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GFriend shoots for the stars with first full-length album

All Headlines 18:13 July 11, 2016

By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean girl group GFriend returned to the K-pop scene on Monday with its first full-length album, amid mounting pressure to follow the success of its previous three EPs.

The six-member act, with Sowon, Yerin, Eunha, Yuju, SinB and Umji, showed up for the media case held in Yes24 Live Hall in eastern Seoul to promote "LOL," the group's first studio album since its debut a year and a half ago.

"We made some changes in the moves after we finished shooting the music video," said Sowon, showing hints of anxiety. Since GFriend's popularity owes much of itself to its trademark dynamic dance moves, the members felt obliged to perfect them, the 20-year-old said.

"It has been that long since we fixed the final version of the dance moves," she said. "You'll notice that the moves in the music video and the stage performance are slightly different."

GFriend even reached for the dubstep genre in "Gone With the Wind," one of the 12 songs on "LOL."

The album's lead single, "Navillera," derives its name from the poem "Seungmu" by a famous Korean poet, Choi Ji-hoon. The song sticks to the key elements of "GFriend style," with guitar solos and upbeat synth sounds -- a winning recipe for the energetic girl group singers.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, the song topped seven major music charts, including Naver Music, Genie Music and Mnet Music.

Besides the powerful dance moves and catchy songs, the new album presents a noticeable change with its much wider spectrum of music genres, running the gamut of pop, reggae, rock, R&B and house.

"I was so pleased to see an online comment about our new album, saying GFriend finally showed our true colors," SinB said.

GFriend has gone the extra mile with "LOL" to develop its own identity, compared to its previous EPs, "Glass Bead," "Me Gustas Tu" and "Rough." In contrast to the school-girl image that GFriend showed earlier, the members' image on the new album evolved into that of young women in love.

Yet, the members said they are still open to returning to the school-life theme.

"We tried to add diversity to the new album, to please a wider range of musical tastes," Sowon said, hoping for the success of the new album and continued team work.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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