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Stuck in a Girly Haze: SNSD’s “The Boys”

This fall is supposed to be the return of many girl groups in K-pop. One of the frontrunners, nine-member SNSD (for 소녀시대 or Girls’ Generation), has recently released their song all over Youtube in both Korean and English versions.

I’m not really feeling either one, to be honest. I feel like I’m stuck in the rose-imprisoning glass cage from Beauty and the Beast while the beats shift between Britney-electronica and Gwen-Stefani-esque songspeak. As usual, the production value is up there for both video and audio, but other than that, it’s just another polished SM number. Not much maturation, freshness, growth or edge in the style or sound.

It’s also kind of a strange match, though the production does its best to make it work, so I’m not sure where the song will find a place. Despite its electric leanings, the slow tempo makes it difficult to take up as a club/dance track, and overall it lacks the catchiness of earlier hits like “Gee.” I can see it as cafe filler (Seoul is saturated with cafes) and used in some cover performances, but not much else. Maybe the major intent is simply to use it as a performance song, declaring SNSD’s presence, as SM continues to gear toward markets outside of Asia.

Any thoughts? Sound off!

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