Yuri (Girls’ Generation) x Seohyun (Girls’
Generation) – Secret
on August 20, 2016
This is ultimately why “Secret” is
potentially held back: it lacks extra qualities that make it distinct from
being another generic EDM song. Certainly it does have interesting points as
discussed in the pre-choruses, but with those parts the execution does come
I am currently reviewing Stellar’s “Crying,”
but indeed I am taking a temporary pause on it to write the current review as
it is a rather highly debated one in terms of song quality. With this song to
clarify, while many fans are considering it a sub-unit of Girls’ Generation—and
certainly in many ways it technically is one—this song is not officially that; “Secret”
by Yuri and Seohyun is simply a song for an upcoming commercial by Pantene, a company
focused on hair-related products. Nevertheless, fans and viewers are certainly correct
that “Secret” provides a glimpse at a potential, official sub-unit by the two
ladies. Would it ever happen? Given that a foundation now exists, it might be
possible but of course no one but SM Entertainment will know.
On topic for why I have been greatly
motivated to review this song—after all, as said, I am halting another review
for this one—it is due to the overwhelming debate of where this song stands. As
of now, there appears to be quite a range of stances: those who claim this song
is utterly fantastic, and those who claim this song is utterly horrendous. For
where this review will take readers, I hope to showcase that—akin to social
topics—songs can be very complex. What is the secret? Simple: this song is both strong and weak—and that because the
ladies are endorsing Pantene there is a subtle message that the “secret” for men
and women to have good hair is to buy and use their shampoo. I am obviously
joking with the latter statement, though it arguably is true if we consider the
purposes of idols endorsing products beyond the context of just money for
And this would lead to an
interesting ethical discussion on whether endorsement carries unintended
negative outcomes and if so what are idols’ responsibilities, but we will save
this for another time. Addressing this briefly, as I urge readers on this blog
to be, applying critical thinking is always necessary and in this case, just
because Yuri and Seohyun endorse Pantene does not mean they themselves necessarily endorse the company. One should always do
personal, thorough researching along with critically challenging potential
subtle messages said when it comes to idols’ endorsements. With this aside and
my personal orders of Pantene shampoos coming in soon since my hair will obviously
now be as majestic as Yuri’s and Seohyun’s hair if I use this endorsed product,
let us focus on the more serious matter. Where does “Secret” stand? Is it a
song where, given its style, its current polar views are unavoidable? Or is
there, perhaps, a middle-ground despite it all? For what I hope to bring into
the current discussions, I will argue the latter: that “Secret” is arguably in
the middle—average, to be specific.
A secret to make your heart tremble (Only I know) A secret that has a slight feeling My little, shh Little secret
Even if we stay up all night I won’t tell you Only I know I hide myself among the crowd But you always find me in the end
Look up and down Look back But this scent continues The closer you walk to me Hidden in my heart, my little secret A little secret that I want to keep to myself Will you whisper to me, my little secret? A little secret that will make you shine like me (Don’t ever tell)
Be confident Be prepared to look better It’s not hard Somewhere, somehow, I shine As if I’m hiding something special
The eyes on me have grown It’s always overflowing So I confidently enjoyed it even more But why do you, that’s all there is to see? Hidden in my heart, my little secret A little secret that I want to keep to myself Will you whisper to me, my little secret? A little secret that will make you shine like me (Without you knowing)
Come come come away In that short time It’s a secret that will make you change (shh) Come come come away (come on) While everyone’s asleep (suddenly) A secret that will make you dazzle more
Should I just tell you? You’ll be surprised Can you follow me? I’m pulling you It’s a party you’ve dreamed of In it, it’s me and you
Hidden in my heart, my little secret A little secret that I want to keep to myself Will you whisper to me, my little secret? A little secret that will make you shine like me (Without you knowing)
Come come come away In that short time It’s a secret that will make you change (shh) Come come come away (come on) While everyone’s asleep (suddenly) A secret that will make you dazzle more Come come come away In that short time It’s a secret that will make you change (shh) Come come come away (come on) While everyone’s asleep (suddenly) A secret that will make you dazzle more
beginning as a note, since this review should have been appropriately queued
and not cutting ahead of Stellar’s review, I will not go in as much depth so
that Stellar’s review can be finished in time.
topic, one of the more fundamental flaws of current arguments about this song is
the overly emphasized critiques toward its style than its actual execution. For
example, many have been saying the EDM genre of “Secret” is completely
unfitting and thus the song itself is weak. Conversely, many have been praising
the EDM take as the positive point and claiming the song is strong due to that.
However, while to some extent stylistic-focused critiques can be viable at
times, in many cases and such as the mentioned ones, these are too superficial
to be used. It is not about the content
itself, but it is about the delivery
of the content—the execution, if that
is clearer. To use an example, how the choruses flow and sound in “Secret” is its
content; these simply exist as is and form the overall tone and style to the
song. Where delivery comes in is when one listens to the sounds and attempts to
understand the intricacies involved: how does the chorus fit in the entirety of
the song; is the chorus’ structure in conflict or in match with the rest of the
song; are the choruses properly transitioned to as to not be abrupt or overly
predictable; and so forth. If we are to critique content in of itself that
leads to the issue of pure subjectivity: what I like and dislike when it comes to how a song simply sounds. Moving the focus to delivery is
still subjective as what one deems a “good” execution is in fact subjective,
but it does dive deeper as it now involves asking why the effects of the
style and sound matter, not whether one simply likes or dislikes the style and
with that covered, for actually reviewing the song, the song predominantly lacks
in its sections and lyrics. Regarding the lyrics, many lines and details are
repeated excessively and thus, a loss of variety in this case translates to a
loss of appeal. Furthermore, however, the plot—while mysteriously enticing—is highly
undeveloped. Combining both of these factors and the lyrics now score slightly
below average. Now with the sections, “Secret” does heavily lack in this
regard. Worse, though, is that the weaknesses here have an effect on the
vocals. After all, the vocals in the song are not, in of themselves, problematic
at all. Both Yuri’s and Seohyun’s singing are tuneful, diverse in pacing and
pitches and even style. The issues, then, is with how the sections construe the
vocals: requiring extremely repetitive, dull vocals such as at the choruses in
order to keep the song cohesive and organized. Further explaining this, during
the choruses the instrumental and section are structured in a specific way so
that the current vocals are suiting to it—even if, sonically, the vocals are
very redundant. But, unfortunately, this is necessary as any other type of
singing would cause heavy conflicting and that is far more undesirable than its
current state. With all of this, let us focus a bit more on the sections.
the introduction and verses suffice, the rest do not. With the pre-choruses,
even if there is a peculiar yet creative take of merging a vocal-orientated half
followed by a whispering, slower half, it is inefficient for its role and hence
the lower the score. While it is not impossible to combine those two styles
into a single pre-chorus, how the song delivered it is simply redundant: the
first half of the pre-choruses could transition the song to the choruses, but
instead it transitions it to a figurative second pre-chorus. One, consistent
form would have been more organized. Furthermore, along with sounding sonically
weaker, the whispering portion will be a trait that becomes overly used, as
heard in the choruses. And on that note, for the rest of the sections, the main
downfall to them all is excessive repetition. This is ultimately why “Secret”
is potentially held back: it lacks extra qualities that make it distinct from
being another generic EDM song. Certainly it does have interesting points as
discussed in the pre-choruses, but with those parts the execution does come
in all, “Secret” is a song that mainly suffers due to its tedious structuring.
In of itself, the sounds to it are appealing: the heavy bass instrumental with
spikes of various electronic noises combined with vocals that shift between
tuneful singing and passive whispers can indeed lead to a solid song. However,
with how “Secret” fails to execute said variety, it all almost no longer
matters. The vocals’ shifting styles are hard to appreciate when both are
predictably switched and from there excessively used in a single duration. Likewise,
the instrumental is hard to appreciate when the flow to the song itself is
already emulating a heavy bass line—specifically, that there is little
variations throughout. And so, where does lead “Secret”? Although I oftentimes
end up biasedly disagreeing with my own review’s ratings, in this case I do
agree to it: average. This song is average; it is neither strong nor weak. “Secret”
possesses strengths in the vocals, but its sections—its structuring—is where
the song lacks in pushing beyond a generic form and sound.
might be the fastest I have yet to review a song, but because of that I will
also hastily review another song I had in mind: EXO’S “Lotto.” Again, to
clarify, this review is not meant to provide a more objective take to the song
per se, but instead it is intended to merely provide another view to the
current discussion of Yuri’s and Seohyun’s “Secret.” As always, thank you for
reading or skimming the review, and as mentioned look forward to Stellar’s “Crying”
which should come out today or by tomorrow depending on if I decide to write a
review for EXO’s “Lotto.”
Generation’s Tiffany’s Controversial Instagram Post: Does colorism and racism apply?”
Posted on December 24, 2015
Admittedly I am somewhat embarrassed
that this title sounds like some official news article and not a plain AtrocityCL
Blog Opinion post upset that I am writing this: I desired to finish a
review by today, and more importantly, to begin working on my application for a
certain campus job (it is one where I would be teaching). Even more troubling,
I am also losing time to be overly delusional and obsessive over SPICA’s
(On a serious note, though Boa really has captivated me and I am delusional to
the point of “Boa-can-just-put-a-ring-on-my-finger-already-and-propose-to-me,”
losing time in this aspect is obviously not troubling, nor with the other tasks
that were mentioned.) However, I am very much excited that I am writing this,
and in fact, glad to be writing this over a review and my application—in the
sense that important social topics are being discussed, and not excited over
how Tiffany is currently receiving much negativity.
With that alluded to, Girls’
Generation’s Tiffany has been recently receiving spotlight for her Instagram
picture, though specifically with what she put into the description of said
picture. Though I will cover in detail what occurred, for what has resulted,
many have accused her of being racist and colorist, and conversely, many have
defended her and have attacked accusers for their “over sensitivity” and for
being “social justice warriors.” In terms of what this Blog Opinion is
offering, I believe everyone is at fault: Tiffany, fans accusing, and fans
defending. Even my following words are “at fault”; there is simply no right
answer to these types of situations. Regarding the overarching question of
whether Tiffany’s act was racist and colorist, likewise, there is no definite answer.
Realistically, her act was racist and colorist, but simultaneously, her act was
far from the two; again, there is no unequivocal stance. What matters is not
labeling Tiffany or finding the “right” side of this incident, but rather,
learning from this experience. This is what I wish to emphasize, and
furthermore, for discussions that will take place: for one, once again, the
topic of “racist binaries” will return; secondly, the topic of what racism and
colorism are and whether Tiffany’s post can be deemed the two.
Context: To preserve time, I will link
sources that describe this incident, and additionally, will even link Tiffany’s
Instagram picture and description: News article and Tiffany’s picture (view on a mobile device to see the avatars’ skin
Analysis: First, understandably, social topics
are incredibly sensitive and difficult to discuss. Whether it is race, gender,
class, sexual orientation, and so forth, all of these topics are uncomfortable.
However, as I encourage readers, the discomfort of these topics is generally a
sign to in fact directly discuss them. Only personal growth and learning occurs
from engaging with these topics, no matter how disturbing. Also, it is not
debating “right” and “wrong” that matters; truthfully, whichever side is
“correct” is entirely irrelevant. What matters most is being able to think
critically, to understand various viewpoints, and to personally challenge and
question one’s own stances. Nevertheless, given the large discomfort that these
subjects bring, it is natural for there to be tension. In the case of Tiffany’s
post, it is entirely understandable for there to be infuriated fans who are
labeling her as “racist,” and for fans to be defending her and labeling
accusers as “social justice warriors” (however, like how aggressively labeling
one as “racist” should be unacceptable, this term is also unacceptable; refer
to my review on Apink’s “Remember” and a Q/A for why “S.J.W” and even others
like “feminazi” are derogatory). What is moreover important is to abandon the
idea of “right” and “wrong,” and instead, to focus on both sides’ view toward
On this note, before even discussing
the incident, a certain idea must be debunked: the “racist binary.” Miss A’s album review and even, to an extent, iKON’s review and SPICA’s review cover this topic. The “racist
binary” idea is being heavily applied to Tiffany’s case, but doing so veils
over important topics and greatly diminishes moments of learning and growth.
Essentially, with the “racist binary” idea applied, this incident is no better
than an insult war; racism and colorism are, ironically, not even relevant if
the “racist binary” is not removed first. At most, discussions will revolve around:
“Tiffany is a horrible person since she’s racist” and “Tiffany is not being
racist or colorist, you social justice warrior fool.” That should sound
ridiculous and, though racism and colorism are technically involved, limiting a
discussion to that level is pitiful. (And to note, I will also discuss what the
definition of “racism” is as many have also been arguing over that.)
To now explain what the “racist
binary” is, in summary: it is the idea that someone is entirely racist or is
entirely non-racist, and that upon being labeled a racist that person is an
atrocious, evil being, and that upon being labeled a non-racist that person is
wonderfully loving of everyone. This binary idea is false in every degree.
First, as difficult as this may be to accept, everyone is racist—even a person
who is very open and well educated in the topic of race. Likewise, though,
everyone is also arguably non-racist—even a person who utilizes racial slurs at
every possible chance. Racism is not an “is” or “is not” situation; racism is
fluid and open. Therefore, to properly address and discuss it, an open and
fluid mindset must also be equally in place.
Relating Tiffany’s incident, the
“racist binary” has to be disassembled to truly analyze what occurred. Under
the circumstances that her acts are indeed racist (I will later discuss whether
or not it is), her case of being racist does not mean she is a vile human
being. Reiterating the earlier point, everyone to some degree is racist,
admitted or not. Racism is far from an individual level—though the individual
level does greatly matter; racism is on a social scale, hence why it is coined
a “social issue.” Thus, to properly address it, a social lens has to be applied
versus purely an individual lens. Solely calling out Tiffany as “racist” and
“uneducated” and so on is unacceptable. No learning or personal growth is
possible from that, as addressed in my linked review of SPICA’s “Ghost.” At
most, it could be said that Tiffany’s act was racist, but to claim she herself
is racist and to harshly criticize her personally, doing that does not elicit
anything productive. The “racist binary” is what occurs from insulting her, and
as covered, the “racist binary” fails to provide any learning.
And, for an aspect that has yet to
be mentioned but is very much relevant, attacking a person for being racist
(versus their act of racism) contributes to the notion that racism stems from
purely an individual. Social aspects, be it where one has lived throughout
their lives, media depictions of race, and how one was taught of race—or the
lack thereof, and more, all influence a person. Blaming and attacking solely an
individual is to neglect these other factors, of which are crucial sources to
consider. Now, it is not wrong to call out a racist act, and in many ways, it
is essential to do so. However, if only defensiveness and antagonizing occur
because purely an individual scope is taken, then racism is not challenged in
any way. A mixture has to exist: an individual case has to be examined and
acknowledged, but then it has to expand to a social level or else the “racist
binary” becomes applied. Overall, with Tiffany, it cannot be emphasized enough
that she is not personally attacked for potentially being racist. It is
absolutely fine that fans have called out her act as racist, but stretching
that to include her as racist and thus a horrible person is unacceptable. If
her post is to be critically analyzed, this is the first step: to not apply the
Assuming readers are now
understanding the prior point, I will now proceed with what many readers may be
curious about: whether Tiffany’s act was actual racism and colorism. Directly
answering: yes and no. Repeating an earlier idea, it is not so much important
to unequivocally decide whether her post is in fact racist and colorist or not;
what moreover matters is understanding the various views of how people have
perceived Tiffany’s post. Unfortunately, many have fallen with the former and
not the latter, and as a result, there is a current argument over, harshly
stated, the least important aspect of this incident.
Before continuing though, I will now
address what “racism” (and colorism) is as many have been arguing over the
meaning. Admittedly however, I will only cover racism in full since I am
unfamiliar with colorism; colorism has been a topic that I have personally yet
to uncover and have only had bits of. Personally, gender is my specialty when
it comes to social topics, but others such as race, religion, sexual
orientation, class, able-body, and so forth are also ones I enjoy engaging
with. When it comes to colorism though, I admit I have not investigated deeply
even though it is a very prevalent topic, and especially one that is rather
rife in K-Pop (and arguably Korean culture in general). Disclaimer aside, to
focus on racism, I will give the “dictionary” definition—the definition that
carries no weight whatsoever and are only important if one desires to be a good
student and not a good human being (in other words, it is better to understand
racism than to know racism): Racism is discrimination on the institutional
level on the basis of race. Obviously this is not a perfect dictionary definition,
but it does encapsulate the main points. Oftentimes racism is assumed as only “discriminating
based on race,” but it does dive deeper: there has to be an institutional level
involved. Hence, this is why “reverse racism,” “reverse sexism,” (refer to a
poor review on Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B”) and more do not exist.
Using an example to explain, I can
openly say all boys are stupid and that all heterosexuals are physically ugly.
However, as absurd as it is, it would be false to label those phrases as sexist
or “heterophobic.” Conversely, should I say that all women are stupid and that
all homosexuals are physically ugly, then it is correct to label the phrases as
sexist and homophobic. Why this is the case links back to the definitions of
oppressions, be it for racism, sexism, classism, and so forth: there has to be
an institutional level of discrimination; there has to be cases that genuinely
do impact a person’s life, and more so than pure emotions (think jobs, access
to education, personal safety, etc.). Now, certainly the earlier phrases
against boys and heterosexuals are discriminatory, but it should be noted that
they are not “oppressive” because there is no connection to an institutional
level. Heterosexuals for example seldom lose their jobs for being heterosexual,
and yet homosexuals are frequently fired because of their sexual orientation.
Relating racism, non-Whites in America are far less likely to attend higher education
than Whites given the wealth disparity among races and other factors. Overall,
when it comes to using oppression terms, such as racism, sexism, and others, it
is important to remember that these terms are not, comically stated, “feeling
words”; oppression terms are to signify the institutional disparities in place
because of a certain social aspect, be it race, gender, and so on.
Continuing and relating Tiffany’s
case, a few may now argue that her case is not racist and colorist as there is
no institutional level involved; after all, it is not like Tiffany’s post has
the power to suddenly prohibit those with darker skin complexions from
attending schools. This idea is false: although oppression does refer to the
larger scale of institutions, if an institutional discrimination does exist,
then micro level incidents are also rendered as oppressive as it contributes to
the larger scale (“micro level” being “microaggressions,” the individual levels
of oppression such as racist jokes or racist portrayals in media). Take a
simple example: racial slurs (and note, I sincerely hope no reader becomes
offended for the following words; I am going to be using racial slurs in a
mature context and am wishing for understanding and learning to be in place).
In America, I could be very
offensive towards Whites and call them “crackers” (though I will share a
friend’s explanation of this “slur” and showcase that it is not as degrading as
it seems). This is not racist, as to be explained. Now, I could also go around
and call Asians “dog-munchers.” This, on the other hand, is racist. To explain
why “dog-munchers” is racist and “crackers” is not, it ties into the definition
of racism: the institutional component—even if racial slurs are on the
individual level. The White person being labeled a “cracker” may very much feel
offended, but that is it. Unlike the Asian person being called a “dog-muncher,”
however, the White person can return to American media where Whites are often
depicted as “normal”; the White person can find safety in that they will never
be mocked for their cultural foods and music; the White person can also find
safety in that they most likely have a wealthier background compared to the
Asian, and that they have a higher chance to attend college and to find a job that
deems them “suitable.” As unveiled, there is no institutional level of
oppression involved: in America, Whites are privileged in race, even if there
are cases where they are discriminated against for being White. Now, as for the
Asian who is called “dog-muncher,” they face that comment in addition to having
to cope with being harassed for their language, foods, being depicted as
“exotic” in media, most likely having fewer funds for college due to a wealth
disparity, and others. Thus, with micro level discriminations—“microaggressions”—existing
for those who are already institutionally disadvantaged, these microaggressions
do coincide with being labeled as “racist,” “sexist,” and so forth. Micro level
discriminations can, and do, contribute to institutional level.
To quickly address why “cracker” is not as degrading as it appear, I will
summarize what a friend has explained (and if it matters, he is White). I have
not researched if his explanation is correct, but his points are very valid. In
summary: “cracker” refers to the cracking of a whip, of which alludes to
slavery. Essentially, Whites being called “cracker” is offensive as it is
rendering Whites as slave masters. Critically looking at that, however, though
being compared to a slave master is certainly an atrocious juxtaposition, it is
still a status of power. Compared to, for example, Asians being called “dog-munchers,”
there is no “power” associated with that whatsoever. “Dog-munchers” is simply
highly degrading. In contrast, with Whites being called a “cracker,” though it
is offensive to be deemed as a slave master, it is only degrading in the sense
of how American society now views slavery as ominous. But, whether or not my
friend’s explanation is accurate or not, I will make a point that racial slurs
should not be tolerated—even if towards a dominant/privileged race. I
personally do find it acceptable for privileges to be made fun of (such as how I always attempt to make fun of
myself in the context of being a male and heterosexual), but through the use of
slurs and derogatory terms is questionable.
Ultimately focusing on Tiffany’s
incident now that sufficient background knowledge has been given, as stated,
her act being labeled as racist and colorist is based upon one’s
interpretation—and all of the interpretations are valid. As a result, as
ubiquitously said, her post is both racist and colorist and non-racist and
Addressing the perspective that her
post was racist and colorist, it is notable that she does inaccurately
represent the members’ skin complexions. For multiple members, she does “darken”
them almost in an exaggerated sense. For example, though Yuri is known to have
a much darker skin tone than the rest of the members, to claim she is as dark
as the avatar/“emoji” is slightly exaggerated. As for how this seemingly minor
detail could relate to racism and colorism, and thus, offend many fans, looking
beyond this post has to occur. For many who do have darker skin complexions,
Tiffany’s post is far from the only incident that has happened in relation to
falsely depicting skin tones. There are disturbing examples of lightening skin
complexions to indicate beauty, such as by editing a model’s skin to be lighter
when in reality his/her skin is much darker. Additionally, the opposite has
occurred of darkening skin to associate darker skin complexions with negativity.
(The awfully delayed review of GOT7 will address the topic of physical beauty
in relation to “intersectionality”—the combination of how race, gender, class,
and so forth, influence one another and specifically, physical beauty.)
All that said, there is still a prominent
and reasonable disagreement: Tiffany did not include anything negative with the
darker skin depictions of her members. What has to be understood, though, is
that for fans that have darker skin complexions, whether or not negativity was
connoted with darker skin in Tiffany’s post, the fact that there is inaccurate
representation is what is troubling. For those who constantly have to
experience their skin being lightened to be considered beautiful, or that their
skin being dark makes them intimidating to others, Tiffany’s post is another
tack to step on—even if she absolutely had no negative intentions, of which is
most likely the case. Excessively darkening members’ skin tones is upsetting if
one’s own skin is always being modified and never appreciated for what it is,
and with how Tiffany put minor care towards a detail that matters, that can be
taken as offensive. Thus, with this view, there is no “overly sensitive social
justice warriors” involved; there are merely human beings involved who are
justifiably upset for a post that arguably ignores the importance of proper skin
Swapping over to the view that her
post is in fact bereft of any racism and colorism, this post can be interpreted
as, shockingly, empowering. Tiffany’s post and the inaccurate representations
in the avatars could be to emphasis that despite the eight members all having
various skin complexions, they are all absolutely charming and loving.
Therefore with this view, Tiffany could have been attempting to deliver an
utterly opposite idea to what many think: she was trying to combat colorism.
The inaccurate representation was to further accentuate the members’
differences, not to cause isolation or mockery. Through slightly darkening a
few members, Tiffany could then truly highlight her point: every skin
complexion is beautiful. But of course, if this was in fact her intention, it
has certainly backfired as it also stands as offensive as well as empowering.
