SNSD hopes to bring the boys out by releasing their new song in both Korean and English.
Did you like the song?
This is best described by a list of my reactions:
- First time hearing it: Oh my God, what is this disjointed mess? This is music?
- Second time: Yeah, this is really, really bad. What a massive disappointment. Teddy Riley should be shot.
- Third time: Actually, their English in the English version is surprisingly good. (Then I stopped listening to the English version because I prefer the Korean. It’s better if I don’t know what they’re saying.)
- Fourth time: Man, Taeyeon’s high notes are really awesome. And I like Yoona’s singing part at the beginning. But Jessica’s “GG” is still the most awkward thing in existence.
- Fifth time: That “da boys” part at the beginning is horrific. And they seriously need to stop repeating “bring the boys out” because I will shoot myself if I hear that one more time. But the verses are pretty good, actually.
- Sixth time: That rap is weird. SNSD shouldn’t be rapping. *hums along*
- Seventh time: GIRLS’ GENERATION MAKE YOU FEEL THE HEAT. Oh no. *facepalm*
- Eighth time: I’m going to have to buy this, aren’t I.
In my opinion, the main issue is that the chorus (starting with “Girl’s Generation make you feel the heat”) isn’t very good, and a large part of that problem is simply that it’s in English. It needs to be faster for one thing, but also have some other hook to make it stand out more.
What was your favorite part of the song?
Taeyeon’s high notes for the win!
Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
So every Kpop fan seems to think there’s some kind of secret formula for their idols to be successful in America. But—and this is of course my perspective—it’s no secret: for an established Korean group trying to break into North America, you don’t need to be hot (though it helps), you don’t need to have great dances or meaningful lyrics or beautiful songs (though that would help), you don’t even need to be that different. No, the most important factors are how catchy your songs are and how good you sound singing English. That’s it. Now some people equate “good-sounding English” with unaccented English, but this is totally wrong—most Americans love accents and find at least one or two accents really sexy, especially accents while singing. The key here is convincing Americans that you know English perfectly, you just have a sexy accent while singing it. (This is why British, Australian, Jamaican, South African, New Zealand, etc., accents are so desired in America.)
Based on those guidelines, when I heard that SNSD was releasing their song in English for an American debut, I thought they’d never be able to make it. While some of them sound really sexy singing English, I felt the rest just weren’t confident enough to pull it off.
Let’s see how they do. Here is the English version, for your pleasure:
EDIT: Um, so apparently this isn’t available in the U.S. or Canada at the moment. I hope SM fixes it soon!
And just because I can, here’s their rankings from best to worst English in my opinion, yay!
- Tiffany: Sounds the best in English (yay for being a native), really sexy.
- Jessica: Perfect, as expected from the native, just slightly less sexy than Tiffany.
- Seohyun: WOW! I was so surprised. She has the sexy accent down! Sunny should take notes from her on mystery/history. The only awkward thing was her pronunciation of “pretend” and “didn’t” in the line “You don’t have to pretend that you didn’t notice me.”
- Yoona: Sounds really very sexy on the lower notes, not so good on the higher ones. But generally very good.
- Sunny: Not bad, actually. Too much over-enunciating on mystery/history.
- Taeyeon: Sounds better on the higher, held out notes than on the quick verses. (“Feeling” needed work.)
- Hyoyeon: “We born to win” should be “we’re born to win,” but other than that, not bad at all.
- Sooyoung: Really not bad at all, needs some work on “we make it so hot,” where the emphasis should be on “hot,” not “make.”
- Yuri: Ehh, a bit awkward on “we can show ’em how the girls get down.” The emphasis should be on “show,” not “we.”
One of the remaining issues was the actual lyrics, which seemed to be put together to make the simplest rhyme scheme possible (mystery/history, heat/beat, start/heart, win/in, high/fly, etc.), so that the end result is a very generic message that they’re hot and going to “win,” whatever that means (maybe they’ll win boys’ hearts). So the lyrics are pretty generic and dull, but at least they’re not actually pornographic generic gibberish, which is what many American pop songs are coming out with.
