GFriend’s “Love Whisper” is a daringly stripped-down song, their most minimalist single since their frankly underwhelming debut with “Glass Bead”.
Early spring’s “Fingertip” has been scored as a “flop”, even though the song snagged a few trophies and the album sold over 60,000 physical units. But after last year’s epic success with “Rough” and “Navillera”, it’s understandable that anything short of huge success would get counted against them.
Exactly why “Fingertip” alienated some of their base still isn’t exactly clear to me. Sure, it was a “girl crush concept”, but it’s not as if GFriend went out on stage and did anything that violated their whole aesthetic. But then, A Pink got similarly penalized for “Only One”, a song which only tweaked, beautifully, their signature themes.
What “Fingertip” does have in common with “Rough” and “Navillera” is its epic scale. Like those two previous megahits, it’s a song that grabs you by the collar and threatens never to let go. Granted, I’ve had my inner debates on whether “Fingertip” quite succeeds at that– fairly or not, my initial impression was that the song somehow failed to achieve the supercharged sonic momentum it seeks to establish. But perhaps I was unfair. The song, though still scored by me as trailing somewhat behind its elder sisters, has grown on me, and today I get a charge of my own by listening to it.
“Love Whisper” is closer to the emotional feel of “Rough” and “Me Gustas Tu”, but sonically it’s stripped down almost to the point it sounds like a faster version of “Mermaid” or “Sunshine”. It’s a daring choice, and I don’t know whether the song is hooky enough to reclaim the huge mantle of success they carried in their 2016 annus mirabilis.
But boy oh boy, dancing on stage in a live pond! It’s so enchanting, so . . . beautiful. GFriend are making a huge tug on our hearts. Can that tug fail to win their audience back?
This has the makings of an iconic Cute Concept comeback!