When a rookie girl group like GFRIEND debuts with a single called “Glass Bead,” the anal bead jokes just write themselves.
If GFRIEND really were a long glassy strand of anal beads, then they’d belong to Girls’ Generation, who serve as the the entire inspiration behind the group’s music and concept.
Just like A Pink have established themselves as an S.E.S. buttplug, GFRIEND are all up in vintage SNSD’s ass in the hope that the group’s retro magic will work for today’s audience.
The effervescent “Glass Bead” borrows a lot from “Into The New World,” from the production to the sporty schoolgirl aesthetic. It even uses a similarly energetic choreography style, with GFRIEND’s spindly limbs flying around everywhere just like SNSD’s used to.
It feels like more of a swagger jack than A Pink, who just stole S.E.S.’s sound but came up with their own springtime concept and choreography, or LOVELYZ, who channelled the early synth-pop sound of groups like KARA but modernized it and modelled their image after Japanese idol groups.
Not that it really matters, though. It’s still too early to consider Girls’ Generation a nostalgia act like H.O.T. or Fin.K.L, but “Glass Bead” is a fun homage to K-pop’s most successful girl group that also doubles as a killer publicity stunt for a rookie nugu like GFRIEND that needs a good gimmick to stand out.
Besides, who doesn’t want a turbo-charged 2015 version of “Into The New Word”?! I could listen to early SNSD all day, so I’m not completely against it being recycled and resold. Of course, endless rehashing does not a star make, so they’ll need to come up with something fresh in the future if they want to take their career to another level.
This won’t be the last we see of this kind of thing either. If sexy concept was the trend of last year, I’d say that retro throwbacks and innocence will rule 2015. We’ve already seen it start with the likes of A Pink, LOVELYZ, Ladies’ Code, GOT7, ToppDogg, SONAMOO, and many more, but I can see it really taking off this year.
As long as GFRIEND can find their own identity at some point, I’d say we could be looking at one of the potential breakout stars of 2015.
Check out “Glass Bead” below and let me know what you think of it compared to other female rookies like Red Velvet, LOVELYZ, LABOUM, and SONAMOO.