[Review] Play – Yuju

After almost a year following GFriend’s disbandment, members of the group are finally returning to the limelight post-disbandment. Starting things off last week was Yuju, who made her solo debut with the single Play and mini-album Rec. For those who missed it, Yuju signed on with Konnect Entertainment back in September, which is owned by Kang Daniel, home to Chancellor and (partly) CL. We will be seeing more of her fellow members next month, so keep your eyes peeled for that in February.

The first time I listened to Play, I was very unimpressed. I think my initial thoughts about the song was that I wanted more. But repeat listens to Play has helped warm up the song for me, and I actually think it is a decent piece now. That being said, Play does have a number of flaws that still ultimately hinders its appeal. Let’s explore what these flaws are. The instrumental for this pop track was a bit of a hit and miss for me. The atmospheric and seductive nature of the background was definitely a hit for me. However, it was also a bit of a drag and stagnated the track (the ‘miss’ part), reducing the appeal of the background. Thankfully, this is offset partially by the oriental touches that adds detail the background. It gave the background a lot more appeal and made it so much interesting. Thank the heavens for this! I I am glad it wasn’t overused, but I kind of wanted something more elsewhere to feel up the rest of Play. The melodies and vocals for the most part were pretty uninspiring and lacked much profile. I don’t think it was Yuju’s best vocal work to date, as it kind of emphasised and drew out a monotone vibe (which isn’t a great idea for a debut track). But on the plus side, Play does show Yuju in a more mature limelight, which is definitely different to the tracks we have heard from her in the past. The main hook, which we hear at the start of the chorus, was had a decent ring to it. But it wasn’t enough to really make the track that memorable. Overall and reflecting upon my thoughts above, I feel like Play had enough to just make it into decent territory.

While this music video also followed the closeup and choreography formula, I did think its aesthetics were executed extremely well. When you think of oriental influences, the colour red comes to mind and I liked how the entire background of the contemporary parts of the video were this red colour. To offset or prevent the red colour from being overwhelming, the second verse and chorus scenes took on a blue hue and featured a more traditional look. Yuju looks the best here, donning a modern look that takes on the traditional elements. I also like how parts of the bridge blended the red and blue colours to tie the video together. The silhouette shots of the choreography were also very cool looking and adds onto modern aspects of the video.

The performance looked extremely elegant, which I think fits in well with the song. The moves just had this gracefulness to them that made the overall performance look really nice. I really liked the bend and slow outstretching arms that followed the main portion of the chorus. It felt iconic for me. I also like the wave of the dancers in the background in the final moments of the routine.

Song – 7/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance -8/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

[Review] Fingertips – GFriend

GFriend has officially returned with a more confident and mature image. GFriend is probably most well known for their school trilogy, which ranges from Glass Bead to Rough. Their most recent comeback was Navillera in July of last year.

When I first listened to the song, I wasn’t that amazed by it. I thought it was kind of childish and unsatisfying. It also has an entirely different sound to their typical songs, which made me sceptical with their latest comeback. But once again, I gave it a few extra tries. But then those initial feelings were just lost and I fell for the song. It is incredibly catchy. The “Tang Tang Tang” chorus entrance was fantastic and it just made want even more from the song. I loved the mini rap line that Umji received. GFriend hasn’t really rapped before in any of their title tracks in the past, so it caught me off guard. Sure, their previous songs didn’t and probably wouldn’t need a rap sequence. But I was blown away with that one line. I wasn’t much of a fan of Umji’s singing vocals, but everyone else sounded amazing. The track is a lot stronger, regarding sound, which is something that I think made the song sound quite epic. The instrumental of the song delved into the funk genre. The guitar riffs are something that I noticed in the song and once I picked up on those riffs, it genuinely felt more like a typical GFriend song. (The girls have used guitar riffs before, especially in the instrumental for their dance breaks). I would have liked an added layer of epicness to the instrumental break for their dance break. In the song, it felt so sudden and would have been nice if there was a bridge between the song and the dance break. Overall, another amazing song that GFriend can add to their portfolio of hits.

I had to take a step back when I saw them bring out the guns in the teaser. The concept of the video felt so foreign but at the same time, felt very fresh for the girls (and probably much needed). I think the video alludes to the old friendship between them. Throughout the video, the girls seem to battle it out in gun battles that highlighted the intensity between the girls. Eunha is the hunted one. Sowon and Yuju are hunting her down. SinB and Yerin are protecting her (or also hunting her down). Umji seemed to have moved away from the group. At the end of the video, we see the clock hands move backwards and we time travel back in time to when the girls all used to friends. Not sure if that is the actual plot, but that is what I got from the video. The space setting made the video look quite cool. I know this sounds sad but the highlight of the video was definitely any choreography scenes in the mirror set. It looked fancy and impressive. And it seemed to be very matched the video’s concept quite nicely.

I really liked how they incorporated the guns into their choreography. Sounds very shady but it gave a nice tough vibe. There was also parts that did seem a little cute, but I don’t know if that was intended to be perceived that way (or I have an odd definition of cute). Their dance break, once again, amazes me and is the one thing I look forward to with every GFriend performance.

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