With the two main sides addressed,
there is now a final question: What does this all mean? Should fans be ready to
tearfully burn their entire collection of Girls’ Generation albums and
pictures, or should every fan suddenly return to her Instagram with apologies
that Tiffany was in fact completely innocent? Neither of these should occur—though
apologizing should occur if one was very rude and accusing versus educational—as
to be discussed in the Conclusion category.
Conclusion: Unfortunately as answers are never
clean, to answer the prior questions: no, fans should not abandon Girls’
Generation; and no, Tiffany’s behavior should not be assumed as entirely
innocent, even if she sincerely wanted her post to be empowering. Speaking
perhaps biasedly, I do hold Tiffany innocent in the sense of intentions; she
most likely did want her post to be a point of finding beauty in every skin
complexion. However, she is not without fault in terms of how she conducted
that good intention. For what should occur on her part, as honesty should be
held as crucial, she should clarify her intentions with that post. Through
explaining her intention (such as the mentioned one of trying to make fans feel
beautiful no matter their skin complexion), but similarly, apologizing for
those who did find it offensive, then everything should be settled.
Nevertheless, this would provide a significant learning experience for her as
both a human being and idol, and for fans of both sides.
Focusing on what this incident does
showcase however, as stated earlier, Tiffany’s post itself and even her are not
as important as what her post disclosed: in addition to the point of how racism
and colorism are still heavily sensitive topics, for what is most significantly
showcased, it is the lack of understanding how to discuss said sensitive
topics. Tiffany’s post became moreover a ground for labeling and insulting,
though the culprit stems back to the “racist binary” idea. If there is anything
to glean from this Blog Opinion post besides Tiffany’s situation, it is that
genuine discussions have to occur with these social topics if learning is to
result. There cannot be antagonizing and hatred, but rather, openness, understanding,
and a critical mindset. The “right” side does not matter as much as thoroughly
unpacking various views. Even with views that are highly disagreeable, such as that
females deserve to be treated inferiorly to males, it matters less on
dehumanizing people with that “wrong” view than to attempt to sincerely see
that view’s side and to understand it, and furthermore, for that side to
attempt to see the other side. Clarifying, this does not mean to be passive and
to accept oppressive standards for example, but rather, that there cannot be
antagonizing if growth is to occur. I hope many do challenge the sexist notion
that females are inferior to males as every gender—female, male, intersex, and
so on—are valuable, but I hope that that sexist notion is challenged through
thoughtful discussions and not simple insults of “go die you sexist trash.”
Concluding the post, besides how I
truly have no life as I spent two days writing this, and that I am absurdly passionate
to discuss topics that should instill discomfort in me (I am excited to one day
be directly teaching these topics in relation to books, movies, shows, songs,
and other similar “literature” mediums), for those who have read this, thank
you for doing so. To compensate for this post consuming review time, I may
release a bonus review, and if I choose to do that, there is a perfect candidate.
On topic though, thank you very much for reading this. My points here are in no
way the “right” view as there is no such thing, as covered in this post, but I
do hope I provide another perspective to Tiffany’s incident as that is how
growth and learning occur.
In addition to the bonus review, to
leak the review I have been working on, Yezi’s famous rap, “Crazy Dog,” is
being reviewed. That review will cover many interesting topics—and more so than
just the rap itself. Stay tuned for it. I will work hard to finish December
with six or seven reviews (though I may take a short break to finish working on
Personal Message: After nearly a week of university (as of this sentence, one more day is left before a full week), for a simple, encapsulating phrase: weekends have never appeared so alluring. If time permits, a video may be made to share my experiences, but in short, I am thoroughly enjoying university. Work remains abundant and challenging, but nothing is utterly overwhelming. Furthermore, I am excited to begin “field experience” with teaching, and of course, meeting new people is always delightful. Life updates aside, in terms of the blog, as stated, I am certainly continuing it. Nevertheless, as university is rigorous in schedule, reviews may either dwindle in rate or length, the latter being what I am aiming towards. On the subject of reviews, against the disclosed schedule, guilt has, rightfully, consumed me: Girls’ Generation’s “You Think,” as requested, will be reviewed.
Originally, “You Think” was to be delayed until other songs, but as it has been nearly three weeks, doing so would further elevate the current rudeness I am displaying. To the requester, I sincerely apologize and am thankful for given patience. “Lion Heart,” the previous review, will have hopefully fulfilled some waiting. Afterwards, personally chosen songs will continue. More male artists are to arrive, and furthermore, new groups–in the sense of being introduced on the blog, that is. Peculiarly, Girls’ Generation has been excessively reviewed on the blog, even despite not personally being a tremendous fan. As a result, with the group enlightening that repetitiveness, variety will be of high priority. Quickly addressing the links as well, a live performance and music video are included. Respectively, the first is to unveil the choreography in full, and the second, for the purpose of crisp audio (and flashy visual content).
Now before digressing on a certain topic, as to be expected knowing my tendencies, to share new ideas regarding the blog, I am hoping to significantly reduce length, but in compensation, to greatly increase quantity. Truthfully, many of my reviews are excessive; the given writing per review could be vastly more compact. Thus, instead of a scrutinized, systematic deconstruction of songs (seeing the “structural” layer, then the “mechanical,” and so forth), while organization will remain, I will focus moreover on each song’s distinct quality, and if done properly, length will be reduced and reviews become less tedious. Trials will be conducted, and if worst comes, continuing the current rate and format will be of no issue.
That clarified, a unique digression is in mind (readers who wish for solely the review, skip below): “privilege jokes,” or less kindly phrased, insults towards social privileges. Especially with the context of Girls’ Generation’s “You Think,” the song of review can be interpreted as targeting males in a negative tone: “Boy, you ain’t cooler than me,” and from the prior song of “Lion Heart,” this trend is more so continued. Focusing on “privilege jokes,” though relatively minor in Girls’ Generation’s recent comeback, it is still an emanating topic, and thus, will be discussed.
Beginning, with the prior review–and truthfully, multiple reviews–seemingly antagonizing males, readers may gather an idea: that males cannot be trusted and all are unworthy and worth beating. Should the prior notion be believed, it is a questionable stance to possess, and in a future review, “education versus retaliation” will be discussed (in other words, “hate sexism, not males,” and so on), but for the topic of main attention, defensiveness of privilege is one. With these related topics, often time, replies of, “but I’m not like that,” or “not every male is like that,” naturally arise, and furthermore, this applies to other social aspects, whether race, class, and more. Delivering the overarching point for this digression, those with social privilege should not become defensive; during moments where privileges are attacked, understanding needs to occur versus defensiveness because privilege is momentous.
Utilizing Girls’ Generation’s comeback as an example, many males may feel wrongly accused: males may feel that the archetype of the character, Lion, is overly exaggerated; males may feel that “You Think” is biasedly siding with the female’s perspective; males may feel, overall, that these messages are “sexist” (refer to a poorly written review of Dal Shabet’s “B.B.B” for why reverse oppression is nonexistent). Even under the circumstance of direct hatred, such as with “all males deserve to die,” males should not become defensive: privilege carries significant power, and thus, even with burning hate, insults towards privilege are rendered meaningless. Granting a transparent example, a poorer person can yell at a rich person with raging remarks, but in the end, the wealthy person can merely return to their mansion while the poorer person has to struggle with balancing three jobs to survive. The effect: the one of privilege remains unaffected, even if emotionally hurt, but certainly, they will always benefit with their privilege and can neglect received insults.
For a more common, controversial example, in the context of America, the following phrase ignites much discussion (or fights): “screw White people.” Although admittedly “screw” may have been modified for friendly language, the same idea holds. On topic, before proceeding, it is worth noting that the phrase can, and is, hurtful. Optimistically stated, very few Whites are genuinely racist (the prior review of “Lion Heart” does dive into subconscious racism), and therefore, upon hearing this phrase, it feels unfair, derogatory, and seemingly “racist” (repeating the earlier point, reverse oppression is false). This is where understanding privilege must occur. Certainly, it hurts, but equally, being White surely provides benefits that do, indeed, render the insults are nothing: Whites tend to be wealthier, have more access to higher education, and for discreet components, do not have to deal with microaggressions (racist jokes, having automatic assumptions of living elsewhere, etc.).
Of course, these are few examples out of the copious amount, but for an overall point, while it is tempting for those with privilege to react with denial or, horrendously, actual oppression and discrimination, being able to understand possessed privilege and its benefits will showcase a new perspective: that being White in America, for example, carries unfair bonuses, and therefore, it can be understood as to why someone would state, “screw Whites.” Conversely and atrociously, should the phrase be of “screw Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians–or simplified, any minoritized race,” a clear contrast is visible. No longer does “screw Whites” appear as hostile as minoritized races already face significant challenges in daily life. Thus, delivering an overarching message, for those with privilege, such as by being a male, or by being Korean in South Korea or White in America (“dominant groups” vary per place), while situations may occur where said personal social traits are attacked, understanding privilege needs to take place.
Nevertheless, in the next review, “education versus retaliation” will be discussed, and already leaking the argument there, insults toward privilege should not occur in the first place, but rather, educating those who are in privilege (though, as explained here, should insults occur, understanding and acceptance should take place). Ultimately, understanding and disarming privilege is what needs to occur. Those with privilege need to learn their given benefits, and resultly, act accordingly so as to provide equity. A male may face comments of “men are all garbage,” and rather than becoming sexist, for an act, they should instead do their role of providing gender equity, such as by rejecting false ideas of masculinity or by not being “sexist with a smile.” More will be discussed in the next review.
All that stated, jocularly and hypocritically, to return to “You Think,” a song that rightfully puts boys in place via labeling them as immature and overly emotional (obviously this is my own “privilege joke,” and as discussed, males should embrace this joke as males are incredibly privileged), in a musical lens, I predict it scoring well. Many of Girls’ Generation’s latest songs have been decent, whether “Party,” “Lion Heart,” or even “Green Light,” and from the pattern, I expect “You Think” to also follow suit. Guesses aside, it is time to follow the title: to actually think and see how the song grades.
Song Score: 7/10 (6.6/10 raw score) – “Above average”
– Vocals: 8/10 – For the vocals in “You Think,” a higher-end score holds.
Every single section in “You Think” discloses melodic and powerful singing, and though the degree varies per section, nonetheless, overall, each section’s vocals showcase such. Offering the most prominent, pleasing section, the pre-choruses provide a stunning example: the vocals remain exceptionally melodic, as given by the constant, strenuous note stretching and fluctuation, and furthermore, power also exists, as showcased by members hitting high notes and strain. On the sole basis of the pre-choruses, much of the song’s Vocals score derives from it. After all, lower notes being stretched to create a rhythmic, vibrating sound, and shortly after, being accompanied with higher, energetic notes, is all appealing: variety exists along with delightful sounds.
With the other sections, positive points still exist. The verses adopt the pre-choruses’ vocals, though all are more orientated towards deeper or higher pitches, depending on the verse number, and conversely, for the choruses, rather than focusing on stretching low or high notes, pure emphasis is placed upon power, as noticed by the blaring, intensive vocals that occur. Remaining sections of bridge and rap are also noteworthy, though the latter section is slightly more dull. At most, for moments of critique, the choruses do carry an intriguing issue: excessive power. However, in the end, it does not harm the overarching vocals, though, as to be discussed later, it will impair the Sections category.
All in all, an eight will hold for the vocals in “You Think.” Exceptionally melodic and powerful are the two words to describe the singing.
– Analysis: Leaving random notes, I am attempting to finish this review in one take, and so far, conceitedly, I believe I deserve some praising as this seems to be possible. Pitiful arrogance aside (and it is doubtful that this will be finished in one day), for the Sections category, five does hold as the average, of which indicates, humorously, average. Vocals in “You Think” may be excellent, but in this case, it appears the structure to the song is at fault.
Starting with the introduction, remorsefully, a four is the score–and duration in seconds. Due to the shorter length, it may be unfair to grade the section as is, but for consistency, nothing can be spared. For what is unveiled during the brief period, merely a few horn sounds are heard. Sonically, nothing pleasing arrives, and pessimistically, solely annoyance, and additionally, with minimal complexity, it leaves an incredibly mundane section. Purely launching “You Think” into its core is what the introduction excels at, but ignoring that single role, it is a poorer section.
Addressing, also, a section that received a four, the choruses prove similarly mediocre. Absurdly, the Vocals category did note the choruses’ possession of powerful vocals, and thus, a high score would be anticipated, but unfortunately, a section is more than sounds. In truth, the choruses are, as stated, excessive: the regular singing that occurs in the section is acceptable, but once complemented with the yelling, piercing background vocals of “you’re not,” a sharp, undesirable contrast is in place. Should the background vocals be calmer, and therefore, more suiting as the choruses would retain their usual, established style, then perhaps a higher score would hold. But, factoring in that and, for other traits, a repetitive format as the singing follows a stagnant path, a four holds.
In terms of the rap, it renders as slightly above average. Explaining such, it feels nearly unfair to give only a six; biasedly, the rap is liked, but realistically, there are a few glaring issues. Sooyoung’s and Hyoyeon’s rap lacks mechanically, though structurally, it is very much respectable. Clarifying, the layout of the rap is fantastic. Sooyoung’s part begins slowly, and flawlessly as time progresses, her rap gradually generates speed, the latter being noticeable through “what, what, what.” This offers the section variety, but more importantly, progression: the rap is not a plain, linear spit of words, but instead, a flowful, open rap. Hyoyeon’s part is also equally respectable, and anticipatedly, builds off Sooyoung’s prior part. A brisk rate maintains the rap’s cohesion as doing so is extending Sooyoung’s part, but towards the end, the rap does slow, and besides allowing a perfect transition into the bridge from such, reiterating the earlier point, variety is extracted as multiple rates are observed. Disappointingly, what prevents a seven or even an eight is the weaker delivery, figuratively and literally phrased. On literal terms, more vocal power during the rap would have been more suitable, especially when focusing on Sooyoung’s miniature, fragile note stretches near the start. Nonetheless, these are minor pickings. The rap is pleasing, though due to the minor issues, a seven will be preserved.
Discussing the bridge as it is the chronological follow-up to the rap, a five for average proves to be the score. Sonically, the bridge is solid; it is unequivocal that the section’s vocals are alluring. However, as notioned during the choruses, a section requires more than vocals. In the bridge’s situation, the format of it is remarkably basic: slower, dramatic singing that is built up, and eventually, at the end, a climactic point is created in terms of a note hold. Thus, with the bridge following the standard section protocol, higher ratings will be saved. If the layout was relatively unique, or if the section was amazingly structured for also outstanding vocals, then perhaps better ratings would exist, but as it is, this bridge is basic, even despite having stronger singing.
Transitioning to the sections that will reap praises, the verses and pre-choruses hold such roles. Six and seven are the scores, respectively. As the following applies to both sections, the mechanical layer to the sections are admirable: smooth, melodic, and impactful vocals exist. With the verses, the first one prioritizes deeper notes, as noted by the charming note stretch towards the end, but also, by the simplistic yet effective rhythmic start. Later, with the second verse, a similar concept holds, though towards higher pitches. However, as noticed, a six is still the rating, and the reason for such is moreover towards the second verse. With the specific section, the engrossing, lower noted stretches in the first verse are swapped with, not note stretches, but rather, higher notes in general; the attractive quality to the first verse was its take of stretching out lower notes, but with the second verse, that is lost for merely hearing higher notes that are not even stretched or held. Therefore, as a result, a slight reduction of score occurs. Analyzing the pre-choruses, however, an above average rating is in place. Concisely stated, with highly enchanting vocals, as discussed in the Vocals category, much of the section holds well. It is diverse with sounds and singing, whether through the various note pitches or the style of singing, and additionally, for its role of a pre-chorus, “You Think” is certainly prepared to meet the upcoming section. A brilliant section is the pre-chorus.
Finally concluding the Sections category with the conclusion section itself, a six is its score. The conclusion does utilize the chorus section, but with how the choruses are conducted, it provides a decent ending. Musically, the downsides of the choruses are translated over, but positively, with the solo instrumental break that plays at the end, “You Think” is able to naturally fade out, and desirably, to linger as the song’s highlight was the final section played. Hypothetically, if the choruses were seducing, the conclusion would score significantly higher, but, as that is not the case, on the basis of a weaker section carrying over, the score is slightly impaired.
– Line Distribution: 9/10 – Eight members are in Girls’ Generation, and unluckily, memory fails to recall whether, in past reviews, the group size has been a challenge or not. Ignoring past reviews, eight members can create challenges, and knowing “You Think” ‘s focus on difficult singing, a more restrictive distribution may exist.
Gauging Taeyeon’s share, her sections include the first and second pre-choruses, and the bridge because of “because.” Three is her count, and that is rather disturbing. For being one of Girls’ Generation’s main vocalists, a much higher count was to be expected.
Sunny, the next member to analyze, possesses a total of three sections: the two verses and the bridge. Homogenous to Taeyeon, no disparities are present. It will be hoped the trend continues as so.
For another main vocalist in the group, Tiffany’s sections consist of the first verse and second pre-chorus, and also, two choruses. Thus, four is her total, and assuming the rest of the group follow with three or four, there will be no problem.
Switching over to Yuri, her spotlight appears at the first verse and one chorus. Two is the outcome. While the group’s perfect streak is lost, unless if similar quantities arrive by the other members, this is of minimal concern.
Sooyoung’s parts are of one chorus and rap, and thus, she and Yuri are in identical situations. This may be impairing to the overall score, but of course, it depends on the rest.
Covering Yoona’s share, she had solely the first chorus. Though she appears at moments of other choruses, as to be explained at the end, those specific incidents can be assumed as the entire group singing. Therefore, a lonesome one is her quantity, and that will reduce the score greatly.
Hyoyeon’s distribution, in hopes of redeeming the overall score, includes two sections: the rap and final chorus. Two, like Yuri and Sooyoung, is her count.
Lastly, for the youngest member and a main vocalist, Seohyun’s lines are of the first pre-chorus, the second verse, and the bridge. Three is her total, and even with it, a poorer outlook appears for the group’s share.
Now addressing the disclaimer, as the choruses possesses multiple members, it is nearly impossible to track line ownership, and thus, background vocals are entirely excluded; solely the standard singing lines during the choruses are gauged. This, overall, should have minimal impact as every background vocals are equally neglected. Granting an overall score, as the average share per member is at 2.5 sections, two members can be deemed outliers: Tiffany has an extra section while Yoona lacks one. If a basic trade was conducted then, in truth, “You Think” would score perfectly as half the members have three or two sections. Miraculously, a nine will be earned. Given that Tiffany’s extra line and Yoona’s lack of said line is the sole disparity, and adding the component of how the choruses include various members, a nine will be earned. If correct, the past reviews have had very high scores for the Line Distribution category, and comically, Girls’ Generation is continuing the pattern.
– Instrumental: 5/10 – Returning to my earlier arrogant statement, I have failed. This sentence marks how far I got in one session, though regardless, it is desirable to finish a review in two days. Digression aside, with returning to this review in the morning, the instrumental to “You Think” is, sadly, average. Biasedly, though, the instrumental is adored.
First, with the instrumental, its sound predominantly consists of bass and beats, though there are lighter, piano-like sounds, such as during the pre-choruses. But, as it is mainly of the mentioned two sounds, both positivity and negativity arrives. One benefit of the instrumental includes contrast: with the instrumental adopting deeper, slower sounds, Girls’ Generation’s singing, an opposite in that the vocals’ pitches and rate are high, is then able to become accentuated for attention. Generally, as well, the combination of vocals and instrumental mesh well in terms of sounds. Neither aspect is overwhelming the other, but instead, both synthesize properly to deliver a cohesive, complementing song.
For the negatives, an obstructive point is mundanity. While in itself the bass or even the beats are attractive, with minimal changes occurring, the constant playback of the sounds become dull over time. Clarifying, however, it is worth noticing that complexity is not necessarily an essential factor to an instrumental’s success, but in “You Think” ‘s case, with a soundtrack that focuses moreover on foundation than, for example, a leading melody (such as with a piano sound), repetition tends to accumulate more easily, and thus, staleness holds. It is rather difficult, after all, for purely bass and beats to become highly enticing by themselves.
Though a five holds, as the instrumental is–as intended to be–combined with the vocals, it should not be entirely disregarded as simply average.
– Lyrics: 6/10 – Already leaked, “You Think” does involve targeting a boy for his acts, but for what has yet to be revealed, the entire story is still a mystery. Perhaps a break-up occurred, or perhaps the boy happens to be relentlessly harassing the main character. Halting speculations, the following Korean-to-English translated lyrics will provide insight on what each character is “thinking.”
You stay up all night, heart aching because of me? You worry about me? Wow, never heard that before You pretend to be a good guy You pretend to cry because of me You try so hard on all your SNS accounts, only posting your stories on how you’re hurt
You call my name in time that has already passed and erased Back then, we shined All the beautiful memories that I tried to keep, but you spit it out, however you wanted, coldly spit it out
You think ya real cool (you’re not) Ya think ya real cool (you’re not) That’s just what you think Boy, you ain’t cooler than me, nah You think ya real cool (you’re not) Ya think ya real cool (you’re not) It’s the end of your illusion Boy, you ain’t cooler than me, nah
(Never heard that before) Hah, yeah, you’re talking about us again So people can focus on you, you used me You’re calling me a thorny bad girl I was going to let it go but you crossed the line again
Under the fading and slowing clouds Under the falling rain The tears that I hid all alone The scars that I received You spit it all out, lightly spit it all out, easily spit it all out
You think ya real cool (you’re not) Ya think ya real cool (you’re not) That’s just what you think Boy, you ain’t cooler than me, nah You think ya real cool (you’re not) Ya think ya real cool (you’re not) It’s the end of your illusion Boy, you ain’t cooler than me, nah
Boy, if you’re not confident, back up Why are you here looking at me that way? Be clear–what what what Why can’t you be bold? I’m a bad girl from the gossip that you made up It’s fine, it’ll all return to you in the end, anyway But listen carefully to my decision I have no regrets anymore, go away
I used to think you were my world But I’ll give you a clearer answer I’m way too good for you Because
You think ya real cool (you’re not) Ya think ya real cool (you’re not) That’s just what you think Boy, you ain’t cooler than me, nah You think ya real cool (you’re not) Ya think ya real cool (you’re not) It’s the end of your illusion Boy, you ain’t cooler than me, nah
Mindreading activated, to answer what the characters are thinking, though the former love-interest’s thoughts are excluded, the main character’s mind is showcased: angry. She (or he; lyrics are always open to be gender neutral) directly calls out the boy with words of, “you think ya real cool, that’s just what you think,” and for a final call, “boy, you ain’t cooler than me, nah.” Seeking the justification behind the main character’s acts, it appears that the former love-interest is biasedly crafting a story of, implicitly, the two’s breakup: “You try so hard on all your SNS accounts, only posting your stories on how you’re hurt.” The main character is frustrated by this as the boy is “[pretending] to be a good guy” and “[pretending] to cry because of me.” In the end, while it is impossible to judge who is sincerely guilty, the main character, eventually, offers her perspective: “The tears that I hid all alone, the scars that I received, you spit it all out, lightly spit it all out, easily spit it all out.” From the line, it can assumed that the boy, even if in tears now, is also at fault as he left the main character with “tears” and, hopefully, figurative “scars.”
Rating the lyrics to “You Think,” a six holds for slightly above average. For the plot, the song did differ from many, even if it is still with the standard theme of a relationship split. A conflict exists to give the plot its unique take, and furthermore, with two perspectives to analyze, depth is included. Questions exist, such as of wondering why the two split, but also, if the main character is innocent or not. Surprisingly, all this time, she might be the one at fault. Debates away, with multiple points of discussion, the lyrics prove engrossing for its story. Nevertheless, for drawbacks, as with many lyrics, the lack of details are one. Many sections are repeats, whether through having exact lines, or in different cases, merely repeating a similar idea, such as the emotions of the main character. As a result, potential plot development is lost. All in all, however, “You Think” does have an appealing plot.
