GFriend debuting in Japan always just made sense, as their concept and sound always seemed to an ideal fit. Well, it took a while for an original release, but they’ve finally gotten there, making their debut with “Memoria“. Thankfully, the transition went about as swimmingly as one could expect and they got off on the right foot.
I expect some to be disappointed that “Memoria” isn’t a return to the energetic and aggressive dance-pop version of GFriend, but this release with a rather pensive and reserved atmosphere actually fits J-pop better in many ways. While it takes time to develop, “Memoria” remains engaging as it builds to the chorus thanks to its symphonic underpinnings that never let my attention drift.
Thankfully, the payoff ends up being worth the wait, as the swelling chorus delivers with a burst of energy and sweeping harmonizations. “Memoria” is one of those songs that required the performance to have singers who could deliver, and GFriend thankfully have exactly that to make the song more interesting than the instrumental has business being. The “memoria” hook is memorable in its own right, but it’s supported by a fleshed-out chorus that has a nice peak to it that punctuates the song.
While I don’t typically bother reviewing the Japanese efforts of K-pop artists, it’s generally because they haven’t been exceptionally appealing to me in a while. GFriend thankfully motivated me to make an exception, as “Memoria” was captivating and struck me as something that would fit especially well in Japan on the OST of an anime as the ending theme or something. While it takes a while to get there, the uplifting chorus and expansive atmosphere makes “Memoria” a standout.