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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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SNSD Releases Full “Mr. Taxi” PV

Here’s the full PV for SNSD’s new single “Mr. Taxi”:

They also released the dance version a couple of days before the full one:

The song is about how the girls want some guy to chase them, hence the “Mr. Taxi” thing. It references Tokyo, Seoul, London, and New York, which implies that they’re all around the world (their fans are, at least). The music video depicts them dancing in front a changing background with slight variations to the actual setting.

There are a lot of English phrases in this song, and most of them are correctly utilized – “Mr. Taxi”, “I’m so fast”, “You take me”, “Shooting star”, “I don’t know why”, “I’m so sure”, “Anywhere”, and “I don’t want to say goodbye”. I smirked when I heard “Supersonic hypertonic” though…

hypertonic (adj.): 1. of or relating to hypertonia, 2. noting a solution of higher osmotic pressure than a solution which it is compared

I suppose it’s not as bad as the “fantastic, elastic” of “Ring Ding Dong”. It even makes sense if you think deeply, but I can’t help but wonder if they simply used the word for the purpose of rhyming.

Anyway, their outfits are attractive and mesh well with the theme of the song – so does the dance, which is slightly more intricate than “Oh!”, maybe more than “Run Devil Run”. My favorite part of the video is Hyoyeon’s dance solo followed by Yuri’s arm motion that just screams “get out of the way, the true princess has arrived”. The song itself is quite catchy and I’m sure it’ll hook Japanese listeners even if they don’t like SNSD as a group.

All of these new girl group songs from SM have me anticipating SHINee’s return… why, you ask?

Key and his girl group dances!

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