[Review] UNFORGIVEN – LE SSERAFIM (ft. Nile Rodgers)

Kicking off the week is LE SSERAFIM, who returns to the stage with their shared titled latest single and 1st studio album – UNFORGIVEN. It is the group’s comeback since the release of ANTIFRAGILE (also a shared title between their single and mini-album release) in October of last year. This release also marks the return of LE SSERAFIM in the very intense competition of female groups from last year, joining the likes of NewJeans and IVE who have already made successful comebacks this year.

UNFORGIVEN felt very LE SSERAFIM to me, but there was a major sequence in the song that I am not exactly keen on. I will explore this a bit more later on. But let’s focus on the strongest and most characteristic aspects of UNFORGIVEN. The first has to be the instrumentation, which samples the theme of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. While I don’t think this is the first time we heard this particular piece of iconic music in KPOP, I did like how it aids in making UNFORGIVEN appealing and fun. The iconic western cowboy whistle also features in the song, adding to the western theme of the song. There are also additional guitar work and a few extra twangs added into the instrumental, which I take is Nile Rodgers’ contribution to UNFORGIVEN. These felt cool, and builds on the concept the producers of UNFORGIVEN have forged. The second characteristic element of UNFORGIVEN is its repetitive hook. I liked the simple yet subtly expressive delivery of the song’s main hook, and how addictive it has become in the subsequent listens I have given UNFORGIVEN. Now, while it is all very solid, the part that I am most unsure about in UNFORGIVEN is the chorus itself. While I do like the melodic touches to the song and the ring it gives UNFORGIVEN, I did think that the main chorus felt a bit juvenile and felt a bit cutesy. The sing-song delivery doesn’t go well with the rest of the UNFORGIVEN, which felt sassy and attitude-heavy. I think there was a miss opportunity to do something more fitting. But at the same time, I guess the producers didn’t want a continuous churn of the same style for the 3 and a half minute length of the song. But apart from that, UNFORGIVEN is another strong and empowering song from the group, who is unafraid of showing a more confident side of themselves.

The song was all about being themselves whilst also breaking away from social norms. And the video shows this quite well. For me, the most impactful scene was the angel Kahuza, who probably represents the innocent and pure social norm, ripping off her other damaged wing and throwing it aside. Similarly, Yunjin’s scene with her pink dress tearing in the elevator was probably the second most impactful and memorable scene. There are a few other references such as dancing on tables and bright coloured wigs. In addition to all of that, LE SSERAFIM’s visual game is very strong in this comeback, showing off a very confident side to themselves. I also liked how the western theme of the song is also carried through into the music video. It makes the most sense after all.

This entire routine was super cool, and I really enjoyed it all. I liked how there was still an element of fun and a nice bounce to the choreography. The “horns” (I am assuming that is the concept behind the choreography’s main dance move) was an interesting yet easy to follow point of the choreography, while a nice mature side to the choreography works hand-in-hand with the confident vibes that the members put out.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

[Album Review] ANTIFRAGILE (2nd Mini Album) – LE SSERAFIM

As flagged a few days back, I will be posting the album review for ANTIFRAGILE, LE SSERAFIM’s second mini-album since their widely successful and catchy debut with FEARLESS (both the title of their first mini-album and debut title track). Only one song review stood in the way of publishing this album review (i.e. side track Impurities). But with that review posted on Thursday (link below) and I reviewed ANTIFRAGILE (the group’s most recent title track, link also below) back around when it was first released in October 2022, it is time for me to post my album review for ANTIFRAGILE. Their new mini-album is miles away from the standard set by FEARLESS, which I had described as ‘fair’ at the time of review. There are a few nice gems on this new mini-album, so keep on reading to find out which song(s) I am referring to and to check out the improved mini-album release that belongs to LE SSERAFIM.


1. The Hydra – Through The Hydra, we get an EDM introductory track. It was a very cool single with the members narrating in their respective languages (Korean, English and Japanese) about being antifragile (which leads into the title track that follows). It is definitely very trendy and the instrumentation has such a sense of confidence and sassiness that I find to be very memorable. (9/10)

2. ANTIFRAGILE (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for ANTIFRAGILE. (8/10)

3. ImpuritiesClick to read the full review for Impurities. (7.5/10)

4. No Celestial – Bringing pop rock to the mini-album is No Celestial. This style of pop rock is reminiscent of early 2000s pop rock and is another cool track on this mini-album. LE SSERAFIM doesn’t hold back in the song, throwing the F-word at us throughout the track without any consequence and giving us what I would describe as a powerful chorus that is just a vibe. Their vocals were superb throughout. All this praise means No Celestial is my recommended side track from this mini-album. (10/10)

