Hyoyeon – “Mystery” Review

(Music
Video)
/ (Live
Performance)

Hyoyeon (Girls’ Generation) – Mystery

Reviewed
on December 30, 2016

I
argue that “Mystery,” while possessing strong composition at times, is
ultimately still a weaker song due to its poor use of “filler” sections—a
concept I will explain within the review (and of course, that label is one I
personally have made up). It is those “fillers” that then limit the song
vocally, instrumentally, lyrically, and as stated, with its section
structuring.

Personal Message:
A late happy holidays (or simply
happy days for those not celebrating anything) but an early happy New Year to
readers. Although I am far behind schedule due to the holidays, there will
indeed be three reviews coming out back-to-back before December ends. Once
January arrives, I plan to start strong and to even “store” reviews that will
be posted systematically through the month once I return back to university.
This way, the blog remains rather active due to frontloading many reviews
beforehand.

Regarding the current review, while
I did say SHINee’s “1 of 1” was next, I have decided to make a change. After this
review or perhaps in January is when I will review “1 of 1.” For now, Girls’
Generation’s Hyoyeon’s solo debut, “Mystery,” will be our focus. The reason
behind this change is—besides how “Mystery” has definitely garnered much
interest due to fans’ curiosity on how Girls’ Generation’s main dancer and
rapper would handle a solo—that the composition in the song itself is quite
intriguing. There are many strong points throughout, but at the same time,
there are equally many weak points. Moreover, in terms of a musical discussion
that I find relevant, this song provides a time for me to discuss certain
“standard pop song” compositions that I hope readers will begin noticing in
other pop songs they listen to.

In short, then, “Mystery” simply
provides many points of discussion—many of which I might even have to skip
over—and this is ultimately the reason for why I feel obligated to review this
song. And of course, as said, this review provides some spotlight to
Hyoyeon—Girls’ Generation’s lovely member and oftentimes musically underrated
member as she is solely praised for her dancing.

That said, however, this review
might actually not help contradict the view that Hyoyeon’s performance is
mainly her dancing. As readers will see, “Mystery” does not fare too well in
its scoring. Unlike many fans’ opinion that “Mystery” is an example of
Hyoyeon’s vocal prowess and is overall a strong song, I unfortunately greatly
disagree—this being the third disagreement in a row based on the previous
reviews. I argue that “Mystery,” while possessing strong composition at times,
is ultimately still a weaker song due to its poor use of “filler” sections—a
concept I will explain within the review (and of course, that label is one I personally
have made up). It is those “fillers” that then limit the song vocally,
instrumentally, lyrically, and as stated, with the sections themselves.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 4/10
(3.75/10 raw score) – “Slightly below average”


Vocals: 3/10


Sections: 4/10
(4.38/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Bridge, Chorus,
Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
5/10

2.     Verse: 5/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 2/10

5.     Post-Chorus: 2/10

6.     Rap: 5/10

7.     Bridge: 4/10

8.     Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 6/10


Instrumental: 4/10


Lyrics: 4/10

Acting uninterested,
this dance got your attention
My breath is fluctuating anxiously,
my gestures in the rhythm
And of course, like hypnosis
Fall into my eyes, look at me

(As if enchanted)
Without anyone knowing
(As if your heart was stolen)
Full of only me
(As if fallen deeply for me)
Yeah like that
Yeah like that
Yeah like that

Mystery mystery mystery mystery-tery
Lalalala lalalala lalalala lalalala
Mystery-tery myste-te-tery

Come and get it baby
Come and get it get it
Come and get it baby
Come and get it get it
Come and get it baby
Come and get it get it

Three, two, one
Before you know it,
you’re dancing with me
You adjusted your movements,
manners and look so well
My voice in the rhythm
And of course, like hypnosis,
these eyes are permeating
Desire me more

(As if enchanted)
Without anyone knowing
(As if your heart was stolen)
Full of only me
(As if fallen deeply for me)
Yeah like that
Yeah like that
Yeah like that

Mystery mystery mystery mystery-tery
Lalalala lalalala lalalala lalalala
Mystery-tery myste-te-tery

Come on baby, holding back is harmful, whistle
Come closer and tell me, shh everyone
Coach like you’re under hypnosis
Take me before I disappear
Come dangerously

Look into my eyes, tell me

Mystery mystery mystery mystery-tery
Lalalala lalalala lalalala lalalala
Mystery-tery myste-te-tery

Come and get it baby
Come and get it get it
Come and get it baby
Come and get it get it
Mystery-tery myste-te-tery

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Before
getting right into my criticism towards the song, there are still solid moments
throughout that need to be acknowledged—as is with every song. For example,
while we will soon discuss in depth on why the vocals scored at a three,
Hyoyeon’s vocals are still impressive at specific points. The verses are a
great example of such. In terms of what is most vocally appealing in the
verses, I argue the precision of the vocals is what we need to focus on. There
are lots of minimal, constantly changing details: beltings and pacing. All of
these details greatly augment the verse. For example, the beltings are minimal
and thus still allow the verses to maintain their more passive flow, and yet
with the vocal beltings indeed existing, they add the sonic appeal of variety.
Likewise with the pacing, the vocals in this sense create a rhythmic flow that
otherwise beats would take the role of—this being something that I argue is
both creative to “Mystery” but also strengthening to Hyoyeon’s vocal appeal as it
adds an additionally layer to what we hear with the vocals.

As
for other praises, to focus on the sections and their structuring, the
pre-choruses are admirable—as noted by their higher rating. Here, the
composition is quite impressive. Given that pre-choruses are the sections that
transition the song to its climactic point—typically a more upbeat chorus—it is
expected that pre-choruses buildup or “hype” a song. In “Mystery,” while the
same ideas are in place, the composers’ method of doing so is brilliant. As
noted earlier, the verses establish a rhythmic, slower flow due to how the
vocals are executed. The pre-choruses then take that flow and merely emphasize
it through not only making Hyoyeon’s vocals truly adopt an explicit
back-and-forth dynamic, but also by increasing the entire pre-chorus’ intensity
and pacing to create that familiar exciting hype.

Unfortunately,
even with those stronger aspects, “Mystery” still suffers from a lot.
Everything else I argue is too reliant on “fillers,” or if not that, then is
simply weaker for other reasons—such as the rap being only average due to
lacking a coherent, clean flow.

Before
diving right into the critiques, however, I think it is now best to clarify
what I mean by “fillers”—and more specifically, “filler sections.” From here
on, I will now remove the quotations as I hope—within this review of course—we will
consider it an “official” term. (But note: there is no such label nor concept
of “filler”; it is one I have made up as I find this best explains my argument
to readers.)

In
summary, a filler section is a section that does not necessarily add additional
components to a song but instead merely carries it forward in time. Before
using “Mystery” ‘s own examples, common filler examples that I bet many readers
are familiar with are in AOA’s “Like a Cat” and Red Velvet’s “Russian Roulette”:
in those songs, recall the parts where the ladies sing “la la la la”
repetitively. Before readers assume that it is only “la” at culprit, however, these
filler sections can still exist without using such: BTS’ “Blood Sweat &
Tears” arguably use a filler-like composition at the choruses when the members
repeat “a lot” (or “much/many”; I forget the exact word). Overall, the point is
that filler sections are incredibly repetitive parts—instrumental or vocals—that
do not add a new flow or tune and are mainly understood as just “filling” a
part in the song and oftentimes occur as the post-choruses. In fact, if readers
truly desire the official musical term for such, I believe in at least American
Pop music it has been referred to as the “millennial whoop”—this pop music concept,
regardless of labels, is exactly what I am trying to get at. Those portions of
songs that go “la la” or “whoa oh oh” or “oh oh” and so forth, is what I refer
to as filler sections. With all this hopefully understood, let us now return to
my argument of how the existing filler sections are detrimental to “Mystery.”

In
the context of vocals, the filler sections—predominantly the choruses and
post-choruses—greatly reduce the overall appeal that the vocals bring to the song.
Now that said, yes—as discussed earlier—Hyoyeon’s vocals are quite delightful
during the verses and even pre-choruses. However, once we arrive at the filler
sections, the vocals almost entirely degrade: they become chaotic, monotonous,
and fail to bring any new or useful element to “Mystery.” After all, this is
why I personally term these filler sections as such: they merely fill in
content for the song versus actually being a part of the song’s experience.

Regarding
other categories, ignoring the more explicit point of how the filler sections
themselves—the choruses and post-choruses—are rated at twos due to the poorer
execution of the filler sections, we should now focus on how even seemingly
unaffected categories are in fact indirectly influenced. With the lyrics for
example, while all the details included are varied and that the plot itself is
at least average for its creativity, it would appear that the lyrics score at a
five. However, due to the choruses and post-choruses, the lyrics at these parts
reflect the filler sections: repetitive, unnecessary lyrical details that neither
progress the plot nor provide new insight. “Lalalala,” as one can tell, is
nothing important at all in the scope of a song’s storytelling or message. Similarly
to the lyrics and vocals, the instrumental also goes through the same problems:
the instrumental is forced to follow the messiness and staleness for the
purposes of “filling” in content.

