Tag Archives: snsd

Review: SNSD “Dancing Queen” and “I Got A Boy” Music Videos

So I was looking through my blog search terms and saw this:

snsd i got a boy search term

Which made me realize that 1) People still find my blog through searching for SNSD related stuff and 2) SNSD had a new song out and I had no idea. Probably what I deserve for unfollowing allkpop on Twitter. Anyway, I went on Youtube, searched for “I Got A Boy”, watched the video, then noticed “Dancing Queen” on the sidebar. Both surprised me but in different ways.

SNSD in white tees and blue jeans! Oh, the good old days...

SNSD in white tees and blue jeans! Oh, the good old days…

When I first clicked on “Dancing Queen” I assumed that the song may have been inspired by the song “Dancing Queen” by Abba. Turns out that SNSD’s song is actually a remake of Buffy’s 2008 hit “Mercy”, one of my favorite songs of all time. Apparently SM planned to release “Dancing Queen” back in 2008 but had to replace it with “Gee” due to copyright issues – they even filmed the video and mastered the choreography, which luckily they were able to use four years later.

I noticed in the comments section of Duffy’s music video that SNSD fans had started some sort of uproar/war/apology fight. I honestly think that this remake is just a cute, catchy version quite similar to its original; it’s not anything to go crazy over, even though it’s a great song on its own. Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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Why Are Famous People So… Famous?

As human beings, we want to remain on earth after we’ve died. We have kids because we’re genetically programmed to reproduce and continue our biological legacies. I suppose the second best thing is to leave a part of ourselves behind, even if it’s not blood-related – a well-written piece of literature, a convenient technological invention, or a movement that changes society.

I admit to being ignorant. I didn’t know who Steve Jobs was before he died or who Rick Perry was before he castigated gays. There are a lot of famous people I need to learn about, and a myriad of important societal matters that I need to be more aware of. Yet I feel as if for every amazing individual who has amassed a respectable reputation by contributing to society there is a celebrity that has detracted an equal amount of progress by being infamous or famous for no real reason.

Aren't there people with failing literacy rates living in poverty somewhere? Do they not matter? Oh wait, I forgot, we have Justin Bieber. Never mind.

Isn’t it sad that there are girls spending their time talking about or attempting to imitate idiots celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Snooki? They could be educating themselves to face the world’s problems, reading to strengthen their thinking skills, or having plain old fun with their friends outdoors. I’m not even sure why the previously mentioned people are famous – it probably involves some heated Hollywood hookup or scantily clad scandal. But why do those things matter? Have we become so incapable of enriching our lives with knowledge and healthy relationships that we must rely on insignificant, squalid forms of entertainment?

Don’t assume that I only admire those who have taken on the tough battles. I appreciate talent, too. Adele, Oprah, J.K. Rowling – these are people that deserve to be famous even if what they’ve accomplished hasn’t stopped hunger or disease. The Quiet Voice is dedicated in part to pop as well, and despite the overwhelming sexuality in American pop music lately, pop can be pretty cool when it wants to be. If only the singers sung more instead of getting arrested for driving under the influence… well, there’s always K-Pop.

Then again, K-Pop has had its fair share of scandal too. For example, SNSD's extreme dieting and their allegedly having undergone plastic surgery.

So this spur of the moment post was influenced by this video I watched in AP Lang today. I guess through this post I’m asserting how dismaying it is that people have become so entrenched in unhealthy celebrity culture that they literally depend on it for satisfaction in their own lives. It’s especially upsetting when they idolize idiots individuals that set bad examples.

How do you feel about celebrities or famous people? How much interest do you think people should invest in celebrities, and what is a healthy limit? I know that I’ve talked about Key from SHINee quite a bit on this blog, and in my defense, he does possess talent…  unlike Justin Bieber others.

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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’s “Bad Girl” (HQ Audio + Mini Review)

Here’s the MV with HQ Audio:

I don’t know what happened here. This video is so… messy.

I almost decided not to write this post because everything has been pointed out by fellow SNSD fans, but I’ll share my two cents. It seems that SM produced this video just to make some quick cash as opposed to giving SONES quality material. The song itself isn’t that catchy but it isn’t bad, either, so the video could have given it that edge to make it more successful.

However, unlike Miss A’s “Bad Girl Good Girl”, “Bad Girl” lacks conviction. After the 1:00 minute mark the girls appear frazzled and uncomfortable. The obviously poor editing doesn’t help, nor does the even more sloppy arm-flailing dance (and SNSD has made arm-flailing look good before). Nothing really came together with “Bad Girl”, and as a result, the video just looked… bad.

The middle eight of "Bad Girl" was so awkward, it was almost painful to watch.

What do you think of “Bad Girl”? I liked “Mr. Taxi” more, but what I really miss is this.

