And now we skip back to the present day to review a new release for a brand new group. Source Music (the former home of GFriend and a HYBE Labels subsidiary) has been working on a new female group for a while now, and today they finally unveiled the new group. Named LE SSERAFIM (an anagram for I’M FEARLESS), the group consist of six members. Two members are former IZ*ONE members, Sakura and Chaewon, while the third member is Yunjin, who eliminated from Produce 48 and placed 26th on the show. The final three members include Kazuha, Kim Garam and Hong Eunchae. They debuted today with the FEARLESS, the title of both their single and mini-album.
FEARLESS opts for a subdued funky pop sound. It is an interesting direction for a debut track, and it is one that actually pays off. FEARLESS has to be one of the most unique debut tracks that I can remember, simply because FEARLESS is anything but subdued. The track is bold and memorable in its own way, setting it apart from competition of trending tracks and other newly released songs. I really liked the pairing that subdued funky pop instrumental I already mentioned and the somewhat hush-hushed whisper-like vocals that the group started off with. It creates a sleek atmosphere that aids with the message of confidence included as part of the lyrics. I like how this same pairing is replicated in the chorus, though they did throw in some catchy hooks (such as the ‘What you, What you lookin’ at?‘ and similar repetitive lines) and amped up the funky influences in the instrumental to create a winning centre piece. I did skip over the pre-chorus, which I felt needed some of its own attention. I liked how they offset FEARLESS‘s overall subdued nature with a bit of oomph in the pre-chorus instrumentation and explosiveness via the vocals. It gave FEARLESS some meat to its bone. To me, the weakest moment comes during the second verse with the autotune. I get that it is an attempt to add some texture to FEARLESS, but it didn’t work as intended for me at least (whiny is how I would describe the autotune). But apart from that, I am digging FEARLESS and its bold execution. A great introduction to LE SSEARFIM, as well.
What a music video! It definitely carries over the sentiment as ‘a great introduction’ to the group. The visuals of members and quality of the video were definitely amazingly flawless. There was some great chemistry between the camera and the members throughout the video, which works wonderfully with that confidence that I mentioned in the song component of this review. I quite enjoyed the big crown set, especially as the pyrotechnic waterfall came down, and the dance studio shots (it is as if the group was aware that people were looking at them!). The CGI was also well used in this video. The use of black, white and silver was also a nice way to bolden the video’s visuals, creating a somewhat sterile environment that allowed other colours to pop (i.e. light blue in the studio set, the golden pyrotechnic shower at the end, the pink in the car scenes etc.). I do wonder what the final words at the end of the video mean – ‘Do you think I am fragile’ – possibly a hint towards their next release?
I agree with the commentary that music video version of the choreography felt a bit much when it featured some inappropriate choreography for minors (the ‘Swalla’ move), to which some of the members are. So I am glad that it was switched out the move for the stage performances. It definitely shows me that finally some companies have some awareness, though was it necessary to have to begin with. But other than that, I liked the choreography and the charisma that it brought along.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10