G-Friend have returned with “Navillera“, their first crack at a release after the completion of their schoolgirl trilogy, and they managed to deliver again with a fun track.
What I instantly found rather remarkable is that “Navillera” is different from their previous trilogy, but it manages to keep a lot of the signature sound in terms of being a light but upbeat dance track. I understand the argument that they’d like to hear them switch it up entirely at some point, but at the moment the songs mainly sound similar because of tempo more than anything else, and personally I’m completely fine with them keeping with this trend instead of devolving into some kind of sappy quasi-ballad mess like other girl groups of their ilk.
The much more severe and harsh use of synths on this instrumental were an improvement from the start, and the modernized J-pop influences came across much clearer with this release than their previous. The summery feel to it was definitely a welcome addition, and while I understand the inclusion of the electric guitar riff was meant to accompany the late peak of the song, hearing how amazing it worked with this instrumental just made me wish it was included throughout the hooks. Additionally, this definitely had the most intense instrumental throughout the song, but it still managed to build to the aforementioned peak and then almost immediately end the song, which makes you want to hit replay to hear it again. It’s a pretty smart composition of the track, honestly.
The weird part about “Navillera” is that I actually didn’t find the chorus that memorable. I thought the end of the choruses themselves could’ve used more punch, but instead sort of ended up like an anti-chorus and not in the best way. That said, the most obvious thing that stood out for me was the pre-chorus of “na-na-na navillera”, which instantly stuck in my head. That was the hook for the track, and even as the track went on it ended up being the thing I looked forward to repeating again.
The music video continued their theme of friendship, but took them outside of their usual setting and into a 70s-themed retro universe with 50s almost ‘Grease‘ type of styling.
It’s difficult to see the choreo as clearly as I would like in this music video because of the way it’s shot, and I think the editing is a rather major problem in this. After all, if you can’t effectively show one of the major strengths of the group in the music video until the end because of stylistic choices, then perhaps the directing wasn’t the best to begin with.
I like to believe this near the end was a ‘fuck you’ to the editor/director.
While I liked the theme, outfits, and general pleasantness of it all, the fact that I left this feeling like I need the dance version to truly get a grip on what looks like typically fun G-Friend choreo is disappointing.
G-Friend’s “Navillera” was a perfectly appropriate follow-up act to their schoolgirl trilogy, and I’m sorry to all the miserable shits who can’t enjoy this. I had some issues with the hook and especially with the music video editing, but the pre-chorus and the instrumental more than made up for it. The replayability of “Navillera” is high, not unlike their other releases, and for me that’s the biggest similarity in most of their releases.