In an unexpected move that has left fans and the music industry baffled, it appears that FIFTY FIFTY has released a new compilation album titled The Beginning. The album officially dropped on Sept 22, 2023 at 11AM KST, without any prior promotion or marketing.
The Beginning‘s release comes amidst an ongoing legal dispute between the members of FIFTY FIFTY and their label, Attrakt. The album boasts a total of 11 tracks, including different iterations of Cupid.
The album features various versions of B-side tracks Lovin’ Me, Tell Me, Higher and Log In, which were originally on their debut EP, FIFTY FIFTY.
Why the album was released
Interestingly, the credits for The Beginning name Warner Music Korea as the publisher, and Attrakt as the management company. The Giver’s SIAHN is credited as the album’s lyricist and song arranger. SIAHN’s previous accusations of persuading FIFTY FIFTY members to leave Attrakt has raised some eyebrows.
Jun Hong-Joon, CEO of Attrakt, has since issued a statement shedding light on the decision to release the album.
According to CEO Jun: “This version is a repackaged version intended for a US release.” He stated that “approximately 156,000 copies were shipped to the U.S. for distribution.”
Fans react to the new release
The Beginning is currently available to stream on Spotify. Physical copies of the album are also on sale at Target stores in the US for US$34.99. Reactions of international fans to the ‘new’ album have been largely negative. Some of the comments found online include:
- “I feel bad for the girls so it doesn’t feel right to listen to it if it supports the companies involved.”
- “I won’t tell you to stream/listen or not but it’s basically the stuff they’ve released before and on YouTube. So nothing new tbh.”
- “It’s a last ditch effort from Attrakt to make money off a cash cow that now hates them.”
- “Sio, Keena, Aran and Saena are in no way responsible for this decision.”
One fan even created a thread on X (formerly Twitter) pointing out the quality of the photobook accompanying the album.
The members of FIFTY FIFTY have not commented publicly on the release of the album. The group is currently appealing the Aug 28 decision to dismiss their injunction against Attrakt.