If you are one of those OG KPop fans, you should be familiar with Girls’ Generation. It has been 15(!) years since they debuted, and their return as a group since 2017’s Holiday Night makes them one of the oldest (if not oldest) active KPop Girl Groups. What’s even more impressive is that despite most members no longer being managed by SM Entertainment and are pursuing other projects, they still found time to be back together and form another full album.

We have a good knowledge of Girls’ Generation discography through the years, and we’re quite excited to hear them as a group after 5 years with Forever 1. After listening through Forever 1 ahead of the release of the physical album, we give our review on it and see if Girls’ Generation is still the same KPop girl group we have all known all these years.

Just like how we know them 15 years ago

In an industry dominated by Gen Z artists, it’s hard to imagine that all members of Girls’ Generation are already in their 30s. Despite their age, seeing them perform as a whole in the music video Forever 1 felt like they’ve barely aged at all.

From their visuals, vocals, and down to their dance moves, everyone in Girls’ Generation still has the ability to draw the crowd and go head-to-head with their younger peers. You probably only see Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Hyoyeon as the more active members as idols (Sunny, Sooyoung, Yuri, and Seohyun are more active in acting and hosting) but trust us on this: their performance in Forever 1 reminds us of their other performances in their younger days.

 

More balanced line distribution

Before the release of the titular track Forever 1, we were initially expecting Taeyeon to have the most lines since she’s the most active member in terms of singing. After all, she’s the leader of Girls’ Generation and is best known for her powerful vocals.

Surprisingly with Forever 1, it’s not Taeyeon who has the most lines–that goes to Yuri but only by a few seconds. Throughout the song (and with other tracks in the album as well), they manage to keep the line distribution as balanced as possible, giving justice to each of the member’s vocal talents. Even the screen time on the music video is balanced as well–and as we mentioned in our previous point, it seems that all members barely aged all this time.

Good song curation, but some are a bit trying too hard

Girls’ Generation is known as the “Nation’s Girl Group” in South Korea, and for a good reason: throughout their whole career, they are very, very versatile in handling different concepts, from ballads to bubblegum pop, to electro-house tracks. The same pretty much applies to Forever 1, where they showcase their vocal prowess in different genres.

Through the 10-track long album–a rarity for any KPop group these days, we generally like how the majority of songs stick to the same vibe we’re familiar with them. Aside from the titular track, we liked Lucky Like That, Closer, and Summer Night for bringing us that nostalgic Girls’ Generation sound that most of its listeners are familiar with.

Given that it took them two years to work on the album, Girls’ Generation has its fair share of experimental tracks, though it’s a hit-or-miss affair. Paper Plane is a good approach to electropop music, while You Better Run has them trying a bit too hard to go with the trend of current KPop artists like their juniors AespaVillain is probably their best experimental track on the album, as they were able to balance having an edgy sound while not trying too hard.

Girls Generation Forever 1 Album Review

Their 5-year hiatus is finally over, and despite focusing on their own careers and being signed into different agencies, Girls’ Generation pulled off a massive comeback with Forever 1, setting an example of how veteran KPop girl groups should be.

The whole album has its fair share of hits and misses, but we generally like how nostalgic it feels. Overall, Forever 1 made us remember why they are still one of the best KPop girl groups out there, despite being in the industry for 15 years.

Hype Meter: 8/10

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