Review of SNSD’s “The Boys”

I’ve said this before, but SNSD is the one girl group that everyone loves to hate. I think they get the most attention out of all the girl groups, even if they aren’t necessarily the best girl group out there. Due to their ultra-popular hit “Gee” followed by a string of successful singles the name “Girls’ Generation” has been solidified in the K-Pop industry and rookie girl groups will always try to live up to the standard of SNSD. Yes, if one were to name the five most well-known girl groups you would probably hear “2NE1”, “Wonder Girls”, etc., but SNSD would definitely be mentioned. Definitely.

And now they’re taking over the world.

Three features of the same live performance? Dang...

Okay, not really. A myriad of SNSD fans (and anti-fans, I suppose) were upset that SNSD produced an English version of their single “The Boys” (Korean video here, English video here). I understand that it seems like a wasted effort for them to spend their time promoting in a country where many, including their biggest followers, believe they won’t succeed – however, at this point, SM has simply released an English version of “The Boys” worldwide for others outside of Korea to purchase and listen to. They haven’t taken over the world. Yet.

When they promote (or if they promote) I think that “The Boys” will be a great song for them to start out with. Can you imagine them singing “Oh” or “Gee” to an American audience? They wouldn’t be chased away with torches and pitchforks, but I don’t think the response would be very warm either. “The Boys” offers a unique blend of K-Pop and a more westernized sound – courtesy of Teddy Riley – and shows an edgier side of the girls without taking them over the top.

Hyoyeon kills the bridge of this song. Kills it.

I was happy upon first hearing the English version of “The Boys”. I could discern most of what they were saying without reading the lyrics, and for a nine-member girl group with only two members fluent in English, that’s pretty impressive. Yes, their accents are easily identifiable, but that was to be expected – hopefully by the time they begin real promotions they’ll have the kinks ironed out in their pronunciation.

As for the song itself, I like the verses, love the bridge, and am lukewarm regarding the chorus. The verses allow the girls to display their improved singing abilities, the bridge has a crazily catchy beat, but the chorus feels more like a chant than something you would catch yourself singing in the shower. To me, it takes away the momentum the verses build and sends the song in a simple direction as opposed to taking it above and beyond. Still, “The Boys” does not disappoint – I give it a thumbs-up.

I honestly expected at least one of the members to mess this move up during their live performance - I guess my expectations of SNSD are too low!

I can’t say I have a preference between the music video or their live performance (live performance, here). While I appreciate symbolism, the random bird at the beginning of the video did not actually represent anything meaningful, so besides that I thought Teddy Riley did a decent job with it. To me the live performance brings out the girls’ voices during the verses more so than when one watches the video – in both, the middle eight is spectacular.

On a random note, one thing I would like to know is why SM removed the English version of the video from their channel – if Youtube had featured that instead of the girls’ live performances maybe more people would have gotten the song stuck in their head. I guess I should be thankful Youtube promotes K-Pop at all… unless they promote SHINee, because then there would be too much competition for Key. Although I could easily eliminate other fans by… I’m kidding. Kidding.

What do you think of “The Boys”? This song seems to have a wide range of positive to negative reviews, so, as always, I’m curious!

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8 Comments

Filed under K-Pop

8 responses to “Review of SNSD’s “The Boys”

  1. sarah

    Personally, I thought the song didn’t really that great at first, since I couldn’t find the chorus (>.<) and was a bit confused. lol. But honestly, when I listened to it another couple of times, it really grew on me. I must admit that since this song is quite different than other SNSD's songs, we would have a sort of negative feeling towards it, but trust me, this song is actually really good. I think it's a great choice for introducing the girls worldwide.

    By the way, I love Taeyeon's "Just brrring the boys out!" cry and Hyoyeon's bridge part! ^^

    • I agree, it is completely different from SNSD’s previous songs and that alone can disconcert fans – especially those who were expecting another “Gee” or “Genie”. While I wouldn’t say this is their best song, I concur that “it’s a great choice for introducing the girls worldwide”.

      Me too! (:

  2. This is a rather positive review compared to the plethora of angry trolling.
    Yes, I just said that, lol.
    anyways, (hi fellow theinnocentlam follower!) you offer very good points. however, you probably could have put some input on whether or not the video or the visuals (which was obviously heavily focused on) was coherent at all. i personally thought individually, the girls and the sets were great- but put together for a music video for a GROUP, its a disastrous clashing mismatch (swimsuits with ball gowns with cut up sweaters?? whaaat? the teasers made more sense than the MV). i dont kno much about teddy riley’s work, but along with rania, im beginning to be disappointed with him.

    • You’re right that I could’ve commented more on the visuals of the video. To be honest I didn’t mind the clashing clothing choices, as SNSD always look good no matter what they wear (this isn’t me being a fanboy… that’s kind of just the general consensus). The problems I did have with the video were that there were no boys in it, and that the English didn’t really make sense as a whole… though the second issue doesn’t really have to do with the video. And overall English pop music can be a little frivolous when it comes to creating strong, meaningful lyrics.

      I see your point though. I had no idea what the beginning sequence was supposed to symbolize, if it was supposed to symbolize anything at all. However, I don’t think the video was a complete disaster, and in my opinion Teddy Riley did a decent job with it. To each his own I suppose.

  3. Why can’t the GG sing one of their songs in English? I am a great fan of Girl’s Generation. I am from India. Though I dunno the language (excepting few words like Khummao, Oppa, noona etc,.), I really loved Gee,Genie,Oh songs. But the only thing I disliked was their dance moves in these songs. The moves were so simple and childish. The Boys show-cased their dancing talents , especially Hyo Yeon. OMG!! She is a rock star. She mesmerises everyone with her dance moves. She looks pretty as well. So, as a whole I liked “The Boys”-English version, coz
    1. I understood the lyrics and now I can sing as well.l:)
    2.It show-cased thier hard core dance talents.
    3.Taeyeon’s cry and Hyo yeon’s bridge part were awesome.
    4.Hyo yeon, Yuri and Soo youngs’s dance talents were not wasted.

    Hoping to see Hyo yeon’s popping and locking in their next song….LOve u GG

    • I agree, the girls did display a different side of themselves with “The Boys”. While for some it was too much of a breakaway from their cute and only slightly seductive nature found in songs like “Gee” and “Genie”, I think quite a few people found this electronic-dance type SNSD likable. Like you and I! I’m glad I found a fellow Hyoyeon fan, her part in the bridge was beast.

      Thanks for reading and commenting and supporting the group!

  4. Yeah…I love her…She is a great dancer…She never fails in keeping the atmosphere lively….. The sad part is that she is being neglected…But no worries…She has got great number of fans around the world…(Even my friends who think I ‘ve gone K-Pop crazy , likes her a lot. They say that Hyo yeon is outstanding and beautiful)

    • I think she’s getting more attention than she had been previously. It seems like fans outside of Korea are attracted to her image more than native Korea fans, possibly because of her dancing or just because of the way she looks. Of course, all of them have a myriad of fans, including Hyoyeon.

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