GFriend is nominated for Best Female Group, Best Female Group Performance (for Apple), Best Outfit (for Apple) and Best Concept (for their Temptation Concept for Apple) in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Click here to support GFriend and your other favourite artists of the year.
GFriend returned with their impressively catchy MAGO at the start of November, which was released as part of their third studio album, 回:Walpurgis Night. There are a few major points about this studio album that are very important to note before we crack on with the review of the album tracks. The new album marks the end of the group’s 回trilogy and also features their last two comeback tracks, Crossroads (released back in February of this year) and Apple (released in July of this year). Labyrinth, which was a side track that attracted a lot of attention this year was also included in the studio album, alongside seven other new tracks. And without anything further, let’s move onto the review!
1. MAGO (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for MAGO. (9/10)
2. Love Spell – Love Spell opts for a pop rock vibe. I adore the guitars in this song, which give the song a grungy edge and a 90s persona. The members themselves make the song sound a lot sweeter. I also find it a nice balance between pop rock and GFriend (though part of me would have loved to see them go full on rock or even punk rock, which Love Spell hinted towards). (9/10)
3. Three of Cups – Staying within the pop realm, Three of Cups opts for a city pop vibe or a 70s disco vibe. This style really gives the opportunity for the group to do something light, which their airy vocals reflected quite well. There were also some catchy moments in the song that made Three of Cups appealing. (9/10)
4. GRWM – Based on what I can gather, GRWM stands for ‘Get Ready With Me’, a term used to describe vlogs that shows the morning activities as you get ready for the day. What I like about this pop song is GRWM’s instrumental felt grounded and tighter than the previous tracks. I did feel their vocals could have followed that same feeling, but instead they felt overly light for such a heavy instrumentation. As a result, it felt slightly mismatched. Only slightly, but noticeable still. (8/10)
5. Secret Diary – Secret Diary is the first the three unit tracks on this album. This was brought to you by SinB and Yerin. It was nice track to listen, with good vocals and a likeable instrumental. Pleasant at best, as I have recently been saying. It just didn’t really feel memorable as it could have been with catchier hooks. (7/10)
6. Better Me – Better Me features Umji and Sowon, an interesting pair. Vocally, I wasn’t sure how the song would turn out, given that these two members aren’t exactly known for their vocals. But I think Better Me was more than a pleasant listen. The song has this subtle Latin vibe to it and they both sounded quite clear. I also liked how they pushed themselves for this song, which ultimately paid off. I find Better Me as the better of the three unit tracks. (8.5/10)
7. Night Drive – I expected a bit more from Eunha and Yuju, if I was being honest. They are both known for their vocals, so I expected something exciting for them. But instead, the pair went down the cliché route by opting for really soft R&B track that comes off like a ballad to me. That being said, the two did show off some vocal flair by effortlessly going into falsetto mode for some of the song. I also find their vocals compliments the song’s soft approach, which helps give off a slightly polished feel. (7.5/10)
8. Crossroads (교차로) – Click here to read my full review for Crossroads. (7/10)
9. Apple – Click here to read my full review for Apple. (9/10)
10. Labyrinth – Click here to read my song review for Labyrinth. (10/10)
11. Wheel of the Year (앞면의 뒷면의 뒷면) – The final song on the album, following the three songs the group has previously released, is Wheel of the Year. It opens up with a consistent piano tune. The song builds to incorporate other classical and band instrumentation to develop the song into a a really strong pop sound. Once again, the vocals are quite light, airy and smooth, but I felt they were fitting for this song. There was also some really nice melodies. The song also features a bunch of catchy moments, especially as the song starts to pick up momentum. It is definitely an excellent pop track to end both the album and trilogy. (10/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10