And
so, while “Mystery” could have very much scored at least at average or, if we
are very optimistic, even at slightly above average, I argue it is the filler
sections that limit this song’s potential. Those filler sections—namely the
choruses and post-choruses—negatively affect how every category runs, such as by
forcing repetitive vocals and instrumental or adding unnecessary details to the
lyrics. Even so, this review should not be interpreted or even used to bash Hyoyeon;
at most, this review critiques the composers of “Mystery” and their use of my
personally labeled “filler sections.”

When
it comes to Hyoyeon herself, I will personally argue based on the verses and
pre-choruses that while her vocal abilities are far from being utterly
impressive, they are still decent. But, for how “Mystery” should truly be
understood, I urge fans to not view her solo debut so much from a musical
perspective but rather, that fans should view this song in the lens of
performances. The song’s choreography is stunning, and coupled in with how
Hyoyeon is an extremely skilled dancer—and I truly wish to emphasize this—we need
to realize “Mystery” is here to shine Hyoyeon’s largest strength: her dancing.
Thus, while musically this song partially falters, we need to understand
Hyoyeon’s solo debut is very likely intended for fans to focus on her dance and
that is what needs to be most appreciated—and the fact that she has a solo
debut at all.

Finally,
I wish to return to the filler sections/millennial whoop and add a huge
clarification that I admittedly forgot: that filler sections are not inherently
bad at all. Three or so years later, I still hold AOA’s “Like a Cat” as the
cherished, near flawless example of how filler sections can be used as a powerful composition in songs. In that song (which
I did review; if readers are curious to see whether my current horrendous
writing could have been even more worse, feel free to read it), the
post-choruses’ “lalala” were very well structured and organized, and due to how
the song revolved around those filler
sections, they proved to be the song’s best section. Therefore, before readers
misinterpret the idea that filler sections are all useless and purely “fillers,”
I strongly caution readers to still be critical and to instead ask why and how said filler sections are used before jumping to conclusions. In
many cases admittedly many appear to be nothing more than fillers, but as mentioned
with “Like a Cat,” there are certainly those rare yet brilliant moments where
composers take those fillers and manipulate them in a way that captivates
listeners.

_______________________________________________________

December
30 and writing late at night—a sign that I truly need to fix my sleep schedule
before I return to university in roughly two weeks. Two more reviews are due
for tomorrow, and I very much am going to strive to review them. Specifically,
I plan to review Jay Park’s “Me Like Yuh” and SHINee’s “1 of 1” as, besides how
the blog needs more male artists involved as both men and women are equally
capable music artists, both songs will receive much praise. With reviews, I
truly do give my honest, critical thoughts and am never swayed by popular
opinion or faking an opinion in a way that would garner more readers and
favoritism. As such, with the past three reviews leaning towards negative
scores (“negative” in the sense of less than five for average), it is only fair
to introduce songs that very much score well and that I consider are strongly
composed.

Look
forward for them to come, and while I plan to actually review a song on January
1, I will leave a preemptive happy New Years to readers. Thank you to all for
reading this review in full or part, and for those who have been sticking
around frequently. Look forward to the next reviews—and of which, if I am
indeed on task, will be both posted on the same day back-to-back.

Yuri x Seohyun – “Secret” Review

Yuri x Seohyun – Secret (Music Video)

Yuri (Girls’ Generation) x Seohyun (Girls’
Generation) – S
ecret

Reviewed
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
short.

Personal Message:
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
idols.

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.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 5/10
(4.75/10 raw score) – “Average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 4/10
(4.17/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Pre-Chorus, Chorus,
Conclusion

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 4/10

4.     Chorus: 2/10

5.     Bridge: 4/10

6.     Conclusion: 3/10


Instrumental: 5/10


Lyrics: 4/10

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)

[Instrumental]

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

(No one will know)
(Little secret, shh)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Before
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.

On
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
sounds involved.

Hopefully
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.

While
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
short.

All
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.

_______________________________________________________

This
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.”

Taeyeon – “Why” Review

Taeyeon – Why (Music Video)

Taeyeon – Why (Live Performance)

Taeyeon (Girls’ Generation) – Why

Reviewed
on July 2, 2016

Personal Message:
I am, once again but not
surprisingly, off my planned schedule. June was to finish with six reviews, but
since I had a dentist appointment and was busy bathing my girl (and of whom
will soon have her first road trip to the beach; thankfully she is of the few
dogs who love riding in cars), I unfortunately did not come around to
finishing. Nevertheless, to help compensate, I have many “quick” reviews to
release—five, to be specific. These reviews will hopefully cover a week’s worth
as I plan to space them out with two days each. Now that said, some may wonder
why I would not just space them weeks apart; after all, it would cover all of
July given there are five reviews. In reply, given how brief these quicker
reviews are, that would simply be disrespectful to readers and thus, these five
reviews will just cover approximately a week’s worth of content. That way, more
thorough reviews will still come all while compensating for lacking reviews in
the past month. And, of course, there are many songs that I have desired to
review but due to time constraints have been unable to and as such, these five
upcoming reviews will cover that. (This will also help with covering some time
away from reviewing as I am busy with a group project for my summer class.)

On topic, however, let us finally
focus on Taeyeon’s recent comeback: “Why.” Personally, given how I have reviewed “I” in the past—a song that still resonates as a
personal favorite to this day—and have considered reviewing “Rain,” Taeyeon’s
prior ballad release that I would not have reviewed favorably, I was
exceptionally curious on how “Why” would be perceived—both individually and
generally. Would this song’s quality resemble the stunning one of “I,” or would
it languish like “Rain”? (And again, I do wish I reviewed it to explain my
stance, and also it would be interesting to showcase how I critique ballads, a
genre where many songs in it seem to be quite similar to one another.)
Thankfully, from both a biased and neutral perspective, I have an answer for
readers: The song is “good, good, good, yeah.” It’s “great, great, yeah.” With
that, let us take a look at “Why”—pun intended and unintended.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(7.00/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 7/10
(7.00/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion
(Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
7/10

2.     Verse: 7/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 8/10

4.     Chorus: 7/10

5.     Bridge: 7/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10


Instrumental: 7/10


Section Distribution: X/10

Taeyeon:
All (Total: X)

Equal Value: X sections per member.  


Lyrics: 7/10

Oh, whoa, yeah
Oh

Sometimes my two feet, oh, as they touch
As the gaze that carries me away, is stolen
I long for unfamiliar places, that I’ll walk to lightly
I end up stopping again with an empty and long sigh

Why, why, turn around again?
Why, why, when full of dreams?

If I leave now, good, good, good, yeah
Everything I’ll meet, great, great, yeah
My lightened heart, work, work, baby
Already, already in front of my eyes
it glimmers, glimmers but I hesitate, why?

The needle that would turn on a compass
Blooming abundantly at the place where it stops,
nameless flower petals
Pulled in for you, in the landscape filled with light
Hurry and jump in more freely than me

Why, why, why?
The day I delayed for no reason
Lots of worries have all disappeared tonight

If the wind blows, good, good, good, yeah
Everything that unfolds, great, great, yeah
My changing heart, work, work, baby
Already, already in front of my eyes
it glimmers, glimmers

If I leave now, good, good, good, yeah
Everything I’ll meet, great, great, yeah
My lightened heart, work, work, baby
Already, already in front of my eyes
It glimmers, glimmers but I hesitate, why?

The world isn’t all about trying to catch up
Even if I walk all day, the same
landscape will never been seen
I wrote on white paper, “why?”
My heart smears like ink
I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling to you

If the wind blows, good, good, good, yeah
Everything that unfolds, great, great, yeah
My changing heart, work, work, baby
Already, already in front of my eyes
it glimmers, glimmers

If I leave now, good, good, good, yeah
Everything I’ll meet, great, great, yeah
My lightened heart, work, work, baby
Already, already in front of my eyes
it glimmers, glimmers but I hesitate, why?

Choreography Score: 6/10 (6.00/10 raw score)

– Syncing: 5/10

– Key Points: 7/10

Overall Score: 7/10
(6.50/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: Hopefully
readers made it through the multiple, awful puns. (And again as a reminder,
this will be a moreover hasty review.) On a more serious note, reviewing over
the ratings should be indicative of how superb “Why” is: it is a song that
excels in all categories. But, of course, numbers seldom carry meaning in of
themselves, so let us dive into the context.

