On May 1, Source Music’s powerhouse girl group LE SSERAFIM made their comeback with the album UNFORGIVEN and its title track of the same name. The 13-track release features some of the group’s previous releases, as well as six new songs. For the first time, their title track features another artist: American producer, composer, and guitarist Nile Rodgers. In this new release, LE SSERAFIM — consisting of Sakura, Kim Chaewon, Huh Yunjin, Kazuha, and Hong Eunchae — explore and shape their rebellious self-empowerment.
Burn the Bridge
Six of the 13 tracks on UNFORGIVEN are familiar songs to listeners. Three songs from the group’s debut mini-album, FEARLESS, were re-recorded as five-member versions: “The World Is My Oyster (2023 Ver.),” “FEARLESS (2023 Ver.),” and “Blue Flame (2023 Ver.).” Next in the album are three tracks from the group’s sophomore EP, ANTIFRAGILE, namely the homonymous lead single “ANTIFRAGILE,” “Impurities,” and the album’s introduction, “The Hydra.” The inclusion of LE SSERAFIM’s previous releases in UNFORGIVEN walks the listener through the group’s one-year history, celebrating their successful releases and softer B-side tracks.
As per LE SSERAFIM tradition, the first new track on UNFORGIVEN is an ominous introduction that sets the mood for the album. “Burn the Bridge” acts as an interlude between LE SSERAFIM’s existing discography and the new tracks from UNFORGIVEN. With narration like “A closed door, a door locked shut / Another door slightly ajar, I open them all” and “My answer? I wish for what is forbidden to me,” the theme curated by “Burn the Bridge” is dark and angsty yet ambitious — consistent with the dire, mysterious imagery presented in the comeback’s teasers and trailer.
We Are Unforgiven
Following “Burn the Bridge” is “UNFORGIVEN.” The track’s music video begins with a drone shot of a hotel, which quickly zooms in to the members inside. Shouting out to the song’s country-influenced sound, references to the Wild West are present with the members donning dark leather outfits and Chaewon riding a white horse. Nile Rodgers’ commanding guitar strumming — a signature of his expansive music portfolio — complements the track’s deep bass rhythm.
Themes of rebellion and empowerment are consistent throughout the song and music video. From dancing on tables, shedding a burning pair of angelic wings, to ripping the train off a pink tulle dress while strutting out of a small elevator, LE SSERAFIM pay no attention to the conventional. As they repeat the lines “Unforgiven, I’m a villain, I’m a / Unforgiven, I’mma walk that road” and show a playful choreography, it’s clear that they’re not the timid selves of their past. They’re proud of their identity — plastering their logo and song titles all over the video’s signage — and their fans, FEARNOT.
Go Beyond Together
“No-Return (Into the unknown)” marks the album’s first new B-side track. It is a groovy, brass-heavy tune with a solid bassline, bringing its listeners to an exciting journey. Keeping up with the tracklist’s energy is “Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s wife,” a song that genre-bends EDM and house music. The track’s title alludes to three mythological female figures that “break” the rules imposed on them. By paying tribute to them, LE SSERAFIM return to the idea first posed in “UNFORGIVEN” — as they continue to grow as artists, they’re not afraid to color outside the lines. The track also has a hook first presented in their “The Hydra” trailer from the ANTIFRAGILE era: “I’m a mess, in distress, but I’m still the best-dressed.”
“FEARNOT (Between you, me and the lamppost)” breaks the album’s chain of upbeat songs as it is noticeably slower and more stripped down. It is a tribute to the quintet’s fans — as the song title indicates — with their involvement in production (Yunjin) and lyric-writing (all of the members). The pop-ballad track is infused with soft guitar strums and drum beats, with emotional lyrics like “In truth, she’s not all fearless / But you, you help her fear less” and “You light up my life.” Following the song is “Flash Forward,” which shifts the album’s mood back into high-energy pop. It’s a synth-filled, cutesy pop song with an equally bubbly video from the group’s Mnet Comeback Show to match. The soft instrumental in the bridge highlights the members’ vocals as they repeat reassurances of “That’s it, that’s it, no problem.”
Lastly, the album wraps up with “Fire in the Belly,” a song saturated with Latin inspirations. In this fast-paced, rhythmic anthem, LE SSERAFIM even sing in Spanish, chanting “Olé olé olé olé.” Its lyrics and melody are entrancing, luring the listener in with the promise of aventura (or adventure in Spanish) — “Fire in the Belly” paints the image of a thrilling cross-seas voyage.
To promote the album, LE SSERAFIM are currently performing on music shows. The five members have also guested on numerous variety shows, including Knowing Bros. Follow the group on Instagram and Twitter to be updated with their activities, and stream UNFORGIVEN on music platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music!
Want to keep up with LE SSERAFIM? Check out our 7 Things to Know about LE SSERAFIM series, starting with Chaewon, here!