I Got a Boy
written by Hwang Seon-eop
Currently, they are two categories existing within SM. One is the ones rated top in the music chart but sales is not as high. And the other category is the one who is doing well in both. The first is based upon large fandom. The latter has gained popularity over all generation, both sex, and the general public. Within SM, Girls’Generation was special since they satisfy both criteria. Having strong supporters and popularity of general population caused them to be all round player, that was rare even within their label.
This pattern started to shake with “The boys”. With much responsibility to maintain popularity and pressure of trying new things decreased their accessibility. Fortunately, good quality tracks such as “Mr. Taxi” by Teddy Riley and “Trick” made up for that. Things are little different this time. Actually, “I got a boy” is beyond new attempts, but almost a product testing the loyalty of fans who lightly enjoyed Girls’ Generation.
First of all “I got a boy” is really abstruse. Heavy beat and electronica style background take turns to play for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. The segments of hook A and hook B sound as though they are of different genre, even though they are within the same song. The track attempted to reveal the unique quality of each singer’s voice, as if they were trying to utilize every part and second of the track. (Basically saying there was too much things going on within one song) It was inevitable that it loses the consistency trying to show too many things in one track. It doesn’t matter how well the structure is made. It was too much within one song. It was not only because they tried to experiment and change, but they were not faithful to basic.
In this process, they got off track, as they gained their popularity by songs such as “Kissing you” or “Tell me your wish”. When SHINee sang “Sherlock”, fans could easily accept because SHINee had a different route of different character and their fans had been following them. However, the beginning of Girls’Generation was “Into The New World”, and their climax was “Gee”. It was obvious “I got a boy” caused hostility and the gap with the fans.
What was considered as an alternative was “Express 999” written by Kenzie. This was not too satisfactory either. Even though it was mixture of retro and rock, the intro is too boring. Too much intensity was at the end, which makes me hesitant to call it “killing track”. Likewise, during the whole running time, it’s either too lacking, too much, or too repetitive. Even though “Dancing queen” was satisfactory, it was hard not to compare it to “Mercy” by Duffy. “XYZ” was too repetitive, boring and dry. Ironically, what was likeable was “Baby Maybe” which could be closest to their old style. Romantic, as if whispering nice melody.
The album sounds as if they were trying to figure out every single reason why SM was defeated by YG and to return to their former success against their rival. It’s regrettable and questionable whether SM really had to give Girls’ Generation a single as this, since SM also has SHINee and (f(x)).
As we can see on end of the year holiday music shows, Big Bang’s performance that anyone can enjoy, and Super Junior’s performance that is perfectly orchestrated as if to give strong impression on the audience, cannot have the same fans. SM has been successful in other Asia counties enlarging their fandom. However, with Girls’ Generation, SM should’ve been more considerate for the general mass, not the enthusiasts. They must remember what made SM such a mega label was H.O.T. who was liked by all the people with a song “Candy” and S.E.S. and their “I’m your girl”. As of now, SM is not being humble.
Original Korean article: http://www.izm.co.kr/contentRead.asp?idx=24549&bigcateidx=1&subcateidx=3&view_tp=1