Overall,
the vocals and instrumental are the main strengths of “Why”—even if
statistically all categories are equal. The two mentioned categories are extremely
effective together all while individually thriving. On an individual level,
Taeyeon’s singing aces all of the usual desirable traits: vocal beltings, high
notes, power, gentleness, slow and fast, and so on. The main factor, overall,
is the diversity she brings with her singing. From calmer, slower singing
during the verses to a more upbeat and powerful singing style at the choruses,
and accounting for the bridge and more importantly the very tuneful, precisely
controlled pre-choruses, Taeyeon’s vocals are simply very diverse. Unfortunately,
it does not quite warrant an eight, but indeed: it is nearly an eight. As for the instrumental, this is the first
instance in which complementing and syncing exist inconsistently, but yet the instrumental
still flourishes. Take for example the choruses: the beats and bass may
accommodate the “good” or “great” parts of the lyrics, but from thereon the
vocals do begin to deviate into their own flow and pace while the instrumental likewise
conducts its own style. Nevertheless, intriguingly the song still manages to
have a cohesive sound, and this may potentially be due to the instrumental’s
physical, sonic sound: plain and almost hollowed out. Therefore, due to both
uniqueness and effectiveness of how the instrumental performs with the vocals,
a high rating is still granted despite how in many other songs this style would
languish. But, then again, it is about delivery that matters, hence why I
always reiterate that there are no inherently negative traits in songs. (For
example, such as a post-chorus that repeats “la la la.” That is not inherently bad; what matters is how that style was delivered, not that
the style itself exists.)

Now
to clarify, I did not render the vocals and instrumental as the main strengths
on the sole basis of numerical ratings; what makes those two the core
components and the strongest aspects to “Why” is that the other excelling
points derive from them—or more specifically, the sections. With the sections,
the chemistry with the vocals and instrumental—the peculiar non-syncing yet cohesive
format—translates over to equally creative yet delightful sections. For example,
a prominent one would be the second verse. Instrumentally, a linear form is
taken up but if the vocals are exclusively heard, a natural thought would be
that the instrumental would progress in order to reciprocate how the vocals are
likewise progressing. But, like the choruses, that does not occur: both aspects
instead opt for their own ways. Nonetheless, it still proves cohesive all while
delivering two charms—the vocals and instrumental. In terms of the
pre-choruses, this section does manage to glean a very high score. The reason
behind this is, it is the only part of the song where both the instrumental and
vocals finally mesh as cooperating parties. During the pre-choruses, the
instrumental begins slowing down to create the typical buildup effect, but more
significantly the beats and bass begin reflecting Taeyeon’s vocals and in many
ways, begins providing a foundation for her singing. Add that along with
Taeyeon’s stellar singing and the result is clear: an alluring, charming
section. As for other sections, the usual critiques and praises hold. The
conclusion, for example, is slightly redundant due to the already many previous
back-to-back choruses, and on the other hand the introduction thrives on
creating anticipation and initial interest. All in all, the sections are
balanced with quality and each section connects along the other to bring a
clean, smooth flow.

And
finally regarding the lyrics, while its admirable details and even unique,
complex and mysterious plot grant it a seven, its more lackluster choruses do
prevent an eight from occurring. At least this was not the only potentially
snatched eight. (The vocals were nearly an eight, as discussed.) Ending the
review here, though I do hate to be moreover brief in reviews as this song
truly does deserve much in-depth analysis, it will suffice in terms of getting
the main points of “Why.” Is “Why” a solid comeback? Absolutely. The vocals are
to a higher tier, the instrumental is vastly different from many—both individually
and structurally in terms of fitting the song, the lyrics remain detailed, and
the sections are appealing in both sound and layout. Taeyeon may have
disappointed me with her previous ballad, but when it comes to her new pop song—if
a genre can even be easily assigned to it—she definitely has convinced me that “Why”
is now another personal favorite.

_______________________________________________________

As always, thank you to all for
reading or skimming. Again, I do apologize for having to post “quick” reviews
in the time being, but given that school comes first, this will have to do.
Nevertheless, I personally am bothered by this review; there are many claims I
made that I should have explained. In usual reviews, they all would have been
thoroughly explained but again, with being quicker that is not possible. On the
positive side, however, many reviews are to come out. Next in mind is a newer
male group and their recent song, but plans might change again for all that is
known. Whatever is to come, though, look forward for it to come in a few days.
After all, “I’m falling, I’m falling, I’m falling to you.”

Tiffany – “I Just Wanna Dance” Review

Tiffany
– I Just Wanna Dance (Music Video)

Edit: Tiffany – I Just Wanna Dance (Live Performance)

Tiffany (from Girls’ Generation) – I
Just Wanna Dance

Reviewed
on May 13, 2016

image

Personal Message:
Technically this review can be
considered a request considering a close friend has been strongly urging me to
listen to this song. And indeed, I finally heeded her request and additionally,
have done more than just a single listen as I have been replaying the song for
the purpose of analysis (and enjoyment). Clarifying, my friend is a huge fan of
Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany—though that is expected since her conceited nature would make her love
an idol who coincidentally shares her name
 considering she admires
amazing female idols, be it Apink’s Chorong or Tiffany. Also in no way is my
friend narcissistic at all. Besides, she would never threaten me to give higher
ratings just to fulfill her delusional love for Tiffany. Not even I would ever
be delusional like with claiming that SPICA’s Boa will one day propose to me. Horrible
(inside) jokes aside, although I may be reviewing this song prematurely (as of
this sentence, live performances and/or dance practice have not been uploaded),
I am fine with delaying its post until the choreography is revealed. Nevertheless,
with small clips being uploaded, I very much look forward to the
dance. (From the linked clip, there are fantastic syncing and smooth dancing
points.)

In terms of some delay with reviews,
there are predominantly two reasons: one, I have been busy subtitling videos of
Fiestar, and two, admittedly I have been simply spending a lot of time with my
recently adopted girl. (For readers who are tired of me talking about Venus, my
adorable girl, and “woman’s best friend” in general, feel free to skip ahead.
This will be the last time I directly discuss dogs and Venus as I simply wish
to share a post-adoption reflection with readers who potentially may be
debating on getting a dog or not. Consider this a final bonus before usual
sociological digressions return—and of which many are prepared for the upcoming
reviews in May.)

Regarding dog ownership, as a few
readers may know, on May 1 I adopted Venus from an animal shelter. (On a random
note, I personally do encourage adopting over buying. Unequivocally, “puppy
mills”—puppies sold in a generic pet store—are to be avoided. That is not due
to the puppies in of themselves, but rather, boycotting those puppies is
refusing to participate in an unethical method of mass-breeding dogs as if they
were mere toys. Now regarding buying a purebred puppy from an ethical breeder,
I do find this acceptable if one has
thoroughly considered adopting first.) With nearly two weeks being together
with Venus, I want to now share my post-adoption reflection. Especially with
finally knowing what it means to be a dog parent, I do wish to bestow my
experience and knowledge to readers as potentially, there is a reader who is
contemplating getting a dog now or sometime in the future.

As a disclaimer, however, my
experiences are greatly biased; Venus was very likely an abandoned girl who was
owned before by others. Thus, truthfully I did not have much housebreaking to
deal with—this being something many adopters have to face. The only accident
that has ever occurred was her defecating at the vet office, but that was my
fault as I was still unsure of how to organize a potty schedule for her. (I
will discuss tips later.) Otherwise, she knew how to potty outside and on
schedule from the first day, and assuming she does not have “sniff and potty time”
on walks, knows not to pull on leash. Now regarding issues Venus did come with,
during one night she did get into the trash, but once again, that was
understandably my fault as I had given her only twenty minutes of exercise that
day—an amount that would hardly satisfy the terrier and Dachshund in her, even
if her personality is moreover laid back. In terms of more serious problems, unfortunately
as I have noticed lately, she can become overly excited and seemingly
aggressive towards dogs (and certainly aggressive towards cats), but these are
behavior issues I can cope with and attempt to correct. (And in fact to share,
for another candidate that was in mind, I originally considered adopting a very
dog-aggressive girl. Reason being that, with my lifestyle, we would be a match;
I am not the type of owner who would go to dog parks and, simply said, I spend
no time with other dogs besides my own. While I do try to bring positive dog
socialization experiences whenever we do encounter other dogs, I do sadly fall
short in this realm of dog parenting.) On the positive side, however, what
matters is that my girl is great with humans, and that indeed Venus is (along
with the earlier dog-aggressive candidate). I am certainly working on
correcting Venus’ manners with dogs, but again the fact that she is not
“go-ready” with dogs is not personally a huge detriment, though for some that
would be.