– “Critical Corner”: For this bonus category, at most, the digression at the beginning covers potential controversy, but in terms of other topics, none can be seen. Minimally, for a simplistic comment, should a breakup occur, having respect should take place so that, unlike the song, a peaceful, understanding and accepting outcome occurs, not one of fights as is in “You Think.”
Choreography Score: 8/10 – Disturbingly, this review’s length is significantly shorter than many prior ones. Understandably, for the Personal Message, the given digression was concise, but even so, I am fearing that the conducted analysis for the song itself is perhaps insufficient. Personally skimming over will be done, and of course, for readers, sending in feedback is always welcomed and appreciated. Without digressing further except for the obligated compliment of how Taeyeon’s eyeshadow was extremely beautiful and that, in general, all of the members’ makeup were charming, for the choreography to “You Think,” it is a tie between a seven or eight, but with the points to cover, an eight is more justified.
Syncing is flawless for the song; every dance maneuver in “You Think” links to the song’s audio. For examples: the choruses sync with both vocals and instrumental, as observed with hand motions matching to the lyrics’ flow or by the light, foot pacing to match the beats; the verses’ dance set is reflective of the slower, rhythmic bass and singing as motions are homogeneously sluggish, but for the moments of increased intensity, the dancing equally becomes upbeat, such as with Seohyun hastily crawling forward; and for the last example, even with the rap section, the choreography still remains precise with syncing due to relating to the instrumental’s beats.
Adding onto the sharp syncing, for what truly shifts the score from a seven to eight, the various key points deserve credit. Every section remains distinct, and more so than types of sections. The first verse contains its own dance set, and thus, for the second verse, an entirely new choreography is in place. Furthermore, even the choruses differ, though similarities carry over. Because of the diverse key points, the choreography is able to maintain constant appeal as the dancing remains new per section, and accounting for the stellar visuals per dance, as explained with the syncing, the various key points ensure a higher rating.
A fabulous choreography exists for “You Think.” Two main aspects of choreographies are excelled: the syncing is accurate, and the key points all vary and still appear as exquisite.
Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – Against personal predictions, for “You Think,” one of the comeback songs for Girls’ Generation, it can be regarded as a solid song. Extraordinary, in fact. Admitting my foreshadowed score, I expected, at most, a seven, but most likely, a six. But, as the choreography and audio are fantastic (though to say, the Line Distribution may be saved the Song Score), the current rating is understandable.
To the requester, thank you very much for being patient, and happily stated, surprise; this review may be unexpected as I did state that it would be delayed, but correctly, it was prioritized and finally finished. However, with it being nearly three weeks, I greatly apologize for the delay in the first place. University is keeping me busy, but reviews will always still come. On that note, this review does appear significantly shorter than prior ones. Again, as briefly mentioned, if this is due to the lack of analysis, I will be concerned, but should it be due to saying more in less words, this will provide a huge growth point for the blog and personal writing. That is my current goal: to cover more ideas in a more concise manner. This way, reviews retain entertainment, and furthermore, more reviews are able to be posted. More experiments will be done to see, but I will strive to keep reviews at this length or, ambitiously, even shorter.
Since I have not stated so, thank you to those who have read this review. Skimmed for numerical ratings or read to every period, I appreciate any given time towards the blog. More reviews will be arriving, many of which will be artists that have yet to appear on the blog, and as male artists have been rarely reviewed, for the remainder of September, I will aim to cover purely male artists. In terms of life updates, a review will cover how university is going (I am loving it), and for those also keeping track of my YouTube channel, subtitled videos are to still come.
As this is the end, once again, thank you for reading. Even with now being incredibly busy (I misused the word during high school), time will always be allocated towards writing reviews. After all, I would not desire readers to taunt me with “ya think ya real cool, that’s just what you think, boy, you ain’t cooler than me, nah.” Though that statement is certainly true as readers are much “cooler” than me, I am thankful for those who read my atrocious writing. Stay tuned for an upcoming male (group) artist, and hopefully, an even more concise, purposeful review.
Personal Message: With college occurring in less than a week (as of the time of this sentence), I have been busy organizing and retrieving materials, finishing write-ups, and for other events, collaborating with a friend for subtitling a video, and therefore, was unable to write for a few days. Also, for a side note, I may, in a video, share my current feelings regarding university, and for what readers may be interested in, advice regarding careers and future goals. On topic, with everything nearly cleared, I am returning to writing reviews, and specifically, for a partially requested one: Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart.” Clarifying the term of “partially,” I am stating such as, though a reader did request both of the group’s latest songs, “Lion Heart” and “You Think,” solely the latter will be reviewed in a standard song format. For “Lion Heart,” I have personally decided to review its music video for the purpose of time and variety.
Addressing the music video, besides regretfully watching it at night and getting hungry, I absolutely adore it. From a biased standpoint, I find the plot and layout to be incredibly alluring and comical (and more seriously, empowering, as to be discussed), but even from a realistic perspective, higher ratings would still be justified. Though to be explained within the review itself, with a significant plot twist occurring, the music video is able to retain a higher score. If it were not for the drastic change in story, statistically, “Lion Heart” would fare equally to ZE:A J’s “Marry Me” ‘s music video. In essence, both videos are identical: every character (member) is followed with their own romantic scenario. Differently, however, with “Lion Heart,” rather than a plot instilled with pure, sweet romance, bitterness appears at the end, and that change is valuable.
To already digress, with mentioning how the music video is empowering (for readers who wish for the review, skip ahead), intentional or not, the video sheds light onto a prevalent issue: sexism, but more specifically, subtle sexism. “Sexism comes with a smile,” as the phrase is, and with the term “phrase,” to prevent copyright related issues, if correct, I am referencing an article title. On a more serious note, however, to utilize the mentioned phrase, Girls’ Generation’s video highlights it. Furthermore, with this topic, other oppressions are also truly uncovered: racism, classism, and so forth. Often time these oppressions are rendered as blunt, heinous acts, but in reality, that is not always the case, and realistically, many of these social issues are discreet.
To bring an understandable example, racism tends to provide the most clarity. Derogatory remarks, physical assaults, and similar, blatant acts fueled by racism appear as the main forms of it, but seldom are, for examples, remarks of “Asians are math geniuses” or “I love Koreans” regarded as racist. Very few incidents, in fact, are intentionally racist, but many are subconsciously, hence why education should appear versus aggressive retaliation and defensiveness (as to be discussed in the next review), but specifically for the upcoming discussion, why understanding what oppression (sexism, racism, etc.) truly is, in the context of appearances, needs to be discussed. Offering a final example, as a few readers may already connote the prior examples as racist, for a more complex one, especially in the lens of America, police provide such. Many now correlate police officers as racist people: it is assumed that police officers wake up and look out into the horizon, hands on hip and gun handle, and that they will state, “What a great day to shoot down a non-White civilian.”
Although, due to human diversity, there will always be officers that are, indeed, ominously racist, in truth, many are not–on the conscious level (and this applies to every human). Yet, if the prior statement is true, then police brutality cases affecting predominantly minoritized races would cease. This is where the discussion of “oppression comes with a smile” appears. To continue the current example, while a significant, vast majority of police officers are not consciously racist, in a life-and-death, high-stress situation, subconsciousness takes over, and sadly, in that state of mind, the officers may be racist, and that is not their fault. It derives from society. It derives from society showcasing, and perpetuating, the idea that, for example, African Americans are “gangsters” and “dangerous.” Needless to say, that standard is incredibly racist and pathetic, but returning to the main point, subconscious oppression matters and needs to be equally addressed as conscious, blatant oppression.
To now fully focus on subconscious sexism as it relates to this review directly (though not to say it is not worth discussing how racism, classism, and other oppressions break down; even if a topic is indirectly related to a review, it is worth ruminating over, and in another review, “intersectionality” will be discussed), “Lion Heart” ‘s music video is a perfect depiction of it. Specifically with “sexism comes with a smile,” to continue usage of the phrase, a few reviews have already partially dived into the topic: a show review on “Channel Fiestar” and even at an older music video review. Nevertheless, a full discussion will now take place, and perfectly, with “Lion Heart” as example.
First, in isolation, Lion’s acts (for simplicity, the lion character’s created name will be unembellished) in themselves are genuinely friendly. Essentially, per Girls’ Generation member, a very kind gesture was made. On the surface, Lion cannot be sexist; Lion cannot be assumed as sexist when, for one, he has permission from the ladies, and secondly, his sweet acts and gifts are all delightful. Unfortunately, he is certainly sexist. Unequivocally sexist. The reason for such is his “kind” gestures, ironically, are motivated by a horrendous one: winning women, as if women are trophies and objects to be won (refer to “Channel Fiestar” ‘s review for more information). Thus, Girls’ Generation’s music video deserves much praise for its given message. Easily, the song could have potentially adopted ZE:A J’s video’s route: pure, perfect love. Instead, the music video director opted to showcase a live, active social issue, and implicitly, she/he delivers a potent message through the members’ acting: it is not acceptable to be “sexist with a smile.” After all, doing so results in having Hyoyeon decapitate males no rewards, but instead, beatings and hatred.
Now, although the music video has been shortly analyzed, it would be pitiful to end the discussion at that point when many other highly subtle acts are still rife. With “Lion Heart” giving perfect background, more examples will be presented: “I can’t hit you since you’re a girl”; “I’ll pay for the dinner since you’re a girl”; “I’ll be the one to ask you out since you’re the girl”; “I’ll handle all the physical work since you’re a girl.” Certainly, many other phrases exist, but these appear as common ones that would grant more insight into “sexism with a smile.” Reiterating the prior paragraph, these acts seem sweet; the listed acts would seem endearing as it saves females money, hassles, and gives protection. False. And false privileges. Though these points appear as privilege, to state that females are privileged would be to state questionable, cheesy jokes from my high school professor a joke. Females are not privileged. Males are. “Sexism with a smile,” as given by the list, merely covers real privilege and attempts to veil current gender inequities.
Finally critiquing each of those statements, all are heavily rooted in sexism. Those seemingly charming acts are not so once deconstructed. In terms of “I can’t hit you since you’re a girl,” it is laugh-inducing. If that statement is true, there is definitely a flaw as females are, in fact, abundantly physically hit by boys, as given by domestic violence statistics, and though not exactly “hit,” cases of rape and sexual assault, of which are physical harm. Therefore, already, that phrase is moot. Besides the hypocrisy in those words, there is still sexism involved: asking why. Why are males unallowed to hurt females (though, again, many boys fail to follow the standard in the first place). Similar to the “trophy” idea, the same could also translate: females cannot be hit as it would be hitting a trophy, and thus, harming an object is certainly wrong. Jocularly, rather than “I can’t hit you since you’re a human being,” it is “girl” as, inequitably and wrongly, that can be objectified.
Progressing on, for the phrase of “I’ll pay for the dinner since you’re a girl,” and homogeneously, “I’ll be the one to ask you out since you’re the girl,” though money lost and social trepidation are prevented, and thus, the phrases appear as benefits, once again, sexism is stemmed from. Incapability is what is implied, specifically when tied to gender norms. There is a momentous difference between casually paying and paying on the basis of gender, the latter being what the phrase is focusing on (I will clarify differences between genuine acts later). With males deciding to be the payer as “it is a man’s role,” doing so is, discreetly, stating that females cannot afford to pay for themselves (though gender wage disparities is another topic), and more critically, that, in general, females cannot take care of themselves. In terms of the second phrase, the same trend is followed: females are helpless and passive, and resultly, that males must always take the initiative, such as for proposal. Even the final phrase of “I’ll handle all the physical work since you’re a girl” follows suit.
Now, to address a rebuttal that this may be overly sensitizing the phrases, to clarify, these acts should not be prohibited. There is nothing wrong, in itself, with a male deciding to propose first, or for another example, to entirely handle heavy physical labor. What is worthy of scrutinizing is the motive for such. After all, stealing Tiffany’s words, “Ladies,” and of course, gentlemen, “y’all know what I’m talking about, right?” Sexism and genuine kindness are easily differentiated. If a man’s reason for entirely paying a dinner is due to it being a gift for a beloved partner, there is no issue. However, if, in opposite, it was motivated not on the premise of being affectionate, but instead, because of having to comply with “being a man,” issues are present. Likewise, for individually handling physical labor, if the justification resides with being kind and sparing a partner from sores versus, for example, the pressure to utterly “protect” a female since that is a “man’s job,” then it is fine.
Overall, the main message is not to prohibit males from sweet acts, but rather, to bring awareness to subtle sexism. Males’ kind acts towards females should be exactly such; whenever a male decides to do a friendly favor for a female, it should not be fueled by “winning” females or expecting to receive a date, but instead, because kindness is always worthy of granting and spreading. Males should not hit females simply since “they are girls,” males should not hit females because no human deserves to be physically assaulted. Males should not pay for entire meals because it is a “man’s role,” but because it is always sweet to pay for anyone’s meal. Similarly, males should not feel pressured to be the proposer because of gender norms, but instead, since they want to create a (hopefully) romantic situation for a dearly loved person. Lastly, for females, subtle sexism should also be disengaged: females should also be willing to propose first and to pay entirely for meals, as breaking down current standards equally challenges, and removes, sexism. It is all about shifting sincere, sweet acts to being stemmed in actual kindness and not inequitable norms.
Digression aside, to finally return to Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart,” repeating the earlier praise, this music video deserves much positive attention for its message that promotes equity for both males and females. Additionally, if not for the more veiled aspect to the video, for the blatant layer, female protagonists and showcasing that femininity is as desired as masculinity are always empowering points as, sadly, the opposites are exceptionally more common. On topic with the review itself, with high visual appeal and an equally pleasing plot, the ladies’ latest music video can be predicted to score well.
Plot Score: 6/10
Though to explain at the end, this review has been delayed momentously. University is beginning tomorrow, and therefore, I will be busy (and already was), but optimistically, more studious times will exist for peaceful writing. Updates aside, before critiquing the music video’s plot, a personal, short summary will be given so that readers understand where criticism, if any, will derive from.
“Lion Heart” begins with eight characters (Girls’ Generation) enjoying pizza. Soon, the ladies decide to watch a film, of which the music video then adopts for its main content. After a transition, Yoona, a character (members’ names will be used for simplicity), is seen holding a ticket close to her. It is not the ticket she treasures, but rather, the love-interest who gave it: a boy named “Lion” (or at least will now be named as such), as to be discovered later.
Continuing, in a new scene, Taeyeon is introduced, and also, Lion as well. Taeyeon instantly becomes captivated by his appearance. Afterwards, identical to Taeyeon, Sooyoung also falls for Lion’s appearance as, while busy with her painting, his arrival leads to utter shock. Yoona is then shown again, though at a point prior to receiving the ticket: she is bored on a train ride until Lion visits her. Predictably, similar scenes are disclosed, though different in scenarios: Tiffany has Lion repair her broken car; Seohyun, reading in a cafe, has Lion catch her book before it hits the floor; Sunny, a bakery shop owner, bumps into Lion, but in response, he kindly picks up her dropped items; Hyoyeon, during a solo picnic, has Lion abruptly appearing and offering her wine though, realistically and to ruin the plot’ mood, this scene is rather “creepy” as this stranger is excessively intimate; and lastly, Yuri and Lion are observed in a boat where Lion performs music and magic.
Hastily progressing to changes in story, Lion now gives a date to every member for, assumingly, when to meet him. Every member is witnessed with her own way of receiving: Yuri gets the date to appear on her cloth due to a magic trick; Seohyun has it written in her novel; Taeyeon, simply, has a paper slip given; Tiffany, during a drive, had Lion tell her (or that he completely changed out her license plate to show the date, but this being more unrealistic); Sooyoung discovers the date in a portrait of herself, of which Lion drew; Yoona, as reflected at the music video’s beginning, received a ticket with the date; and lastly, Hyoyeon and Sunny, while ambiguous on how they received their notes, it can be assumed they have also.
Fast forwarding, the members are all now at a train station to, based on their notes, meet Lion. Interestingly, a strange incident occurs: all of the ladies are in the same scene. Lion’s romantic acts were not exclusive per member. Eventually, Yoona discovers him, conspicuously, hiding behind a newspaper, and shortly after, the remaining characters gather. Confusion exists, but solely for a few seconds: upon them realizing that Lion delivered “sexism with a smile,” they all decided to remove said smile. After some physical hitting on Lion, his phonebook drops. Planned, multiple dates, are written, and now with even more anger, the ladies continue chasing him.
Ultimately, for the music video’s conclusion, it showcases Lion attempting to reconcile with the characters, but, clearly, it is all in vain. Whether through Yoona ignoring him as he attempts to chase after her train, or a tearful Yuri elbowing him and smacking him with an oar, or even Tiffany exploiting his ruined state to clean her car, Lion will not repair relationships, and rightfully so. Focusing on the very end, the music video returns to the outside plot of the eight friends enjoying a movie, though now all are asleep. Jocularly, they wake up to a nightmare: Lion is there in the room (perhaps to showcase that “Lion” is, indeed, a person who can exist in life). Like the ladies in their movie, they all begin hitting him, and from there, it can be happily assumed Lion would never pester anyone again.
– Analysis: Boring summary aside, though, as explained, it helps maintain understanding for what will now occur, for a score to the plot, a six for slightly above average will hold.
Addressing positive aspects to the plot, for the earlier phase, the eight varying scenarios of romance bring multiple benefits. Each member can be examined for their case and how supposed love unfolded, and furthermore, with each scenario significantly differing from the rest, the diversity grants automatic appeal. Nonetheless, in the end, with solely this part, like the prior music video review, a lower score would hold. While romantic and delightful, the plot lacks depth; the first section of “Lion Heart” merely discloses basic, flirtatious stories. No conflicts were present, and though each member’s scene is unique in itself, overall, all are still within identical styles.
That stated, the score is a six and not, for example, a four. A plot twist occurs, hence the higher rating. Upon the climactic point of the characters all encountering Lion, humor, distinction, and actual happenings are all present, and these attributes allow the plot to become enticing. Versus the chronological, repetitive nature of the plot’s earlier stage, the plot twist brings flexibility; the plot to “Lion Heart” is no longer of pure romance, but, jocularly, pure hatred. However, even with a welcomed surprise, the plot still fails to contain high complexity, and thus, no higher numerical rating will be given, though not to discredit a six. In the end, the plot is still relatively linear, especially when accounting for how scenes, after the climactic point, replicate prior ones. Varied from earlier ones, the later scenes showcase hate versus attraction, but nevertheless, the same, linear sequenced shots still occur.
Structural Score: 8/10
Switching to “Lion Heart” ‘s structural score, as foreshadowed for a majority of music videos, visual appeal is excellent. Although the plot remains moreover stagnant, visual content, conversely, remains exceptionally diverse. A plethora of backgrounds, as displayed per member’s scenario, and additionally, the various, chic and stunning clothing and makeup sets each member possessed, contribute to the music video’s visual appeal. Each background, though akin to one another in the sense of theme and time, can still be rendered as individual. For examples, Tiffany’s car scene provided an outdoor, road context, and in contrast, Sunny’s scene included an indoor area, and also, beautiful colors. Similarly, Girls’ Generation’s fashion follow equal trends: varied yet all are chic and captivating.
Besides blatant visual content, the structuring of said content is also endearing. Though traditional, “Lion Heart” utilizes an effective format: alternating between plot and choreography. Reiterating prior points in ZE:A J’s review of “Marry Me,” with the constant switching, additional visuals are able to be added, and with those additions, constant stimulation is maintained. Elaborating, due to the choreography being included, new types of scenes are granted: dancing becomes the main focus, and with such, new backgrounds and fashion are brought, all of which create more visual appeal as differences are unveiled. Adding on, for moreover what delivers and maintains high stimulation, shorter durations and hasty alternating of scenes can be credited. Minimal time exists to dissect a scene thoroughly, and thus, curiosity naturally accumulates, but with entirely new, alluring scenes occurring in a few seconds, the mentioned curiosity fails to fade.
An eight will hold as the structural score to “Lion Heart.” Visually, the music video is fabulous. From scenery to clothing, to acting and dancing, the video in the category of visuals is, basically phrased, good.
Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score)
To confess, slight rushing did occur. However, considering music video reviews are bonuses, it is not entirely troubling. Truthfully, I am yearning to begin standard song reviews once again, and optimistically, many are to arrive (realistically, however, the usual rate of one or two per week may be it). Attention towards one of Girls’ Generation’s latest music videos, “Lion Heart” averages at a seven, of which indicates it is above average, and that is agreeable. While a “best” music video is nonexistent for my personal list, “Lion Heart” does reside with a few favorites, such as Juniel’s “I Think I’m In Love” (I may review her latest song). Overall, it is a respectable music video.
Leaving final remarks, for one, I greatly apologize for this review’s delay. University has started, and I have attended my first day. If time permits, I will share the experiences, but in short, I am loving college. With a more definite schedule in place, I have found a perfect time for reviews, and depending on how productive I am, many can be expected. That said, schoolwork will always, blatantly, be prioritized. Nevertheless, I do feel regretful for the delay and am thankful for readers’ patience. Also, thank you for reading, whether skimmed or read entirely. For the requester, though not in a standard song review, I do hope this review is still accepted. Thank you for your patience and for sending in the requests. “You Think” will be reviewed soon, though for purpose of reorientating with song reviews, it may be delayed for one song. Apologies if that occurs.
Summing up updates, more reviews are to come. For purpose of speed and due to personal critiques, 4Minute’s Hyuna’s comeback of “Roll Deep/Because I’m The Best” is most likely to be reviewed, but afterwards, I will, hopefully, return to finish the current request. Regardless, look forward to upcoming reviews and an improvement of publish rate. After all, “tell me why, why does my heart keep shaking?” Most likely due to being lethargic with writing reviews. Stay tuned for the next one.
Personal Message: Girls’ Generation’s summer comeback of “Party” was the “hidden” review, and I have decided on reviewing the music video for both variety and length, both of which will vastly help the blog. If dedicated, I am hoping for this review to be finished in two days, and I do anticipate so as I am still inept with deconstructing visual mediums, and in this case, with music videos. Nevertheless, since this review was supposed to be a celebration and reflection for the blog’s one year anniversary (I have instead done the reflection in a prior post), even with the poorer analysis, this review should be considered moreover a bonus versus a more sincere, serious one, such as standard song reviews. But, with that, I will still attempt a thorough cover of the music video.
For those curious on my stance of “Party” in a musical lens, offering an estimation on what would be the Song Score, a six would most likely be the maximum. Based on the review outline’s categories, the vocals, sections, lyrics, and instrumental, lean towards the average to slightly above average range (line distribution cannot be approximated), and thus, I will make a bold statement of claiming “Party,” musically, would most likely rate at a six. Of course, however, without truly dissecting it, no positive claims can be made. Nonetheless, personally, I have been enjoying the song as it offers a soothing, cheerful atmosphere; due to the prominent bass and fun, lighthearted singing and the song’s overall flow, it certainly suits a “summer song” theme, and therefore, is pleasing in those regards. Also, with the more joyful tone, it would prove fitting for a celebration of the blog, but more importantly, “Party” is a part of the relentlessly released summer comebacks (to add onto my review schedule, I have BTS, KARA’s Hara’s solo, and Apink). I may have to discover shortcuts or begin filtering songs as, gauging my current review list, it is impossible to cover each of them in a standard song review.