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My Thoughts on Lee Joon… I mean, HyunA’s “Bubble Pop”

Five million views in five days, almost nine million views in two weeks. Quite an accomplishment for a K-Pop music video.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The video is only garnering views because guys enjoy ogling HyunA’s oh-so-hot body. That may be true, but I think we’re forgetting something… or rather, someone.

If only we were shown Lee Joon getting out of the pool – imagine water droplets cascading down his shirtless body. Excuse me while I squeal in a corner…

Now that that’s out of the way, back to business.

Here’s a question: what if HyunA had not acted so meretriciously in the “Bubble Pop” music video? No seductive faces, revealing clothing, or dirty dancing? What if she had simply frolicked around innocently in plain attire while poking bubbles?

I think that would’ve been boring. Partially because of the song itself – “Bubble Pop” is cute and catchy, I’ll give it that, but it’s not cute and catchy enough to make a lasting impression (like “Oh”, by SNSD). It’s the type of song that you could listen and sing along to when you hear it on the radio, but immediately forget about afterward. The people who produced the music video probably realized that, and were left with two choices. Either they create a typically “fun” video, or they make something so shocking in its sexuality that it pushes people to see what HyunA’s “Bubble Pop” is all about.

This might be the only scene in the entire music video that has bubbles in it. Not surprising.

Of course they went with the second option. K-Pop is quite a competitive industry and people have to make sacrifices in order to succeed. I wonder if HyunA is hurting on the inside behind the fierce face she shows during performances. While one may argue that we will never know whether she regrets the things she does on stage and in her music videos, if it were me, I would hate being known for my booty-shaking instead of my talent.

I’m not encouraging or condoning her behavior, however. I don’t like watching her place her hand between her legs, nor do I ever want to see a beautiful young lady like her have to excessively flaunt her body to achieve fame. I just think people shouldn’t hate her or say unnecessarily mean things about her. How would you feel if you were in her position?

What do you think of “Bubble Pop”? Love it or hate it? Do you empathize with her or do you think she deserves criticism?

His smile pops my bubble 100%. Take that as you will.

Oh, and here’s a link to a live performance of “Bubble Pop”. Lee Joon is in it, and let’s just say I prefer him dancing the chorus. Sorry, HyunA.

Edit July 21, 2013: Also, just wanted to add that I do not condone slut-shaming or anything of that nature. After two years and two days my mindset has changed somewhat – if Hyuna wants to shake it, she should be allowed to do so no matter what. Haters gonna hate.

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SHINee’s Jap “Replay” Teaser/ Key’s New Hair… *fanboy scream*

Image via allkpop.com

So my mundane Monday continued after coming home from school until I saw this. What does that hyperlink lead to, you ask? No, not a new video from Natalie Tran, but if you took the time to read the title of this post, you would know that it is nothing other than SHINee’s teaser for their Japanese re-release of “Replay”! That I happened to watch thirty times.

My thoughts on the teaser:
– They seem to be utilizing their cute boy image. Skinny jeans, bright clothes, you name it. I guess this is a good move because they can maintain the seriousness of the song through other sections of the video while attracting fangirls (who I’ll have to dispose of if they come after Key. Just kidding. Sort of).
– Yoona from SNSD is featured. I don’t actually have a thought regarding this, but since a lot of people are either going “omg i hate yoona so much she’s so over-rated ew” or “i love yoona! she’ll help shinee become popular in japan! yay!” I included it.
– This isn’t related to the teaser, but I think the Japanese version of “Replay” will get stuck in a lot of peoples’ heads, regardless of whether they’ve already heard the Korean version. Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear re-releases of songs in a different language I feel like I’m listening to an entirely different song. Even SNSD Japanese songs. Yeah…
– Key is hot. Speaking of Key…

His new hair! Here’s a photo he uploaded on his me2day account:

Image via me2day.net/shineeshinee

I can’t even describe how  happy I felt after seeing Key in action again, so I’ll just show it through a screenshot that I got of him from the teaser:

His smile... his hair... what have I been reduced to!? (answer: a crazy fanboy)

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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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Spring Break / SNSD Japan Promotions

One more school day until spring break (which lasts a week)! Oh, how I have eagerly awaited this overdue caesura of cruel school assignments. Then again, I will be working throughout the break on schoolwork as well as preparing for my AP World History exam and my SAT… I noticed that I tend to contradict myself when I have a thought that is too positive.

“What a nice day outside!” “Yeah, I wonder how nice it is for those homeless people on the street over there.” Ouch. And no, I don’t talk to myself. Well, maybe.

So to add more meaning (er, detract meaning?) from this post, I’ve decided to include updates on SNSD, aka Girl’s Generation. How much more gender-specific can a group name be? Girl’s Generation? Really? I feel sorry for the males who like this group for more than their bodies – it must be embarrassing.

“What are you listening to?” she asked him.

“Oh, uh, SNSD,” he replied.

“SNSD? Isn’t that Girl’s Generation?”

