K-Pop

Review: LE SSERAFIM continue pushing boundaries in first studio album Unforgiven

Their title track features the legendary Nile Rodgers, who has never worked with a K-pop group before LE SERRAFIM.

Ashley Cheah

| May 1, 2023
LE SSERAFIM
LE SSERAFIM at their comeback showcase. Photo: HYBE

LE SSERAFIM is back with their first studio album. And it’s quite the big deal – that’s why it got everyone talking.

First and foremost, the quintet has got American record producer Nile Rodgers on board. Rodgers is the co-founder of American band Chic, where he plays the guitar and takes on vocals.

He takes charge of the backing guitar sounds in LE SSERAFIM’s title track Unforgiven (2023). But his name in the song credits got me excited – thinking that he might also star in the music video. Unfortunately not though.

It’s not everyday that we get a legendary like Rodgers to team up with a K-pop group. And this collaboration with LE SSERAFIM marked his first crossover to K-pop.

Unforgiven is also backed on a cowboy concept – so we see members are dressed in cowboy hats and outfits with frills. We’ve previously seen ITZY attempt this concept with Not Shy (2020) and ONF with Sukhumvit Swimming (2020).

The track begins with consistent claps and a backing guitar sound that guides it. Then the girl group continuously chants: “Unforgiven, I’m a villain / Unforgiven I’mma walk that road”.

It does sound pretty cool and chic when at the opening of the song.

After all, it sampled the main theme of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1996). That is, until it gets repetitive throughout the entire three-minute track.

Perhaps, the only saving grace might just be the pre-refrain. It added a tint of melodic colour to the otherwise dull number, focused mainly on chanting “unforgiven”. And getting that word drilled into the mind of whoever is listening to the track.

LE SSERAFIM also continues their practice of dropping experimental music, like their previous releases Fearless (2022) and Antifragile (2022).

If its writers intended it to catch fire with addictive catchphrases that’ll gain traction on Tiktok, then they probably succeeded. 

But it’s probably not a title number focused on longevity.

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