Usually, I wouldn’t review a rookie group’s single, especially when my first impression of a group is lukewarm at best. However, when I get a request for one like this, my interest is usually piqued:
My initial take on G-Friend was that they seemed to be aiming for a harmless, optimistically poppy sound, reminiscent of early Girls’ Generation. G-Friend’s latest comeback “Me Gustas Tu” doesn’t do much to change that opinion but it’s a well-composed, if not entirely imaginative, comeback that meets expectations.
The first thing that sticks out about “Me Gustas Tu” is that it sounds like an unabashed K-Pop throwback. The heavy synths and hip-hop influences that have dominated K-Pop over the past few years are largely absent from “Me Gustas Tu,” and are replaced with keys, strings and banging guitars that would sound more at home in a late 90’s pop song than one being produced in the 2010’s. Still, just because a sound falls out of fashion doesn’t mean that there’s anything inherently wrong with it. “Me Gustas Tu” isn’t groundbreaking but it’s well-made. The choruses are simultaneously rich and punchy as G-Friend’s double tracked vocals bounce off of some thudding strings and keys. However, the verses drag a bit and that can make the 4:11 running time seem a bit excessive, especially considering how straight-forward “Me Gustas Tu” is as a pop song. Still, G-Friend’s latest comeback doesn’t pretend to be anything but inoffensive pop and it succeeds at being just that.
The video for the comeback is equally inoffensive, even if it is largely a retread of the most stereotypical summer scenes that one is likely to find in a K-Pop video. Impossibly picturesque fields of green and baby blue skies are interspersed with some nighttime hangout scenes complete with ice cream and watermelon (shockingly, there are no shots of a beach or a Google calendar repeatedly flashing “JUNE-JULY-AUGUST” in the background). Choreography shots are handled as perfunctorily as G-Friend executes “Me Gustas Tu’s” prancing dance moves and the members’ wardrobe and makeup are perfectly sweet as well. The slight white light filter on some of the shots is a bit over the top as I’m not sure if anyone would accuse G-Friend of being anything but ~innocent angels~ here but it does hammer home the “cute bordering on aegyo” concept that “Me Gustas Tu” nails here.
“Me Gustas Tu” may not be the most remarkable video but it has a nice energy and a cohesively cute vision that it executes well. It all adds up to a video and comeback that isn’t really memorable as a singlular comeback but more as a nice representation of old fashioned and basic K-Pop.