Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: Wonder Girls–“Be My Baby”



The Wonder Girls give fans a fast-paced, hot performance in their new music video.


Did you like the song?
After two years of performing in America, the Wonder Girls are back with their new music video. Others have said this, but the song this most reminds me of is Mariah Carrey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” And while I really like that song and I certainly enjoyed parts of “Be My Baby,” it wasn’t as edgy or powerful as I had anticipated based on the teasers. (Oh no, a catchy Korean song I didn’t completely fall in love with—take note; it doesn’t happen often.)

Wonder Girls Be My Baby Yubin, Sohee, Sunye, Lim, Yenny

Yubin, Sohee, Sunye, Lim, and Yenny.

My problems with “Be My Baby” are similar to why I didn’t like 2NE1’s “Ugly”—namely, I was let down by the English in the chorus and by the fact that the message is at odds with the concept. Longer English phrases in Kpop songs often lead to songs slowing down and the lyrics repeating a lot. But I also can’t get behind the message of the girls being so obsessed with being this guy’s girlfriend. (Why should the Wonder Girls have to beg for a guy to date them? They’re the freakin’ Wonder Girls!)

Another thing: I was not feeling some of the vocals, especially Sohee’s. It seemed like notes were at times out of her range or unclear or just nasally. I don’t know what it was, as I don’t have much experience with the Wonder Girls. Maybe it’s just her voice or maybe it’s the song. (Yenny’s, Lim’s, and Sunye’s were generally fine, though.)

And then we come to Yubin’s rap. Oh my God, what was happening with that? Impressively fast though it was, it felt so out of place and just rhythmically off that I lost the whole groove of the song, which never came back for a big finish. Instead, it just kind of fizzled out without any high notes or cool points. I was pretty disappointed.

What was your favorite part of the song?
Honestly, I’m going to have to give this to the first eight seconds of the song before the main Christmassy overtones take over. That part stole the show in terms of having both a fun dance and an interesting sound. Too bad it had to change.

Wonder Girls Be My Baby gif

Ba-dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum…

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
Nope, although it’s not 100% perfect, it’s very good (especially during the chorus). Just as I would expect from the Wonder Girls, who have been promoting in America. If you’re interested, there’s also an English version of this song, which is quite listenable, basically equal to the Korean version. All of the grammar and most of the pronunciation is spot on, too. :)

Wonder Girls Be My Baby Sohee, Yenny, Yubin, Sunye, Lim

Sohee, Yenny, Yubin, Sunye, and Lim.

Did you like the video?
So this and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” were both choreographed by the same person (Jonté Moaning), and people are making a big deal about this fact. Sure, there are obvious similarities between the two in the video style, i.e. the black and white stages and the way the lighting swings from white to grey to black, but other than that, I don’t really see it. I wouldn’t have known the same people were involved without being told.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Nope, just dancing on a few different stages. I liked the main “WG” stage and the circular stage when the backup dancers suddenly arrived on the scene.

Wonder Girls Be My Baby set stage

The bird’s eye view of this stage was cool, too.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
There are several different moves here, none of them particularly distinctive or easy to emulate, so I don’t predict that this dance will go as viral as the dances from “Nobody” or “Tell Me.” But it’s still fast-paced and fun, kind of reminiscent of Secret’s “Love is MOVE.”

Do the members look good?
OH HELLS YES. Just look at this stuff!

Wonder Girls Be My Baby Lim, Sohee, Yubin, Sunye, Yenny

Lim, Sohee, Yubin, Sunye, and Yenny.

I think Yenny and Lim look the prettiest, but honestly everyone looks sexy and classy. These styles suit everybody.

Which member stood out the most?
Curses, I knew this question would come, and I really can’t choose. I want to give it to Sunye for her flirty attitude and unique hair, to Yenny for looking the most memorable, to Sohee for being onscreen a lot and looking great while dancing and spinning, to Yubin for rapping so quickly and basically taking over the end of the music video, and to Lim for looking distinctively pretty and sounding great. So I guess this is a cop out, but to me, this was truly a team effort.

Wonder Girls Be My Baby members Yubin, Yenny, Lim, Sohee, and Sunye

Yubin, Yenny, Lim, Sohee, and Sunye.

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Not this song, but congratulations, Wonder Girls, for having the entire album on iTunes for your fans in America! I wish more Kpop companies would learn a lesson from this! I do like the songs “Me, In” and “Stop!” from the album, as well as Lim’s badass rap in “Act Cool,” though I only like “Me, In” enough to buy it. (By the way, I just found out that “Me, In” is a remake of Shin Junghyun’s “The Beauty,” which is a cool song, although I prefer this remake.)