Worries aside, although the blog’s reflection already occurred, I have come across another discussion that, similarly, relates to peering back about a year ago and to music videos: Girl’s Day’s “Oh My God” music video (and for those desiring to read the review on Girls’ Generation, skip ahead). Illuminating my absurd, random mentioning of the ladies’ incredibly old video (back when Girl’s Day possessed five members versus the current four), I was reminded of an interesting scenario that took place relating to the group, and I desire to discuss it as many readers may also thoroughly understand: embarrassment for being into K-Pop. Though I was oblivious at the time, there are important social topics involved (and for Girl’s Day’s current situation, there is also much to discuss, though that will take place in their own review), but for readers who have felt, or still currently feel, embarrassed for being interested in K-Pop, to already offer my stance, there should never be any feelings of shame for such, and sadly, it is not a mere accident for that embarrassment to exist, as will be explained.
However, before embarking on that discussion, I will share a personal story of scenarios where I have felt completely humiliated for being into K-Pop. With the start of senior year in high school, Girl’s Day’s “Oh My God” was showcased in a class, and humorously, my reaction can be equated to the song’s title. In truth, I was horrified that a K-Pop video was displayed; I felt that the video had no place in the class, and not on the premise of quality, but rather, that it was “bizarre” and “weird,” even though I was certainly into K-Pop (by around two years prior). Furthermore, fast forwarding slightly in the future, I did present AOA’s “Miniskirt” to the class for an assignment (for those curious, I discussed how the song is empowering to females versus the many claims of it being sexist), and still, the same feelings of shame and “awkwardness” existed.
Now that I ponder over those incidents, I feel ashamed; I feel ashamed at being ashamed. That said, very gratefully, though the class was where my “embarrassment” occurred, it is the class that gave knowledge and critical thinking so that, reflecting over, I am now able to understand why I felt negatively. In fact, if I were to ever present a K-Pop song once more, I would, unlike the past, be able to do so confidently. Elaborating, the reason for my shame was, though harshly stated, essentially me being racist, and I am glad that the class allowed me to now realize that. With such in mind, my racism was, obviously, not in the form of bluntly claiming “Koreans are weird,” but with what I did genuinely feel with my embarrassment, that was, essentially, my statement. I felt that “Oh My God” and “Miniskirt” were “weird” because of differences, even with the irony of loving K-Pop; due to both of those songs being in Korean culture versus American culture, I suddenly felt shame at the songs on the basis of cultural difference.
That is what needs to be discussed. Though I will be writing in the perspective of America, other places do follow a similar trend of “dominant group,” as to be explained, but the overarching idea of feeling shame for not fitting with dominant aspects, whether that is race, language, and more, is not purely a natural feeling, but rather, arguably, one that is fabricated; the feelings of embarrassment for one’s own personal identity, as listed above in terms of race, appearance, gender, and other traits, does not stem naturally due to merely not fitting, but instead, due to the repercussions of not fitting, of which exist purposefully. That is where the shame spawns: from what society showcases to those who do not fit the dominant ideas. Also, coincidentally and perfectly, this ties into the discussion that began at the review on AOA’s Mini-Album “Heart Attack.”
Diving in depth with my specific experiences, the feelings I felt were far from pride, and truthfully, at the very least, neutrality should have been my emotion, but with neither taking form, it does bring concern on how differences defaults in shame. Attempting to figure out why, an answer does hold: the videos were not “White.” Specifically in the case of living in America (as discussed in previous reviews, the dominant group changes per place, but nonetheless, generally still exists), though many would argue that White culture is understandably the dominant culture as, basically phrased, it is “majority” culture, this in itself is not the issue (also hence “dominant” culture versus “majority” culture; for example, males are the “dominant” gender when they are not the majority); I did not feel shame at purely not suiting the more common culture, but as mentioned, due to synthesized reasons. To enlighten said reasons, examples will be offered: not speaking English creates assumption of stupidity and inferiority; non-White cultures are deemed “exotic” rather than being respected as a separate culture, as witnessed by remarks of “this is weird” or grotesque mockery; non-White cultures are also constantly compared to White culture when any juxtapositions of cultures is erroneous.
Overall, the sense of inferiority stems from how varying cultures are treated, and thus, shame derives from those miniscule remarks of “only speak English” or “that is a weird custom.” If a more equitable, open perspective was in place, though White culture would remain as the “majority culture,” it would cease to be labeled as a dominant culture since, unlike its title, there would not be any dominating of other cultures; other cultures would be equally respected to White culture, even if less common. Sadly, there are still disparities in how non-White cultures are regarded, and therefore, relating back to the earlier point, I felt shameful in the past for the showcasing of K-Pop because of how non-White cultures are rendered as inferior.
For a final message, and for one many readers may appreciate, in addition to being aware of one’s own sincere feelings and treatment towards non-dominant cultures (reiterating, I spoke in the lens of America, but regardless of place, the same issues occur) so that equity and understanding are in place, addressing a more subtle layer of this similar topic, there should never be feelings of embarrassment for liking K-Pop. K-Pop should not carry embarrassment as, explained with the overarching argument, different is not bad, despite what society may showcase via mockery or direct, derogatory remarks. More importantly, however, for readers who have ever felt shame of their own personal identity, whether that relates to language, race, sexual orientation, or even discreet aspects of failing to fit gender norms, understand there is never a need to feel such a way. Embarrassment from differences is manufactured; it is not a natural phenomenon, but instead, one made to allow a dominant culture, language, or whichever aspect to thrive when, realistically, that is highly inequitable as everyone deserves respect for who they are. Therefore, at the very least, readers should feel neutral for liking K-Pop, but for what I do hope to grant, remembering to be critical and accepting of differences is my personal message. No one deserves to be degraded on the sole basis of who they are.
Finally transitioning to the music video review of Girls’ Generation, I have a few updates: I wrote the prior three paragraphs with my new laptop (a university gift from my parents, the old one is worn out and is not mobile), and I am very much enjoying the comfort it brings with typing, and as a bonus, additional materialistic motivation exists to write (though, of course, my drive to write lies towards writing itself versus materialism). Although I have considered reviewing the laptop for variety, considering professional reviews exist, it would be incredibly obsolete to do so, and as always, K-Pop reviews is where I feel most reassured. Truly discussing the eight ladies of Girls’ Generation and their latest comeback, briefly discussed, I do personally enjoy the song in a musical lens, and from a visual perspective, the visual component is also equally pleasing. Nevertheless, it is far from flawless. As such, through the review on Girls’ Generation’s “Party” music video, its rating will be determined. After all, “Hey girls” and boys, “do you know what time it is?” “It must be party time, here we go.”
Plot Score: 3/10
Cringing once more at the questionable transition from above, before critiquing the plot of the music video, a summary will take place. This is to predominantly explain my personal interpretation, and thus, what I will be criticizing.
On topic, for “Party,” interestingly, a single line can sum up the plot: eight friends enjoy a full day of vacation, specifically at a beach. Also, with “beach,” it will be considered the overarching label for other places near the location, such as observed pools and clubs. Attempting to offer a more coherent and genuine summary, eight characters (Girls’ Generation members) fly to their vacation destination. Upon arrival, after, implicitly, usual routines of settling, they head to a beach and, shortly phrased, have fun. The ladies rest on hammocks, stroll near the water, and for places that are not of the beach, swimming pools and a club for dancing and pool (the game) are also other participated activities. All the characters have fun until the end of the day, as observed by the setting sun, and with such, the music video concludes (excluding the other scenes that are not chronologically positioned in terms of time).
– Analysis: Although heartwarming and joy-inducing, in essence, there is no plot. Arguably, the music video is orientated towards solely “eye candy,” as to be explained in the Structural Score category, hence why the existing plot is of a poor standard. There is little to be said as, for the depicted plot, no depth is observable; the plot follows an incredibly linear, bleak story. No events occur other than various activities of relaxing, and even with those activities, minimal insight is gleaned. Therefore, below average will hold, of which is numerically a three. “Party” does possess a plot, but with the lack of distinctive events and a sincere outline, it can be considered miniscule, and overall, meaningless as the music video is not thorough in story.
Structural Score: 8/10
Continuing the prior idea, if “Party” is not allocated towards possessing an enticing plot, it leaves the structural component as its priority. Therefore, as stated, “Party” can be considered an “eye candy” music video; the music video is fashioned to garner attention via visual appeal, not through its plot. Miraculously, even with a lackluster story, the visual component does render well due to both utilized visuals, and also, how those visuals are portrayed.
First, in focus of the direct visuals, with the included beach setting, a welcoming, luring background exists as a vacation atmosphere is established: the water maintains a clear, glossy charm; the sand is palpable; the sun is directly overhead. Furthermore, additional settings are also disclosed, as noted by nighttime and the places that are not the beach itself. A potent aspect becomes extracted from those various locations: diversity. Though the beach is still the main spotlight, given its time duration, with other places utilized, it prevents mundanity; with a wider range of settings, it prevents the main background of the beach to lose its captivation as, if it were the sole scenery, its delightfulness would naturally fade due to excess exposure. Ignoring the background to the music video, in terms of the members’ contribution to “Party” ‘s visuals, Girls’ Generation’s fashion and makeup prove vital. Individual chic, infatuating outfits are appointed to every member, and thus, in that regard, “Party” benefits from every members’ own physical charms. Additionally, akin to the earlier example of variety, with them all holding their own styles, dullness fails to occur.
Swapping to the more pressing aspect of the music video, like the category’s title, the structural component, while inclusive of the direct visuals, is moreover about how said visuals are portrayed. The structural layer to “Party” is solid, but it is not because of the visuals themselves being enchanting, but rather, how the video is conducted so that the given visuals are exponentially more attractive.
Delivering the strongest, overarching structural point to the music video of “Party,” the layout of the scenes are phenomenal: concise and variated, yet notable. Scenes in the video seldom extend past five seconds, and thus, with the average scene consuming minimal time, and additionally, the existence of multiple types of scenes, a consistent, constant state of appeal is held. For example, individual spotlight towards a member may be showcased, but within a few seconds, a new, distinct type of scene, such as the choreography, becomes the highlight. Offering further understanding, the music video’s scene layout also allows multiple replays. Uniquely, high appeal is maintained even despite a plethora of playbacks. In many music videos, often time doing so is unviable as, blatantly, the initial charms of a video gradually fade. However, in “Party” ‘s case, additional, pleasing playings are plausible as, due to efficient, compact and varied scenes, a repetitive nature is less likely to persist. Overall, interest generates through the combination of time, or more accurately, scarcity time, and the scene topics alternating; with minimal time existing to interpret the ongoing stream of lively, changing visuals, viewers become engrossed as attempts to deconstruct the video never halts.
Overall Score: 6/10 (5.5/10 raw score)
Averaging the two categories, the Overall Score does round up to a six, and therefore, Girls’ Generation’s “Party” music video can be concluded as a slightly above average music video, and that is agreeable. While the plot lacks, “Party” does, in credit to its stronger structural portion, compensate by being an “eye candy” music video. From the entirety of Girls’ Generation latest comeback, though the song was not (and will not be) reviewed, I will claim it is a more satisfying comeback in comparison to many other groups as both the song and music video are decent.
As always, thank you very much for reading. I wholeheartedly appreciate the given time and support. On my part, I will apologize for a slightly longer publish date as I have been distracted by testing out the new laptop, but also, I apologize for a poorer review. Visual mediums are still rather difficult for me to deconstruct as I lack experience, and therefore, this review will be of lower quality. Over time, as more music video reviews are conducted (if correct, this may be the second one I have ever done), the quality will equally improve.
Revealing upcoming reviews, with, as expected, even more comebacks occurring, such as that with Infinite and GOT7 (and of course ones listed earlier), I will have to now be relatively selective. Most likely, I will delay groups that have already been reviewed and place priority towards artists that have yet to be reviewed. Time will tell, however. Nonetheless, I will be continually updating my review schedule so that readers may glimpse at the songs themselves and on when the review will be posted (if the song is chosen for review). Answering exactly on what will next be for review, in truth, nothing is certain as of now. Therefore, I encourage readers to continually check with the schedule as it becomes more updated. Since I “can’t stop stop stop, it’s party time,” do anticipate for the undecided, upcoming review. Thank you once again for reading.
Personal Message: Though it has been quite a while since I have last done a standard song review, I am incredibly excited, and in many ways, finally feeling at ease as this outline is what I currently have the most experience and comfort with. Girls’ Generation made a recent comeback of “Catch Me If You Can,” and from memory, the sole song I butchered reviewed from them was “Mr. Mr.,” which should be incredibly inaccurate and a horrible read (I recall dropping 9s and even a 10 which, embarrassingly, are highly false numbers). Nevertheless, changes have occurred for both the ladies and blog; Girls’ Generation is now an 8-membered group versus 9 as Jessica is no longer in it, and my rubric for review has become more realistic and strict due to gaining more experience. For those curious on my take of Jessica’s departure, due to being oblivious to details (from what I know, she no longer had time for the group as she is the CEO of her fashion company, Blanc), I will not dive into a discussion regarding it.
My pure take is changes occur, desired or not, and moving on is what needs to happen. The current debates and minutiaes on whether harassment or pressure occurred and thus reinforced her leave is, in truth, not entirely worthy of time. For those curious on my stance regarding idol news, I find the exact details less important than how people react to the news; it is moreover telling and intriguing to analyze how the general public reacts to certain news rather than the news itself. For example, with news involving idols dating, it is less vital to care for the couple than to gauge the common reactions of “She is a whore” or “She only wants his money.” Though I will not dive into this discussion (or at least I am claiming so; Miss A’s mini-album of “Colors” shows my hypocrisy of those words), it does reiterate my point of how the idol news is not important itself, but rather, how people interpret and react to the news (and in this case, pondering over and realizing solely the female is cursed while the male is praised during dating news).
To focus back on Girls’ Generation, this review may spark slight controversy in the realm of music. Although I generally cause uncomfort on a social level with digressions (which is great; readers should care of those topics), this review may instill heavy disagreement in terms of my ratings. As such, I am excited as my reviews should be, hopefully, bringing a new perspective to a song. Whether that is agreed with or not is the true beauty of reviews. Reviews are solely opinions of the author, and as a result, being able to understand multiple perspectives is gained, and that is a vital skill to have and what I believe makes reviews important, more so than the single layer of the review’s content itself. (Feel free to skip to the review itself now.)
On that note, and to actually tie in the music video for “Catch Me If You Can,” while my reviews are dedicated towards the songs and dances, as I constantly emphasize, including the social aspect to pop culture is equally pressing, and in many ways, without doing so would be to create a world utterly orientated towards “mechanics.” To address the link first before clarifying my previous point, the music video will be utilized as no live performances or dance practice have been released, but that is of no issue as the music video is focused on the choreography. That said, the music video simply showcases the group dancing on a construction site setting, and coincidentally, the background ties into my earlier point.
To focus on K-Pop without the social side is to live a world dominated with pure construction (like the setting in the music video), technology, science, and more. Though arguably those “mechanics” are the essence of life and necessities, and to draw a parallel to my reviews, the actual deconstruction of songs themselves, it would be blinding and ignorant to solely focus on the mechanics without the humanities/social side. What is the point of having the most advanced technology in the world when everyone, socially, is still incapable of treating male and females fairly (and more such as race, religion, sexual orientation, and a plethora of other aspects). What is the point of having futuristic technologies that allow utter elimination of cancers when solely one group of people have access to it because certain social aspects of equality and equity were not challenged. What is the point of, and a more realistic example, investing unimaginable sums of wealth into state-of-the-art technologies of space and weaponry when there are people who will never benefit, direct or indirectly, from those technologies and could have actually gleaned resources to better their daily lives if the wealth was properly allocated.
Though my latter claim might actually be rather controversial (I am actually seeing many rebuttals of that claim against myself), it would be more clear and relevant to rescope into my initial point: the “mechanical” works of life matters, but equally so does the social side. Both parties must exist for a thriving world in both layers of social and mechanical, and that is the ultimate point to deliver. Caring of solely humanities would be to ignore the actual physics of life and to live in a dream, but solely focusing on the mechanics of life would be to forget cooperation, compassion, and other needs that, while not physical, are arguably equally essential to life.
To tie this all into my blog (and props to readers who read this bit), while I could simply review K-Pop and its mechanics, what is the point of claiming Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful” or Apink’s “Luv” are 7/10 songs if the incredible ladies of Fiestar are going to be degraded as purely “hot bodies” or if Apink is assumed to exhibit certain behavior on the sole basis of being females, or, for a male group that I have yet to review (but will at one point), if BTS is going to be highly sexualized via homosexual objectification. Though both reviewed songs are admirable (BTS has yet to have a song reviewed, and thus, I cannot give an official stance; but speaking biasedly for the others, I believe “Luv” is 6/10 and “You’re Pitiful” is a 9/10 or 10/10 due to being my favorite song), forgetting the social side would be to solely view the idols as numbers (or worse), not humans, and it would be a shame to lose prime opportunities for readers to realize how pop culture and media are more than pure entertainment. As such, at the very least, should readers ever feel “guilty” or even insulted for investing time into K-Pop, that should never occur as K-Pop should be, and is, more than music and dancing and aesthetics; pop culture and media of any sort is a beautifully wrapped gift of many subtle yet important social topics, and those topics is what drives humans. Being capable of understanding those invisible driving forces is what matters as our lives are made for the better or worse on the sole basis of such, directly or indirectly, and furthermore, those forces also impact the mechanical aspects, of which certainly do influence lives.
If readers managed to stay, I am utterly grateful. Nevertheless, now that my digression is over and in hopes of clarifying and justifying my digressions in general, Girls’ Generation will resume as the sole highlight. The 8 ladies have returned with a new song, and arguably, a new genre. Assuming EDM (electronic dance music) is the proper label, that is what the ladies are tackling. However, “new genre” may be inaccurate as Girls’ Generation has done a similar concept: “I Got A Boy” (and actually, that is my latest review of Girls’ Generation; I truthfully lose track of what I review). Nonetheless, their prior song of “Mr. Mr.” is better. Significantly better. Truthfully, “Catch Me If You Can” is a rather horrendous release, and though the ladies’ high tier of talents are still proven, despite being one of the elite groups in the industry, even those on top will struggle to create a sculpture out of dirt.
– Vocals: 5/10 – In truth, though I was excited to return to the usual review format, I feel uneasy due to how long it has been. On topic, the vocals in “Catch Me If You Can” are split between “slightly above average” or “slightly below average”; moments of the pre-choruses display the sharper vocals of the song, though still lacking in terms of the group’s standard, and for the other sections, the latter unfortunately also applies though to a more negative scale. Specifically glancing at the pre-choruses’ vocals, an exceptionally lively, charming melody exists. However, despite sounding captivating, little fluctuation occurs as the pacing remains stagnant and notes used remain linear and overall mundane, even if pleasing on the individual level. Furthermore, for the other sections that are not the pre-choruses, though the lower notes of “Catch Me If You Can” are disclosed, the melody remains, in opposite to the pre-choruses, highly dull and lifeless. For what is similar to the pre-choruses, though not a desirable trait, the lack of variety is once more a prominent issue for the vocals.
Overall, with averaging out the averages, average simply holds. For Girls’ Generation, this is a disturbingly lower score as the group is certainly capable of 7, at the least, and 9 at the best.
1. Introduction: 3/10 – The introduction consists of no vocals as purely the instrumental is used.
Though I certainly enjoy EDM based soundtracks, “Catch Me If You Can” challenges that statement. Mechanically, the introduction discloses a lower tiered EDM instrumental: the electronic bass line proves to be moreover plain than exciting, and even the additional lighter beats that occur later prove equally so. With the bass line being relatively heavy, though structurally a foundation is set for the song, the sonic component is nearly nonexistent; a singular bass line being heavy is incapable of providing fluctuation and variety, and thus, sonically the introduction suffers. Additionally, the lighter beats, while contrasting to the bass, are still highly abstract on the individual level and grant minimal musical pleasure due to being absurdly plain.
Now while the sonic aspect of the introduction falters, the structural side partially holds. With utilizing the bass at the very initial moments, the tone and tune of the song become instantly set: “Catch Me If You Can” will be EDM based and will expectedly reuse that bass line. As for the beats, it further complements the anticipation for EDM and provides a blatant transition to the upcoming verse. Another positive point is the natural progression of the introduction; the heavy bass line swapping to the beats, though sonically distressing, is suitable as the lighter sounds simply utilize the bass as a foundation.
Nevertheless, below average will be the score for the introduction. While the structural component is admirable, the mechanical aspects are not compensated for.
2. Verse: 4/10 – While the two verses in “Catch Me If You Can” slightly varies, the overarching format remains homogeneous. Nevertheless, I will include both verses’ characteristics for grading. Yuri, Hyoyeon, Yoona, and Sooyoung handle both verses.
To address the mechanical aspect, the sole differing part from the first and second verse, regardless of whether it is the lower pitched or midrange pitched verse, both are unfortunately lacking. The first verse discloses deeper vocal notes toward the beginning, and though it may be somewhat alluring due to the pitches hitting the lower ranges, the vocals overall remain dry due to a lack of variety. Lower notes, or any note in fact, have the potential to be highly captivating, but it generally requires more than the sheer pitch itself; accentuating the vocals’ pitch via instrumental, prior sections, and variating pacing and melody are a few examples of factors that are vital to having specific pitches thrive. Even once the midrange notes are heard in the second verse or the second half of the first verse, the same issue exists: no variety or support are available to allow the specific note range to succeed.
Structurally, the layout of the verses is neither beneficial or alleviating to the mechanical aspect’s issues; how the verses are laid out does the utter opposite with creating emphasis towards the poorer mechanical side. With repetition existing, whether in the form of the pacing, melody, or more distinctively for the second verse, words, the weaker sonic aspect is, blatantly, merely repeated, and thus, the impaired sound becomes heard for a longer duration. While the repetitiveness may cause the melody to linger, it is not a desirable one to loop; as the mechanical aspect is truthfully distasteful to an extent, having its remnants is not a desired outcome.
Slightly below average will be the score. The singing’s notes have the ability to succeed, but without other essential components, the notes are moreover abstract than pleasing pitches in a song.
3. Pre-Chorus: 5/10 – For what allows some hopeful prospect to “Catch Me If You Can,” the pre-choruses are respectable, to some degree. Seohyun, Sunny, Yuri, Tiffany, and Taeyeon cooperate for the first pre-chorus and likewise for the second, though Yuri is replaced by Yoona.
Both the section’s mechanics and structure are noteworthy. Nevertheless, issues still vastly arise. Focusing first on the mechanical side, “Catch Me If You Can” becomes significantly more lively. For example, the singing occurring remains incredibly melodic, and due to a multitude of members being involved, an incredibly beneficial point, other aspects such as pacing and power are equally enticing. By incorporating 5 members in one section, constant alternating exists and thus, translates into variety. Utilizing an example, the first pre-chorus showcases the impact of alternating lines: Seohyun’s part offers a melodic, soothing aspect to which Sunny offers an opposite via a power-orientated line. Afterwards, Yuri and Tiffany follow suit the pattern, and eventually, Taeyeon finishes the section her own lines’ format.
On the topic of format, while the mechanical aspect is pleasing due to an alluring melody and the alternating lines bringing diversity, a downfall pressingly holds: an overly simplistic structure. Though “Catch Me If You Can” is an EDM genre and therefore, the pre-choruses’ structure are rendered as usual, commonality does not justify the structure. Upon the pre-choruses occurring, a very distinct transition is heard: a lighter tone. This is a rife concept and trend for EDM songs, but unfortunately, is one that is bereft of layers. Hype towards the chorus may certainly be created, however, the process of doing so is what remains loathing. With the pre-chorus in this song replicating the countless others of creating a lighter tone along with gradual accelerating beats, the lack of uniqueness drains appeal; there is nothing enticing of this common concept of creating buildup for the chorus due to mass-use and arguably misuse. Furthermore, another issue with “Catch Me If You Can” recycling the overused method, the vocals and beats are excessively repeated, and thus, leached of their charms.
