love this song. idc if its generic, idc if its basic. its so bubbly and full of fun melody. ill be listening to this and unforgiven all summer for sure. i really dont understand why every single song needs to be breaking boundaries or full of originality? sometimes its nice to just have a solid pop banger.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s a song that kinda sticks out like a sore thumb from their discography, but I can’t help but bop my head along. It’s a very upbeat summer song and I like it much better than Ive’s token summer song (Not Your Girl). Still, I enjoy it a lot and love the instrumental breakdown in the bridge.

    For me, Unforgiven is their weakest album but has the highest replay value – no skips for me. Does that make sense? I like the songs individually, but not in an album together.


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