Girls’ Generation Reminds Us They’re K-Pop Icons With ‘Forever 1’

Fifteen years into their career, Girls’ Generation continue to defy the industry odds with their latest effort offering a definitive statement.

Forever 1 is K-pop the girl group’s new album and single of the same name, celebrating their 15th anniversary. After entering the scene in August 2007, Girls’ Generation became one of K-pop’s most prominent acts (sets chart records with singles and albums, while crowning charts such as Forbes Korea Power Celebrity 40 for several years) and the earliest crossover stars in the West (appearing on late-night and morning TV shows before regularly featuring K-pop acts).

All superstars in their own right, members Taeyeon, Sunny, Hyoyeon, Tiffany Young, YoonaSooyoung, Yuri and Seohyun last released music together in 2017 for a 10th anniversary album, holiday evening, who hit no. 1 on World album diagram. After that, three out of eight members left the long-time agency SM Entertainment for separate management houses. Despite the complicated internal situation, one that can rival even the biggest K-pop acts, the group has returned for a full-length album of new music led by a single that captures what has always made the girl group so beloved .

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“Forever 1” delivers the high-energy turbo-pop the girl group became famous for with modern touches like rolling synth lines. Harmony has been a cornerstone of the GG sound, and there is a concentrated focus on different vocal textures, with the members layering with each other across verses, joining together to sing on the chorus as an eight.

The accompanying music video feels like no time has passed as the gang rock fashion-forward dresses and ready-to-sail summer looks following group choreography inside a series of glittering sets. The concept of “Forever 1” feels age-appropriate for a 15-year-old girl group, while being refreshing enough to compete with tons of new generation girl groups on the scene.

Released digitally ahead of the physical release on Aug. 8, Forever 1 boasts 10 new tracks that include songwriting work from Tiffany and Sooyoung, with Tiffany also serving as producer on the LP’s standout “Villain.”

Forever 1 is the latest example of how K-pop groups are defying the industry’s odds and staying together despite leaving the label that originally created them. In May, boy band GOT7 released a new EP together after all seven members left JYP Entertainment and dispersed to new agencies. It all points to the growing health of this unprecedented phase in the K-pop industry, where label politics are being brushed aside to continue legendary legacies and make comebacks for fans.

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