As K-Pop becomes more mainstream in the U.S., groups have to develop ways to differentiate between them and other groups while also not ostracizing their already established fanbase. This challenge of living in two worlds can hinder a group’s musical development to appeal to American audiences and their fans. (G)I-DLE demonstrates that with proper growth in a groups’ capability and creative freedom will give great results both musically and chartwise.
On their new extended play “I Trust,” Soyeon, Miyeon, Minnie, Soojin, Yuqi and Shuhua display a level of maturity in both concept and performance they gave hints to in their performances on Queendom.”
The title track “Oh My God” earns its name. Minnie opens the track with her soft dreamlike voice over eerie church bells and ambient background sound that set the tone which is quickly reversed into an almost flirtatious first verse with Soyeon’s higher tone. As the first verse’s piano note coupled with a percussive beat starts to increase in tempo and power, Yuqi’s deep voice barely comes out over the music before Miyeon’s vocals build along with the music before it cuts out completely.
It comes back as a darker tone under Soyeon’s “Oh my god,” as a slower, more sinister and impactful beat, even the girl’s vocals adjust to match by going lower and slides at the same time the beat winds up for a greater impact. The rest of the song plays with this light to dark and back again which makes for a dynamic listening experience.
(G)I-DLE plays with this transition through the rest of the EP. In “Maybe” the modified gong and quick clapping beat set up a very serene vibe even until Soyeon opens the song in a lower almost speaking voice and the music is replaced with a more ambient sound and a soft clomping beat. The tempo and mood lifts slightly as Soojin takes over but her voice remains low and steady even as it all picks up. Miyeon also uses her lower register, displaying she can do more with her voice. Shuhua takes the lighter, wispy tone in the chorus as the ominous background falls away making the song feel brighter until Soojin’s deeper register comes in right after that propels the song in a light electronic breakdown. After the initial darker tone, all the member’s voices go higher in the next verse. Even though Yuqi’s voice signature deep voice is still there, the tone is softer, gentler giving that illusion of airiness.
“Luv U” felt experimental. From the beatboxed clacking beat to the drippy breakdown at the start of the song to the quick changes in style and mood to whispered and exploitative voice effects, the song feels like a way for the group to discover a new sound without moving too far from their established skills.
The last song on the EP is “Lion.” While originally a stand-alone single, this song started this growth in concept and style (G)I-DLE explored in the whole album. The song screams confidence from Shuhua taking a whole verse to Minnie’s incredible power on the high note at the end of the second verse. This song really showed what the group could do.
“I Trust” is (G)I-DLE’s demonstration at who they are becoming on the K-Pop scene and what they still can do.