On topic, with having two weeks’
worth of experience of “saving a life and opening a chance for another”—a
notion that still has yet to hit me—I will now answer the big question: Was it
worth adopting a dog? Better said, is
it worth adopting a dog or simply having a dog? Shortly answered, even if this
sounds incredibly pitiful: owning a dog finally makes me feel at ease and
genuinely cheerful at home. There is a grace to dogs that cannot be articulated
in words. Prior to Venus, admittedly my family and I were never quite happy if
at all with being at home. Now with her, the idea of family is truly felt—a
feeling I had not felt since I was a little kid. (Yes, this may be a more
intimate side, but as I always say, I want to share with readers and even
future students for that matter pure honesty.) What about her brings this joy
and connection I do not know, but it is undeniable that she does bring them.
Now although this all sounds good and perfect, I admit: I had huge regrets the
first three days.

I was overwhelmed: my daily routine
had to be completely changed; I am her legal owner and thus had and have the
responsibility of setting vet appointments and other paperwork; I came to the
late realization that I was a dog parent now
and not in three years, and therefore, was not quite emotionally prepared; and
lastly, I just did not know how to give her the best life possible—mentally,
emotionally, and physically. If anyone is in a similar situation I was in or
will be adopting a dog soon, heed my words of encouragement: give it a week.
Not one day, five days, or three days; give the girl/boy an entire week and see
if you two are compatible. To clarify, by “give the girl/boy an entire week” I
do not mean giving her that time to
see if she is the “right” one; this is unreliable as some dogs may need a whole
month to finally blossom with their sincere personality and traits. Instead, I
mean that in the sense of giving you
time to decide if you are responsible and capable of giving a companion the
best life she could ask for. Giving a week allows for the necessary time to
adjust one’s personal schedule, to thoroughly think versus acting off of
emotions, and to gauge the real costs—literal and figurative—of being a pet
parent.

In terms of perhaps the best tip I
can give to readers who are prospective or recent adopters: whatever
assumptions are in mind, forget them. Think you know how much it costs for a
dog? It is much more or less than what you are currently thinking. Think you
know how to properly prevent a dog from pulling on walks through calmness and
assertiveness? Think again. Think you know how to teach fetch to a dog? It will
be easier or harder than what is currently thought of. Point is, we all have an
idea of what it would be like to own a dog—both pessimistic and optimistic
views. None of it is true. Given that dogs are individuals with their own
quirks and personalities, it is just simply too hard to create borders about
what it is like to own a dog. Clarifying, I do acknowledge that some patterns
can be expected; an example would be that a vast majority of Doberman owners
have to invest much time with mental and physical exercises for their girl/boy.
But still, in terms of the minutia, it cannot be easily predicted. For personal
examples, I taught fetch to Venus in merely ten minutes. Who knew that tossing
her favorite rope would cause her to instinctively bring it back to me for a
short game of tug, and of which I can then throw and she will repeat? I had
treats ready to teach fetch systematically, but my assumptions were false.
Similarly, I did not expect vet bills—exams, vaccines, and so forth—to be as
pricey as they currently are. And for a final example, I did not expect that by
Day 6 she would suddenly be less shy and much more energetic and
playful—changes that meant I had to add twenty more total minutes into our
walks and night playtime. Be open-minded with your new or upcoming dog. In
fact, be very open to whomever she happens to be; you might be entering a
shelter looking for a cute, smaller boy but instead come out with an adorable,
sweet Pit Bull mix boy who perfectly matches your lifestyle and energy level.

On this note, regarding actual
adoption tips, for one I do wish to reassure readers who are going to adopt
soon that the process—the mechanical process and not the emotional and
financial preparation and disputes—is far from difficult. From my experience,
that is. In short: you enter a shelter, fill out a questionnaire, request
specific dogs to see, and then wait around thirty minutes to an hour and then
you are allowed to meet four or so dogs (one at a time) before having to get
back in line (waiting thirty to an hour once again). It is recommended that you
know the dogs prior to setting up a meeting, be it seeing them in person at the
kennels or browsing through the available dogs online. Furthermore, it is
recommended that you know what you
are looking for; again, not who per
se such as “I want a Rottweiler” or “I want a Toy Poodle.” Rather, you want to know
what qualities and traits you want in a dog. For example, asking yourself
whether shedding would be an issue and asking how much exercise you would want
with your girl/boy are far more useful than looking for a specific size and
breed. And from there, an adoption counselor would help you through the process
of finding the right match, and if all goes well, a new family member will be
coming home shortly.

Sharing the biggest tip in deciding
the best candidate, as hinted at earlier, energy level is perhaps the most important
factor to consider. Why? This is where individuality matters over, for
examples, breed and size. If I come into the shelter looking for a jogging pal
and instantly pick a gorgeous Border Collie mix—of whom, according to
standards, should be very active
mentally and physically—I would be making a horrible decision. There is a
chance that she, despite her breed’s characteristics, would be a very lazy girl
who desires to simply walk for thirty minutes and to lay down for the rest of
the day. Conversely, I might have then overlooked a tiny Rat Terrier who would
have, despite initial judgment on size, been the perfect jogging companion. And,
although I should have addressed this at first, for why energy level even
matters in the first place: physical and mental exercises are critical with
being a dog parent. Owning a dog is not about pure love and affection—these are
absolutely necessary, but they should come after daily training and mental and
physical exercises. Without being able to properly offer your dog the right
amount of exercises, if not the behavioral issues that are to come, then at
least consider the ethical side. It is unfair to overwork a slow senior
Labrador who only desires to rest because one desires a marathon companion, and
likewise it is unfair to not be able to provide an exceptionally energetic,
young puppy the mental and physical exercises it needs. All in all, this is
where being open-minded matters and to be open with allowing adoption
counselors to help guide the process.

Overall, to summarize this minor
reflection (and tips), while I did have initial regrets with adopting a dog, I
am now incredibly satisfied and no longer regret doing so. In fact I wonder why
I did not own a dog sooner. Venus brings me so much joy, teaches me
selflessness and responsibility, motivates me to get my cardio exercise, and so
much more. To end on a cliché saying: I am not sure on who saved who.

Returning back to the review and
K-Pop, Tiffany’s solo has been garnering much praise as of the late. Many love
her song, singing, performances, and other aspects. More extremely, there are
those who are citing “I Just Wanna Dance” as the best summer song they have yet
to hear—or was that just my friend? Jokes aside, let us uncover whether Tiffany’s
first solo song is a song that makes me “just wanna dance.”

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10
(6.0/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”


Vocals: 6/10


Sections: 6/10
(5.83/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
6/10

2.     Verse: 5/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 5/10

4.     Chorus: 6/10

5.     Bridge: 6/10

6.     Conclusion (Chorus): 7/10


Instrumental: 6/10


Section Distribution: X/10

Tiffany:
All

Equal Value: X sections per member.  


Lyrics: 6/10

It’s been raining for a few days and
it finally stopped tonight
I feel good
Light reflects on the wet streets

The city is like an empty stage
after a show ends
It’s alright, it’s alright
Into the wet air
The street lights shine on me
I like it, my body is moving

I just wanna dance the night away
As I close my eyes, dance in the moonlight
It’s getting hotter
I can’t stop myself, no way
I just wanna dance the night away
Dance the night away
I just wanna dance the night away
Dance the night away
I just wanna

I wanna get more messed up
than being immersed in a very sad movie

The headlights are like
the rhythm dancing on the highway
It’s alright, it’s alright
The buildings that completely fill up the space
are like an audience
Everything is ready

I just wanna dance the night away
As I close my eyes, dance in the moonlight
It’s getting hotter
I can’t stop myself, no way
I just wanna dance the night away
Dance the night away
I just wanna dance the night away
Dance the night away
I just wanna

I hid myself behind the masks
that change every day
I just wanna
get more honest right now

I just wanna dance the night away
In the beat that my city has made
I’m falling deeper
In this moment, I feel the real me
I just wanna dance the night away
(I just wanna, I just wanna dance)
Dance the night away
I just wanna dance the night away
(I just wanna)
Dance the night away
I just wanna

Choreography Score: X/10 (x/10 raw score)

– Syncing: X/10

– Key Points: X/10

*The
choreography does exist, but as of the time of writing, none have been
officially uploaded. Thus, to keep reviews going, I will be skipping it.

Edit: Well, it is too late to review the choreography, but I have linked the live performance to the song. Feel free to watch it–and not for the review, but as a way to respect Tiffany’s hard work at the least.

Overall Score: X/10
(x/10 raw score)

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: For
purpose of speed and experimenting, I will be taking a new approach with this
review. Rather than being systematic, I will opt for an informal yet serious
tone. As such, I hope the review will begin sounding moreover as commentary versus
that of a report. Before embarking on that, for some clarification, I do want
to address why I am not analyzing the choreography. It is not because it does
not exist in the first place; video clips and teasers clearly show that a dance
exists. Rather, I am excluding it as, sadly, there is no official upload yet of
it. Thus, I could either delay this review until a video is released, or I
could skip it and focus instead on the sonic component to “I Just Wanna Dance”—the
latter being what I am doing. (From clips, I would predict the choreography
scoring at perhaps a seven, for those curious.)

