Though I don’t usually review tracks without a mv, I’ve desperately been wanting to talk about Gfriend’s Labyrinth from the moment I first heard it. Though I do appreciate title track Crossroads quite abit, part of me desperately wanted something as propulsive as this to be the feature. Thankfully, the girls have promoted the track heavily on music shows, and have now released a pseudo mv, courtesy of 1theK. This finally gave me the perfect excuse to do a write up on what I believe is the single best track 2020 has gifted us yet.
Let’s get the personal out of the way first. Sweetune are my absolute favourite producers working right now. And although they had no hand in this song, if you had told me that they were responsible for Labyrinth I would have believed you, no questions asked. The track lifts so many of its influences from Sweetune’s imperial phase (Infinite’s The Chaser, KARA’s STEP etc.) and reimagines it through a more modern lens. We rarely see this kind of straightforward, high energy dance track anymore, and that’s what makes Labyrinth as refreshing as it is thrilling. The opening synth loop is one of the years most exhilarating moments, and sounds as If it could have easily been ripped from any number of KARA’s classic tracks. Song rarely ever open with such intent and conviction anymore, and I love every single god damn second of it. Though GFRIEND have traversed such waters before through their masterful (and under appreciated) Fingertip, I actually think Labyrinth is ever so slightly stronger. Time will tell whether it holds up as well as Fingertip, but right now Labyrinth is in a league of its own.
What adore about the Labyrinth the most however, is its constant sense of propulsion. Gone are the murky hi-hats and languid beat drops. In their place we have resounding synths and soaring electric guitar, which combine to create a thrillingly inventive brew that feels as though it’s constantly building to something bigger and better. The momentum is never lost here, it powers forward with complete conviction. GFRIEND also provide one of their best ever vocal performances, imbuing the track with immense personality and grandeur. The chorus is the perfect example of this, absolutely exploding every time it comes around. I love how expertly the voices are arranged here, and I doubt it would have the same impact if it were done any other way. It accomplishes what every dynamite hook should do, build to a satisfying peak each and every time it rears its head.
In my January roundup, I mentioned that I don’t think any single this year would be able to match ATEEZ’s Answer, but with Labyrinth now in consideration for my best singles of the year list, I think Answer has just met its match.
Final Rating: 9.5/10