written by Hwang Seon-eop
There are two reasons why more weight is on the album compared to the very first one. First, their upgraded status since the first album, and another reason is the fact that it is the 3rd album. At a point where there is no point of doubting Girls’ Generation being the most favorite girl group of all time, it’s their third album. We know that H.O.T. , S.E.S., Shinhwa, Fly to the sky from SM had their climax during their third album.
It’s been said, if the expectation is too high, so will the disappointment be. The reaction to their third album has been polarized. Those who have reacted negatively all pointed out the void of initial image of Girls’ Generation. It was a great adventure for SM to push “The boys” until the end knowing people’s negative reaction so well. Boldly, they refused to revive “Gee” with addictive hook, but made new goals for higher ground. This proves that SM is ahead of other labels.
In actuality, whether it’s a failure or success, it is not that important. One thing clear is that it is a season for them to attempt new things. As K-pop gets popular they came up with “The Boys” to be more global. Even though it was a great risk, SM thought this was the perfect time to do so and went with it. Even though fans’ expectation was high, SM chose not to solely satisfy domestic market’s wish, but chose to move up more high.
As many others mentioned, it’s hard to say this song is girly. Intense electronic sound, blunt beat, ordinary melody, unprecedentedly strong image, instead of addictive hook, a phrase “Girls’ generation make you feel the heat!” is simply being repeated. Despite of those factors, the level of completion of this song is great. There is something subtly intriguing which makes the song as a whole, successful.
This image that is ahead of time of other girl groups came from their insight. When others were too busy following the trend they are saying they don’t care how they look, but they will try it. Even when Teddy Riley wrote “Dr. Feel good” for Rania, the fans demands were not neglected. Through the label’s know-how from their long experience, they are being the pioneers in the market.
Besides “The boys”, other parts’ composition is not too different from other domestic albums. Although there is nothing too special, there are many more tracks worth listening to compared to their album <Oh> in 2010. Unlike the trend of producing a track knowing it would be a promotional track, there are many tracks that can easily be used as next hit in this album. “Telepathy” with refreshing melody synthpop, and “Top secret”, the continuation of “Hoot”, “Mr. Taxi” which was a song introduced in Japan first, and etc. It almost gives an impression that this album is actually better than other artists’ official albums.
However, their limitation of singing ability has to be corrected. As the running time runs out, the lack of emotions felt in the album reminds me of <Mirotic> 2008 by Dong Bang Shin Gi. It’s a disadvantage of recording in their hectic schedule without understanding the whole music. I believe they tried their best to bring the quality, but the traces of “industrial product” is audibly felt. “How Great is Your Love”, and “Sunflower” can be the example of what their lack of singing ability results in”.
Korean music fans have paradoxical attitude toward the whole K-pop booming. When the artist is in the country, they would criticize the artist for being incompetent, but once they are becoming popular in Japan, fans start to feel proud with their double-standard. At this point there is a need to recognize idol culture as a form of entertainment. I believe it is not fair to put the pressure of being authentic musician to idols.
Already this era has chosen this idol culture as Korea’s representative culture to be known in the world. We can’t take lightly of their popularity among teens to people in 20s all over the world. Through their new album, they have approached that target. Now is the “Girls’ Generation” for real.
Original Korean article: http://www.izm.co.kr/contentRead.asp?idx=23369&bigcateidx=1&subcateidx=3&view_tp=1