Focusing
on the actual review now, let us begin with the introduction—a suiting,
chronological start. “I Just Wanna Dance” does possess a smooth introduction.
With it being gradual in progression, it allows us to get into the song without
feeling overwhelmed or lost, but furthermore, the introduction creates
anticipation as it is a very calm, muffled sound. After all, with hearing the
introduction, listeners are able to grasp the style of “I Just Wanna Dance”
without knowing exactly how the song will go down. All of these aspects—hooking
listeners and creating anticipation—are all welcomed and desired for a solid
introduction. Nonetheless, what slightly holds down this section is the sound
itself, the instrumental, is nothing outstandingly appealing. A muffled,
quieter instrumental is used, and while those traits are not inherently bad or
ineffective (far from the case as seen), the delivery of such in “I Just Wanna
Dance” is simply too plain for sonic appeal. There is nothing engrossing of the
instrumental; it is the structure of the introduction that is enticing, not the
sound per se.

Transitioning
now to the verse and pre-choruses, the gradual buildup should be highly
appreciated. The progression from a calm state to a more excited state is
nothing underwhelming or overwhelming—it is perfect. Additionally, all while
the two sections are pushing “I Just Wanna Dance” to its choruses, decent
vocals are unveiled. Now that said, although the sections play off Tiffany’s huskier
yet sharp singing voice, admittedly there is nothing infatuating with her
singing melody, pitches, and control. The vocals perform their role in the
verses and pre-choruses, but nothing more. Before misunderstandings occur, the
prior critique is not to bash Tiffany’s general singing; indeed she is a solid
singer and is quite capable. However, in this song and specifically those
sections, the vocals are, harshly said, nothing worthy of admiring nor of
disliking. What weakens these sections is that, despite the solid progressions,
the vocals and instrumental are simply lacking in appeal. There is no
intriguing, complex melodies nor simple melodies that prove infatuating. During
these moments, “I Just Wanna Dance” can be dismissed as any other average pop
song—hence the sections’ scores.

As
a summary: so far, from what we can tell, the vocals and instrumental are
moreover average, and likewise the song’s sections seem to follow suit with being
average. Perhaps the choruses could change these points. In terms of the
mentioned sections, “I Just Wanna Dance” does have a unique style for them—though
it should be noted it takes more than just
differing styles to create appeal. With the choruses, a keen feature is that
rather than the vocals reaching a climactic state, it is actually the
instrumental that does. Tiffany’s vocals remain moreover the same as prior
sections, and although that does not help with the vocals’ rating, on the
positive side the section thrives with its instrumental taking the lead—specifically
that of being able to mesh well with the plainer singing. Mixing the slower,
electronic beat with Tiffany’s vocals—of which are quietly echoing and
reverberating—allows the choruses to become an incredible concise, cohesive and
highlighted section. Lastly to praise, the section deserves credit for how,
towards the latter half, a change in pacing occurs. In fact, one could argue a post-chorus
becomes active, but from my take, I still do consider it as one chorus given
how it all links together. But regardless of the label, it is certain that the
change in pacing provides some variety to “I Just Wanna Dance,” a change that
is definitely necessary after the verse, pre-choruses, and initial half of
choruses being incredibly repetitive and undeviating. Unfortunately, although
there is much praise for the choruses, there are still equally prominent
issues: the song overall still relies on the same, linear route that is seen
throughout. In other words, although there is nothing wrong with a  linear style (as seen in ballads), with “I
Just Wanna Dance,” it does become problematic as all of the sections still do
sound awfully alike. From the verse to chorus, even with the slight change in
pace with the choruses’ latter half, the song in an overarching view still
retains its slower, unchanging instrumental and vocals. This all leads to a
tedious sounding song.

Even
with accounting for the bridge, while one could argue that the bridge provides
the song its variety, I disagree. The bridge only elevates the vocals and
instrumental pitches, but in the end, the same repetitive, linear style is
followed—a style that makes “I Just Wanna Dance” sound like any other pop song.
At most, for a part that deserves spotlight, the song does end on a strong note—no
pun intended. The ending chorus is accompanied by two-part singing, of which
finally gives “I Just Wanna Dance” its variety, both in vocals and instrumental.
In fact, it is this point that convinces me to give the vocals not a five, but
instead, a six as Tiffany is showcasing stunning two-part singing.

Since
this review is admittedly more jumbled than desired, let us now wrap this all
up. In the end, “I Just Wanna Dance” has slightly above average vocals. The
stagnant, repetitive vocals are what contribute to that. Adding on, however, the
final chorus where two-part singing occurs is what helps maintain it at that rating
and not drop to a mere “average.” Homogeneously, the same can be said for the
instrumental. Though catchy, the instrumental fails to provide variety and
thus, said catchiness soon becomes distasteful. As for the sections, as
covered, all have their strengths and weaknesses though, once again, the same
issue is seen: staleness. All of the sections fail to provide a unique aspect
to the song, even if there are some stronger points individually per section.
And lastly, even the lyrics are only slightly above average, reason being that
dull, repeated details lower the rating while the plot and certain lines are
interesting. Overall, Tiffany’s solo of “I Just Wanna Dance” is, contrary to
many fans and listeners, not an absolute, captivating song. Instead, it is only
slightly above average. This, however, does not mean the song is bad; the song is
definitely not bad. But, even so, I would hesitate to say this song is “good.”
It is enjoyable and biasedly I have been listening to it, but if being neutral
I do claim the song is only slightly above average. After all, the best way to
describe “I Just Wanna Dance” is that it is a usual pop song—nothing more or
less.

_______________________________________________________

As
always, thank you to all for reading. Strangely enough I did find this form of
writing more accessible—if that makes sense. I did not feel restrained with
writing, and I hoped to keep a conversational tone going. Feedback, as always,
would be appreciated. I will do more experimenting, but the main style I wish
to now have with reviews is that of a casual, conversational tone. Deviating
away from the usual “vocals are this, sections are this, etc.” seems to help.
Again, more to experimented with.

In
terms of the next review, I do have one in mind along with, I hope, an interesting
digression. However, to cleverly conceal how I am uncertain about exactly the
next review, I will instead tell readers to simply look forward to it. Look
forward to the next review. On a more serious note, the following reviews will
all be of artists that have yet to be reviewed, and furthermore, a bonus show
review will be coming. With the extra time during summer, I do hope to catch up
and to even start storing reviews for the upcoming school year. (And indeed I
am going to take one course during the summer so that I am not overwhelmed next
semester.)

Look
forward to either a trot or ballad song, and for anything else that is to come.
“I just wanna dance the night away” with more reviews—if this even makes any
sense at all.

Blog Opinion: “Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany’s Controversial Instagram Post: Does colorism and racism apply?”

“Girls’
Generation’s Tiffany’s Controversial Instagram Post: Does colorism and racism apply?”

Posted on December 24, 2015

Personal
Message:

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
leader, Boa
.
(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
complexions).

______________

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
Tiffany’s post.

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
“racist binary.”

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.

Edit:
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
non-colorist.

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
complexion depiction.

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 tasks).

Taeyeon – “I” Review

Taeyeon – I (Music Video)

Taeyeon – I (Audio)

Taeyeon (Girls’ Generation) ft. Verbal
Jint – I

Reviewed
on October 19, 2015

image

Personal Message:
Getting technical updates out of the
way, as mentioned in my prior
review
, I have
officially switched to a new word processor. Explaining the sudden change, the
prior word processor I used had, assumingly, a glitch where the font would
often time become blurry (the longer a document, the more prone that is;
consistent readers may know exactly why that heavily affected my reviews).
Multiple attempts to fix such have been in vain, and therefore, I have decided
to abandon the word processor entirely. That said I do hope the format remains
completely unchanged, but this review will test that. Also, with the prior word
processor relying on internet connection and this current processor not, I now
have gained mobility; I am no longer restricted to solely working in places
with internet available. For downsides, however, I am now forced to manually
save my work, and that I am unfamiliar with how certain functions and options
work. Nevertheless, for clear fonts and a significantly upgraded mechanical
checks (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.), this change is well worth it.

