A year to the day of their debut, K-pop girl group Le Sserafim release their first studio album “Unforgiven,” a mish-mash of ear worms, head bangers and body shakers mixing English, Korean and Japanese. That is to say, an absolute firecracker of a record that kicks the door off the hinges and into some sort of psychedelic dance trip.
It doesn’t hurt that the legendary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame producer, songwriter and guitarist Nile Rodgers lends a funky guitar riff to the spine-tingly sound of title track “Unforgiven,” which samples the iconic soundtrack of the 1966 Western classic, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
The result is a bold anthem of female empowerment; “Unforgiven, I’m the villain,” they intone, kinda like the rest of the album. They poke, they challenge, they dare girls to move in their own direction, make their own choices, break those taboos.
Out of the 13 tracks on the album, only seven are brand new – last year’s singles bass house “Antifragile” and smooth R&B “Impurities” have proven their mettle with a fresh sound.
They bring in some industrial techno with “The World is My Oyster,” “The Hydra” and a more classic energetic electro beat to “Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s Wife.”
“Fearless” and “Blue Flame” (both the 2023 version) strong-arm you into having a good time, while “Burn the Bridge” enraptures with its anthemy, soundtrack vibe. If they’re the villain, they’re forgiven for the fun ride.
CRISTINA JALERU, MDT/AP