Today’s album review will be a deep dive into GFriend’s ninth mini-album, 回:Song of the Sirens. This was released two weeks ago and features the group’s latest promotional track, Apple. This comeback is distinctively different to their previous comebacks (such as Crossroads on their eighth mini-album, 回:LABYRINTH, which was released earlier this year). This is another highly reccomended album release from the female group, with a lot of great side tracks. See what I thought about each of the songs below and check them out to see if you agree with me!
1. Apple (Title Track) – Click here for the full review of Apple. (9/10)
2. Eye of The Storm (눈의 시간) – The explosive start of Eye of The Storm really got me hooked to the song. It had Labyrinth (an awesome sidetrack from the group’s previous mini album) type of vibe to it. Unfortuately, the song does not keep to that type of vibe throughout. Such a bummer, as I would have loved a Labyrinth 2.0. Instead, Eye of The Storm opts for smoother pop melody that truly feels like the calm eye of the storm. It feels like an anime OST track, which is an appealing thought to have. I like how the song just keeps going with its fast tempo. It is quite dynamic this way. As for the vocals, I give them a big thumbs up. Their vocals are fluid, flowy and calming, which essentially compliments the title of the song. The melodies are also quite stunning. Overall, a really great start to the sidetracks on this mini album. (9/10)
3. Room of Mirrors (거울의 방) – This time, the start of Room of Mirrors reminds me of the early days of the modern era of KPOP. It actually has a bright and Summery start. As the song enters the first verse, you can feel that the song is a lot moodier than originally thought. The song is more in familiar territory for GFriend with the classical instrumentation. It alone is quite stunning. Paired with the melodies and you have a pretty alluring and beautiful song that is equally as dynamic as the preceding song, in its own way. We get a bit of an electric guitar solo during the bridge just to add to that GFriend familiarity, though the electric guitar does give off slightly different vibes. As like the last song, thumbs up to the vocals. It too is a stunning element of the song. But it is Sin.B’s rapping that really caught my attention and is what really solidified that idea of nostalgia in this song. (9/10)
4. Tarot Cards – One element of Tarot Cards that I like is it just doesn’t stop to take a breath. It might be an overwhelming song to some, as the song literally throws itself at you with its different routes and sounds. But I quite like it due to its exciting and thrilling nature. The start of the song starts off calm, before we are thrown into the fast-paced nature of the song with an opening that feels like the chorus (but it isn’t!). We are then taken on a rollercoaster ride of a choppy yet cohesive first verse that feels like it can be split into 3 distinct parts before being dropped into the actual chorus. And that is just the first verse. The rest of the song follows a similar set up. What makes everything quite cohesive that it collectively comes together to form another anime OST-like song. There was some really memorable parts in this song such as the ‘Shuffle haebwa’ just before the final chorus and the ‘la la la ta ta ta’ post-chorus hook. A definite strong song, in my opinion. (10/10)
5. Crème Brûlée – Crème Brûlée is the ‘odd ball’ song on this album. It doesn’t fit in any of the categories of anime OST or familiar GFriend territory. It is definitely has a playful tone and feels experimental. Good on GFriend for trying something a little different. The only issue is that I find the song to be quite boring. The song has this really dulled wooden xylophone start to it that is quite similar to other instrumentation that we have heard from other artists in the industry. The chorus infuses some trap into the song, but that is also something we have heard quite a bit. Their vocals are quite crisp in this song, so I would give the song that. I will also applaud Sin.B and Umji’s rapping in this song, which is another drawing factor in this song. I want to hear more of this rapping in the future, especially since Sin.B has established herself in a previous song. (7/10)
6. Stairs in The North (북쪽 계단) – We have finally reached the final song on the album and it is a beautiful song to end the album with. Stairs In The North is a classical rock ballad that ticks a lot of the boxes for a nice ballad. Firstly, the rock instrumental is quite refreshing and different to usual ballads. The instrumental break we get as part of the bridge where the electric guitar takes centre stage was a killer part! Secondly, the melody is makes me sway along to the song, which is always a sign for a good ballad. Thirdly, their vocals are stunning in this song. Fourthly, I love how the song felt like it was ending for a brief moment, but they instead got the song to fade out with an extensive instrumental break that I found quite captivating. So far, it is shaping to be a perfect song. However, I am not keen on one small detail. That is the sudden transition between the first chorus and second verse. But apart from that, this is such a pleasant and soothing song to finish up with. (9.5/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10