First generation group g.o.d have returned after twelve years with their Chapter 8 album. Their comeback marks the return of Yoon Kye Sang to the g.o.d family.
Chapter 8 had reached the top of all of Korea’s music download sites, including MelOn, MNet, Olleh, Naver, Cyworld and Daum, within an hour of its release.
The album consists of fourteen tracks, two of which were already pre-released, and two instrumentals.
Writing and production on the album comes from big names such as Duble Sidekick and PHANTOM’s Kiggen, and all the new material stays true to the original nature of g.o.d’s music: addictive, deeply emotional, and full of variety.
The album kicks off with an intro of epic proportions, 5+4+1+5=15. g.o.d’s into track takes us back to their Chapter 2 album, delivering a dramatic orchestral version of Love and Memory. The intro ends with each member delivering a line that explains the group’s history from five, to four, to individual loneliness, to five once more.
The album continues with the original version of Chapter 6’s Ordinary Day. Chapter 6 marked the first album to be without Yoon Kye Sang, and this original version is as it was intended, before Kye departed. Mixing not considered, as the second verse begins the difference is most evident as Kye sings, rather than the prominent rap vocals on the Chapter 6 version.
Pre-Release track Sky Blue Promise is next. A spin off from strong and meaningful song One Candle, and follow up to Sky Blue Balloon, this song is wholly dedicated to the fans, encapsulating their original sound.
You can see their mv for Sky Blue Promise here:
The first official single from Chapter 8 came in the form of Saturday Night, a follow up to Chapter 2’s Friday Night the links are clear with samples from the original track, and the disco stylings continuing in the new track. Friday Night always was one of their cheesier tracks, and Saturday Night doesn’t disappoint in keeping up that feeling – not that being cheesy is at all a bad thing.
You can check out the wonderfully funny Saturday Night mv here:
Five Men & A Kiddo is an interlude track featuring conversation between g.o.d and Megan Lee, signed to Tae Woo’s Soul Shop Entertainment, at just 18 she is the ‘kiddo’ amongst even the youngest g.o.d member (33, oldest 44). Towards the end she samples Love and Memory and even sings a line from BIGBANG’s Lies.
Megan Lee also has a real featuring on the track The Story of Our Lives. Already gaining much praise for her emotional lyrics on the track her style fits seamlessly with g.o.d’s long standing reputation for delivering strong, deep ballads. The Story of Our Lives is the next track set to release an mv and you can see the TS here:
Smile presents both Korean and English vocals, from all of the members, rather than just from Joon in majority. Smile does what it says on the tin, if you need to smile this track is your medicine.
Chapter 8 brings us another track with slight disco vibes, Stand Up is a blend of disco funk, and again delivers a mix of Korean and English from the group. With a chat that encourages everybody to ‘just clap your hands’ Stand Up is sure to have everyone that attends the 15th Anniversary Concerts clapping and dancing along to the music.
The other collaboration on the album is with IU. Her contribution is to a track called Sing Me A Song Oppa. As always IU delivers perfect, sweet vocals, which for this track harmonise well with the ballad singers, and deep rappers, of g.o.d.
I Like U delivers a ballad that fits g.o.d’s sound well, though there is nothing at all wrong with the track or the vocals from the members I Like U doesn’t sit as one of the stand out tracks of the album.
One might be fooled by a title like G’Swag, but with a smooth jazz sound there is a juxtaposition to the title from the off. In fact, despite the use of a word some might consider not of their generation, the track may even be one of the most appealing on the album.
The first pre-release, The Lone Duckling, ends the album, with the exception of two instrumentals (Saturday Night & The Story of Our Lives). A perfect, emotional g.o.d ballad to start off releases, and to end the album.
To say g.o.d have been on hiatus for twelve years they have not lost anything that makes them g.o.d, and for that fans old, and new, can be extremely thankful.
Chapter 8 delivers everything FANgod wanted from a g.o.d reunion: the return of Yoon Kye Sang; the return of the loved g.o.d sound; even a 15th Anniversary Concert.
The success of Chapter 8 in Korea needs no explanation, as it hits the top of charts and fans queue for hours before stores open to get their hands on the album. Despite having no plans to promote on music shows it is clear g.o.d have regained their rule over Kpop, age is but a number, as acts like g.o.d and Shinhwa, and Fly To The Sky are proving.
The album’s potential for success in the UK? Maybe this actually doesn’t matter for once. Yes, the album has more English lyrics than we’ve ever seen before, yes, there’s the appeal of Kye returning and his acting fanbase, yes, there is the push of Joon’s ever so small Hollywood exposure – but really, Chapter 8’s success outside of their fanbase isn’t too much of a worry. This is a celebration of their fifteen years, their rebuilt friendship, and their fans – any new fans made in the process are a bonus.
Have you heard the album yet? What do you think of g.o.d’s return?
Chapter 8 makes it clear g.o.d have regained their rule over Kpop!