LE SSERAFIM is Unapologetically Themselves in ‘Unforgiven’. After their stellar first year as a group, LE SSERAFIM stuns in their latest comeback ‘Unforgiven’.
“Let me tell you about LE SSERAFIM,” sings Kazuha in their latest title track. LE SSERAFIM debuted back in May 2022, and is made up of five members (Sakura Miyawaki, Kim Chaewon, Huh Yunjin, Kazuha Nakamura and Hong Eunchae.) The group was named from an anagram of “I’m Fearless,” implying that this girl group is one filled with attitude and spunk.
On the 1st of May, K-pop’s newest cool girls had their comeback with their album and title track both named, “Unforgiven.” The comeback was scheduled right on the first anniversary of their debut, making the release a great checkpoint of how far the girls have come in such a short time. In fact, this album is breaking records on itself, as the Hanteo Charts report that it became the highest selling album by a K-pop girl group as it reaches more than 1 million copies in just its first day.
The girls initially gathered major buzz when their first set of concept photos were released. Amongst the three set of concept photos that were bound to be released, the group launched their ‘Bloody Rose’ concept first. For this concept, the girls collaborated with the renowned photographer and creative director, Cho Gi Seok. The visionaire transformed the girls into melancholic cupids with angst and vengeance in their eyes. With the photos combining Cho Gi Seok’s surrealist sensibility and the member’s charm, it’s no wonder that the photo set had everyone talking.
The title track of the comeback, “Unforgiven” is a fun and upbeat track that takes inspiration from sounds of the wild west. In comparison to their previous title tracks “Antifragile” and “Fearless,” the song takes more melodical cues but still possessing the group’s signature repetitive rhythmic chanting. A key point of the song is the underlying guitar riff that loops throughout the entire song and this particular earworm was put on the track courtesy of the legendary Nile Rodgers. And to nail that wild west theme even more, the song also includes a sample from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”
A focal point of the track is the pre-chorus where the member sings ‘Unforgiven, I’m a villain.’ Hinting at how the girls are embracing their uglies and are numb to the negativity and prejudice that people might have against them. Yunjin shares to NME, “Every decision we make and every choice that we make is subject to people’s judgement. There are certain standards that are expected. While walking your path and going your way, there will be those who point fingers and make judgments about you, say things about you that aren’t true. We want to empower people to walk their own path, even if you might become the villain in other people’s eyes.”
To accompany the track, the group filmed a rollercoaster of a video in Bangkok, showing how the girls are up to no good in the best way possible. Sticking with the wild west concept that’s evident in the song itself, the video shows the girls dressed in western style outfit with even Chaewon riding around the town on a horse. However, throughout the video we can see the evident message of unapologetic individuality of how the girls aren’t afraid to be themselves even when they don’t fit into what’s expected of them.
In this new album that features seven new tracks, the theme of being unapologetic is one that’s consistent throughout the album as their B-sides also contain lyricism with similar attitude. One track that evidently express embracing your imperfections is “Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s Wife.” The title itself name-drops three women with a common denominator of being women who went out of their way to get what they want, even when they weren’t allowed to. With a hypnotic Jersey beat that you rarely hear from a K-pop song, the girls chant, “I’m a mess in distress but we’re still the best dressed. Fearless, say yes, we don’t dress to impress.”
Besides the album and the music video, another notable part of the comeback that’s worth taking note of is their performances as the group continues to shine through catchy choreographies that fans will surely rush to learn on their own. As the girls latest release stand out on all aspects, LE SSERAFIM reminds the fans that their comeback is definitely worth the wait and that they are definitely the new girls on the block we should be keeping our eye on. (Text Vanya Harapan)