Did you like the video?
SM did it with Super Junior, so I should have expected it here: awesome, gorgeous teaser photos with a semi-coherent theme (ropes and bold colors for Super Junior, modern fairy tale princesses for SNSD) followed by same old same old dancing on boring white/grey background for the video. I can’t help but be a little let down after how beautiful and thought-provoking these teasers were.
Oh, I also forgot to mention the minute-long panorama and slow-motion shots, like the shorter, more manageable ones SM did with SHINee (in Lucifer and Hello) and Super Junior M (in Perfection), and probably some others I’m forgetting. I started skipping that minute because there’s only so many times I can see beautiful girls walking in slow motion and Jessica releasing doves.
Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
No? Maybe? Yoona finds this gemstone, and it transports her into a magical world where nine goddesses reside (one includes herself; that must’ve been weird for Yoona in Wonderland.)
They like to release doves and throw sand in each others’ eyes.
Was the dance cool and distinctive?
SNSD look cool doing whatever, but I wouldn’t say this is the most distinctive of dances. Certainly nothing like Genie or Run Devil Run or Mr. Taxi. It kind of looks like the sprinkler to me.
I loved the move where they hit the floor, though.
Do the members look good?
I did this for Super Junior, so it’s only fair that I extend the same courtesy to SNSD. Thus—by age order:
- Taeyeon: I actually really like the tri-colored hair. I’m not such a fan of the crimped style. But Taeyeon has this way of really sticking out and looking beyond gorgeous in music videos. I guess makeup really suits her because my eye is drawn to her in MVs. (It doesn’t hurt that she also gets the best parts in the song and is an awesome singer.)
- Jessica: I appreciate Jessica’s looks because she’s very distinctive, an easy member to pick out of a lineup. I think she’s very pretty, though not particularly sexy.
- Sunny: Stole the show in terms of looks with her gorgeous blonde wig. She’s got an Amber look going, and it suits her beyond belief. She really needs to actually cut her hair like that.
- Tiffany: The best-looking in SNSD, in my opinion. Always looks beautiful and has great eye makeup (the silver really suits her). I adore her eye smiles. She has this way of looking happy all the time, which is very attractive.
- Hyoyeon: Oh man. I hate to be so shallow, and I definitely respect you as a dancer, but I’m just not a fan of your looks in any SNSD music video. And again I’m not digging the weird shoulder pad ensemble thing, and you should probably let U-KISS keep their shoulder feathers. *bricked by Hyoyeon fans*
- Yuri: Apparently Yuri’s being billed as the sexy member now? Which I don’t get because I don’t really find her sexy at all. I used to get her mixed up with Yoona, to be honest, but now it’s easier for me because the more attractive of the two to me is usually Yoona. *bricked by Yuri’s fans*
- Sooyoung: The second-prettiest member in SNSD, up there with Tiffany. And Sooyoung also looks very distinctive (and tall!) by always seeming to be happy.
- Yoona: Definitely looks better than ever here. That said, I just don’t get her insane popularity or why she has such a huge amount of screentime. It’s beginning to get awkward.
- Seohyun: She looks so…regal and elegant here! It’s hard to believe she the maknae.
Which member stood out the most?
This is nearly impossible with SNSD, really. But just because she always stands out the most, even when she doesn’t look the best, I have to give this to Taeyeon.
Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Like every one of SNSD’s songs, this one has grown on me to the point where I just have to get it. (Except Gee, I don’t like and still haven’t bought that one.)
Any ending thoughts?
Girls shouldn’t want the boys to come out. They should want the men.
“Girls: they bring the boys out. But half price beer and wings really bring the boys out.”
Thanks to the SONEs who requested SNSD! Please share your comments below! :)