G-FRIEND – TIME FOR THE MOON NIGHT
1. INTRO (Daytime)
2. Time for the moon night
3. Love Bug
4. Flower Garden
5. Tik Tik
7. You are my star
8. Time for the moon night (Inst.)
G-Friend is back, and the long-awaited follow-up to last year's 'Rainbow' has arrived. Their 6th mini-album is 'Time for the moon night,' and has 8 brand new tracks. They swapped out composers Iggy and Seo Youngbae for No Joo Hwan and Lee Won Jong this time around, so we'll have a new direction for the band, no doubt.
They start with "INTRO (Daytime)" which is – obviously – an intro track. The girls have gone back to more orchestral sounding pieces, and this one is a fine example. It's soothing and calming if nothing special.
At first listen, "Time for the moon night" appears to have the all requisite pieces for a G-Friend hit; it's got the syncopated beats, the upbeat feel, and everything buried in orchestral arrangements. It's calmer than usual, and they seemed to have eschewed some of the electronic sounds of their later albums for something more akin to "Rough." But it's lacking something. Somehow, it's just not as catchy as their earlier work. That's not to say it's a terrible song – it's not. But it's not as good as it could be. "Love Bug" starts out in the same, calmer vein, then scratches launch it into the high-tempo territory. It's absolutely cute and brings to mind some of the other adorable simple songs that many of the girl bands are doing these days. The chorus is different, and the main theme goes right along with it. I also like the urgency of the tune and repetition of the hook.
By contrast "Flower Garden" really sounds a lot more like we've come to expect from G-Friend, with electric guitars, bells, and a generous amount of faux orchestra. It's super catchy, super sweet, and has that magic element that the title track should have. "Tik Tik" is a decent banger. And it's super aegyo-themed. You can almost see the hand-formed hearts, winks and waves while you're listening to it. It's upbeat and cheerful, playful and just plain fun. "Bye" is the lone ballad on the disc. G-Friend has producers that don't let the girls be limited by the pop numbers, so the superb vocal work is no surprise. I like the electric guitar elements on this one, even if they do drench everything in classical arrangements. "You are my star" is one of those beautiful feel-good songs that usually finish an album. These songs are quite common nowadays, but I always get the feels when I hear these. They just leave you with a sense of hope and, as I've said before, are wonderful finishers.
This may be a response to those who were complaining that "Love Whisper" and "Rainbow" were basically the same song with a few different arrangements. With each new release, a group has to fight harder to stay relevant and maybe stay true to their sound, without sounding like too much of a retread. While I had misgivings about the title track, the rest of the disc is pretty solid. I don't think it's fair to say they breathed new life into the band, but it is a new sound -- gone are the breathy, sweeping compositions, replaced by cute songs. I don't know how I feel about it overall, but I didn't hate it or get annoyed once, so maybe they're on to something. And I'd like to stick around to find out how this plays out.
The MV itself is a bit different too, this time it's about being alone, and remembering the good times. The girls do a great camaraderie bit, and it still shines through here. Though there are some interesting poignant shots with a girl or two all by their lonesome.
The choreo is still top-notch G-Friend, but even that has changed. They do a more hand and arm gestures now, with the occasional long step and shift in position. No more flaring skirts and schoolgirl uniforms for these girls! Now they're in sexier outfits that are in step with heading out and enjoying the sun.
As I said, I didn't hate the title track, and the song was certainly more enjoyable playing along with the MV. The girls always had this authentic charm about them, and they're definitely the ones who carried the video. Some shots were interesting, but the girls of G-Friend are more interesting to me by far.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0