Overall, average will miraculously hold. The vocals in the sections are potent enough to compensate for the poorer structure.
4. Chorus: 2/10 – While I was able to “find my heart” for the pre-choruses (which credit to the ladies, minus Tiffany as she knows English, for properly pronouncing; “heart” in Korean sounds moreover as “hurt” and is often said as such), the choruses are not as fortunate. Yoona handles the first, Yuri the second, and Hyoyeon for the final (though arguably every member is involved, based on the music video, I will assume this current lineup for the rest of the review).
Truthfully, the two major aspects of sonic and structure are horrendous. In fact, this may be the worst section I have yet to hear in a song (there is another “song” that has trekked very low numbers, but I tend to be precise with my labels, and “song” for a certain one is a flattering claim). Diving into why this is the case, addressing the mechanical aspect first, the vocals are minimal concerns; the vocals are solely “catch me if you can,” and with a single line remaining moreover as a statement than singing, little focus will be placed on them. For what truly functions as the mechanical component and will be critiqued, the instrumental is in spotlight. A grinding, chaotic electronic sound is in full force, and sadly, it is far from seducing. Being a pure soundtrack is not the flaw of the choruses, but rather, the soundtrack itself; many EDM songs tend to construct the choruses as solely the soundtrack, but in many cases, the soundtrack is decent. “Catch Me If You Can” differs in that the used soundtrack is, bluntly, rather appalling.
Switching to the structural side, attempts to alleviate the section from being stagnant are futile; adding the occasional “catch me if you can” is simply drowned out by the relentless looping of the instrumental. As a result, the chorus is simply a horribly meshed section consisting of a phrase and an ear-tearing electronic sound. No other complexities are included in the choruses, let alone variety, and thus, in addition a poorer mechanical aspect, a structural layout that places more emphasis on the latter exists.
Bad. If I am correct with what a 2 represents (3 is truthfully the lowest I have ever foreshadowed), “bad” and “not good” are the proper depictions of 2/10. Sadly, those terms can be applied to the choruses.
5. Bridge: 3/10 – Progressing on after an unsightful number, Taeyeon and Sooyoung are the duo for the bridge which, if not transparent yet, will be a lower score as are many other sections.
Though certainly not to the degree of the choruses, both components of sonic and structure are feeble. During the bridge, the sonic aspect does exhibit the higher end notes of “Catch Me If You Can” in credit to Taeyeon’s and Sooyoung’s singing, but akin to the verses’ downfall, solely reaching a specific pitch range is gleaned; the bridge remains identical to the verse excluding how high notes are heard versus lower notes, and thus, many issues correlated with the verses are simply translated: lack of variating pacing, a stagnant melody, and a tedious instrumental, for a few aspects. As such, though the mechanical side reaches for new, higher notes, the absence of other crucial, fundamental aspects prevent those notes to be more than a plain set of pitches.
Regarding the structure, with both members’ parts being identical, no diverse moments exist at all. Expectedly, this proves to be a vast issue as the utilized notes are already excessively monotonous, and therefore, having a repetitive structure simply perpetuates that mundanity further. If the bridge possessed a pausing or climactic trait, which does occur for the upcoming pre-chorus, then the section would have potential. Unfortunately, in truth, the bridge is simply a weaker verse; the same format is kept though shifted for higher notes.
Overall, the bridge will hold as below average. The higher notes, although new to the song, are not musically pleasing, and with a structure placing emphasis on the weaker sonic aspect via repetition, the section suffers drastically.
6. Conclusion (Chorus): 2/10 – With the conclusion taking the form of a chorus, an incredibly dreadful section, the conclusion will be indirectly affected negatively. Hyoyeon is responsible for the final chorus.
With the mechanical section already being discussed earlier, the structural component is what will be of focus. Utilizing the chorus as the final section may suit a standard conclusion’s role, but fulfilling such is, paradoxically, unbeneficial in the song’s case. “Catch Me If You Can” lingers due to an increased duration of the choruses, and blatantly from the section itself, however, due to the choruses holding atrociously, leaving a residue of those sections is not beneficially applicable; by having “Catch Me If You Can” concluding with a lasting chorus, the horrendous sections are the final impressions and thus, the weaker sonic component is vastly emphasized, which blatantly is undesirable.
As a rating, bad or not good will return. Utilizing a section that is significantly tainted moreover impaired than helped.
– Line Distribution: 10/10 – With 8 members in Girls’ Generation, equal distribution of lines may be slightly more challenging. However, with the main vocalists of Seohyun, Taeyeon, and Tiffany being less prominent than in many prior song releases, a higher score is anticipated.
Girls’ Generation’s leader, Taeyeon, possesses lines at the first 2 pre-choruses, the bridge, and a single line at the final pre-chorus. In total, 4 sections are accounted for. Recalling previous reviews, 4 is generally a desirable quantity and thus, Taeyeon’s share should not instill issues.
Addressing another main vocalist, Tiffany has an incredibly infatuating voice her spotlight in every pre-chorus. Therefore, 3 sections is her count which is admirable, though that is liable to change based on the other members.
Seohyun, Girls’ Generation’s youngest, remains identical to Tiffany; her lines consist of all the pre-choruses, and thus, 3 will also be her numerical count.
With the main vocalists having equal share, the remaining members should automatically follow suit. Sunny’s highlight involves, like the prior 2 members, all of the pre-choruses. 3 is her count, and at this rate, the distribution in “Catch Me If You Can” is in trajectory for perfection.
Hyoyeon’s sections include the introduction, one verse, and the final chorus. Once more, 3 sections is the count, and assuming the trend continues, a perfect score is utterly viable.
In hopes of Yuri continuing so, her lines appear at the introduction, the first pre-chorus, one verse, and one chorus. 4 is her count, similar to Taeyeon’s distribution. In the overarching view of the song, 4 sections will not be menacing to the score. No issues are present.
Assuming Sooyoung possesses either 3 or 4 sections, a higher score will remain possible. With both verses, the bridge, and the final pre-chorus, 4 is her total count. With 3 members now possessing 4 sections, should Yoona, the final member remaining, be responsible for 4 sections as well, a perfect score will become granted.
Verifying Yoona’s sections, her spotlight consists of the first 2 verses, the first chorus, and one pre-chorus. Miraculously, 4 sections is her total, and as a result, the line distribution in “Catch Me If You Can” can certainly be rendered as perfect.
For an overall score, 10 will be given. Unlike older song releases from Girls’ Generation where the main vocalists (Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, and even former member Jessica if accurate) were prone to dominate, this song remains free from such. Mathematically, 3.5 is the average lines per member, and with the group following such with half of the members possessing 3 sections and the remaining with 4 sections, it is unequivocally a perfect distribution.
– Instrumental: 3/10 – While a 10 does astoundingly exist, the music-orientated aspects are still low. Regarding the instrumental in “Catch Me If You Can,” while structurally supportive, it is incredibly dysfunctional sonically. Focusing on the positives, with being an EDM song, the soundtrack naturally provides for vital roles. For example, transitions are largely in credit to the soundtrack: light quick beats are utilized during the verses to prompt alternating of members, and for the most prominent example, the pre-choruses are seamlessly switched due to the instrumental adopting a lighter tone. Unfortunately, despite providing the song its natural, fluent flow, the drawback of its mechanical component does hinder much of the instrumental. Moments excluding the pre-choruses are either dull or simply horrendous due to being moreover chaotic than harmonious. Now, for the pre-choruses, the instrumental does become acceptable; the lighter tone is not overwhelming and meshes well with the vocals that also utilize a similar style and tune. However of course, one decent section is incapable of compensating for the remaining ones, of which are extraordinarily poor in terms of the instrumental’s sounds.
As a result, for an overall score, 3 will holds which indicates below average. The structure is not entirely bad, and the pre-choruses provide a few seconds of enjoyment, but with the other sections proving to be unpleasant, the score will be significantly lowered.
– Meaning: 5/10 – “Catch Me If You Can” does emanate the idea of provoking, though that may be linked to my agitation towards the song. Nevertheless, on a more serious note, the song title does prove to be intriguing and prompts multiple questions. Through the following Korean-to-English translated lyrics, the story will hopefully become unveiled, and likewise, the answer to why the song is labeled as such. As always, the lyrics are not 100% accurate:
(Did it) Rather than clumsy words (Did it) it’s your actions (Did it) that I believe (Did it) Rather than knowledge (Did it) it’s consciousness (Did it) that moves me You’re staring at me as if it’s love at first sight, but I can’t accept you easily My heart changes every minute every second without rest You’ll be so anxious
Don’t stop, go past the limit, go faster I’ve got a feeling I can’t even catch my own heart, it’s a new me I’m going to find my heart, my heart, my heart I’m going to find my heart, my heart, my heart
Catch me if you can Catch me if you can Catch me if you can
Came to this place some day Drew out this dream some day You passed by some day But I’m not at the same place now I don’t have the same dream The same you isn’t here either I’m not the girl who talked in front of you anymore Want an even more different me? I’m like new every minute every second, watch over me Women keep changing
Don’t stop, go past the limit, look at the changed me I’ve got a feeling Suddenly, even this moment will become the new past I’m going to find my heart, my heart, my heart I’m going to find my heart, my heart, my heart
Catch me if you can Catch me if you can Catch me if you can
Look at me, shining on you more hotly than the sun Passing like a dream, my soul, dancing in the real life
Can’t stop I’ve got a feeling I’m going to find my heart, my heart, my heart I’m going to find my heart, my heart, my heart (I’m going to find my heart)
Catch me if you can Catch me if you can Catch me if you can Catch me if you can Catch me if you can
While the lyrics are vague (in a good sense), a romantic plot, or the lack thereof, seems to be the story. In a summarizing phrase, a lady is rejecting a love-interest due to an ever-changing “heart”; a love-interest wants to be accepted but the main character refuses as she is still uncovering her own desires and such. Diving into specifics, with the love-interest “staring at [the main character] as if it’s love at first sight” (which is incredibly false; I have went over the subject of “love at first sight” in a past review, though I forget which), the main character responds by not “[accepting] [the love-interest] easily.” Her reason is not one motivated of distaste, but rather, to keep the love-interest at ease as they would be “anxious”; the main character is unpredictable due to a “heart” that “changes every minute every second without rest,” and thus, would make a relationship difficult. Progressing after the love-interest’s futile attempts to be in a relationship with the main character, she embarks on a journey to “find [her] heart.” This is where the title arrives: “Catch me if you can” is in reference to both the love-interest and herself; for the love-interest, it is a warning of whether they would be capable of following through a relationship despite her transforming heart, and for herself, it is a question of whether she would be able to find her “own heart.” Additional details exist, though the overarching idea is simply more reiteration towards her continuous change.
For an overall score, the score will slightly falter. The lyrics do contain a unique plot in juxtaposition to many other songs, but the lack of additional details do hinder the score. The choruses and pre-choruses are highly repetitive and simply regurgitate the same, identical ideas of “Catch me if you can” or “I’m going to find my heart” respectively. Therefore, while the plot itself remains special and inviting of speculations, the tedious lines will lower the score to one of average.
– Critical Corner: Ignoring the more blatant layer to the song, deeper analysis may elicit some important connotations, and potentially, even points of discussion. “Love at first sight” is one, though due to covering it in another review, I will not elaborate here (I should attempt to find the review at one point, however). In short, “love at first sight” is erroneous as appearances are negligible. Furthermore, defending the “natural” argument is also equally false; love, in its ultimate form, cannot stem from sheer physical appearances, and thus, it is not “natural” to “fall in love at first sight.” The idea of beauty, physical and non-physical, is another subject in mind, though from memory I have partially addressed such in another review (I believe my review on Juniel’s “I Think I’m In Love,” though I am unsure and thus will not directly link it).
As an overall point, rather than claiming it is natural to fall in love with a person on the sole premise of physical appearances, understanding the implicit and explicit ways society has taught the idea love and beauty will disclose how false the “natural” argument is; solely physical beauty is emphasized, and furthermore, in terms of what physical beauty is indeed highlighted, uncovering the specifics to such reveal additionally how those specific traits are also merely taught. To clarify my incohesive phrasing, for a very simplistic example (the same one I utilized in the unknown review), society has socialized the idea that taller people are more attractive. Interestingly, while “statistics” may exist to gauge and prove that height does correlate to attractiveness, if a culture exists where height is shunned and thus, shorter people are desired, the “natural” argument would instantly collapse.
For an example that would make more sense, one that many will understand, hair is a prime example. Many claim it is more attractive for a female to have longer hair as it is apparently “natural”; studies have supposedly shown that females with longer hair are attractive. Now, males will also participate in this example: studies claim it is “natural” that males with shorter hair are more attractive. However, by meshing the two points of males and females, something construing occurs: males with long hair are considered repulsive, and in opposite but equal in terms of response, females with short hair. Rather than merely disregarding the repulsion as simply a reaction to those who do not fit the “natural” ideals of beauty, posing the question of how males with long hair and females with short hair are not natural would be better. Hair growing is natural, and equally is cutting it. In that case, males with longer hair should still be considered “natural,” and similarly for females with shorter hair. Overall, rather than claiming hair length correlates to beauty on the basis of naturalness, it is more realistic to understand society has socialized these specific ideas of beauty, and thus, there is no “natural” beauty. Females have been taught that long hair is considered beautiful; it is not innate for females to know longer hair is connected with beauty. For males, the same applies except in terms of short hair.
Nature versus nurture is a subject seldom challenged, let alone discussed, and thus, it is vital to allocate some time towards pondering this subject. Natural possesses too many variables to truly ever prove, and overall, even if humans are natural in certain aspects, that should be irrelevant as humans are blatantly above “natural,” and therefore, should no longer reinforce it or justify actions on the sole idea of natural. After all, claiming solely males should be in authoritative positions due to the idea of “naturalness” simply perpetuates inequalities and inequities in life. Even if it was true that males are natural leaders, humans are, or at least should be, intelligent enough to glance over minuscule animalistic behaviors; humans are certainly advanced enough to not rely on pathetic “instincts,” but instead, true compassion and cooperation for one another. In that sense, even with the assumption that naturalness exists, it should be heavily combated. By falling and justifying actions as natural, it simply offers the idea that humans have yet to mentally advance, and certainly, that is false as, by even reading this sentence, it proves that humans are past natural living standards. Returning to the prior example, females are unequivocally capable of authoritative positions; the issue is not whether females are capable of such, but rather, whether society is capable of moving past the idea “naturalism” and animalistic behaviors that justify unfair treatment and systems.
Though another discussion point has occurred, I will most likely save it for another review. The idea of “partnership necessity” is one worthy of discussing, and similar to the digression above, is related in terms of how society has socialized specific ideas, or in this case, needs for life. It is also interesting to observe the role of gender in terms of “partnership necessity.” Briefly put (assuming I am not a hypocrite like in Miss A’s mini-album review of “Colors.”), society ushers the idea that partnership, whether in the form of dating or marriage, is necessary for life. Unfortunately, and as mentioned in the album review of Miss A’s “Colors,” by teaching partnership as necessary, and with gender norms intersecting, a disaster is created: for example, boys are taught to be aggressive and such, and with society also teaching that partners are necessary, it leads to multiple issues with how males could potentially treat females. I will end it here as the linked review covers such, though moreover in focus of gender norms.
Choreography Score: 7/10 – Ignoring the longer digressions, though as always I hope are ones worthy of ruminating over, it is now time to focus on Girls’ Generation’s “Catch Me If You Can.” While the Song Score is not entirely impressive and has been largely compensated by the perfect Line Distribution, the choreography that takes place is thankfully respectable, for the most part.
Syncing for the choreography remains highly accurate, even despite how chaotic the song mechanically is. Every physical snap connects with a musical snap, slower musical moments are met with movements that follow suit, and for the more intense sections, such as the choruses, equally energetic and upbeat maneuvers are exhibited. The sole moment where syncing becomes vague is during the choruses’ hip-spinning key point; every other moment excluding that portion is clearly connected with the song’s beats and flow.
On the subject of key points, “Catch Me If You Can” unveils a complex choreography. Many key points vary from prior sections, such as how the first pre-chorus’ dance differs from the second pre-chorus. Furthermore, the complexity involved is a proper amount; the dance may possess a copious amount of formations, but it is all a proper scope and thus not overwhelming. Transitions and other details are equally impressive, and overall, with excellent syncing existing, possessing many different, excelling key points accentuates the potency of the choreography.
7 will be the rating. Above average is a proper label to encapsulate the dance. Should the sole moment of disconnected syncing be revamped, an 8 would easily be earned. _______________________________________________________
Overall Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – With the Song Score and Choreography Score averaging out, 6 remains as the final numerical value. Slightly above average is the translated meaning, and that is agreeable to. Biasedly, the Song Score should be much lower, potentially a 3 or even pessimistically, a 2, but with the perfect Line Distribution and even an admirable choreography, the current 6 is acceptable. Nevertheless, a 5 for average may be more suiting. Summing up “Catch Me If You Can,” the ladies of Girls’ Generation definitely prove their adeptness, but their vocals and dancing cannot carry the entirety of a song to success. As such, for a comeback, it is a disappointing one. Positively, however, a future comeback is awaiting, one that will be truly promoted unlike the current one.
As I will always say, thank you very much for reading this review. I wholeheartedly appreciate it and cannot express enough gratitude. It sincerely means a lot. That said, I will apologize for a delayed release; I did claim the review would be finished by Friday night, but it is now Saturday. For what also requires apologies, perhaps due to an absence of writing standard song reviews, I feel as if this one is in poorer quality. As such, if it is, I will work harder to correct such in the future.
In terms of future reviews, as listed in a previous post regarding requests, the current list will be followed. As such, The Ark’s music video of “The Light” will be reviewed, and for the person who requested it, forgive me for the lengthier delay. Nevertheless, it will be published as soon as possible, and furthermore, it will possess a structured outline. Other news to offer is that the upcoming review will be slightly later (a week perhaps) due to finishing academic related work. Of course, once that is cleared, the review will promptly begin, and considering it is a music video review, I expect it taking less time than standard song reviews (this one required approximately 3 days of writing, though I lost track of the total hours).
Keep checking back for the first music video review to be conducted. Of course, “rather than clumsy words it’s [my] actions that [you] believe,” and thus, I will do my best to finish work in order to have time for reviews. That said, “I’m going to find my heart” for the upcoming review as it requires one, but certainly however, I have already found my heart: the readers. Thank you once more, and keep checking back for the upcoming review on The Ark’s music video of “The Light.”
Girls’ Generation – I Got A Boy (short/live vers.)
Reviewed on November 8, 2014
Personal Message: There are so many things to address/share before this review. To begin, this will be the first review of November 2014. Let’s keep things rolling well, and, through work, improving. Something to address quickly, this review will be based on the live performance linked above; this version is significantly shorter (30 – 40 seconds?). What is lost is a bridge section in addition to shorter transitions (I think). I am keeping it this way to prevent readers from becoming confused with the performance audio and the official audio. Overall, though, it’s practically identical.
Anyhow, why am I digging all the way back to 2013 for this song? Originally, VIXX’s “Error” was going to be reviewed, but then I saw that they did a dance cover of Girls’ Generation “I Got A Boy”. As a result, it made me look over this song once more, and considering this song won YouTube’s Music Award (right?), I took an even closer look and decided to review it.
For a short story, I remember vividly this era of Girls’ Generation. It was a huge sensation and hit (side note, it’d be so much fun to analyze and figure out why it was so popular, etc.). People from all over loved the song, concept, and style. Personally, when it came to the song itself, my initial take was “What is this thing?” Now of course, “thing” might’ve been said differently, but I was quite repelled by the song. Silly joke aside, it still remains as one of the most disorganized songs I’ve listened to, even after coming back to it after many months.
One last story I have to share, though, is how a recent “discussion” about Girls’ Generation and this song led to me being called a “woman-loving feminist”. Now if this person told me that in a cheerful, friendly way, it’d be a different story. However, her style of delivering that was in a muttered, menacing tone. Quickly summing up the discussion, I mentioned how ladies should be able to happily express that they “Got A Boy” they love. Perhaps my phrasing of “men are ‘unnecessary’” was poorly worded, and thus, I got the comment stated above. I simply meant how females should not feel obligated to be with a male for the sake of just being with a male. Anyhow, what irritated me the most was how feminist was said with such a negative connotation when that should not be the case. Believing both genders are equal shouldn’t be anything close to bad. But, to each their own opinion; after all, this is the same friend that gave me trouble for watching “The TaeTiSeo” (check out my review on that show). And as a disclaimer, in no way am I trying to put my friend down; she just has different perspectives than me, and I fully accept and understand that.
Back on track with this song, as mentioned, Girls’ Generation was extremely popular during this time. Perhaps it was due to this song’s uniqueness, the chic styles, or most likely, a combination of the two. While this song comes off as a mixture of hip-hop, regular pop, funkiness, and full of fun, it still remains very disorganized. I haven’t even started organizing the different song structures, but I feel quite intimidated.
Even with my own personal dislike towards this song, I won’t let that hinder me from reviewing it fairly. After all, the intelligent, tough, and hard working ladies of Girls’ Generation were very prominent during this time. A reason must exist for that. Enough said, “Let me introduce myself, here comes trouble” in the form of Girls’ Generation’s “I Got A Boy”
Song Total Score: 6/10 (6/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories
– Vocals: 7/10 – Knowing it’s Girls’ Generation, a 9 would be expected. Unfortunately, for this song, that is not quite the case. For moments where there was individual singing, the vocals were decent. What doesn’t remain too solid is their chanting; moments during the chorus and pre-choruses. While those sections had catchy, energetic vocals, nothing vocally stunning was shown at all. Peering back at individual parts, when a single member would sing her own lines and part, it would remain sufficient; not too strong but nothing to look over. Adding a fun mood is the benefit of their vocals in this song.
Overall, for “I Got A Boy”, vocally intensive lines were nonexistent. Nevertheless, the vocals were very catchy and upbeat. The choruses and pre-choruses showcase vocals that capture attention, but in terms of moments that unveil high vocal skills, there were little to none. Above average for vocals. Although this song in specific lacks their standard score, Girls’ Generation has proven that they can be very adept singers; examples include “Mr. Mr.” and with their sub-unit group, TaeTiSeo.
1. Introduction: 9/10 – Personally, this may be one of my favorite introductions. Ignoring my bias, however, it would still hold as a fantastic introduction. Sooyoung, Yuri, and Tiffany handle the introduction.
The song starts off with Sooyoung yelling out, “Ayo, Sooyoung!” After that, a few lines are sung/spoken (depending on if you consider that singing). Eventually, Yuri takes over and replicates Sooyoung’s style. Once Yuri’s part closes, Tiffany takes over. The instrumental also shifts to a lighter, energetic and upbeat version. Tiffany’s lines include confident and fun words. A smooth transition is created from such. One last thing to add is during certain words, such as “eo-meo” and “wae geuraetdae?”, all the ladies chip in for emphasis.
In terms of the introduction’s role, the start of the song should capture the attention of listeners. In addition, it should allow listeners to anticipate what is to come. For “I Got A Boy”, all of those parameters are set; the dialogue style at the beginning lures people in, and the energetic vocals and instrumental set up the song. To go into detail, Sooyoung and Yuri’s part was a short story/dialogue (the Meaning Score section will cover it). Musically, their lines were on the plain, calmer side. Nevertheless, for certain words such as “eo-meo”, the other members would say it along with either Sooyoung or Yuri. This creates some diversity for their flow along with highlighting the lyrics’ meaning. When Tiffany arrives, her part elevates the song’s energy. Her lines leave a lasting impression. Furthermore, by having both the vocals and instrumental shift together, the transition becomes very fluid.
