Review of SNSD’s “Twinkle” and “Paparazzi”

In order to take a break from my recent chain of personal posts and book reviews, I’ve decided to share my thoughts on two of SNSD’s latest releases: “Twinkle” and “Paparazzi”. I haven’t written a blog post about K-Pop/J-Pop since February, so hopefully this will make up for that, as well as provide juxtaposition with some of the other posts I’ve published!

Tiffany, Taeyeon, and Seohyun on stage in the music video of “Twinkle”. Notice the multiple ethnicities of the people performing behind them.

As you can probably tell, I have been out of the loop regarding K-Pop lately. Today, I went on a brief frenzy updating myself on my favorite groups’ activities for the past few months, and when I stumbled upon the fact that SNSD had experimented with a cleverly-titled subgroup, and that their debut single landed #126 on the Billboard 200, I was impressed. Of course, when I saw the name of the song itself, “Twinkle”, I assumed it would be another “Echo” – aka, not a good thing.

“Twinkle” proved to be worlds apart from “Echo”, or any of SNSD’s previous songs, for that matter. It’s got a R&B/reggae/soul groove going for it, and showcases the singers’ voices more than any catchy, hook-filled, purely pop song could have. The music video and the song both have a clean, well-produced vibe and sound, and the girls give the track a little something more with their attitude and vocal ability.

However, “Twinkle” falls short for me. It’s a good song, but not a great one. Its musicality somewhat unsettles me, in that there are too many awkward pauses that break up the melodious quality the song could have possessed. It’s anticlimactic, and lacks any meaningful passion or emotion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the song, but it’s only one I would dance along to if it were to play on the radio, not one I would take the time to download myself and dance to in my room. Which brings us to our next song…

Pretty girls dancing in promiscuous attire on the streets! What could possibly go wrong?

Quite different than Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” – that was my first thought. Dang, dang, I wish I could curse, so I could say dam* – that was my second thought.

“Paparazzi” is such a powerhouse song, I’m surprised SM chose to use its strength for the debut track of their new Japanese album as opposed to saving it and somehow restructuring it into a Korean release. It isn’t as creepily cute as “Oh!”, but it isn’t as electronically auto-tuned as “The Boys” – I’d say it’s a perfect blend.  From the “oh la la la” in the beginning to the well-incorporated English in the chorus to the climactic bridge near the end, the song does not slip up. It’s poppy without relying on any overt hooks, and definitely danceable to. I doubt I’d be going to any clubs that would play the song (or any clubs in general), so, I’ll just have to resort to my bedroom.

They know how to rock the trench coat and heels combination, that’s for sure. Perhaps I should a similar ensemble sometime… just kidding. Sort of.

They also know how to pull off the “pretend-to-be-mobbed-by-paparazzi” look well.

SM made sure that the music video for “Paparazzi” pulled out all the stops. It’s sophisticated, sleek, glamorous, and gorgeous without looking overdone or cheesy. The slow-motion removal of their trench coats, the high-quality camera action capturing their more intricate dance movements, and the amazing architectural designs all impressed me. Apparently the set contained more than 30,000 light bulbs, the buildings took a week to prepare with 120 people working on them, and a total of 300 people were cast for the video – all of this effort was definitely not in vain. Also, I loved their outfits.

Dancing to pop music in a ballroom while wearing pink gloves? Must… resist… jealousy…

Did anyone else notice the newspaper headlines? I particularly like the one about flashing.

The dancing in the music video served as standard SNSD material. Lots of arm movements and some synchronized hip/leg moves, with plenty of spot transitions thrown in. Not mind-blowing stuff, but not bad, either.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to and taking the time to get all the screenshots of “Paparazzi”. Despite some recently mediocre releases from SNSD, I think this evens it out for them, in my eyes. Not as boss as “Genie”, but, who knows, maybe their next song will be.

Thoughts? Agree or disagree? Do you find their outfits as attractive as I do?

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12 Comments

Filed under J-Pop, K-Pop

12 responses to “Review of SNSD’s “Twinkle” and “Paparazzi”

  1. Cathal

    Ha yeah- Paparazzi is great but I’m sick of kpop videos that have really obnoxious prologues so I just watch the dance version mostly.
    ‘Flashin’ the flashy girls’ lol

    • I agree, though I do think that this one isn’t too obnoxious. Some of them are unnecessarily long (T-ara’s “Day By Day”, anyone?) and sometimes simply watching the dance version is enough for me too. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  2. Paparazzi‘s a cool song, the lyrics I found were kind of off probably due to crummy translation but I like the video. They’re creative with the outfits (the gloves) which I overall liked very much though I’m not a fan of short dresses or any short clothing. I love that shade of red in the second picture!

    For the most part I don’t understand what they’re singing but it goes well with the beats, I would have gotten up and danced if there weren’t any people around.

    • Yes, short clothing can be too promiscuous in some cases, though I think SNSD pulled it off tastefully here. I don’t understand too much either, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the music! (: Thanks for reading and commenting, Devina.

  3. Andreas

    I Lovvvvveeee Paparazzi, but I don’t really like Twinkle as much as I like Paparazzi. Twinkle, was, you know, not really the kind of music I usually listen, but it was okay. Anyway, I’m planning to learn the dance, but it’s just that I didn’t have time to do that. I was only able to cover the first part of the reff dance. *sigh 🙂

    • “Twinkle” isn’t the type of music I usually listen to either, maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much. I always admire people who learn the dances to K-Pop songs and dancers in general, I am impressed that you learned any amount of it!

  4. Paparazzi is a cool song. But I loved twinkle too. May be it’s because of Tae Yeon. Her voice is mind-blowing.
    Paparazzi’s music is extra-ordinary. I always watch the dance versions. There were some moves which seemed to be beautiful and some seemed to be dull(It’s just my opinion).
    The one thing which I disliked in Twinkle was the make-up(and costume). The girls look pretty with moderate make-up. It was too shiny and over-bright in the case of Twinkle

    I am looking forward to an english song by SNSD:)!!

    • Yep, I think Tae-yeon’s voice was the strongest aspect of “Twinkle”. It’s a good thing they chose her as one of the three because she has one of, if not the strongest voice in SNSD.

      I feel like a lot of SNSD’s dances have some extraordinary moves and some not-so-hot ones, due to the amount of members in the group and their constant transitions.

      I see what you mean about “Twinkle”. Maybe they were trying to make the girls “twinkle”, literally, with all of the shiny make-up. I’m looking forward to another English song by SNSD too, and thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. SNSD….. paparazzi… the song is best

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