Any ending thoughts?
Speaking of “Me, In,” I’m disappointed that it wasn’t the title track. It was kind of suggested from the first teaser:



Though now I notice the title says “Album teaser.” But man, I really wanted to see this concept onscreen (and the way Sunye hits that microphone is awesome!). Maybe they will do a follow-up music video for this song? (Please, please, please, JYP?) But whatever, at least it’s on iTunes for meee. :)

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“Wonder if these extras are men as well.” [He’s referencing the former controversy as to whether or not one of the backup dancers in Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” was actually a man dressed as a woman. Turned out to be false.]

Thanks to the Wonderfuls who wanted some Wonder Girls on the blog! Please share your comments below. :)

11 comments:

  1. I do not like the song. If they went with G.N.O. , I would have been much happier.
    Songwise
    The Boys < Be My Baby :X

    ReplyDelete
  2. Concept wise though = FREAKING WIN :D

    Totally agree!  The concept was awesome, and seriously they all look great. And "G.N.O" is a cool song; I didn't pay it much attention the first time around, but after listening again, I like it! I still like "Me, In" better, though...

    Not sure if I like "The Boys" or "Be My Baby" better, song-wise. They both have massive problems, in my opinion. But just because it has a nice high point and shows off the singers' vocal ranges better, I'm going to have to agree with you that "The Boys" was better. "Be My Baby" needed a high note or something, instead we got a strange rap part. Oh well.

    Thanks so much for commenting! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I picked 4 songs from this album, all with some [often weird] punctuation in titles: Me, in, Stop!, SuperB, Dear. Boy. Not this title track though. So here I have a dilemma: do I want to include them in this month's article or not? The circumstances are interesting enough to talk about but my rule of thumb is: if I don't like the *song*, I don't write about the comeback :/ Choices, choices...

    ReplyDelete
  4. album wise
    wonder world < the boys

    ReplyDelete
  5. Up to this moment, the best guessed reason is that this korea comeback is for Korean fans back home and their homeland market. Therefore the song of BMB is chosen to be the title song to please their Korean fans. BMB is quite good to me and it has more Kpop style that will suit Korean fan's taste of music. By the way I am an international fan and don't know a single Korean word but I love this album.

    My best guess is that the MV of "ME. in' should already be made and will be released following the MV of BMB.  It is only logical that JYP is not unwsie enough to get all international fans all high with the 1st teaser and then get us all cool down.  If my theory is right, we should see the MV of 'Me, in' very soon.  I hope I am right, otherwise, gonna be bashed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yeah, just by the numbers I have to agree. I personally liked about 3 songs on each of the albums. On SNSD's, I liked "Trick," "Oscar," and "Top Secret" a lot, whereas on the Wonder Girls', I liked "Me, In," a lot and "Stop!" and "G.N.O." a little. But I'm really holding out for a "Me, In" music video...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hmm. Perhaps if they were more obscure, it'd be easier to not include them, but since it's the Wonder Girls, maybe you can talk about the comeback and how you don't like the main song but the other ones are worth checking out? That still violates the rule, though...


    I'm hoping for a MV of "Me, In," even though I'm not sure if that's likely or not. I just found out that it's a remake of an older song, Shin JungIn's "The Beauty," which is an interesting song.http://youtu.be/3-EJP6WQF1Y

    ReplyDelete
  8. By the way I am an international fan and don't know a single Korean word...

    Haha, this is basically my situation. I guess after promoting in America for so long, they owe their Korean fanbase something! But they did release this song in English, too, as a favor to their English-speaking fans. I wouldn't mind an English version of "Me, In," either...

    If my theory is right, we should see the MV of 'Me, in' very soon.

    I really, really hope you're right! That teaser really made me want to see more of that rock concept. I think the Wonder Girls could really nail it. :)

    Thank you for commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh thanks for the link! I've read that it was a remake but forgot to actually check it. My head = sieve.

    I think I'll it this way, yeah.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh come on you guys! I know most of you are probably comparing this album with The Boys, but seriously! Please show more appreciation! I think they were really great in this album! Especially the smooth yet speedy flow of Yubin's rap! Admit it you guys.. you have to agree with me that her rap was pretty accurate, smooth, flowing, and fast but not too fast. Let's just say, I really liked "Be My Baby".

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree it's not completely fair to compare the two albums, but it's just natural since they came out around the same time and are both from legendary girl groups. 

    In my opinion, Yubin's rap was impressively fast but just didn't belong in this song, and thus messed up the groove to me. Just my opinion, though. :)

    ReplyDelete