Overall, a very loveable section. Considering how the song as a whole isn’t too solid, an introduction as this is rather surprising. The dialogue at the start captures attention and the emphasized words add to the flow. Lastly, the transition to the next section was exceptionally well done; Tiffany and the accompanying instrumental swapped over to an energetic style without coming off as harsh. A very high score will be given here.
2. Pre-Chorus: 5/10 – For this part, all the members of Girls’ Generation sing. There are a few solo lines; one lady of the group sings during those moments. Before going any further, there are two “versions” of the pre-choruses: slow version and fast version. Since I’m feeling lazy it would be less confusing and troublesome, I will be grading the pre-chorus as an average. If I were to be specific, the fast version would be a 4/10, and the slow version would be a 6/10.
Peering at the slow version first due to order, it remains quite solid. As stated, all of the members sing and then one member would have a solo line. Focusing on the first pre-chorus, the ladies are chanting to a catchy and powerful melody. Although their chant is using a simple “Oh” and “Yeah”, this creates proper syncing between the vocals and the instrumental’s heavier beats. Jessica, in the case of the first pre-chorus, finishes the section with an adequate and satisfying line. Overall, for the slow version, due to phenomenal synergy between the vocals and instrumental, the section as a whole becomes augmented. The words used may be very basic, but hearing the perfect connection between the heavier instrumental and equally impactful words allows this version to thrive.
Unfortunately, when the fast version occurs (pre-choruses after the rap), the previous pleasing style disappears. Instead, the instrumental downgrades and the vocals attempt to emulate the lighter melody. Connections between the soundtrack and singing are gone. With the instrumental being quite fast-paced, Girls’ Generation struggled to keep up; the vastly lighter style that emanated from the instrumental did not mesh well with the ladies’ singing.
Combining everything together, average remains as the score. The slower versions showcased exciting and powerful moments, but the faster version did the complete opposite; weak and little to no chemistry between the vocals and soundtrack. On the positive side, at least listeners will hear the better pre-chorus version at first. Nevertheless, it is disappointing to see a pre-chorus degrade during a song.
3. Verse: 5/10 – As keen readers may notice, this song does seem disorganized. The pre-choruses have two versions, and likewise, the verses have multiple versions as well. Thankfully, the two versions aren’t too drastically different, but nonetheless are homogenous to the pre-choruses with the terms of “fast version” and “slow version”. If those terms become too confusing/boring, quoting a friend, the first verse is the “badass version”, and the remaining two are the “cute versions” according to her.
Putting humor aside, regardless of the versions, they all come out as average. I won’t be able to use a verse in detail/as an example since they all differ, so I will generalize. For all the verses, the singing executed was neither adept or inept. In terms of the instrumental, both the slow version with its heavy beats and the electronic fast version were average. Unlike some previous sections, there was little to no connection between vocals and instrumental. Everything for the verses come out as plain; nothing terrible but also not astounding. Now, if there were bonus points for being adorable, Seohyun and Tiffany would’ve earned a few, but realistically and looking at what truly matters for judging, Girls’ Generation manages to snatch only 5. (Short tangent, judging realistically should always be in mind, not how “cute” or whatever a lady/gentleman is)
4. Chorus: 4/10 – The chorus of “I Got A Boy” is, as expected from the song title, the key phrase of “I got a boy”. To be blunt, this category spells below average explicitly: B-E-L-O, shall I end this pathetic joke? All of the ladies sing during a chorus for the entirety of it.
The choruses consist of repeating lines of “I got a boy” followed by a few adjectives that are either in English or Korean. There are 6 phrases of “I got a boy…” assuming I counted correctly. Firstly, repetition becomes a huge issue; “I got a boy” times 6 becomes quite stale. Should the lyrics not be tedious enough, the instrumental ensures that the chorus is. The soundtrack itself is an obnoxious electronic sound that zips back and forth. Vocally, since all the members are chanting, the melody becomes muddled down moreover to power and chanting versus actual singing.
In summary, below average for a section. The instrumental was mediocre, melodic and delightful vocals weren’t showcased, and the flow was utterly mundane. Remaining somewhat catchy is the only strength of the choruses.
5. Rap: 9/10 – Digressing for a moment, I feel ashamed that I even considered myself a fan of Girls’ Generation; I had no idea that Yoona and Hyoyeon (or any member at all) were capable of rapping. Anyhow, I came to an extremely welcoming realization thanks to “I Got A Boy”. For this rap, those two ladies handle it professionally.
Yoona kicks off the rap with words sliding off her tongue. The pacing is quick and her melody is catchy; outstanding for a rap. Hyoyeon carries the remaining of the rap after Yoona is done. There is a unique layer added to this part: dialogue. For two lines in her rap, Hyoyeon would spit out a line and Yoona would toss in a few words as a reply. After all of that, Hyoyeon finishes the section on her own. Another aspect to include is the instrumental, which still remains the same bouncing electronic sound.
A large boost to the score is the outright fact of the ladies’ speed and fluency. Words were coming out easily and the pacing was incredible; fast and accurate. Melody was not lost as it typically is during such high rates, either. Another aspect is how, despite all odds, the instrumental amplifies the pacing. Although the instrumental individually induced annoyance, the soundtrack reciprocated the rapping speed from Yoona and Hyoyeon.
Overall, one of the better raps I have heard in a song. Yoona and Hyoyeon’s rapping skills individually were stunning. On top of their amazing mechanical rapping talent, the instrumental aided the section and the flow and melody remained just as solid. A very high score is deserved here.
6. Bridge: 5/10 – A basic bridge that fills in the spot. Jessica and Seohyun tag up for this section.
Jessica initiates the bridge. During her lines, the instrumental shifts to a relaxing and softer tone. Jessica’s lines are hitting the higher pitch range. Her pacing was on the slower side and had some words stretched out (not enough to be considered note holds). Nevertheless, she remained very melodic and graceful. Later, Seohyun transitions in via adding “neo” (means you in English). Once she takes ownership of the section, Seohyun sings one line and the rest of Girls’ Generation concludes the bridge with everyone adding one final line.
While I am glad that the bridge was nothing excessive, it does remain on the bleak side. The vocals from Jessica were impressive, but the follow up from Seohyun contrasted that by being basic. Peering at the soundtrack, it stands as equally stale. Observing how this song as a whole was structured, a lackluster bridge seemed imminent; no pathway leading to a climactic moment existed. Nonetheless, even if this is a bridge that isn’t aimed towards being the climax, there aren’t any prominent aspects.
Overall, the bridge comes out as average. The singing from Jessica holds as skilled and enlightening, but the instrumental and Seohyun’s part did not provide anything further. A plain, simple, and basic bridge.
7. Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10 – As something seen from other K-Pop songs, the chorus is recycled for this song. That is seemingly concerning considering how the choruses are not too appealing, and in addition, the previous section before the conclusion/final chorus was another chorus.
All of the ladies handle the chorus, and in general, the final chorus flows as any other chorus did. The difference here, however, was two-part singing occurred; a few members sing their own separate lines to add some layers.
Perhaps the two-part singing added enough to create diversity and changes, but the conclusion is not bad at all. In fact, it’s slightly above average. The double choruses towards the end give a final climax along with the key phrase becoming ingrained into listeners. With certain members singing their own lines, the choruses no longer felt as stale. Even if the “I got a boy” phrases were repeated for a total of 12 times, due to the two-part singing, that thought did not occur whatsoever. In terms of the final moment, it was a clean cut. The soundtrack died out completely and the ladies were left standing (no pun intended) with simply finishing one line.
For this section in “I Got A Boy”, slightly above average is the score. I expected a much lower score, but since the two-part singing modified the song in an appropriate and enjoyable way, a decent score is given.
– Line Distribution: 7/10 – With nine members in Girls’ Generation, it will be challenging to have all lines equally shared among the ladies. Nevertheless, they pulled off a solid score if I recall in “Mr. Mr.”. Besides, it is possible to ace a perfect score with nine members; Nine Muses (as the name implies; also one of my favorite groups) has nine members and they manage a very equal share with lines.
On track with Girls’ Generation, for Taeyeon, her lines involved the halves of the first and second verse, and one line during a pre-chorus. No issues exist here.
Jessica had one line during a pre-chorus, two lines at the first verse, and, more generously, lots of spotlight during the bridge. Due to the bridge, it redeems the lack of lines during the other parts.
Sunny had a lengthier moment during the first verse, and in addition, she had the second half of the second verse. One more section to add is her one line during a pre-chorus. Seeing how prominent she was for the verses, she is not lacking in this song.
Tiffany had a plethora of the song’s parts. That or maybe I’m biased towards her and thus, pay more attention. In a serious tone, she appeared during the introduction, she had one transitioning line, and she had a half of the third verse. Sadly, the reality does show that she lacks a few lines, but considering how impactful her introduction was, she left enough of an impression for viewers/listeners. For the most part, no concerns are here, but more could’ve been expected.
Hyoyeon shared the incredible rap with Yoona, so her prescence was definitely felt. Besides having that excellent section, she had one line during a pre-chorus. Considering how her rap had a longer, impacting duration, Hyoyeon had a fair share.
Yuri was, unfortunately, primarily at solely the introduction. Although she did a pleasing part, it would have been desired to see her have other moments. The only other moment she sung was during a quick line at a pre-chorus. Overall, more is expected from her; slightly lacking from this song.
Sooyoung rides in the same boat as Yuri; she took the first half of the introduction, but that was mainly it. Even more homogenous to Yuri, she had one quick line during a pre-chorus. Like Yuri, more lines would have been delightful. Not too impressive in terms of the line distribution for her.
Yoona, the actress of Girls’ Generation (she has been casted in multiple dramas/movies), was, as mentioned earlier, the rapping partner with Hyoyeon. Her part involved the fluid and smooth rap, and one line during a pre-chorus. There are no issues with her share; she had an amazing rap moment.
Last, but definitely not least, Seohyun, the sweet maknae (youngest person) of Girls’ Generation, had numerous lines. She was given a lengthier moment during the first verse and second verse, and she supports Jessica during the bridge. Thanks to a longer time frame at her sections, she had a nice bit of the song. No problems.
One thing to account for is all the ladies sing/chant during the pre-choruses and choruses. This does alleviate some sharing problems, but not by too much.
Peering at everything, a 7 will hold as the score. Yuri and Sooyoung were the only ones bereft of singing time, but adding on the factors of how their introductions were powerful and lengthy, it slightly redeems them. Furthermore, with all the ladies singing during certain sections, that also helps by a minimal margin. Above average for Line Distribution; while some members lack some spotlight, for the majority of the song, it remains diverse enough with different members singing.
– Instrumental: 4/10 – Perhaps the disorganized structure stems from the instrumental. Throughout the song, there were multiple, random shifts occurring all over the place in terms of the soundtrack. It would change from heavy and slower paced beats, to a vastly faster, electronic based instrumental. The opposite also occurred; electronic sounds to the heavy beats. Since the transitions were very abrupt and seemingly random, that will impair the score. This created a lot of incohesive, confusing moments.
Looking at the soundtrack individually, it remains quite mediocre. The instrumental was either somewhat obnoxious with electronic sounds, or it was a plain beat. When it comes to meshing with vocals, surprisingly, it works well. Vocals are often time backed up by the instrumental; the energy from both parties feed off one another. The choruses were filled with a chanting style of singing, and the electronic sounds there blended in smoothly with that. Other moments, especially during the rap, also benefitted. Yoona and Hyoyeon’s rap was augmented due to a soundtrack that reflected their rapping speed.
Overall, slightly below average. The sudden swaps between the two types of instrumental (heavy beats or electronic) ruins the score. Too many disorganized moments were the results of the random transitions. Individually, the soundtrack remains quite stale. Neither “versions” of the instrumental were stunning. If it wasn’t for how well the vocals and instrumental mixed, this would be a lower score. Thankfully, the rapping moment, choruses, and more give the score a slight boost.
– Meaning: 6/10 – “I Got A Boy” would seem to be a title related to love. I am expecting a story where a lady is bragging about her partner, or perhaps, a story where she is expressing how she captivated her lover. Through these translated Korean-to-English lyrics, let’s find out the story. Not 100% accurate:
Ayo! Sooyoung! Yeah yeah, are you ready for this? Uh-muh, look at her, look What happened to her that she cut her hair? Huh? Uh-muh, again look at her, look From head to toe, her style has changed Why did she do that? I’m curious to death, why did she do that? Tell me Let me introduce myself! Here comes trouble! Follow after me
Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh, you really are something else
Who is she? Ridiculous Do you know you’re too self-assertive? She thinks I’m average Yeah, I guess she really liked him No way! No way! She became so pretty and sexy, it’s because of him, right? I almost asked her what her new makeup was Truthfully, I’ve seen it for the first time The deep eyes, like a scarred beast I was dizzy by just talking to him You really are something else You really are something else
Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh, You really are something else Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh, You really are something else
Ayo! Stop! Let me put it down another way
I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one I got a boy handsome boy, who took all my heart I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one I got a boy awesome boy, I must have really fallen for him
Ah, my prince When are you gonna come save me? Like a white dream Will you lift me in your arms and fly?
I’m like, surprised, mental collapse He wants to see my face without makeup. I really like him, would it be okay to show it to him? Oh! Never! Right? Right? Let’s keep what needs to be kept right, right Until you take all of his heart Don’t ever forget this
Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh Even if I stay up all night, it’s not enough, everything everything Oh oh oh yeah oh, oh oh yeah oh Our biggest interest, everything everything
Listen to me, you all know him, right? He’s a bit young but he’s full inside Sometimes he is as reliable as an oppa but when he acts charming, he is so cute
Always next to me, it’s you, who’s on my side and listens to me, you- you- I’m happy as it is right now, ‘cause everything will work
I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one I got a boy handsome boy, who took all my heart I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one I got a boy awesome boy, I must have really fallen for him
I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one I got a boy handsome boy, who took all my heart I got a boy, a handsome one, I got a boy, a kind one I got a boy awesome boy, I must have really fallen for him
I got a boy, a handsome one
Firstly, I am using the lyrics from the live performance, so if these lyrics differ from the original audio (which it should), then that is why. Also, I am hoping this format will paste into the blog a lot smoother. Edit: Using Notepad to type in the lyrics and formatting in there seems to be the most efficient method.
On topic, the lyrics reveal a story that is somewhat confusing. The format differs from other songs. At the start, it appears to be a dialogue in some sense. Moving past that, in a quick summary, people are noticing how a lady looks quite different. She became “sexy” and “pretty” due to, according to assumptions, wanting to impress a love-interest. Continuing, eventually the assumptions do hold as true; this lady found a lovely boy whom she is in love with.
Glancing at some details, there are some sweeter and slightly jocular lines. For example, the part with how the boy may be young and cute but still remains just as reliable as an older person (oppa: literally translated as “older brother”; used by females when referring to an older male). There are some other interesting points as well.
Overall, in terms of grading the story/significance, it comes off as slightly above average. Different details are appreciated, but the story itself does not hold as exceptionally intriguing. Personally, I enjoy the overarching idea of (and goodness forbid I get called a “woman-loving feminist” again) how ladies should be able to proudly say “[they] got a boy, a handsome one…a kind one…” and such. Ladies and men all deserve a partner that they genuinely love. A relationship for the pure sake of having that entitlement is ridiculous and outrageous.
Since there is a current trend of me nitpicking at lyrics, I will now discuss some points that I find questionable or worth mentioning in detail. As always, this critiquing here will not affect the score. Rather, I simply wish to discuss certain details. Back on the subject, something that is mentioned right off at the start is how the story’s main character changed her appearance in order to infatuate her love-interest. To be quite frank, I do not hold a solid position/stance, but overall, a lady or man should be able to dress how they desire to without the fear of acceptance or rejection. If a female wishes to dress to impress a love-interest, then by all means that should be accepted without any hassles or assumptions. On the other hand, should she wish to change her style “head-to-toe” for the purpose of pleasing herself, then that should also be fully accepted and no assumptions should ever be made that she is only dressing to attract people/a love-interest. These ideas also applies to males equally.
The final takeaway message is a small reminder to dress how you wish to dress. Changing your style completely should not warrant the automatic idea of trying to attract a lover. Sometimes, a female or male wishes to dress well for themselves, not for others. Even if the case is true where dressing to impress happens, no issues should be given there, either.
Choreography Score: 8/10 – Digressing for a moment, I can certainly see why fans were in love with this concept; the style is quite chic and captivating. In specific, Yuri’s clothing set appealed a lot to me. Props towards her stylist; he/she did an excellent job. I can definitely learn multiple things from Girls’ Generation’s style (assuming I had stylish clothes to begin with; but alas, fashion is not one of my priorities in life yet).
Focusing on the actual subject, the choreography for “I Got A Boy” stands as solid. Syncing with the music proved to be consistent. Every maneuver was linked to either the pacing, the beats, or a mixture of the two. Transitions in this song were very fluid. Despite how the song itself had rougher transitions due to the instrumental, the dance flowed from one set to the other seamlessly. When it comes to the key points, seeing multiple, different setups was pleasant. Repetitive dancing only occurred at the choruses.
“I Got A Boy” will earn a solid score here. Every aspect of this dance is strong, but nothing pushes it as extraordinary. Nevertheless, this was an enjoyable choreography. The dance uplifts the fun mood of the song while showing off power and coordination.
Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – In the end, Girls’ Generation’s “I Got A Boy” finishes with a decent score of 7/10. That translates as an overall above average song. I personally think it’s slightly above average (6/10), but considering how the choreography was solid and that the introduction and rapping sections were quite remarkable, this score is acceptable. The song itself is weaker due to the poorer instrumental which impaired both the organization and the song sections’ capabilities.
For this review, I was extremely delayed. I believe I started this review 5 days ago, but I’ve only finished it now. Instead of filling my free time with writing reviews, I’ve guiltily spent it on either watching videos or playing a few games. I’m finishing up the bonus episode/last episode of “The TaeTiSeo”, so that has drained some time. Also, I spent an hour watching TaeTiSeo on “Hello Counselor”. Anyhow, I should hopefully be back on track. Forcing myself to do a bit of a review everyday has been helpful, so I will positively resume that old regime. I may be a bit slower for the time being, however, considering I have plenty of schoolwork and scholarships to apply for.
As always, thank you very much for reading this. Apologies for delays, but hopefully this review redeems that slightly. Thanks for all the support, it means a lot and I sincerely appreciate your time reading this blog.
If anyone is curious on my next review, I am making an abrupt turn and swapping over a recent comeback: Hello Venus’ “Sticky Sticky”. VIXX’s “Error” will be reviewed at a later time. Anyhow, in terms of Hello Venus’ comeback, I have a plethora of things to say. Their concept has completely flipped to a sheer opposite. That will be interesting to digest. That also reminds me, AOA will be making a comeback soon as well, and I think it’s about time I gave my opinion on their songs/dances. As of now, expect “Sticky Sticky” by the freshly reformed group of Hello Venus as the next review. I won’t share my own opinion on that song here, but on a different note, I am glad their group did not disband after they lost two valuable members.
I have said enough. In summary, I am on a busy schedule but I will attempt to get out a review on Hello Venus’ new song as soon as possible. Other than that, look forward to more reviews. Thank you once again for reading. “Always next to me, it’s you, who’s on my side”, so thanks and check back in a few days for the review of Hello Venus.
First things off, I am trying a different place to do reviews (document file versus live posting). This is to address a feedback of how posting “[UNFINISHED]”/“[WORK IN PROGRESS]” tends to leak a review/post. To ensure things go well (and if it doesn’t go well), a show review will be my prototype. That way, if it works, perfect. If not, show reviews aren’t as in-depth as my song reviews, so nothing majorly lost. In terms of upcoming songs, I have two songs that should vastly differ from other songs I’ve reviewed. Furthermore, a “Halloween theme” is attached. I won’t be releasing the song titles yet, but please look forward to them.
Anyhow, the show for review today is “The TaeTiSeo”. Their comeback of “Holler” (check out my review of it) was also accompanied by a reality show. And, as I stated in my other show reviews (refer to my Archive page for “Jessica & Krystal” and “Hyuna’s Free Month”), I do not possess a show review outline. As a result, if the writing becomes incoherent, forgive me for not having an organized structure. Anyhow, this review will probably be posted later than expected; I still have two episodes to finish. This also reminds me, I prematurely reviewed “Hyuna’s Free Month”. I stopped at episode 3, but it turns out there are other episodes as well. Overall, nothing would be significantly different in terms of my review. The only change was finally seeing some interaction with 4Minute members (and that interaction was humorous; they sarcastically addressed comments of “4Minute members aren’t close to one another” by complimenting each other’s “acting”).
Also while I’m at it, I feel obligated to share a quick rant: males watching this show. As I mentioned in some other review, a friend of mine teased me for watching this “girly” show. Also, keep in mind I will practically repeat the same things I told her, and in no way am I trying to vilify her. Anyhow, my question in retaliation was, “What is a ‘girly’ show?” That’s something I feel people should ask (along with a whole lot of other questions). Firstly, thinking of “The TaeTiSeo” as a pure females-only show never crossed my mind. A large portion of this show may be focused on clothing, nail art, and other cosmetic-related topics, but that does not mean males should automatically be deterred away, nor does that mean females should naturally want to watch this show.
My own take on why I decided to watch this was primarily due to being a fan of TaeTiSeo along with the OnStyle production crew. However, before I knew it, I actually enjoyed watching the cosmetic sections. Perhaps I am just a strange, outcasted male, but speaking personally, I would heavily prefer watching Taeyeon do her nails for 30 minutes versus, for example, watching a “male-orientated” show such as a sports game for just 5 minutes. Actually to add another small rant, “male-orientated” shows tend to repel me the most; I find no fun in cringing every minute at the sight of gore and corpses (and another thing to question is why “male-orientated” means explosions and blood). To cut to the point, watch whatever you want; social barriers shouldn’t hinder what you enjoy to do nor should they define you. The idea of “masculine” and “feminine” should be less restrictive (and therefore, hopefully one day, I can share how if I decide to have kids in the future, that if I want two daughters, I won’t have friends/teammates giving me the equivalent reaction of “You want to kick a puppy?”). And for those wondering, no, I did not cry (or at least not yet since I haven’t seen the last episode). This is just a little joke ever since I shared how “Jessica & Krystal” made me bawl.
Ignoring the very huge digression and silly jokes at the end, let’s start this review of “The TaeTiSeo”. The ladies of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun had a very impressive comeback. To add onto their album release, they have decided to release a reality show as well. OnStyle is the producer, and recalling them from “Jessica & Krystal”, a solid production is expected. Is the personal side of TaeTiSeo revealed? We shall see.
“The TaeTiSeo” takes viewers for a behind-the-scenes look at their promotions, and it also unveils the personal sides to the ladies. In terms of their work, viewers will see the preparations leading up to “Holler”. Examples are music video filming, song recording, and of course, choreography practice. When it comes to observing their personal lives, viewers are able to see the ladies’ affection for each other. In addition, “The TaeTiSeo” also reveals the ladies’ preference/advice when it comes to cosmetics; make-up, clothing, nails, the three of them cover those topics.
