COUNTDOWN TO LIVE: BoA

A little late is still better than never, right? Bare with me, folks. The Evil Month of October is now upon me, which means my day-job will be stealing the better part of my energy...

In case you missed last week's post about Girl's Generation and f(x), I'm recapping the songs by the various SMTown family I'm most psyched to see performed live in person in just a few short weeks at Madison Square Garden at SMTown New York. Without further ado, I present to you...

BoA, one of Korea's reigning musical Queens in the pop genre, recently celebrated her tenth year in the music game. She was also one of the first artists I "profiled" in the KPOP genre here at Melismatic almost two years ago. In terms of "active" SM artists, with the exception of Kangta...somewhat, BoA is the top sunbae, meaning she's been around the longest, debuting back in 2001. Her success was an encouragement for a large group of today's younger idols. She also remains to be the lone female Korean musician to attempt to crack America, by way of 2009's BoA, her first (and hopefully not last) English-language album, supported by three English singles. 

Given that BoA has the most experience speaking English (one of the many languages she's fluent in), I'm definitely looking forward to the pride instilled when homegirl brings down the roof at Madison Square Garden. Unlike a lot of people, I was quite fond of her English album, including the main single, "Eat You Up", and I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't totally stoked to see that one performed live.

But in terms of an overall scope, BoA's career is almost too vast to enumerate which song I'm most psyched to see performed live (not totally unlike that of the boys in TVXQ!). If I had to nail it down to just one, I'll be forced to say this gem from 2005:


"Girls On Top", the lead single from the album of the same name, was a perfect reflection of the strong woman BoA was becoming at the time, and is a strong indicator of who she is as an artist today -- very much in control. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she actually has quite a  bit of stock in SM Entertainment itself, something her peers can't claim (and something that has given her a bit of criticism by more bitter fans). I can't fault her this -- it seems like one of the smartest business decisions an artist could make in an attempt to keep their career in their own terms.

"Girls On Top" was re-recorded in English for her 2009 American release, but there is no question the original Korean version is much stronger, even on a lyrical standpoint.

I am me, no one can replace that
(I won't be passive that easily)
I want to keep my appearance as it is
And still be dignified
(Don't expect that same little girl
Who was confined in shadow)

Sexy, calm, boredom in forever knowing only one man
That is an illusion of men's own interest
I have dreams that will completely change the world
(get it up) You say I lack something
(get it up) Say I lack everything
This makes no sense
I stand as your equal

Girls will make up half this world
(Go baby!) (Girls rise up!)
I will proudly walk the distance to the front

I think a little bit of the strength of "Girls On Top" perhaps got lost in translation, but no matter. The power remains in its live performance, no matter the language. When I think BoA, I think of this song, and words can't express how excited I am to see it performed live in person.

(Note to Self: Practice BoA's ending riff to "Girls On Top", complete with hand motions and epic wail face in the mirror prior to October 23rd...)

Check back next Sunday for another installment of what I'm most looking forward to at SMTown!

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