Monday, July 02, 2012

NOW KPOPPING (well, JPOPPING): SNSD Hides from "Paparazzi"

I know what you're thinking -- Mel, 2-hoshinki has a new single in Japan and its UPTEMPO! Mel, SuJu has 6JIB and it's AVAILABLE TO LISTEN! What the hell! Where's the spazzing?

In due time, my beloved Cassies & ELFs. In due time. "Android" will have it's own review once I have a video to spazz over. And as for SuJu's "Sexy Free & Single", again - the album's on order and we'll get to that when I can. In the meantime, it's time to spazz about Girls' Generation. Oh yeah - I said it.

Left to Right: SooYoung, TaeYeon (leader), Seohyun, Tiffany, YoonA, Jessica, Sunny, HyoYeon, Yuri
We all are very much aware that when I stan for SM Entertainment, it's for the boys. TVXQ! (past and present), Super Junior, SHINee, hell, even EXO is starting to grow on me with their "Bohemian Rhapsody" shtick. I'm a sucker for boy bands. What can I tell you? It's probably for this very reason why I was/am/will be hesitant to say I've actually grown to quite like Girls' Generation for what they are -- a performance group full of pretty girls with catchy songs. While there are some members who frustrate the hell out of me (they shall remain nameless as I fear for my life at the hand of some SONEs), there are more than a few that I really like, if only for their variety standpoint (SooYoung, Yuri, Sunny), their dancing (HyoYeon) or their crazy amazing and underappreciated vocals (TaeYeon! TaeYeon! TaeYeon!).

The main hurdle for me to jump in terms of admitting my fandom is much of their (Korean) material is so darn stomach-ache causing sweet, you need Pepto Bismal ("Gee", "Oh!", "Kissing You", "Hoot"). The tide is turning, thanks to jams like "Genie (Tell Me Your Wish)", "Run Devil Run" and last year's "The Boys" (I liked it, come at me bro), but their real biting, dancey attitude tracks seem to come to us via their fresh Japanese material. It began with their 2011 Japanese release Girls' Generation (under their Japanese name Shojo Jidal), featuring Japanese re-writes of "Genie" and "Run Devil Run", along with the catchy "Mr. Taxi" and the fabulous "Bad Girl"(!). The album was recently re-released to feature "The Boys" in Japanese along with new song "Time Machine".

This brings us to "Paparazzi", the group's latest original Japanese single (taking the Tohoshinki route with releasing a new, original single in Japanese first -- no word if this will also be released in Korean...although I think it's a pretty good guess that it will) off their upcoming sophomore Japanese release. And it is awesome. Its originally a Swedish product, written by Fredrik Thomander who brought us cuts by Darin, Dream Street (holy flash back), Agnes and (wait for it) *NSYNC. Boom boom boom, indeed.

The music video looks very high budg -- something that most SM-related videos somehow fail to exude (yeah, I'm looking at you, SuJu, sadly). The choreography is tight and clean, and in my opinion, some of the girls' most original and engaging stage performances yet. The song itself feels very Girls' Generation -- immediately catchy, sassy and brimming with hooks all around. Think hay-day Britney Spears with its big catchy chorus(es) and cooed "Ooh la la la"s and "Ra-Ta-Ta-Ta"s. It's Swede Pop cooked on a Korean BBQ and served up to Japan, and I say yum yum (too far? No?).

Most importantly, it continues the descent toward "darker" Girls' Generation -- a shimmering fungu toward the flashers, the cling-on-ers and yes, the paparazzi themselves. An English translation of (one of) the chorus(es): The love that matures with a price tag/Shooting in the darkness/Flashes at the sight of money/Life is a party from garage to suite room/No matter if I'm sleeping or awake/Boom Boom Boom.../Life is a party/The more damage caused, the more it sells.

And as per, tradition -> for the fangirls (and fanboys):
  • Why are they on stage to "Singing In the Rain" when 1) they are not singing (at that point) and 2) there is no rain? Hmmm...
  • Why are the "paparazzi" flashing them while they are on stage? Does that happen in Japan/Korea? Also - why do they all stop what they are doing and look shocked? Isn't the point of the song that they are aware the paparazzi are there? #isconfused
  • I dig the song, I really do but -- it has wayyyyy too little TaeYeon wails, belts and vocal gymnastics. Someone should have remedied that. Just saying.
  • Someone get me a pair of Sunny's stockings stat. Kthanks.
  • Also, I would also like HyoYeon's entire outfit, too. Kthanks.
  • And also, Seohyun's jeweled headband/headpiece. ...OK, now I'm done.
  • Sparkly Peplum Capri Pants for SooYoung? Really? Yeah, let's put the tallest (therefore, the one with the longest legs) in capri pants. That will go over well. Still, even SooYoung's terrible outfit can't hide just how adorable amazing she is.
  • I can't quite say the same for Jessica.
  • Whoever thought feathers was a good should probably get a new job. It makes the girls look less glamorous and more birdlike.
  • Why do they give HyoYeon so much space to get down during her dance break when she doesn't even dance much? It's basically just a little bit of posing and dancing sexy. I know for a fact homegirl can dance. Why doesn't she get to show it off? Shisus.

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