5. Good Parts (when the quality is bad but I am) – Ending the mini-album is Good Parts, which is a much softer pop track. Just from the tone and vocal delivery, this song expresses a more vulnerable message to the audience. I really liked the harmonies in the song, the velvety instrumentation and the melodies were really soothing and touching. I also like how Good Parts manage to show a different colour to LE SSERAFIM, indicating their potential and range. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.6/10


[Review] Impurities – LE SSERAFIM

In case you missed it, LE SSERAFIM made their comeback with ANTIFRAGILE (the name of both the mini-album and title track) in October of last year, raising the bar even further in the very heated competition between new female groups of last year. As part of the promotions for ANTIFRAGILE (the mini-album), the group followed up promotions of ANTIFRAGILE (the title track) with the side track Impurities, which also got the music video treatment (hence the review today). Today’s review for Impurities also is in preparation for the album review for ANTIFRAGILE, which I will be posting some time this weekend.

Impurities comes off as another pleasant song, though I am of the opinion that more could have been done with Impurities. It features a smooth and dreamy R&B instrumentation that really pulls you in and captivates you. The vocals were kept subdued and gave off a mature vibe, pairing extremely well with the R&B genre (in general) and Impurities‘ instrumental . Together, it created a soft atmosphere that is so easy to get lost in. The song is also described as ‘sophisticated’, which I totally get from the song, as well. However, there isn’t much to remember Impurities by. This is because Impurities lacked a riveting melody and bold enough hooks that would have kept the song in the mind of the listener after it had ended. Had LE SSERAFIM and their producers developed melodies and hooks with a more memorable tinge to them, Impurities easily could have rivaled the likes of NewJean’s Attention or even Ditto. I did find the ‘Can you see huh?‘ line just before the choruses to be charming, so Impurities had that going on for itself. There was also a bit of oomph via some sing-rapping, which I found to have struck an appreciable balance of adding something more to Impurities, but also keep the rest of the track in mind.

The music video for Impurities was more of a performance video, with the entirety of the music video focusing on the choreography. I will make comments on the performance in the next section. I thought the intro was very eye-catching and intriguing. The rest of the music video is shot in one location, but the producers did a lot with this one location. The use of walls, lighting, screens just gave a limited and boring location limitless potential. I also feel that green screens might have also been used to extend the location out further. But I may be wrong about this. I really liked the images were saw on the screen in the background

Even though the music doesn’t call for much, LE SSERAFIM really showed off their performance chops with what felt like a complex routine. They were constantly moving about, filling up the space so well, both musically and on stage. It is a captivating performance that works extremely well with the music and style choices for this song.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.3/10


I start off this week with a review for a new release, before I turn my focus onto the female rookies that I have promised to review. And kicking off this particular week is LE SSERAFIM, who makes their first comeback with ANTIFRAGILE and the mini-album of the same name. The group’s previous release was their debut single, FEARLESS, which proved to be a massive hit upon its release, so there are some very high expectations with ANTIFRAGILE. Let’s see if they reach and/or exceed those expectations.

ANTIFRAGILE maintains the minimalist style that featured in FEARLESS to a degree. With the success of their debut song and how much I enjoyed the track, I am definitely on board to see how LE SSERAFIM would incorporate it into their new single. For ANTIFRAGILE, the minimalistic impression comes through the hooks of the song, which are more on the spoken or chanty side. To an even lesser degree, their vocals give off a similar impression. There isn’t exactly much going around the hooks of ANTIFRAGILE, hence why I am describing those sequences as ‘minimalistic’. The vocals don’t feel 100% incorporated with the backing, and so the way their vocals and raps interacted with the instrumental gave off the minimalistic feel. I find all of this does set ANTIFRAGILE up quite well, as it provide us with something new (and not a rehashed form of FEARLESS), whilst also maintaining a bit of identity for the group between releases. Now, I touched on some aspects of the song already that I just want to dive deeper into. I found the song’s initial hook (i.e. the ‘Anti ti ti ti fragile‘) to be quite jarring. But at the same time, I can definitely see it growing on me with repeated listens. The rest of the repetitive hooks in the song are just fine and help grows the song’s likeness. The instrumental had some good rhythm, with a slight reggae influence to it. However, while the consistent/repetitive percussion and rhythm keeps ANTIFRAGILE upbeat and appealing, I could have done with less of that faint whistle synth. I feel like that (out of all the repetitive and jarring elements of the song) might do my head in the most and the quickest. The verses of ANTIFRAGILE were probably the most forgettable sequences in the song, as the choruses stand out the most and are the catchiest parts of the song. Overall, I wouldn’t exactly describe ANTIFRAGILE as an exceed expectations, but it definitely heads in that direction.

