G-FRIEND – 'PARALLEL'
1. INTRO (BELIEF)
2. LOVE WHISPER
3. AVE MARIA
4. ONE. HALF
5. LIFE IS A PARTY
6. RED UMBRELLA
7. FALLING ASLEEP AGAIN
8. LOVE WHISPER (Inst.)
G-Friend are here to make your summer even brighter with their new mini-album 'Parallel.' With previous hits like "Rough" and "Mi Gustas Tu" it wasn't hard to predict that their new MV would get tons of views hours after release and that the single would top music charts. Their fifth EP has 8 new tracks.
"INTRO (BELIEF)" has a familiar pitch to it, and very much reminds me of their past hits, while still remaining fresh and new. It sets the tone of the new album nicely, even if not all of them participated in the vocals.
The title track is "LOVE WHISPER." I like the subtle nature sounds in the background, sounding for all the world like you're in a meadow while sunbeams slice through the breaks in the trees. Much of the signature sound is here, though this one is not as strong as their other title tracks. It's still fresh, upbeat and perfect for summer.
"AVE MARIA" has nothing to do with the Catholic hymn of praise that it gets its name from. That doesn't stop it from being awesome, though. In some ways, it reminds me a lot of "Rough," and has the familiar theme of the girl who prays that the guy will notice her. The vocals here are strong, though, and this would have been a good contender for the title track. Now I really want to hear this live.
I thought "ONE. HALF" was going to be a ballad at first, but what a relief to hear a beat and a faster cadence. Just like the other proper songs on this EP, this track is an upbeat, bubbly song. And the chorus is super-catchy too -- caught myself singing along to this one. Even though it lacks a simple hook, the chorus is just so well-done.
"LIFE IS A PARTY" is a club-banger that I immediately liked it on first listen, and the ad-libs are really sweet on here. This probably has the most powerhouse-style vocals I've heard on this album, if ever. It's a slightly different sound, and both Eunha and Yuju prove they both have serious sets of lungs. It blew me away. This song is a fire bop!
I like the frantic synths that underly "RED UMBRELLA." I like the time change in the second verse, too, where they sing sweetly, but super fast. It's almost like nightcore without the pitch change, and it really helps this song become a bit more than just filler. And we hear more of Yuju's amazing voice here. This is a fun song.
"FALLING ASLEEP AGAIN" is the lone ballad on this EP. The girls handle it adroitly like they always do. The lyrics are super-evocative, as well, even at the start, with lines like "even the street lamps sleep at night" and "at the end of a faint day of shadows." I like how they handled the denouement. While Eunha sings her heart out, the girls are also backing her with harmonies. It brings a sweetness to the whole production, and frankly, the song is better for it.
This is probably one of the better albums from G-Friend. After 'Season of Glass,' they have improved ten fold. However, they still fell into the trap of one or two really good songs (usually the title track), and filler for the rest of the EP (which is standard for pop). This EP bucks the trend. Pick this one up for yourself, and fall in love with G-Friend again.
Apparently, the MV makers had the same idea as me...as the girls are dancing in a meadow outside of town.
At first, they find an old radio, and when they turn it on, "Love Whisper" starts. Following the stud finder as well as instructions on the radio, they head to the train station. Paradoxically, they're already at their destination, there, even as they're aboard the train, enjoying the sights. You can see them dancing not only in the wood, but also in front of a train station, and -- something you don't see too often -- ankle deep in water. They sightsee when they get off the train, apparently looking for a large tree, which they end the MV under, in the shade.
Doesn't make all that much sense. A stud finder is going to find wood in the walls, or pretty much anything else that it can detect. At least, I think it's a stud finder. I don't know, in the hands of K-pop princesses it could be anything, I imagine. Still, the scenery is absolutely stunning, not to mention the girls themselves.
And the dancing is, as always, top notch. You always get the sense that G-friend practices seriously hard for some of the moves that they pull. And in the water, their razor sharp movements slice through it, and the spray showers the other girls in the band. I don't want to know how many takes they did to get that just right, but it looks fantastic.
Yeah, this is a gorgeous video. It's tailor-made for summer: a road trip, blue sky, different locations, water, smiling faces, and an upbeat song to boot. Did I enjoy myself? You bet. The MV is at 1.7 million views, and it didn't get that many by being terrible. Definitely worth a watch, whether you're a fan or not.
MV SCORE: 8.7
ALBUM SCORE: 9