Review: Glass Bead – GFriend

Hey y’all! It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a girl group. This week, I’ll be looking at a new group, GFriend and their debut song, Glass Bead. Their concept and style music is reminiscent of Girls’ Generation’s early days, with long hair and mostly-bare faces.

There was a trend not too long ago of hip-hop inspired groups, and it seems that the trend is changing towards youthful and innocent, the way it was years ago (this group, Lovelyz, etc). It’s almost like a K-pop flashback. That being said, let’s take a look at Glass Bead.

gfriend season of glass cover

Here’s the music video with English subs:

This is a love song, the “glass bead” being a metaphor. “I may seem like a clear glass bead, but I won’t break that easily.” The girl in question seems fragile, and she has to reassure the significant other that she won’t break or disappear. She’ll be there for them, supporting them and holding them.

I like that this song has flipped the script, somewhat. There are definitely people who consider young girls to be innocent and breakable, but this song is about a girl promising strength in loving someone else. It’s that little detail that keeps this from being a stereotypical and clichéd love song.

Their dancing is also very reminiscent of early Girls’ Generation, with crisp, quick movements that use the entire body. It was a good dance, but something I could have definitely seen Girls’ Generation doing five or six years ago.

gfriend glass bead dance

Don’t get me wrong, they’re good dancers.

The group’s image fits the song very well, with the girls dressed in faux-uniforms (a real school wouldn’t allow skirts that short). They seem to be going for the typical school girl look, in a cute and innocent way. They wear very little (if any) makeup, and wear their hair long.

The image works for the group, though. The members range form 16-19 in age, with most of them still in high school. I think this image is much better suited to a group so young than a sexy or intense image. It seems like they don’t have to try too hard.

The song is very typical K-pop, almost like K-pop from the early 2000’s. It’s upbeat and bright, with a catchy melody, as one would expect. It doesn’t have a rap break, like many K-pop songs, but a rap would have seemed out of place in this song.

gfriend glass bead lunch

A group of girls hoping to be celebrities pretending to be normal high school girls.

The music video features the members of GFriend in a slightly atypical day at school. They start with gym class, which is totally unsupervised, so it mainly consists of them laughing and joking around. Their dance scenes are also filmed in the gym. Next is lunch, where there’s more laughter.

Next is a classroom scene, where they try to pay attention, but end up passing notes, getting out of their seats, and finally getting in trouble. They’re sent to the back of the room to hold their arms up, the punishment both physically draining and embarrassing. Or it would be, if the girls didn’t drop their arms and start talking as soon as the teacher turned his back.

gfriend glass bead class

Punishments in Korea are a bit different from America’s.

The girls have good voices, with a fitting concept and music video. I think the song is decent enough, but for me, doesn’t have enough impact for a debut song. I’ll probably check in on this group from time to time to see how they grow and progress, but I’m not sold on them just yet.

Pros:

-Unexpected lyrics.

-Age-appropriate concept.

Cons: 

-The song itself was underwhelming to me.

-A throwback to girl groups from the early 00’s.

Rating: 3/5

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