The concept of the music video is quite an intriguing but clever way of showing the group is ANTIFRAGILE. Essentially, the world is doomed with the flying asteroid crushing into Earth. Everyone around them is running around and panicking, but not LE SSERAFIM, who goes about their day and lives as usual. While it is chaos on the streets, the group are just proving to us it is another day. At the end of the video, the asteroid does make impact with the members. But they come out of it unscathed, showing us that they are indeed ANTIFRAGILE. I think the music video could have used a little more vibrancy, but I do appreciate that there is more colour in this video compared to their last video.

I really liked the bounce they had in the performance, and the use of their muscle pose to show that they are ANTIFRAGILE (i.e. toughness and strongness). I did think the love hearts at the end of the performance were cringy and don’t really reflect the entire three minutes before it. I also think a better killing point move during the ‘Anti ti ti ti fragile’ hook would have been ideal. But a good performance, overall.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10

[Album Review] FEARLESS (1st Mini Album) – LE SSERAFIM

LE SSERAFIM’s debut mini-album is next up on the reviewing block. LE SSERAFIM, the newest female group that hails from HYBE Entertainment and Source Music, debuted back in May with the title track and mini-album of the same name, FEARLESS. It features a total of 5 songs, including the already mentioned title track. FEARLESS originally featured 6 members. But as of last month, Kim Ga Ram exited the group due to her bullying controversary that emerged whilst the group was promoting their debut. She was quickly sidelined and the group temporarily reformed into a 5 member group before becoming a permanent formation in July.

While LE SSERAFIM’s debut isn’t necessary the best start to the group’s career for obvious reasons, FEARLESS (the title track) was quite successful. It grabbed the attention of a lot of people, including myself. Based on what I saw, it also become a hit and hopefully people will remember the group for their debut track from this era and not because of something else. As for the mini-album, it was a fair one. I am not head over heels over the entire mini-album, but there was at least some good songs on there. Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments below (after reading my thoughts below, of course!).

FEARLESS Album Cover

1. The World Is My Oyster – Starting off their debut mini-album and their overall debut is the intro track, The World Is My Oyster. The instrumental for this track takes on psychedelic trance, which is right up my alley. There is an epic vibe simmering away in such songs, which makes me like the style. I also enjoy the suspenseful nature behind it. The World Is My Oyster features each of the members speaking in their own languages, introducing themselves as fearless, fitting for a group whose name is an anagram of I’M FEARLESS and begins their career with the title track titled Fearless. Not much else to the track, but a potentially epic one. (8/10)

2. FEARLESS (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for FEARLESS. (9/10)

3. Blue Flame – The secondary promotion track for LE SSERAFIM’s debut is Blue Flame. It is groovy number, going into down the disco route. The vocal work extremely nice and showcases potential behind the group’s vocals. However, Blue Flame was pretty generic and plain. While I really enjoy the retro sound that has been dominating KPOP for a while now, I am a bit disappointed about the lack of excitement or energy behind the song. If there was some sort of zing or vibrancy to Blue Flame, maybe I would have liked the song more. But it is just too consistent and doesn’t offer anything unique to the group. (6.5/10)

4. The Great Mermaid – To me, the difference between Blue Flame and The Great Mermaid is night and day. The Great Mermaid had so much oomph to its instrumentation thanks to the bass that featured in the song. The energy is exciting and memorable. The instrumental was so textured due to the combination of synths and bass. The vocals, while autotuned, felt fitting for The Great Mermaid, and well rounded. The ‘Na Na Na’ that follows the chorus was so catchy and the retelling of The Little Mermaid story in the lyrics was quite unique. (9/10)

5. Sour Grapes – The final song on this mini-album is Sour Grapes, a much softer track compared to any of the above tracks. It taps into the R&B realm and again features neat vocals. I liked the wavy melodies that the members deliver. It gives Sour Grapes a comforting and dreamy vibe. I did want a bit more to the song. It feels pretty elementary without going further and I am not entirely sure if I enjoy that. As an ender, however, Sour Grapes eases us away from the commotion that the title track caused, along with the upbeat backings of the other tracks on this album. (7/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10

FEARLESS Teaser Image


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