Girls’ Generation – Lion Heart (2015) Album review (Neo Music Community)

Lion Heart

written by Kim Do-heon

I guarantee, they will not again have the glory that had when there were 8 (9 typo) girls in Girls’ Generation. They are a veteran group that produced their 5th album during their 8th year since their debut. Today’s music chart is not kind to idols that have been in the game for a long time. Girls’ Generation doesn’t focus on taking over today’s chart, but trying more to create a legacy and the image of a glamorous girl group.Traces of that are “Gee” – “Tell me your wish”, “Oh!”, “Run devil run”, “Hoot” being the girl group of the generation.

That means experiments of switching up their styles in their music and image, such as it was done in “The boys” or “I got a boy” are not needed. They often use the experimental concept of being portrayed as mature girls, based on top of cute image they once had in the past, especially in Japan: Songs such as “My oh my” of <Love & Peace>. From ‘Lion heart” to “Fire alarm”, “Green light”, “Check”, with the exception of “Show girls”, are the ones that seemed to follow the pattern they ventured into in Japan.

The new format of change was not only noticed externally by fans but also within SM Entertainment (Girls’ Generation’s label). It will not be disharmonious for upbeat dance track with strong vocal, “You think” , groovy R&B style “Check”, and the last track “Bump It” to be sung by groups such as EXO or Super Junior. Much different from “Run devil run” and “Hoot”, “Catch me if you can” which was foreshadowing of their new style, and “You think” performance were close to the style of “Eu Lu Lung” or “Mamacita”. It’s like using strong weapon that only big label such as SM can have.

This restructure doesn’t only let post Girls’ generation take more mature image but also raise the quality of their music. After quitting their attempt of experiment since <”The Boys>, they have gone back to the type of music that is popular among the fans, evolving into well-made pop. This is a successful case of self-improvement.

They recovered their style of melody starting with “Lion heart” which brought back retro style dance inspired by Meghan Trainor. “Green Light” with funky guitar lift, “Fire Alarm” with simple composition but addictive hook, mature style “Caramel Coffee”, Latin acoustic style “One Afternoon” are delightfully welcome. Especially such tracks like “Talk Talk” and “Sign” which would fairly be sung by f(x) should be highly rated.

Even though it would not be the same as their past, this album along with <The Boys> album has the degree of competence that can be confidently introduced. What their eloquent performance symbolizes is the influence of Girls’ Generation, the most popular girl group of 21st century. Even though they took one step back, and their visible achievement might not be as grand as before, their aura can’t be ignored.

From the 1st generation of Girls’ Generation to 2nd generation of Girls’ Generation will open their path to a long run group. The beginning of that step was <Lion Heart>. The key found after experiments and challenges was not in advancement, but within the history.


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