To dive deeper, a large portion of the beginning covered the fashion side of the show. Clothing was discussed; each member shared her style. For example, Seohyun and Taeyeon addressed how Tiffany was a huge fan of wearing the primary colors. And of course, considering it’s Tiffany, her usual pink obsession was seen. Any Girls’ Generation fan will know of that; if something is pink, Tiffany loves it (perhaps that was her lucky boyfriend’s idea on winning her love; use pink). Continuing on, viewers are able to see Seohyun and Taeyeon find their own clothing. Taeyeon preferred the simple, comfortable outfits; a single color and being soft and cozy. Now while the older ladies had no issues finding items, the sweet, lovable maknae (youngest person) was seen in a struggle. Seohyun would tediously go back and forth between changing outfits. She would find something, try it, but then try another set of clothing.
Seeing the beloved members go shopping wasn’t all, however. The experience of getting to stores, and in some cases, away from the store, was quite jocular. As many fans will know, Taeyeon and Seohyun aren’t the most experienced drivers. During a shopping time in Korea, it took Taeyeon 10 minutes to start up the car (although understandable considering it was a hybrid and that it was not her original car). Eventually, though, the car rolls smoothly. Until Seohyun drives. On the way back home, instead of the ladies normally chatting with one another, it was dead silent once Seohyun got behind the wheel. Nevertheless, it was still funny seeing Tiffany, who seems to be an experienced driver, and Taeyeon overreact to every little thing Seohyun did. At least Seohyun threw in a disclaimer of, “Unnie, you’re risking your life with this [driving]” (Note: “Unnie” is literally translated as “older sister”, but pretty much it’s a younger female referring to an older female).
In terms of them having a serious moment during the beginning, the ladies of TaeTiSeo did address the difference between shopping in South Korea and in Los Angeles: they were able to in L.A. Briefly, they discussed how in Korea, the only possible way to publically go shopping was to be utterly disguised via hats, masks, and by having only a few members attend at a time. This explains why their shopping went smoothly on film (although when they did go in Korea, the store was seemingly “reserved”).
Besides clothing, another aspect “The TaeTiSeo” revealed on the group’s style were their nails. Taeyeon was the first member to show off her nail art. With setting up a camera in a room and by using nail tools given by fans, she set off on showing viewers different nail arts. With this setup, Taeyeon showcases numerous chic designs. Commentary was also added; she explained her mentality per nail (and what to do if there’s a mistake; it happened to her) and addresses a few questions. For a moment, she discussed how her nails were mainly done for the sake of performances or schedules (interviews, etc.). However, she still preferred casual nail painting even if there was no work.
In Tiffany’s case, she was seen with a professional. This moment would disclose how TaeTiSeo’s nails are always perfect; professional nail artists handle it. Another nail-related question was asked during Tiffany’s session. Viewers and fans had the question of how Tiffany took care of her nails. After all, considering how often the members of TaeTiSeo do their nails, it can be concerning. Thankfully, Tiffany reassured fans by explaining that proper care and advice from professionals allows the ladies to still possess healthy nails.
Now besides the fashion side of the show, “The TaeTiSeo” also reveals the behind-the-scenes footage of their comeback. The making of the music video for “Holler” is seen. While the music video came out as glamorous (although I have yet to watch the entirety of it), the filming did not reciprocate that; it was a harsh, tedious process. Going back and forth to find the perfect clip required a lot of patience. Make-up had to be reapplied and any minuscule lack of synchronicity would result in another take.
Furthermore, safety, shockingly, was an issue; the most prominent example being the scene where the ladies dance on a circle glass with surrounding shallow water. Considering they were wearing exceptionally tall high heels (a lot of people forget how talented idols are for performing in them; even males with insoles go through the same challenge), the environment created a risky scenario. The glass circle itself was already unstable, but coupling the fact of how the water made the surface even more slippery, it created a lot of anxiety among both TaeTiSeo and staff members. On the positive side, accidents were minimal; Seohyun was the only one who slipped, but at least she caught her balance. In the end, removing their heels when a shot didn’t include their feet was a solution. The ladies proved to be quite admirable through their hardwork and perseverance.
When it comes to song recording, “The TaeTiSeo” discloses that process. From this section, the ladies’ impressive vocals are heard. However, that aspect is not the only one; a large portion of this section covers how they composed lyrics, the issues that occurred, and TaeTiSeo’s perspective on singing. Going on a tangent, Tiffany’s voice is exceptionally soothing; although her unique tint of huskiness may derive from a vocal disorder she had years ago(?), her voice still remains very unique and versatile. Listening to her speak proved to be quite delightful. Whether she was speaking English or Korean, it became utterly infatuating. In short, Tiffany’s voice is amazing; I personally remain envious yet captivated by her seducing voice.
To focus back on this review, in terms of composing lyrics, it proved to be very intriguing. Seohyun and her manager were seen at a table discussing different lines for Seohyun’s own ballad composition. Her song, “Only U”, had to be revised. Seohyun’s original line went along the meaning of “I will protect you” (going off memory), but she believed the lyrics weren’t “feminine” enough for listeners, and thus, Seohyun modified it. In the end, “I will stand by your side” is what the final revision became. While most viewers will glance over this section quickly, this scene showcases how the K-Pop industry potentially exploits songs (although keep in mind, this isn’t always the case; Girl’s Day’s “Don’t Trust Her” had the key phrase of something similar to “Don’t go to her, I will protect you from everything”) to make them follow the standard cultural norms. This is something to keep in mind for song meanings in K-Pop, and it’s great that “The TaeTiSeo” reveals this tiny yet vital aspect.
Peering back at the actual song recording, the ladies’ issues were observed. Multiple trials were needed for every member; Taeyeon in specific had quite a bit of trouble at first. Their song, “Adrenaline” (have not/don’t intend to review it; not too solid) entangled Taeyeon. No matter how hard she tried, the flow/melody was off. Eventually, though, she did find a solution: changing the lyrics. After that, a huge improvement was seen. For the other members, Tiffany and Seohyun went through the same tedious process; perfecting their recordings required patience.
Lastly for the studio section of “The TaeTiSeo”, the three ladies got to share their personal stories of what singing meant to them. All of them expressed the similar idea of passion; Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun, they all loved to sing. Even from their blossoming ages of still being girls, singing remained a prominent activity. Sticking to what they loved and continuing to pursue it allowed the ladies to stand here today as TaeTiSeo; following what you love and are passionate about is the crucial, needed message that they gave through their interviews.
Adding on the last highlight this review will bring, choreography practice. Here, OnStyle unveils the rigorous and daunting task TaeTiSeo encounters for creating a flawless, perfectly synced dance. They practiced all the way into the late night time. Beat by beat, flowing with the melody, the ladies showcased how adept they were with matching up to every choreography. While it was a tiresome routine, they still decided to keep spirits high; Taeyeon went on a fun spinning spree with a camera, and upon hearing that “Whisper”, the ballad song of their album, took first place on a music chart, they all became recharged with energy and joy. Anyhow, the hard work the ladies invested in order to improve their skills is very respectable. Despite how harsh and aching dance practices are, they continue to strive for the perfect execution.
With all of those highlighted points, that brings this review to the end. Keep in mind, of course, I am barely breaching the surface of the reality show; OnStyle reveals a lot more. This review intends to go over my perspective on outstanding parts along with adding some of my opinion. And as stated earlier, if this review comes out as confusing or unorganized, I put fault in the lack of a show review outline. I still do not intend to seriously review shows as it’s a very long, excruciating process. In addition, unlike K-Pop songs, giving numerical scores and creating categories would be mundane (or in honesty, quite lacking since I have zero ideas).
Overall, I find this show very amusing. Does it top “Jessica & Krystal”? Not quite, but it does come quite close. The biggest strength to “Jessica & Krystal” is the main focus on their relationship. It was about seeing the two sister’s love for one another. Unfortunately, “The TaeTiSeo”, similar to “Hyuna’s Free Month”, does come off more as a side promotion. Thankfully, though, OnStyle does a significantly better job of revealing other sides besides the topic of their comeback. Viewers are still able to see the personal sides to the members. Their workday schedule is seen along with their sweet and hilarious interactions. In addition, the shadier sides of the K-Pop industry is unveiled, although in tiny doses. In the end, I believe it’s a show worth watching. It provides entertainment, insight, and of course, no lady or gentleman can resist the amazing idols of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun.
As I always do, thank you for reading. This review took a long time to write; the biggest hinder being the time it took to actually catch up on episodes. Again, another reason on why I loathe reviewing shows. It drains the luxury of watching freely with no time pressure. Anyhow, I hope it’s not too incoherent. This will be the last show review I do until perhaps a month (and watch how as I say this, T-ARA will suddenly release a reality show. Though if that were the case, I’d be extremely pleased to make a review). Once more, I highly recommend this show.
In terms of my next review, since things are out of order, Boyfriend’s “Witch” will be reviewed. It has already been started, but I hope to finish it within a few days. Also, I am testing this review on a separate document, so right now, I’m really hoping I can post this with no format errors.
The end has arrived, so thank you once more for reading. I hope you find this interesting and sufficiently detailed. Again, “The TaeTiSeo” proved to be an outstanding show. Stay tuned for upcoming Halloween themed songs of Boyfriend’s “Witch”, and revealing another, Orange Caramel’s “Catallena” (spelled correctly?). This also reminds me, I did receive a song request, so I will squeeze that in as soon as possible. Anyhow, stay tuned. Thanks for the support and time, keep checking back for the usual K-Pop song reviews.
Personal Message: It has been technically 5 days (3 days in reality), so there’s quite a bit to catch up on. However, before we get down into this review, there some things to discuss. Firstly, as with T-ARA’s “Sugar Free” review, the first link has another song at first, but if I did things correctly, it should link you straight into “Holler”. As for the second link, it’s an official uploaded live performance video. It’s there in case the first video gets copyrighted; I’m pretty sure the first video uploader is not an official broadcasting station. Let’s hope that any copyright issue doesn’t occur as that’s the only high-quality video that I’m aware of.
And because of a huge K-Pop news lately, I think I’ll give my quick opinion on it. Yes, it involves Girls’ Generation’s Jessica leaving the group. If “leaving” is too harsh or inaccurate, then I will rephrase it as: her team activities have been “halted”. I don’t find this significant enough to make a Blog Opinion post, although I may end up being a hypocrite and make one anyways. After chatting with some teammates and a friend about this, I’ve come to the consensus of how this is Girls’ Generation and Jessica simply moving on with their lives; the ladies have been running strong for 8 years (don’t quote me), but the end will eventually arrive. Anyhow, Jessica is going to start focusing on her fashion company, BLANC. She definitely has a lot of interesting styles and ideas as seen in “Jessica & Krystal”, so I have high expectations. Besides, CEO Jessica Jung sounds pretty amazing. Anyhow, her company seems extremely promising and fans are eagerly waiting for the true opening. I’m wondering what will be in store (I promise that wasn’t an intentional pun) and how shipping will work. I mean, I’m not planning to buy anything, just simply curious. Right? Silly jokes aside, there’s also a rumor around that Jessica is also going to be married soon. Should she end up getting married with Tyler Kwon (I think is his name?) then big congratulations; he would become, if not the luckiest, one the luckier men to ever be alive. Hopefully fans don’t tear out his eyeballs. I may end up writing a Blog Opinion to bring up other thoughtful ideas that came from my friend. Surprising it came from her since she was the same person who teased me for being “girly” for watching a “girly” show of “The TaeTiSeo”. Let’s save that discussion for another time (and if you read this, just kidding, spare my life and realize I’m just teasing you). EDIT: Marriage rumors are confirmed false, but finally Jessica releases her side of the story. Quite shocking if what she tells is true. Keep in mind: IF. I may end up doing a Blog Opinion on this after all.
Huge digression. So it has been 5 days since I last posted/reviewed a song, but I intend to fix that. Today we’ll take a look at TaeTiSeo, a sub-unit of Girls’ Generation (veterans of the K-Pop scene; arguably the most popular K-Pop group among both ladies and men). After two years of being inactive as a sub-unit, the ladies of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun make a strong comeback with their “Holler” album. Another song worthy of highlight is an extremely graceful, beautiful ballad by them, “Whisper”; I highly, highly recommend the song. Due to time constraints, I won’t be able to review it which is a shame. It’s incredible and I highly recommend listening to it.
On track with “Holler”, the three ladies are tackling a jazzy, powerful concept; there are a lot of vocally intensive parts along with a soothing, classy instrumental. With that said, “Ladies and gentlemen…I hope you are ready for a fast ride, ‘cause that’s what we’re going for tonight. So sit back and buckle up, ’cause you’ll be racing with the stars tonight. Listen!”
Song Total Score: 8/10 (7.8/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.
– Vocals: 9/10 – It would be a shame if I did not give TaeTiSeo a 9.
The vocals in “Holler” are definitely outstanding; melody, power, energy, it’s all there. Different sections highlight different vocal talent. For example, the verses show off superb control with the melody while the bridges showcase insane, high pitched note holds. This score shouldn’t come off as surprising. TaeTiSeo is a sub-unit that was constructed for pure vocal strength; the three ladies of Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Seohyun are the strongest vocalists in Girls’ Generation. In fact, by looking at an old review of “Mr. Mr.”, even with the full nine (ignoring current departure/news) ladies, the current members of TaeTiSeo were the ones belting off the intense vocal work.
Fantastic vocals are heard in “Holler”; not surprising considering TaeTiSeo’s roster of members.
– Song Structure: 8/10 (7.66/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)
For “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.
1. Introduction: 7/10 – Now that I recall some older reviews, I think I did the same exact, horrendous joke for transitioning into the review. Girl’s Day’s “Darling” had an announcer-styled introduction, similar to TaeTiSeo’s “Holler”. Anyhow, the silly quote used in my Personal Message section is the introduction; announcer-style that sets up a fancy stage tone.
While this type of start perfectly suits the theme of the song, I find it to be slightly dull. On the bright side, the instrumental does an excellent job with slowly revealing itself. At the start, the saxophone (?, I’m ignorant with instruments, forgive me) gave off small bursts. In addition, some background vocals of “Holler” was tossed in. This meshes quite well; the underlying strength is the solid play off of small bursts of “Holler” and the saxophone. This allowed for subtle, yet effective build-up.
In terms of the announcer, it was creative and fitting; the fancy tone is created to relate to the classier soundtrack and the voice allowed the background synergy to be subtle. A slight issue that does stem from this, however, is how dull it can become. While new listeners may be intrigued, after replaying this song over for quite a bit, the introduction definitely loses its charm. The fault may lie in the voice being plain. Nevertheless, the introduction is still strong; subtle background work is what remains highlighted.
Slightly above average for an introduction. The saxophone and background vocals behind the announcer are the highlight.
2. Verse: 8/10 – The first verse is handled by Taeyeon and Tiffany. The second verse is done by Seohyun and Taeyeon. As usual, I’ll focus primarily on the first verse as the second verse emulates the first, minus different singers.
Taeyeon kicks things off with lower pitched, smooth lines. Her lines are short and sweet; her role is to transition the song properly to Tiffany. By having a calmer, slow and low noted start, it allows a lot of potential build-up to occur. In terms of the singing, her lines are delightful; the melody flow is well suited. After the announcer introduction, anything too high noted and energetic would contrast that roughly. As a result, the steadier lines by Taeyeon were perfect.
Now after setting the song up in that form, Tiffany takes over. For the first line, it was executed with slightly more energy than Taeyeon’s part; from this, “Holler” begins to finally stack up some intensity into the song. However, after the first line, it does descend and revert back into the slower, steadier rate that Taeyeon was previously running at. In the end, it all perfectly works out, though. Transitioning was possible thanks to the return.
Overall, it isn’t the flashiest verse at all, however, more occurring sounds does not mean the better. I find the verses to be solid. Despite having a plain instrumental run, the vocal work of the ladies are sufficient; their singing did show off some precise control and with how soothing their lower notes were, it all works out. Solid verses. Simple and to the point.
3. Chorus: 8/10 – As noticed, “Holler” possesses no pre-choruses at all. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it does create a risky scenario in which the chorus could turn out as either too energetic or too stale. The reason for those two possible outcomes is there is now a larger gap between the verse and chorus. Typically, a pre-chorus is utilized to soften the transition, and in most cases, to also provide satisfying build-up with the climax occurring at the chorus. Since “Holler” lacks the connecting road, let’s see how the three ladies handle the chorus. TaeTiSeo as a whole sings the chorus, but individual lines are also given to each member.
The first chorus is the focus. Despite the lack of a pre-chorus, the chorus still carries a climatic feeling; the mellow verses might be responsible. Anyhow, this is where listeners will finally hear “Holler”, the key word of the song. With the three ladies chanting it, it definitely becomes catchy and sticks around. Now, after “Holler” is sung/chanted 3 times, Seohyun has her solo spotlight; her two lines provide excellent contrast from the unison singing. Her lines are well executed in both regards to vocals and structure. Short and impacting. As the chorus progresses, other members follow suit; Taeyeon throws in one line after “Holler” is chanted again and Tiffany does the same.
Adding on to the excellent structure, the instrumental played out well. Despite being on the passive side, it was well planned. TaeTiSeo’s vocals in the chorus were powerful, energetic, cohesive; attracting attention elsewhere would be disrespectful. As a result, by having a instrumental that provided a “foundation” for the song, it truly highlights the ladies’ spectacular vocal talent.
Even though the chorus, through a textbook definition, is well crafted, it still doesn’t hold as utterly amazing; repetition becomes an issue. “Holler” becomes stagnant towards the end. It reminds me of another song, such as “Touch My Body” by Sistar. How often must I need to hear “body” in Sistar’s song? Apparently a lot. Likewise with “Holler”, while the choruses are seemingly perfect on the surface, there will be a point in which you wish the ladies stop with all the “Hollering”.
Nevertheless, a solid chorus. The issue solely lies within how tedious the key word becomes. Ignoring the slight nuance, the chorus was well done; vocals were instilled with power and thanks to a passive instrumental, TaeTiSeo’s amazing talent becomes the main focus.
4. Bridge 1: 7/10 – As noticed, there are two bridges; technically there is only one bridge, but there’s a substantial shift at a point, and thus, it would seem more appropriate to have two bridge sections. Tiffany and Seohyun handle the first bridge.
The instrumental becomes “lighter” during this period. This allows further spotlight on Tiffany’s entry line; she shows off a pleasing, lower noted note hold at “soge ~”. Following up that note hold was another solid, strong line. Eventually, Seohyun is able to contribute her vocals. Coming after Tiffany’s lower pitched lines, Seohyun’s lines become augmented and seem more crisp and sharp since her part is higher pitched; that isn’t all, though. Towards the end, she belts off a short impressive high note hold. This allows for a very solid transition into the second part of the bridge; the note hold slides in smoothly, and if that wasn’t ensuring enough, the final line/words of “Oh yeah yeah” bleed over into Bridge 2. Due to that, the lapping lyrics effectively sends Bridge 1 over to Bridge 2.
While the vocal work here is quite solid, it left no traces of power behind; the note holds were great, but unfortunately, they did not reach a climatic point, which was the assumed pathway carved out. With a lighter instrumental and Tiffany exploiting lower notes to create build-up, Seohyun would seem responsible for the one who hits the top-peak, vocally intensive note. Sadly, Bridge 1 gave false hopes; formula-wise, it should have been that way, but instead, Seohyun’s part was too weak to be considered climatic. One thing to keep in mind, however, is since there are two bridges (essentially, anyways), the later bridge would have to be the one with any climatic moment. Nevertheless, this doesn’t excuse Bridge 1. If the setup and direction of the song during Bridge 1 did not function with the format of “build-up to climatic peak”, then perhaps it would’ve been a solid score. For a song that properly structured two bridges, Girls’ Generation’s “Mr. Mr.” comes to mind. As the full group, in that song, Bridge 1 was simply a funky instrumental moment while Bridge 2 was the section that possessed the climatic moment. “Holler” has an awkward situation where Bridge 1 is seemingly the climatic moment due to all the build-up, but of course, falls short on hitting a climax. Either way, even if Seohyun hit a powerful, lasting note hold, that could’ve simply transferred the issue upon Bridge 2.
Overall, a solid bridge minus having a structure that “baits” listeners; the build-up leads to a false climax. On the positive side, the vocal work was still quite phenomenal. Above average in the end. Let’s see if Bridge 2 redeems this part.
5. Bridge 2: 9/10 – Now this is the bridge I was expecting from TaeTiSeo. The three ladies are all involved for Bridge 2.
Although I didn’t label it with a “Rap/Bridge” (which now that I think of it, I should’ve done that), this part does possess some rapping. Tiffany opens the door to Bridge 2 via rapping; efficient rapping. The rap was short but it definitely, and stunningly, exceeded its needed role of transitioning into the second bridge.
After Tiffany’s well done initiation, Seohyun and Taeyeon throw in a background, monotone line of “You want me, want me, holler at me, baby” to which Tiffany replies back with “Come on”. This continues with Taeyeon and Seohyun throwing in “baby” and then Tiffany’s part of “Yeah”. This part is incredible; coordination is dead-on and the layering effect is very unique. Considering the earlier bridge, the rapping and now layering prevents this bridge from becoming stale. Furthermore, this also allows a very sleek and subtle transition for their leader, Taeyeon, to return into the song. A very crafty part; the back and forth lines gave a layering effect that gives Bridge 2 a unique spin.
Finally, Taeyeon has some solo time. Her quick, chopped words of “Ready, set, go, go” create minimal hype. What deserves the main focus, however, is her very gracious, intense, and powerful note hold at “ma~”. The climatic peak was definitely satisfying. Considering Taeyeon was the one accomplishing the same feat in “Mr. Mr.”, it comes as no surprise to see the amazing leader do the same in “Holler”. A solid part to bring all the song’s intensity in one moment.
Overall, an amazing bridge; it’s a well blended section. Rapping was heard at the start, some layered singing was used, and of course, Taeyeon hits a fabulous, fantastic and energetic note hold.
6. Conclusion (Chorus): 7/10 – The conclusion reuses the chorus.
I’m struggling to pick either a 7 or 8, but it seems a 7 is more suiting. The chorus plays one more time, but, as mentioned earlier, the key word of “Holler” is viciously recycled. The moment right before the conclusion was a slower version of the chorus. Nevertheless, with how repetitive “Holler” gets, it drains a lot of the ending out. Purely due to how the previous section before the final chorus was, well, the chorus, it impairs the score.
In terms of the very ending closure, the instrumental dies out and Tiffany gets to wrap it all up with “Holler at me~”. In terms of that part, perfect. Nothing hanging nor is anything being prematurely cut off.
Overall, above average for a conclusion. If only “Holler” didn’t get so tiresome, this conclusion would be quite solid.
– Line Distribution: 10/10 – With only three incredibly talented, smart and tough ladies, I expect at least a 9. Seohyun, Tiffany, and Taeyeon are practically equal in the playing field, so no one should have more dominant lines.
Tiffany was seen/heard at the first verse, and she appeared in both bridges. Don’t forget, everyone chips in at the chorus. She definitely had her share.
“Kid leader” Taeyeon (small note, if a Sone/Girls’ Generation fan would explain to me that nickname, please do share. I can’t quite correlate a mature lady to “kid”) will be remembered for her outstanding part at Bridge 2. Other parts where Taeyeon sings are the verse and choruses. Equal with Tiffany’s lines it seems.
Lastly, we have the maknae (youngest person in a group) of the group (and in Girls’ Generation), Seohyun. Her lines involved handling the second verse, Bridge 1, and of course, the choruses. Seems equal to everyone else.
As expected, a perfect score for Line Distribution. Every member had her spotlight and the alternations were well planned.
– Instrumental: 6/10 – A classier instrumental; tinted with a jazz style due to the saxophone. The soundtrack meshes quite well with TaeTiSeo’s voices. In terms of aiding transitions and whatnot, it fulfills those roles. Paying close attention, however, will reveal that it is actually, surprisingly, quite a stale instrumental. The saxophone and basic beats are predominately the main melody. While this shifts a lot of attention to the ladies’ vocals, it will hurt the instrumental score.