Besides technological updates, for
ones that are akin to reviews, I have just discovered after throwing a fit to my friend for not notifying me sooner that AOA will be having a comeback: “Oh Boy.” Intriguingly, though, it is not a
Korean comeback, but rather, a Japanese one. In fact, “comeback” is inaccurate;
“debut” is the proper word to describe AOA’s latest song. I will most likely
review it as given by, to confess, my overwhelming love for the ladies, and
that it is always endearing to bring some variety for the blog, even if in the
sole aspect of language. On that note, if it were to be reviewed, it will mark
the first Japanese song I have ever reviewed. But, introducing a song other
than Korean ones is not quite a surprise: ZE:A J’s “Marry Me” was reviewed, and it is in Mandarin
(though to clarify it was a music video review versus a song review).

Digressing on lighthearted, pitiful
facts that may prove humorous or entertaining, in terms of whether songs that
are not in Korean (or English) are “absurd” to listen to, as I have stated in
the past, my Korean is far from anything remotely decent. Despite that,
however, I do not allow language barriers to obstruct songs, and thus, whether
a song is in Mandarin, Japanese, French, or whichever, I heed no care to the
language—in the sense of comprehension, that is (I still respect the language
itself and do not utterly ignore it, and translated lyrics are searched for).
Relating AOA’s “Oh Boy,” it being in Japanese is highly irrelevant. After all,
no matter the language of the song, Choa’s singing during the chorus will
forever remain incredibly catchy.

Now for the more interesting
personal fact that I desire to share, English is the only language for me in which
songs can be understood. For example, though I know Cantonese, and
additionally, have high comprehension for Vietnamese (I cannot speak it
however), songs in either of those languages might as well be in Korean as I
simply lack the comprehension. My theory as to why that is the case is perhaps
due to how the languages are structured; a note stretch on a syllable in
English is clear, but if in Cantonese for example, the stretched syllable may
be unfamiliar and seemingly “half a word,” and thus, I become confused. Either
way, point is, though I may brag of being “familiar” with a total of five
languages (English and Cantonese are the two languages in which I am rather
fluent; Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean are moreover minimal knowledge), it is
all in vain as my comprehension for songs are pitiful. (But, on a serious tone,
of course I am incredibly grateful.)

Story time aside and an apology to my friend for calling
her a traitor
, the topic will finally be about what it should have been originally:
Taeyeon’s amazing solo debut with her song, “I.” To begin, answering the big
question: no, I did not cry. Reading news articles, Tiffany and other members
of Girls’ Generation did cry once they heard the song, and knowing my sensitive
side with music and crying a river
for the show of “Jessica & Krystal” and even The
Ark’s “The Light”
, I am shocked at my lack of tears. Confessing,
though, I still did become emotionally moved the first time listening to “I,”
and furthermore, with actually watching the music video later. Taeyeon
definitely invested much emotion for her song, and accounting for the many
hardships she endured and endures—recent and old—this song, lyrically and
musically, highlights her struggles and her decision to still persevere.
Taeyeon is an amazing human to say the least.

Additionally, this song is not
purely reflective of Taeyeon’s experiences. Many listeners may indeed relate to
the lyrics, whether a teenager or a working adult, male or female, and so
forth. Especially if in a difficult period, “I” delivers encouragement: “But
strong girl/boy, you know you were born to fly.” That line, overall, summarizes
the song’s crucial message. Stay positive and love one’s own being. You are
perfect. At the Lyrics category, further analysis will be conducted, but
already for a remark, the lyrics are very respectable. In fact, these lyrics
highly motivate me to put on chic clothing, foundation, concealer, and eyeliner
as, from the lyrics’ message, “my life is a beauty”; there is no shame in, as a
heterosexual male, appearing that way as it is my “beautiful” life. (Though my
fashion is now taken seriously, I still sadly have yet to actively use makeup.
Also, refer to countless reviews such as Infinite’s “The Chaser” for a discussion on males using
makeup.) Again, the “Critical Corner” will dive in some depth regarding the
idea of self-love.

To now embark on a more serious
digression (readers interested in solely the review, skip ahead), with all the
mentioned topics and the song itself, there is a topic I have yet to discuss:
the importance of role models, and moreover the importance of the concept
itself. Though “role model” implies purely admiration toward specific people, I
do wish to expand on the idea and to showcase that, it is important in two
regards: to have role models, but more importantly, that everyone is a role
model—whether individual admirers exist or not. Taeyeon will be used as an
example. Although she is not someone I directly idolize, the concept itself is
still intact; she is still someone that presents an image of how to behave. She
models to me what love is, as seen by her affection for Girls’ Generation
members; she models to me what leadership is—love, respect, and dedication for Girls’
Generation  and others around her; she
models to me what self-love is through “I,” and to be myself, as cliché as it
may be. Overall, as exemplified, though Taeyeon is not necessarily a “role
model” to me, the concept still holds: she still provides a model of how to
behave and think.

Now of course, this is not to
disregard the direct role models people may have. Personal role models have
very much influenced me for the better, whether it is T-ARA’s Soyeon, former
Nine Muses’ Sera, AOA’s Jimin, or even MAMAMOO’s Solar. All of them have taught
and displayed to me what leadership is, what respect and love is, what hard
work is, what optimism is, what intelligence is, and so forth. In fact, they
even taught me beauty: physically with stylish fashion and makeup, but also
non-physically with genuine care and understanding towards others and self. More
extremely, despite the cherished role models all being fabulous ladies, they
have also, ironically stated, taught me masculinity (though ZE:A’s Kevin
deserves much credit as well; I would also consider him a role model,
especially as a male one). I hope to “become a man” who is able to replicate
many of those role models’ acts. And, for people who are not idols, I owe much
to teachers and professors I’ve had and have for displaying the best of themselves
for others.

Ignoring my personal, privileged
side with being able to have many amazing role models, this perspective is
rather lucky. Not everyone has a direct role model, let alone any positively
influencing people around who serve as indirect role models. This is why the
concept of role modeling is important: everyone has a social responsibility to
be a role model, even if, as stated, no one is specifically an admirer. Drawing
an example, a young boy growing up with a violent, abusive father who is
supposedly “being a man” will replicate such if no other male role model is
around, and this “male role model” does not have to be someone in specific,
though it may be. If the young boy observes that every male around acts
similarly to his father, then he will follow suit. Thus, that is where
responsibility occurs: males all have a responsibility to showcase—to role
model—to others, male or female, whether specific admirers exist or not, that
“being a man” does not include abusing and dominating others. Homogenously,
this type of scenario applies to other categories. A young girl growing up in a
society that sexualizes, objectifies, and belittles females will, indeed, internalize
such if no role model challenges those notions. And, as stated, said “role
model” does not have to be someone in specific, but rather, it can be—and
is—women in general, and also, akin to the prior point, men who equally
challenge those sexist standards that were set by males in the first place.

Every social aspect applies with
this role model concept, be it showcasing that homosexuality is acceptable,
that being a non-White in America or non-Korean in South Korea is acceptable,
and so on. Concluding, this is why role models and role modeling matter:
everyone shapes society. Ask, what is role modeled when statements of, “I love
Asian boys/girls because they’re so smart and obedient,” “I love Black females’
hair since it is so unique,” or “bisexual females are great because they are
basically boys” are said? No one may specifically admire the speaker of those
sentences, but that speaker nevertheless is still role modeling that race and
sexual orientation discrimination are acceptable (and perhaps even sexism).
Likewise, what is role modeled for masculinity if the phrase of, “be a man,” is
stated to a man who enjoys using makeup? Presenting the best of one’s self and
understanding and respect for all are the responsibilities of everyone.
Everyone admires one another—intended or not. Everyone is a role model—intended
or not.

Returning
back to Taeyeon’s “I” for the purpose of time (this may be the shortest
digression to date), I am thankful for her and her latest song. Taeyeon
relentlessly showcases her cheerful, hard working side despite the many
struggles she encounters. Crucially, since pop culture matters as it shapes and
is shaped by society, with how idols behave on camera, I will personally state
that I am grateful for them, usually, presenting excellent examples for others.
Unequivocally, with being humans, mistakes may occur, but overall, social
equity and respect for all are what idols tend to showcase. Lastly, for what is
more important, one’s own role modeling is. What is being brought to others
through personal acts is what many should ask themselves.  

Transitioning to the song itself,
“I” may score quite highly. Musically and lyrically, the song is phenomenal,
and accounting for the lack of Line Distribution and Choreography scores, “I”
is set for success. Nevertheless, strictness will certainly be in place as is for
every song reviewed minus newbie
days
. It is now time to unveil what “I” think of “I.”

