If you were to ask me one word to describe the Korean group, Winner, I would say FAMILY. I would challenge anyone to show me a closer-knit group. To me, Winner has elevated past the general colleague-based relationship most professional groups have. Moreover, this feeling of family is not exclusive to the group itself. No. I think the group’s fandom Inner Circle would agree that it not only encompasses the relationship Yoon, Jinu, Hoon and Mino have with each other but, that it also extends further to their fans. Winner’s latest, the title track Remember on their newly released full album, brings the family together, soothes my fangirl heart, and waxes nostalgic in a way only Winner can.
I think what I love so very much about Winner is that they have embraced their journey with such a mature sense of reality and gratitude. No victory is too small and no setback too big. And the fans, well every last one of them (domestic or global), are important. When I watched the MV for Remember I was struck by how the group sounded more grounded and cohesive than ever. The song is beautiful and melodic. Line distributions, perfect. Mino is responsible for this one and you can fight me on this, but he is decidedly my choice for biggest tender-heart in the group. He is also a fantastic writer/composer.
In the fickle and uncertain world of Korean entertainment, the longevity of an idol group is often faced with a myriad of challenges like mandatory military service, personnel changes, and more. I suppose that is what makes Remember all that much more poignant. I think Winner truly understands the fragility of that world. And what better way to navigate that world with those you love the most: family.
Some fans speculate that the group is saying good-bye with Remember. I don’t think so. To me, it is not a good-bye at all. It is a thank you. Thank you to each other, thank you to the fans, and mostly . . . thank you to the journey.
Check out the entire Remember album on Spotify here: