|Gfriend “Snowflake” (Loen Entertainment)|
The K-pop market is shifting away from the classic idol group formula of the late 1990s and 2000s both in music and the personalities of the musicians themselves, yet there are still fans who want that old-style feel -- and they can get plenty of it with Gfriend’s EP “Snowflake.”
The intro track “Snowflake” and the lead track “Rough” are a perfect combination entering the album, with dramatic beats and melody shifts that are slightly overdone considering that the song is about a schoolgirl crush. This, however, was exactly the style of K-pop during the golden age of idol stars like BoA. Gfriend pulls off their lead track “Rough,” a little more powerful than their last hit “Me Gustas Tu,” with steady and energetic vocals.
“Say My Name” is another track in the same vein, with interesting drums in the background that power the song along. After two tracks with dramatic, powerful lines Gfriend turns adorable and sugary sweet with “Luv Star” and “Someday,” before breaking out with their first-ever ballad in “Trust.” The members’ vocals are on point on every track, and they are adept at switching between powerful, soaring voices and cutesy, nasal voices depending on the track.
“Snowflake” is an album that demonstrates Gfriend’s potential to move beyond the cliché schoolgirl concept and do something interesting of their own, bringing classic girl groups to 21st-century K-pop.
By Won Ho-jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)