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10
(7.25/10 raw score) – “Above average”


Vocals: 8/10
– A nine is desired to be given, but withholding biases, an
eight is the score, of which is still impressive. The vocals remain diverse, as
observed by the range of notes, power, and singing styles. Every section
delivers its own traits. Low, middle, and high notes, and degrees of power, are
seen by juxtaposing the sections of choruses, verse, and bridge. Similarly and
expectedly, each section contains its own singing style. All these traits work
in favor of keeping “I” dynamic. With a genre of ballad where staleness is
prone to occur, the diversity among Taeyeon’s vocals counteract that issue. Now,
for what is moreover significant, Taeyeon’s vocal delivery is fantastic and the
main reason for a high rating. During the choruses for example, through words
of “I” and “sky,” exceptionally melodic, widespread note stretches are
showcased, and furthermore, power is attached. Conversely, however, when deeper
and more passive singing occurs, those parts are also stunning, though to a
lesser extent than the choruses.

“I” is near perfect in vocals:
varied yet that variety is effectively executed. Unfortunately, the delivery of
sections other than the choruses is not to a “nine” rating. Also, the non-chorus
sections’ vocals are equally not enticing to the level of a nine. But, an eight
is still impressive, and potently, the choruses’ vocals are exceptional. There
is no denying Taeyeon’s vocal skills.


Sections: 7/10
(7/10 raw score)

Introduction (Chorus), Rap, Chorus,
Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Conclusion

1.
Introduction (Chorus): 8/10

2. Rap: 6/10

3. Chorus: 8/10

4. Verse: 7/10

5. Pre-Chorus: 6/10

6. Bridge: 7/10

7. Conclusion: 7/10

– Analysis:
In a general scope, the sections do
average out with a seven. However, before analyzing each section, attention
towards this song’s format should be given: there are only one verse and
pre-chorus, and the introduction utilizes the chorus. A peculiar setup. Thus,
the song does not follow standard conventions, but as to be explained,
different is never bad. Now, for how this will affect the analysis, as the
verse and pre-chorus are relatively minor, little time will be spent towards
the two, and furthermore, I am attempting to minimize this category’s length as
much as possible.

Digression aside, to first discuss
the introduction, while past reviews have certainly covered songs where,
essentially, the chorus is the introduction, none have outstandingly executed
it, and additionally, many of those songs do not directly or instantly use the
chorus. Therefore, Taeyeon’s “I” marks the first song in which the chorus is
indeed the introduction; the chorus immediately starts off and there is no
buffer that would constitute as a genuine, individual introduction. In terms of
the effect on the introduction section, this grants “I” efficiency: “I” ‘s
style and tone are transparent, and there is the aspect of captivating
listeners from the pure start. A score of eight should be self-explanatory;
this introduction excels in both components of setting the song and attracting
attention, and thus, a high score is earned.

Since the chorus itself has yet to
be covered and is, technically, the introduction, it will be the next section to
critique. Musically, much of “I” ‘s charm derives from this section. The
choruses possess Taeyeon’s raw emotions and vocal power; a range of pitches are
unveiled; note stretches remain abundant; and overall, the melody remains
incredibly lively and mesmerizing. There is minimal fault with how the sections
sound—if there is any fault at all. Every detail in the chorus perfectly meshes
with one another, whether it is the instrumental and vocals, the spectrum of
notes, or how the note stretches are conducted. At worst, for what does hinder
the sections, though the sections are diverse in the sense of shifting pitches,
vocal intensity, and so forth, the melody overtime does become relatively
stagnant. Clarifying, while Taeyeon’s note stretches on the words of “sky” or
“I” are alluring on an individual level, appeal is lost once that same melody
is played out relentlessly. Nevertheless, the choruses are still fantastic. A
high rating is still in place as the sections’ musical strengths certainly
outweigh that minor error.

Finally focusing on the single
verse, it follows a predictable route but nonetheless is still admirable. As
expected from a verse and factoring in the rather energetic introduction, the
section follows a calmer style. Vocals reside toward middle and low notes along
with a slower pacing in order to grant the mentioned style, but this all works
in favor of also introducing variety. The introduction and future sections are
of more intense, dynamic singing and thus, the verse’s style and given melody
are able to provide contrast. Furthermore, as anticipated from Taeyeon, the
verse’s vocals are enticing and tuneful. Overall, though the verse may be basic
in structure, with how it perfectly complements the song as a whole, and
additionally, possesses solid singing, a seven is earned.

Now, for the pre-chorus and rap
sections, both are rated at a six. Peering at Verbal Jint’s rap, as to be
expected from an experienced rapper and song producer (and, if correct, an
influential figure for helping develop Korean Hip Hop), it showcases brilliant
flow and melody. Expanding on the rap’s flow, since the instrumental’s beat is
synced to, the rap becomes exceptionally rhythmic. Additionally, for the
melody, Verbal Jint’s vocals fluctuate throughout the rap, and thus, there is a
delightful tune to it. Nevertheless, a six is the score as the rap is moreover
basic and does not grasp significant attention. On this note, the pre-chorus
follows a homogeneous path to the rap: the section itself is not necessarily
mediocre, but it lacks attractive points. In terms of the pre-chorus, although
Taeyeon’s vocals are certainly captivating, the structure behind the section is
mundane. The instrumental adopts a lighter tone and Verbal Jint adds vocal
layering. Those aspects create the typical buildup effect that is observable in
many pre-choruses as, like its label, it is to create hype for the chorus.
Specifically with “I” ‘s pre-chorus, hype exists, but it is all too simple to
glean high appeal. Of course, however, while simplicity itself is not faulty,
in the song’s case, the usage here lacks appeal. Thus, sixes are the ratings as
Taeyeon’s and Verbal Jint’s vocals carry the weaker structural components of
the sections.

Addressing the remaining two
sections of conclusion and bridge, both are above average. Glancing at the
bridge, there is an overarching strength to it: being sleek. Transitioning into
the bridge is smooth, and later, when the climactic point is approaching, the
section also properly transitions for that via hastening beats and gradually
increasing vocal intensity. It is all highly subtle changes that allow it to
flow seamlessly. On topic with the vocals, Taeyeon continues her adept singing.
Slower, deeper vocals are disclosed—though for a brief period. For the
highlight of the bridge, a powerful note hold is given off shortly after
passive vocals, and it is well conducted. All in all, the bridge may be basic
in structure with having a very traditional format (a pause which is then
guided towards a note hold), but with its fantastic execution, a seven is still
in place. Vocals are enticing, and the subtle transitions occurring are
praiseworthy.

Lastly, with the conclusion, before
directly diving into the analysis, credit is deserved towards the final chorus:
fabulous two-part singing is delivered. Despite all the ongoing, intense vocals
that the final chorus bears, it all miraculously renders cohesively and
therefore, for an outcome, incredible vocal talent is displayed along with
tying into an ending. Tangent aside, however, for the conclusion section
itself, it provides a solid closure for “I.” Fading background vocals in
addition to Taeyeon’s own languishing vocals all grant the song its
distinctive, blatant ending mark, and with the instrumental also identically
doing so, a smooth end is guaranteed. There is no abruptness whatsoever.
Furthermore, rather than closing on standard speech, Taeyeon’s melodic singing
holds until the very end, and thus, appeal is earned in that regard. An above
average, suitable conclusion for an outstanding song.


Line Distribution: X/10
– This grade will be excluded as it is only Taeyeon singing.
Verbal Jint will not be included as his part is considered a feature.


Instrumental: 6/10
– Initially, a seven was to be the score, but it has changed
to a six. Regardless, the instrumental is still respectable. First, the
instrumental is predominantly of guitar. This works in favor of giving “I” its
calm, soothing tone, and furthermore, the vocals perfectly blend with the
guitar. As for the vital role the instrumental provides, it remains moreover a
foundation for the song; rather than being a separate component that draws its
own attention, it instead directs it toward Taeyeon’s singing. Especially with
how solid the vocals are, this proves incredibly beneficial. Unfortunately, for
a drawback, while the vocals are accentuated, it does leave the instrumental
with a hollow sound—figuratively, that is. Individually, the soundtrack is
decent, but it is exceptionally tedious and thus, that lack of appeal will
impair the rating. Understandably however, a more passive, repetitive
soundtrack is necessary for the vocals to be of main highlight, though that is definitely
not always the case.


Lyrics: 8/10
– Already exposed at the beginning of this review, the lyrics
of “I” revolve around the notion of self-love. In fact, whether the lyrics
involve a lost relationship or a struggling personal life is not so much as
relevant as the idea itself: it is important to realize the worth of one’s
self, and additionally, others. Also, to clarify a confusing
lost-in-translation aspect to the following lyrics, it appears that the
translated lines are inaccurate with syntax (if that is the proper term); it
appears that, during the choruses, the words of “I,” “sky,” and so forth, are
wrongly placed since Taeyeon sings before note stretching the mentioned words.
Offering an explanation, a direct translation, for example, would appear as:
“That pours light, sky.” But, in English, that would be deemed strange for
syntax. Korean, however, has a “reflexive” format in comparison to English (and
that English has a “reflexive” format in comparison to Korean; I do not wish to
connote that one language is the “correct” one). An introduction phrase will be
used as an example: In English, we tend to say, “I am Taeyeon,” however in
Korean, if direct translations were to occur, it would render as “Taeyeon I
am.” Neither is “right”; it is all based on language. Overall, while I did not
personally translate these lyrics from Korean to English, this will hopefully
explain why, word-for-word, the lyrics may appear off (and of course, my
explanation may be entirely false and not the true reason; I am not fluent in
Korean).

