GFriend - Time for the Moon Night
The last time that I reviewed GFRIEND was back in September of last year when they released "Summer Rain." If you don't care to read that lengthy review for my thoughts, I basically was disappointed because it seemed like Source Music was defaulting back to a sound GFRIEND had already familiarized themselves with, and moving away from more experimental styles such as "Fingertip." My general gripes with that song still remain today, and so all I was hoping for with this comeback was for something different from the group. The teasers sounded pretty fantastic, and I went into this with an incredibly optimistic outlook.
Let me just start off by saying that this song has some seriously beautiful instrumentation. The combination of dramatic piano and impassioned string instruments coalesced into a gorgeous and powerful surge of emotional melodies that force listeners to catch some feels. The classic GFRIEND sound is captured within this song, but it doesn't simply constrain itself to being bound within those limits. Instead, it explores a progression of that style and finds a very natural development to it that ends up working heavily in this track's favor.
I've got a few negatives to gripe about on this song, though. First and foremost, I'm a bit disappointed that the verses are more on the cutesy side of things than everything else in the song. I thought that from the styling and the instrumentals in the teaser that this entire song was going for a more mature concept, but the verses seem to suggest the exact opposite. The chorus mixing seemed a little off as well. The punch was there but it felt like it landed softer than it was supposed to. Still, everything else in this song is sensational, and I think that this is a great song to please both critics and fans alike.
This video is kind of similar to Navillera, though it takes a darker tone overall. I absolutely loved the outfit choices and I can't wait to see the girls perform this live both for the choreography and for the styling. I liked it tonally, and I really like that this video felt pretty different from their previous ones. The rest of this portion of the review is basically going to be my working theory for what everything in the video means, so be prepared for some stuff that I'm probably misinterpreting.
Alright, here's my go at what's going on the MV. I think that Eunha and SinB are actually dead in the beginning and all of the other girls are sad and missing them. (I think SinB went to meet Eunha prior to this video starting, so Eunha was likely the first to die. It's why she's wandering the road alone. Possible that SinB was also the closest to her, as seen when they are on the couch together and the other girls are paired up as well.) Yerin is listening to old songs that remind her of times with them. Umji is trying to send messages to them. Yuju is going to a grave with flowers and gifts.
Each time that you see a member fall asleep, it's a metaphor for them dying. Sowon is technically the first to do this, and at the very beginning of the music video is her waking up in this "dead" land where Eunha and SinB are. She kisses Yerin on the head when her and Yuju "fall asleep". When Umji jumps off from the jungle gym, it symbolizes her readiness to go down and meet Eunha and SinB as well. Yuju gets an extra scene of her "falling asleep" on the grave, too, since technically the scene with Yerin and Yuju previously was in the past.
The very next scene is Eunha turning around and seeing all of them, and from there on the video is clearly darker than everything preceding it. We get some shots of the previous scenes that were shown, just that this time none of the girls are in them, because now they've died.Sowon tries to cheer Yerin up because she's sad about being dead, and then all of the girls seem to be happy because they're at least they're all in this sort of limbo together, and Eunha turns around to stare solemnly at the camera because they all came there for her.
Again, I'm sure that my theory has holes in it and isn't the exact interpretation that works, but it's what I got from watching the video. Overall, pretty great to have more subtle hints to dig into rather than being told upfront what is actually going on.
I was worried about my future love for GFRIEND just last year, but I think that "Time for the moon night" gave me a solid reminder of what got me to fall in love with them in the first place. It's a more dramatic and matured sound for them, but that's exactly what I was hoping they would go for this time around. If you liked any of GFRIEND's previous releases, I highly recommend this one. I'd venture to say it's one of their best, and easily their strongest title track since "Rough" or "FINGERTIP" for me.