“NO – er, I mean yes,” he stuttered,” I was listening to their duo with that other group. Uh, 2PM.”

“2PM? You mean the group that has two raging homosexuals and a flamboyant cross-dresser?”

JUST KIDDING – I  have nothing against 2PM at all – they were just the first group that popped into my mind. And I really don’t hold any grudges against guys who listen to SNSD, homosexuals, or cross-dressers, considering that I am one (one of what? I will leave that up to your imagination).

Here’s the Japanese version of “Run Devil Run”:

I love this version – even though it’s the same beat and meaning as the original version of RDR I feel like it’s a new song. It might be because of the language, but either way I don’t know Japanese of Korean. It’s quickly climbing to the top of my IPod’s 25 Most Played List – or should I say, running. I would like to say that pun wasn’t intentional, but it was. Fail…

The video also appears more refined. The girls are stylish as always and their dancing is tighter than the Korean version. Taeyon looks stunning with short hair – surprisingly I recognized her. (:

And here’s the one minute high quality preview of “Mr. Taxi”:

When I told some of my Korean friends that SNSD’s new single would be called “Mr. Taxi” they literally burst out in laughter. A few months ago I probably would have done the same, but now it’s like I’ve assimilated to K-Pop culture. Sort of like how the Indians assimilated to the Aryan caste system and eventually used it as their own… am I right or am I right?

Back to the song – “Mr. Taxi” sounds like Girl’s Generation’s attempt at a techno/pop song, with a few dance beats thrown in. I’ll see how I like it when the full song is released on April 27th. A portion of their revenue from the release of these songs will be donated to the earthquake victims of Japan.

So once spring break starts I’ll try to go back to writing posts that aren’t all about K-Pop and books. Having more time should help, if I don’t waste it ogling Key use it studying diligently for all my upcoming exams.

Did someone say Key? Have a great day everyone! (image via LiveJournal)

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Key’s Top Ten Girl Group Dances

His hips don't lie.

Welcome to my compilation of Key’s top ten girl group dances, from #10, all the way to #1. (: I understand if you can’t tear your eyes away from the dancing figure above to read the rest of this post – I’m having a bit of trouble myself…

For those who are unaware, Key is a member of the South Korean group SHINee. He’s well-known for his singing, rapping, and dancing – he’s a triple threat, and plays multiple parts in the group’s vocals and choreography. What also makes Key stand out is his amazing ability to perform dance numbers originally made for female groups. If you are aware, well, you should definitely know that by now. If not, prepare to be enlightened.

This list is based solely on my own opinion. I don’t think there’s a way to say “Oh, well, Key’s hips move about two degrees farther in dance x than dance y, therefore dance x is better”, but I do believe that his charisma and execution of each dance differs. Most importantly, enjoy this ensemble dedicated to Key! (aka, list constructed by crazy fan boy)

10. “Chu” by f(x).

I wouldn’t have discovered 90% of the K-Pop songs I know now if not for Key’s dancing endorsement. I found out about “Chu” through this, then Nu Abo, La Cha Ta, etc. Now, I’m a huge fan of f(x).

9. “A” by Rainbow.

This probably would have been moved five spots higher if he actually pulled his shirt the move off at :12.

8. “Bo Peep Bo Peep” by T-ara.

No explanation necessary.

7. “Abracadabra” by Brown Eyed Girls.

There’s another video on Youtube where you can see more of his hips – but I like this one because of the sheer seductiveness of his face. Oh baby.

6. “Hoot” by SNSD.

That walk, those hips… anyone else think Key should be the tenth member of SNSD? He’s attracting a lot of attention to them already, SM might as well include him.

5. “Genie” by SNSD.

I like how he out dances all of them. Get it girl! (er, I mean, boy…)

4. “Good Girl Bad Girl” by Miss A.

The best part is when he gets on the floor, hands down. You would think that he’d be embarrassed, but his confidence took me by surprise. I suppose when you’re Almighty you don’t worry about what others think of you.

3. “Because of You” by After School.

LOL, look at Jonghyun in the back! JONGKEY LIVES, I TELL YOU! Um, the dance is good too…

2. “Madonna” by Secret.

I wonder if Key buys his pants on sale, because at my house they would be 100% OFF. Sorry, I had to use that one (it’s true, though. Just kidding. Sort of).

1. “Muzik” by 4 Minute.

This is the only one I knew the placement of when I began the list. From :48 on is perfection… the hips, the facial expression, it’s all sensual and for show. If anyone doubts Key’s dancing ability, this video is irrefutable evidence of his tremendous talent.

There are a few other “honorable mentions” that were too short to post: “Gee”, “La Cha Ta”, “Hurricane Venus”, “Mr.”, to name a few.

What do you think of this list and Key’s girl group dances? Should any of these performances be moved up or down? Did I forget to include any? Let me know your thoughts! (:

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