Sky, that pours light
I, stand under it
Fly, as if I’m dreaming
My life is a beauty

A story I’ve heard often somewhere
“Ugly duckling and swan,” “a butterfly before it flies”
People don’t know, they don’t see your wings
A new world you’ve met could be cruel
But strong girl, you know you were born to fly
Tears you’ve cried, all of the pain you’ve felt
It’s to prepare you for the day you’ll fly even higher
Butterfly, everybody’s gonna see it soon

Sky, that pours light
I, stand under it
Fly, as if I’m dreaming
My life is a beauty

Forgotten dream, I draw it again in my heart
Collect all of the times I withdrew and swallow it
Small memories wake me up one by one
It opens me up, as if it’ll fill the whole world
Past the long, long night
Want to embark on the road for a trip again
Why not? In this world,
one word that awakens my heart

Yesterday, I was alone
Countless gazes
Falling tears
I withstood another day again
Yesterday, that was a close call
All of the words that poured out
It embraced me, who was shaking, again

Sky, that pours light
I, stand under it
Fly, as if I’m dreaming
My life is a beauty
My life is a beauty

Flower petals wilt
I had difficult times, but followed a small light
Distant day, let it go far, faraway
I fly splendidly

Sky that pours light
Renewed eyes (renewed eyes)
Fly far away (fly high, fly high)
Beauty that belongs only to me

The moment I close my eyes
Time stops
I rise again

Language digression aside, the
Lyrics category manages to reap a score of eight. This song, in fact, may
currently hold the highest score out of every reviewed song for the Lyrics
category (ignoring archaic reviews, that is). Details remain varied and abundant,
even despite the song’s shorter lines. For example, the rap features details
that significantly differ from ones at the verse and pre-chorus, and with the
latter two, those also vary from one another. Ignoring variety, the given lines
are noteworthy. The lyrics to “I” are not typical, minor words that are added
for the purpose of filling up a song; “I” in its entirety is a song that is
meant to give encouragement. Every line in “I” is momentous and impactful. This
song may be discussing the heartache of a breakup, but simultaneously, it may
be positivity for someone who is attempting to pursue their passion in life, or
for someone who needs the critical reminder that they are valued and loved.
Summing up the lyrics, with it being rich in details and meaning, a high score
is rightfully earned.


“Critical Corner”:
As the discussion of “self-love” is a vast one, I will refrain from discussing
it until a future review, such as in GOT7’s “Just Right.” That review will dive
into, arguably, the most controversial aspect of K-Pop: body image. I will not
shy away from how race, gender, and class affect beauty standards, and
additionally, for what many would desire to discuss, plastic surgery. That
review may end up being my most controversial writing yet, though controversy
is merely incentive as it showcases people’s care.

On topic with Taeyeon’s “I,” as the
song is of being able to love one’s own being and to be one’s own self, as
stated, GOT7’s review will discuss such. Nonetheless, for a reminder, everyone deserves
to be able to appreciate and love themselves. A seemingly easy task, but that
is far from true and is something many are still discovering. After all,
Taeyeon would not have released a song dedicated to this subject if it were as
simple as “self-confidence,” of which is, arguably, a faulty statement. One
lacks “self-confidence” not due to self-disgust with one’s own being, but
rather, from internalizing extraneous factors that claim so.

Already shared at the beginning of
the review, and as I believe in full intimacy with readers, with being a
heterosexual male who is interested in fashion and makeup, if not for beloved
teachers and professors providing an education that discussed these seldom,
sensitive social topics, I would still heavily struggle with self-love. It is,
blatantly, more than lacking personal confidence that would have—and had—made
me loathe myself: outside influences are to account for. Similarly, those who
feel “ugly” do not feel such because of their own mentality, but instead, because
of how certain factors have shaped said mentality. Even those in social
privilege, such as by being wealthy, male, and of a dominant race (White in
America, Korean in South Korea, and so on), are not excluded from this issue,
though there is certainly still privilege that will reduce the chances of
self-loathing. (Refer to Girls’ Generation’s “You Think” for a slight discussion on
privilege and how a privileged person should begin understanding their
position.) More will be discussed in the future, but for a personal message, I
yearn that all of my readers are able to find love for themselves.

_______________________________________________________

Choreography Score: X/10
– Since this song is a ballad, no
dance exists—though not to say ballads cannot have choreographies. It is just
unexpected for this genre of music to have one, and with “I” being within that
genre, having no dance should not elicit any form of surprise.

_______________________________________________________

Overall Score: 7/10
(7/10 raw score) – As
solely the Song Score is accounted for, Taeyeon’s solo debut of “I” can be
considered an above average song, and I absolutely agree. “I” is a phenomenal
song in every category, whether lyrically or with the vocals. Confessing,
however, this song was to be an eight if not for decreasing the Instrumental score.
If the mentioned score was shifted to a seven, “I” would have been at an eight,
and thus, held the throne of being the highest rated song yet for the blog assuming past, atrocious reviews are
ignored
. Numerical values aside, “I” is very much an impressive,
meaningful song.

Wrapping up, thank you very much for
reading, as I will relentlessly say for as long as reviews are made. Read in
full or briefly, I appreciate any given time towards reviews, so thank you. Currently,
I am on a week break, and thus, will attempt to release one more review within
this period. Two more reviews are needed to meet my goal of five reviews, and
optimistically, it appears that goal will be met. Since a bonus review is in
mind for the delayed song of F.T. Island’s “Severely,” that goal is very much
plausible. GOT7’s “Just Right” may also be reviewed in “bonus” form if the
format proves successful. Sharing ideas, for perhaps the most optimizing that
can be done for reviews, I plan to give all numerical ratings at the start, and
afterwards, to have one general, essay-like analysis for a song in whole.
Though on break, I still have homework and therefore that format will be
helpful, and if readers do prefer it over current review formats, I would adopt
it as the new standard. Reiterating prior points, I am hoping to release more
reviews at the cost of less thorough (and excessive) analysis.

Nonetheless, it is personal
discipline that matters moreover than review format; it matters moreover that I
actually dedicate time to work on reviews versus merely shortening reviews’
format. But, as I hope readers understand, with how busy I am and finally
having break, I do intend, and need, periods of pure relaxation, so the
remaining two reviews may not all be released during this week. Positively,
though, I have finally been able to finish watching Girl’s Day’s appearance on
the reality show, “One Fine Day.” A review will not be made, but to share, it
is decent. Enjoyable definitely, but it is far from the most entertaining show
I have yet to watch. On the other side, however, shamelessly shared, the ladies
did induce tears. Many tears. Without entirely leaking the end, with Girl’s Day
sharing their love for one another and all equally severely crying, I could not
help but to follow suit. Love is—as cheesy as it may sound—sometimes all the
thing we need in life.

Embarrassing moment ignored that serves no purpose other than for
readers to tease me
, I hope readers will “want to embark on the road for
a trip again.” That road trip is to continue returning to this blog. GOT7’s “Just
Right” and F.T. Island’s “Severely” are to be finished as soon as possible.
Stay tuned for the upcoming discussions for the songs.

Girls’ Generation – “You Think” Review

Girls’ Generation – You Think (Live Performance)

Girls’ Generation – You Think (Music Video)

Girls’ Generation – You Think

Reviewed on September 8, 2015

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.

– Sections: 5/10 (5.43/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Rap, Bridge, Conclusion (Chorus)

1. Introduction: 4/10

2. Verse: 6/10

3. Pre-Chorus: 7/10

4. Chorus: 4/10

5. Rap: 6/10

6. Bridge: 5/10

7. Conclusion (Chorus): 6/10

– 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.”

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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.

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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.

Girls’ Generation’s Music Video – “Lion Heart” Review

Reviewed on September 1, 2015

Girls’ Generation – Lion Heart (Music Video)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Girls’ Generation’s Music Video – “Party” Review

Reviewed on July 12, 2015

Girls’ Generation – Party (Music Video)

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

Girls’ Generation – “Catch Me If You Can” Review

Girls’ Generation – Catch Me If You Can (Music Video)

Girls’ Generation – Catch Me If You Can

Reviewed on April 18, 2015

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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.

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Song Score: 5/10 (5.2/10 raw score) – “Average”

– 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.

– Sections: 3/10 (3.17/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Bridge, Pre-Chorus, Conclusion (Chorus)

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.

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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.”