One of K-pop’s most popular “lower tier” girl groups, Girl’s Day, are set to release their long-awaited debut album on March 14th. The album comes after almost three years of digital singles and EPs, two lineup changes, an ill-fated attempt to break Japan, and an endlessly fluctuating level of popularity for the sometimes struggling group.
Girl’s Day first debuted back in 2010 with the bizarre “Tilt My Head.” The song’s heavy autotune and weird concept was bashed by critics and K-pop fans alike, and two members quickly left the group, ditching what they probably assumed to be a sinking ship at the time. The two defectors were promptly replaced, and Girl’s Day soon returned with the far more palatable “Nothing Lasts Forever.” It was received much better than their first effort, but it wasn’t until “Twinkle Twinkle” in early 2010 that Girl’s Day really arrived. Thanks to an adorable image makeover and a sugary new synth-pop sound (that has since become the group’s sonic signature), “Twinkle Twinkle” blasted into the top five of the charts and cemented Girl’s Day as rising stars on the girl group circuit. They released two more fantastic songs, “Hug Me Once” and “Don’t Let Your Eyes Wander” (they foolishly failed to promote the latter), and then did something really stupid: They left Korea and went to Japan.
By the time they were back on home turf, their momentum had died down, and their comeback single, “Oh My God,” fizzled on the charts as a result. SECRET and Rainbow also suffered a similar fate by heading to Japan too early, while SISTAR –who shunned all international activities in favor of relentless promotions in Korea– are now so successful that their popularity is high enough to rival some of K-pop’s biggest boy bands.
Luckily for Girl’s Day, they were able to regain a little of their lost footing late last year with their single, “Don’t Forget Me.” It was a minor hit that saw the group head into a more mature sound and style, while still maintaining the same dancey synths and girly charm that made them famous in the first place.
With “Don’t Forget Me” under their belt and the group’s noticeable effort to be more active in the media since returning from Japan, there’s a good chance that they’ll be able to launch a successful comeback next month with the release of their first album. They’ve already started promo for the project, releasing a digital buzz single called “White Day” last week. It’s the kind of sweet filler that’s usually found on most Korean girl group albums, and serves as a nice warm-up before the foursome drop what will hopefully be another one of their savagely-addictive synthplosions.
What direction do you want to see Girl’s Day take for this important comeback? The saccharine aegyo of “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Hug Me Once,” the feminine and chic style of “Don’t Forget Me,” or just something completely different that they’ve never done before?