Slightly above average. It fits perfectly with TaeTiSeo’s singing, but to be consistent across my reviews, when it comes to judging the soundtrack individually, it comes off as shockingly dull. Saxophone and beats are main sounds.
– Meaning: 6/10 – “Holler”. Maybe I need different friends, but “Holler” in my experience has been used as a joking way to flirtatiously greet someone. “Holler at me!” You get the idea. Anyhow, through these translated lyrics (which as I will always remind readers, are not 100% accurate), let’s find out what’s the big “Holler” about:
Ladies and Gentlemen, can you hear me? I hope you are ready for a fast ride ‘Cause that’s what we’re going for tonight So sit back and buckle up Cause you’ll be racing with the stars tonight Listen! Wow!
It’s no fun to be ordinary on a bright sunny day Wanna go somewhere to find a special secret? Like you’ve heard of when you were young to that mysterious and unknown world Right now, there’s no time, follow my gestures, follow me
Holler Holler Holler, lock your eyes with mine Holler Holler Holler, awaken your sleeping heart Holler Holler Holler, let’s start Holler Holler, trust yourself in my new heart, holler at me
It’s the same story, a typical ending Why are you hiding yourself under that shining poker face? Knock knock, to your heart open the wide door I’ll tell only you because this is a special secret
Holler Holler Holler, lock your eyes with mine Holler Holler Holler, awaken your sleeping heart Holler Holler Holler, let’s start Holler Holler, trust yourself in my new heart, holler at me yeah Throw yourself into my heart, holler at me
Look at yourself, every day trapped in the same pattern Your childhood dreams, just thinking about them makes you smile If you wish for it all, it will all come true, oh yeah yeah
So won’t you holler at me? I know you like what you see Doesn’t your heart feel like it’ll explode? You want me, want me, holler at me, baby baby
Oh look at me, oh ready set go go Who cares about the eyes on you, let it go Don’t hide yourself anymore
Holler Holler Holler, lock your eyes with mine Holler Holler Holler, start it right now Holler Holler Holler, holler holler Holler Holler, trust yourself in my new heart, holler at me yeah
Holler Holler Holler, follow me and shout Holler Holler Holler, shout even louder Holler Holler Holler, that’s who you are (Holler Yeah) (“geuge baro neo”/that’s who you are) Holler Holler, until your new heart explodes, holler at me
Alright firstly, apologies on some translation mistake at the end. I think that means “that’s who you are”, but I’m not sure. It’s roughly around that meaning.
On track, the lyrics tell the story of a gentleman or lady who is definitely flirting with a love interest. It has some bits of cuteness as well as sexiness; the sexiness derives from primarily the choruses’ part (locking eyes, going into a “new heart”, etc.) and the cuter parts come from, overall, technically the whole story itself. Love stories are always fun. While “Holler” is interesting, it is not the most meaningful story at all. Very slightly above average due to some unique details, but other than that, it lacks a multitude of layers. A love, flirting story. Nothing more, nothing less.
The dance completely suits how energetic the song is; the calmer moments at the bridges were matched with slower movements, and the chorus’ part, while more energetic, was not overly executed. Syncing proves to be no issue, either, and in fact, during the “Holler” moments, it was great to see different maneuvers used per every combo of “Holler” (first Holler line, second, etc.). In terms of the backup dancers, they did an excellent job. They provided the needed support without flooding the scene nor were they redundant.
Overall, a choreography that perfectly boasts the song’s intensity. Backup dancers proved to not have issues and nothing was over-the-top. Simple and chic.
While I’m at it, a quick rant on their ballad song, “Whisper”. That song is exceptionally good, but the dance is awful. If you haven’t caught on yet, ballad and dance should typically not intertwine; for the most part. Some ballads can get away with it, but as the general rule, it’s best to be avoided or else you get the exceptionally awkward situation with “Whisper”. Moving to very slow, graceful music can sometimes be very appealing (wedding dances come to mind, etc.), but for needing to sing and appeal to audiences, it doesn’t work out. TaeTiSeo’s dance coordinator/whoever is in charge of their choreography should’ve just allowed the ladies to sit/stand and sing, but instead, there’s some awkward attempts to match the song’s slowness. Again, an utter digression from “Holler” but since “Whisper” won’t be reviewed, this had to be placed here.
Overall Score: 8/10 (8/10 raw score) – It’s quite late at night now that I’m finishing this review, but my own mental discipline told me to finish this before I get some rest. I might regret it. And by might, I mean I will. Nothing too bad, though, as I’ll get some nice rest during the weekends.
Anyhow, TaeTiSeo’s “Holler” comes out with a pure 8/10, which can be seen as 4/5 or as a solid song. Do I agree? I would say so. It’s not the best song I’ve heard (again, Ailee’s “Singing Got Better” is still, by far, the best song my ears have ever experienced) but it holds its ground very well. The vocals are incredible, as expected from such hardworking idols, and the dance is solid. As mentioned earlier, “Whisper” is an amazing ballad by them that I highly recommend.
In terms of my next review, speaking of Ailee, I will review her comeback of “Don’t Touch Me”. It’ll be a fun review. To give a quick glance, “Singing Got Better” stomps on her latest song. Maybe one day a song will be able to top that one. Anyhow, she will be my next review.
Another review in mind that, although isn’t musical, is “The TaeTiSeo”. OnStyle made a reality show for this group, and I’ve been quite consumed by it lately. I’ll do a show review of it when I’m done with the show (which is actually not that long; only 6 episodes).
As always, thank you very much for reading this. I appreciate it greatly. Thank you so much for your time. I hope it’s interesting and that you disagree with me. Different viewpoints is what makes us humans. Or at least one aspect to what defines humans, anyways. It’s getting quite late so I should finish up and sleep soon. Also, I will do my best to stop posting “[UNFINISHED]” reviews; I’ve been told that it “spoils/ruins” the full, finished review. I will definitely keep that in mind. Just keep in mind, however, that saving it here makes it easier on me, and I’m quite busy so I can’t sit down and finish a review in one take. True fact, I took two day periods of writing for this review. Hopefully I have the luxury to review in one take again. Right now, school is a big priority. In fact, I’m pretty stressed out an upcoming paper; I still have yet to pinpoint a research question.
Anyways, thank you once again for reading. Stay tuned for Ailee’s “Don’t Touch Me”. Feel free to “follow my gestures” and to “follow me” (figuratively and feel free to actually follow this blog, Tumblr-wise) for my upcoming reviews. Thanks, and keep checking back.
Personal Message: I personally feel that it has been a long time ever since I last reviewed a song. Perhaps. There are some really exciting comebacks that occurred recently; TaeTiSeo made a return and the queen vocalist of the K-Pop scene, Ailee, comes back full force. For the most part, anyways. I will hopefully get their new songs out within a few days. I’m quite booked with work for the weekend but, I may squeeze in a review.
One last note, T-ARA released an English version of “Sugar Free” a few days ago. Considering all of the ladies are solely Korean speakers, it’s very impressive to see a fluent, full English version of their current hit song.
Bringing this review back on track, I decided to peer back at this song, “Red”. I planned to do TaeTiSeo’s “Holler”, but since it’s still a fresh, new song, I wouldn’t be able to critique it properly. On the other hand, “Red” has given me plenty of ideas. If I’m being honest, though, “Hyuna’s Free Month” (a reality show starring her; check out my review of it) definitely did its job of advertising her solo song. That’s how I personally ended up listening to it.
Anyhow, coming from a pop-styled group, 4Minute, Hyuna made a solo return during the summer. Although that time has passed, Hyuna’s “Red” style still prevails. Let’s take a look at her colorful song.
Song Total Score: 6/10 (5.5/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories, separate so Choreography Score doesn’t affect it.
– Vocals: 6/10 – Considering Hyuna’s main role is being a rapper for 4Minute, crazy vocal talent shouldn’t be expected. Nevertheless, Hyuna pulls off stronger vocals towards the chorus and even during the pre-chorus; those two sections spotlight some solid singing. Unfortunately, her nasally voice does become quite dull; this is a huge issue when it comes to specific sections, such as the rap and verse. While I feel completely guilty to mark down the vocal on the basis of simply her voice, the nasally tone doesn’t sound too pleasant; it comes off extremely stale, and at certain times, slightly annoying.
In the end, a very slight point above average. Let me be clear, Hyuna’s usual voice is completely normal and at times, even cute. However, when it comes to singing and for musical purposes, there are definitely more capable singers out there.
Before any Hyuna fans decide to eat me alive like a pack of wolves, “Red” can take blame for faltering vocals; although in general, I render Hyuna as an average vocalist, she can still hold her weight and in fact, with Trouble Maker’s “Now”, her singing there was fantastic. But, in terms of this song, the vocals don’t give her justice.
– Song Structure: 7/10 (6.875/10 raw score) – Going to have scores for “Verse score”, “Pre-Chorus score”, “Chorus score”, etc.)
For “Song Structure”, I’m going to go through each section (Verse, Chorus, etc) and give a score per section. After that, the average is the “Song Structure” score.
Note: Alright so, it turns out “Red” is definitely unique when it comes to the structure; the only verse has a tint of rapping towards the end, and the introduction is actually reused in the middle part of the song. In terms of the post-chorus, while I could be lazy and mesh it with the chorus as a whole, I feel that it holds its own. The “(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh)” part is what I’m considering the post-chorus.
1. Introduction: 7/10 – The introduction for “Red” isn’t too bad; the instrumental does a phenomenal job. Sadly, Hyuna’s vocals are on the lacking side. As mentioned earlier, her nasally voice does impair this part, but it’s nothing too drastic. Credit towards the instrumental for doing a short yet sweet job; quick beats are utilized at the start to set the tone. As “Red” progresses, the instrumental does a nice, speedy build-up for hyping up the song. Near the end, though, it quickly dies back down to create a solid transition towards the upcoming verse/rap.
Also, the introduction does make a return at the middle of the song; it remains identical to the first introduction. The only difference, however, is that the second introduction’s instrumental slightly differs. Considering its placement, it works out very well; it allows a moment for the song to relax itself in preparation for a rap.
Overall, slightly above average for an introduction. The instrumental fulfills its role with setting up the song, and in addition, allows a smooth transition. The only issue derives from Hyuna’s vocal work here; it’s nothing impressive at all. There wasn’t any catchy melody added, it was simply her nasally voice.
2. Verse + Rap: 7/10 – Firstly, this is probably the first “mixed” section I’ve dealt with. The verse has some rapping towards the end, but in summary, I would still consider this predominately a verse.
This section is perhaps where a lot of the vocal issues stem from; the singing at the beginning was exceptionally nasally. Due to that, a lot of the melody seemed lost; if the vocals itself wasn’t mediocre enough, the instrumental at the start was just as plain. It was a heavier bassline with some heavy beats added. This is a recipe for disaster. Nasally vocals, lackluster melody, very plain bassline and beats, everything needed for a boring section comes to life.
Now thankfully, the song does recover when “Hyuna’s back”. Ignoring perhaps one of the worse puns I’ve made in a while, once those lyrics occur, a shift is felt; the instrumental finally begins to pick up some more energy, and Hyuna’s singing follows suit with adding on a lot more melody. After all of that, Hyuna spits off an impressive rap; short and impacting. When it comes to her rapping skills, it’s actually quite top-notch. Anyhow, her rap contained a very slick flow. More will be mentioned at her true rapping section, but for this verse-rap hybrid, the rapping was exceptionally smooth. Furthermore, it provided a simple and efficient transition the pre-chorus.
Overall, slightly above average. The extremely stale start does hurt the score, but with the shift that occurs within a few more seconds, it ends up redeeming the verse/rap section.
3. Pre-Chorus: 8/10 – Now this is where Hyuna gets to shine with her singing skills; a solid pre-chorus.
Firstly, the instrumental and vocals complement one another well. During this section, both parties did a standard build-up phase; the vocals became lighter and sweeter, and luckily, a lot less nasally. Hyuna was able to put forth a very solid melody as well. In terms of the instrumental, in comparison to the other parts, it became a lot more passive and focused moreover on the beats along with the softer bassline. Towards the end, the beats fasten its pace to create an easy transition and Hyuna throws in a solid, final line.
The only issue within this section is the obnoxious monkey noise at the very end; although seemingly random and purely silly, it does relate back to the song’s lyrics. Nevertheless, it was ridiculous and harshly contrasted the softer, calmer vocals and instrumental.
The pre-chorus comes out to be solid. Hyuna shows off some splendid singing talent here. Adding on to that, the instrumental became rather elegant and meshed well with the vocals. Solid work here.
4. Chorus: 8/10 – The chorus of “Red” shows off the true color of the song.
When the chorus arrives, the song is finally in full force; there are energetic vocals and a catchy instrumental, the melody lingers around, and there are some interesting lyric structures.
For this part, after a line, backup vocals are used to create a unique, yet effective, contrast. To show an example, “ppalgan geon Hyuna Hyunaneun (Yeah)” was a line. The “Yeah” differed from the ongoing melody of the rest of the lyrics. This plays out perfectly as it allows a subtle change from a pure melody; without the “Yeah” and “What” backup vocals, the chorus would potentially sound a lot more plain.
Focusing slightly more on Hyuna’s vocals, I’m quite pleased with it. The nasally vocals disappeared; instead, we are hearing some very melodic singing from Hyuna. It’s nothing too impressive vocally, but nevertheless, she showed solid singing.
Overall, a solid chorus. This part is where the song hits a climatic range. Lots of energetic singing is seen here as well as catchy lyrics and melody. If both the vocals and instrumental were more stunning, this would be a higher score. In the end, though, it still comes out as solid.
5. Post-Chorus: 6/10 – As mentioned above, this could technically be counted with the chorus, but I feel a significant enough change to create a separate section for this part. This post-chorus here is the “Oh~” part.
“Red” possesses a typical post-chorus; typically, most post-choruses’ job is to bring down the song’s intensity so that it flows into the verse/another song section smoothly. It makes sense, after all, considering that if a song has a hyper, upbeat chorus, a sudden switch to a calmer verse or rap would be way too abrupt. This is the role of the post-chorus in “Red”. It allowed an easy transition back into the next song section.
In terms of actually analyzing the post-chorus, it contained mostly basic note holds; examples are with the “Oh~” and “Eh Oh Eh Oh”. While they were note holds, unlike a vast majority of other ones, these holds produced by Hyuna were lacking solid melody. Furthermore, it did not show off any intensive vocal work. Of course, there were other lines, but similar to the note holds, they possessed no catchy melody whatsoever.
Overall, very slightly above average; I’ve heard a lot of solid post-choruses, and unfortunately, “Red” does not make the standard. On the positive side, the post-chorus achieves the goal of bringing the song’s energy/intensity down so that it becomes a smooth transition to the next part.
6. Rap: 7/10 – I’m actually quite flustered on what to give for a score. It’s either a 7 or 8. Overall, I’m leaning towards a 7.
Firstly, this is the most smooth, slick, fluent rap I’ve ever heard; the flow is exceptionally solid. Hyuna had words rolling off her tongue in both a natural and speedy manner. Very impressive in this regard. Unfortunately, this is more “blind” flow than anything else. While the flow is superb and top-notch, the rap felt as if it was purely, and quickly, executed with a sole focus on being as fast as possible. What is sacrificed from this style is the lack of melody and power; it didn’t feel as impacting nor did it have any catchy melody. The rap was a list of words being shot out. Nothing more, nothing less.
As a result, slightly above average is the score. This rap is a double-edged sword; on one side, the flow and pacing is fantastic. On the flip side, due to such speed, it loses any ability to carry forth a melody and to have any power. Nevertheless, the skills required here is shocking, and Hyuna definitely impressed me here. Not too bad for a rap.
7. Bridge: 4/10 – To be blunt: a poor bridge.
Perhaps it is a 4Minute curse, but once again, there is another bridge that is seemingly placed for the sake of having a bridge. Actually, I take back the 4Minute curse part. They have some other songs with beautiful bridges, but unluckily, for their group song of “Whatcha Doin’ Today”, the bridge was awful. Anyhow, peering back at Hyuna who’s running solo instead of being in 4Minute, the bridge in “Red” is similar to 4Minute’s “Whatcha Doin Today”’s bridge. Not good.
Firstly, the transition to the bridge is extremely abrupt; despite the numerous times I’ve listened to “Red”, the sudden tempo change and shift is still too rough. In addition to a questionable transition, the bridge itself is quite stagnant; with the only lyrics being a lifeless, echoing, “Hyunaneun ppalgaeyo” (translated as “Hyuna is red”; at the Meaning section, we’ll take a deeper look) and some “Ooo~” sounds, it does not keep the exciting state that the chorus contains. As for how the instrumental does, it reciprocates the same, plain vocal work done. The beats become slower and heavier.
Looking at everything this bridge offered, it comes out as mediocre; it’s a weak bridge. The strength of the bridge is the fact that it transitions to the upcoming pre-chorus extremely well; the bridge itself, however, is not up to standards. Below average for a bridge.
8. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 8/10 – While the post-chorus wasn’t too solid, it works out perfectly as the conclusion.
The role of the post-chorus becomes useful for the conclusion. After all, bringing the song down to a clear, yet smooth stop is the goal. Thankfully, the post-chorus is able to fulfill the task. The post-chorus leaves listeners a final taste of the energetic chorus, but at the same time, it also allows “Red” to end smoothly. No cuts or stretched end; the conclusion goes well.
A solid wrap to “Red”.
– Line Distribution: X/10 – “Red” was Hyuna’s summer solo release. Her 4Minute members are not with her, so this can’t be graded.
– Instrumental: 6/10 – Personally I am not a fan of the soundtrack; it’s either too obnoxious or too plain. Nevertheless, I will highlight the pre-chorus’ instrumental; during that section, it was quite graceful and nice. Other song sections, though, do not have the same luxury as the pre-chorus. For parts such as the chorus or bridge, the instrumental can be seen as slightly lacking or too absurd; it’s mostly a pop based soundtrack, but some tints of electronic can be seen heard through the bassline or the quick, robotic sounds.
– Meaning: 3/10 – As I revealed earlier, the lyrics have “Hyuna is red”. Now what is that supposed to mean? Let’s find out through these translated lyrics; not 100% accurate but close enough:
Make it so cool, make it more hot Red lipstick, make it more red (red) Make it so cool, make it more hot Red lipstick, make it more red (red)
I put on red lipstick, I’m red (red) My cuteness that makes you wanna bite me is like art Every night, you think of me like spicy ramen Come in first if you like me
Hyuna’s back A better body than anyone else is a full option for me I’m gonna warm up and run Because that red thing, that’s me Now I’m gonna go up on stage
Don’t leave me, I’m so lonely right now At least you don’t leave me, I’m the only one here I might change right now
A monkey’s butt is red, what Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is yeah A monkey’s butt is red, what Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is ah
(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh) Uh, uh red is Hyuna (Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh) Uh, uh red is Hyuna
Make it so cool, make it more hot Red lipstick, make it more red (red) Make it so cool, make it more hot Red lipstick, make it more red (red)
Everyone stop, I’ll punish you so stick out your butt You won’t be able to handle me every night Say H Y U N and A A killer dance, I’ll kill on stage, My confidence reaches the sky I won’t say much more
Don’t leave me, I’m so lonely right now At least you don’t leave me, I’m the only one here I might change right now
A monkey’s butt is red, what Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is yeah A monkey’s butt is red, what Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is ah
(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh) Uh, uh red is Hyuna (Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh) Uh, uh red is Hyuna
Red is Hyuna
Hyuna is red, Hyuna is red Hyuna is red, red is Hyuna
Hyuna is red
Don’t leave me, I’m so lonely right now At least you don’t leave me, I’m the only one here I might change right now
A monkey’s butt is red, what Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is yeah A monkey’s butt is red, what Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is ah
(Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh) Uh, uh red is Hyuna (Oh~ Eh Oh Eh Oh) Uh, uh red is Hyuna
I honestly have no idea on what the lyrics mean. Extremely ridiculous. I could try to uncover the symbolism behind “red”, but, looking at the other details, I doubt anything significant will come from that. (Side note, while we’re speaking of symbolism and red, a quick advertisement for a book called “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Now if you want some genuine, sophisticated and rich symbolism on “red”, that’s a book you’ll want to read. Search around if you become curious on the actual plot and such.)
Back on track with “Red”, what are the lyrics about? It seems to be about the stage persona of HyunA (versus “Hyuna”) and being silly and somewhat arrogant. The meaning is HyunA talking about herself using the color red…? Either the lyrics are terrible or I lack the needed intelligence to decipher what red represents in the lyrics. Perhaps it’s to represent sexiness (red lipstick, makeup, etc.) and love (we associate love hearts with red, etc.). Overall, pretty awful lyrics. I was expecting some flirty story, but instead what “Red” delivers is an abstract story. I’m also being generous to even add “story” after abstract.
Again, this is all obviously my opinion and I was not the song producer behind “Red” (then again, what would I be doing here if I was the song producer). Perhaps someone out there with a larger brain capacity could figure out some 10/10, hidden meanings for this song. I personally cannot find anything significant.
Choreography Score:8/10 – Although I’m not in favor of the song, that doesn’t stop the choreography of “Red” from being solid.
The syncing was well done; throughout the entire song, every movement and motion matched up to the music. When it came to matching up to the song’s energy, the dance reflected it back flawlessly; the chorus had more exciting maneuvers while other parts, such as the pre-chorus, had a very relaxing dance. Dance is probably an overstatement when it comes to the pre-chorus. For the backup dancers, they were essential as Hyuna was running solo. They did an excellent job; the formations and such were well done and although I’m not in favor of a large choreography, the dancing was not chaotic.
Overall, a solid dance. Lots of different scenarios happened, and it was delightful to see that nothing repeated. The male backup dancers added a nice variety and in general, the choreography comes out as well synced and executed. Even though “Red” may not sound too pleasant, at least the dance came out as solid.
Overall Score: 7/10 (7/10 raw score) – This is the first song in which the Choreography Score boosts up the Overall Score; Hyuna’s “Red” finishes out with a 7/10 or 3.5/5, so slightly above average.
I am not a fan of this song, but it isn’t the worst song ever. Then again, “the worst song ever” does exist in my book, and I doubt any other song will ever reach the abyss like “Hangover” did (check out my review on the worse song I’ve heard).
The choreography definitely overpowers the song itself by far; even those musically “Red” isn’t too solid, Hyuna and her backup dancers manage to ace the dance. Nevertheless, check the song out and check out her group, 4Minute.
This review was done over two days; hopefully I can start finishing reviews in one take as I did way long ago during the summer. A funny fact, I started to write this yesterday, but it was extremely late at night. Once morning came, I decided to finish this and was quite horrified at what I was writing; my thoughts were cut off and I never finished an idea. Moral of the story, get your sleep. Anyhow, I edited the earlier sections and now everything should be tidy. Keep in mind, though, there is always still room to improve my writing. Lots of room.
As always, thank you very much for reading, and thank you for waiting. I’ve been quite slow with finishing reviews, but school over reviews. I appreciate all the support and time, thank you.
For those wondering what my future reviews are, I am definitely giving the ladies of TaeTiSeo, a sub-unit of Girls’ Generation, some spotlight by reviewing either “Holler” or “Whisper”. The latter is a very beautiful, charismatic ballad while the other one contrasts that by offering a jazzy, pumped-up style. I’ve also been getting really into “The TaeTiSeo”, a reality show by OnStyle (same producer for “Jessica & Krystal”, see my review of that). Once that show is over, I’ll end up reviewing it.
The end has arrived, thanks for sticking around. Expect some TaeTiSeo shortly. Hopefully you “Don’t leave me” and continue to check back. Stay tuned.