K-POP / KOREAN CULTURE / REVIEWS

[Review] [Album] SNSD – “The Boys”

SNSD bring “The Boys” out.

Damn right they do, and when you have nine gorgeous muses booty-dropping it to a PG-13 version ofMilkshake” by Kelis, consider it a blessing they’re all of age.

SNSD just dropped their third full-length album, “The Boys”, and aside from a drool-inducing concept, this shit certainly does less for the boys than they have ‘em believing.

The album attempts to maintain the charms of SNSD (all two of them) by keeping their vocal delivery moderately tame, stylistically semi-cute, and instrumentally washed out like never before.

As is custom with any SM Entertainment puppet, SNSD has used an irrelevant lead style (in this case, something of a Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani and It Takes Two” by Rob Base hybrid) to excite the masses into thinking they have matured into fierce babes this year, while not-so-secretly just doing it to get this lazy record to sell.

I wish what I just said was simply innocent sarcasm, but it isn’t. Sadly.

“The Boys” drags its heels through 46 minutes of mid-tempos and cheesy ballads, none of which come close to the overbearing lead single.

While “The Boys” is a dysfunctional ditty (more chants than actual singing, uninspired instrumental, etc.), the rest of the album could have actually benefited from a good ruffling of its feathers. Songs like “OSCAR” and “TRICK” show promise, but both lack an arrangement that is remotely close to anything interesting.

On top of a ho-hum track list, the album also manages to clusterfuck a slew of styles that don’t make sense when paired with one another. There’s a lot of 90s pop-balladry happening, sprinkled with a hint of pseudo-retro for those who can’t get over it, and a dash of urban/grunge to fuck with the hipsters. It’s like a really bad mixtape.

If the album actually made sense and connected with the lead single, this could have been an interesting move from SNSD. Instead, they have learned nothing from their Japanese endeavors (where they unleashed a godly album that shits all over this one) and reverted back to releasing frilly tunes that aren’t even annoyingly cute at their best.

I get that they want to “grow up” and apparently ditch hooks altogether, but they will still be marketed as a pop girl group wherever the hell they go.

And hey, we like catchy earworms too.

via Asian Junkie

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14 thoughts on “[Review] [Album] SNSD – “The Boys”

  1. Well, reading this reviw kinda hurts Hahaha. I mean, I love those girls as much as you love Siwon (SJ). But I have to agree with pretty much everything you have said about the album. There are a couple of songs that remind me the soundtrack of the bad “telenovelas” I used to watch in the 90s.
    And yeah, Trick and Oscar are the better songs, and they have a pretty decent arrangement. I really think the songs themself aren’t that bad , its just the way they are placed in the album. You know, without any conection .. as you said a “A bad mixtape”.
    Btw: The website is looking Nice, and as usual : Great Job McRoth

    GinoChiang

    • I’ll tell you a little secret: I love these girls too. At least outside of music. They’ve gradually grown on me as personalities and in that sense, Ifhajkheiaha can’t go without them. They’re also one of the most influential girl groups in Korea. So regardless of how unethical or stupid SME usually seems, expectations are always much higher than they should be when SNSD or any SM idol makes a comeback. I kept telling myself that the bar was pretty low this year, but something inside me wanted them to comeback with some pretty amazing music.

      What always throws SM albums out of the running for a perfect marking is the lack of continuity within the songs. I mean, you can always find a way to make a shitty song work if it’s placed properly in an album. But hell no. SM puts no thought into that shit, and ultimately it costs them big time (not monetarily, of course) among fans who actually care about the music.

  2. I totally agree with your review! Despite the relatively new material in the lead single (more rapping from our otherwise underrated lead dancers Hyoyeon, Sooyoung, Yuri and Yoona), the album lacks…punch.

    Even if they say they’re coming back with a new sound, listening to the entire album just makes me laugh (no offense, I love these girls so much). A lot of the songs are too cutesy and lackluster. I’ve also noticed that quite a number of their songs focus too much on Jessica’s voice. She’s great in all other aspects, don’t get me wrong. She has an incredibly high voice, but it gets awfully nasally and I think she’s lost a bit of that power from the ITNW and Genie days.

    I also heard that How Great Is Your Love, despite having the Korean lyrics written by Sooyoung (my bias! <3 ), it was basically just a remake of another English song. In all honesty, I'm getting seriously pissed with SMEnt. They keep recycling songs for their artists! (Hot Summer, Born to Be A Lady, etc) Besides lacking in originality, it sort of sets their artists into a new low.

    SMEnt should have been smart enough this time around. After their huge success in Japan with their greatly matured and different pop sound, you'd think their desired expansion into the international market would have the girls be properly equipped with the right style, music, choreography, and accent. Why would you send the girls into the international music scene with a less than satisfactory album? They should get the Japanese album and internationally promote with that instead.

    'The Boys' single was alright. It certainly lived up to its testimony of a "new sound". The rapping and chants were a wonderful break from the girls' usual cutesy and bubbly pop sound (so not fitting for over 21-year-olds). But the rest of the album, except for 'Trick', 'Oscar', and 'Mr. Taxi (Kor. Ver.)', were a great disappointment. I can't believe I stayed up till dawn just to hear a handful of good songs.

    Nonetheless, I love the girls with all my heart. I just really hate their label sometimes.

  3. Wanted to add this:

    “According to SNSD’s management company SM Entertainment, the reason behind their choice of “The Boys” as SNSD’s title track was because they saw this song as another “turning point.” Their opinion was that since SNSD’s new album would be released worldwide at the same time, and since it was obligatory for them to go “worldwide,” they did not want to repeat the same kind of music as was the typical SNSD style.”

    -from http://www.soompi.com/news/why-did-snsd-give-up-their-hook-songs

    Seriously. Haha. The single was a turning point, yes. But not the album. After ‘The Boys’ all the other songs made me check my iTunes again just to see if I was listening to an old SNSD song I had somehow missed. It’s certainly the typical SNSD style. I love it, but I’m getting tired of it.

    UGGGGH. I’m so pissed at SMEnt right now! I can’t believe they made the girls do this -_-

  4. I really didn’t like “The Boys”. I admit to not being an SNSD fan, but only because I don’t like most of their music (but I do like some, like “Mr. Taxi Jap.vers.” and “Genie”).
    But this music video was pretty bad. Everyone complained about Super Junior’s recent dance-in-a-box MVs, but at least they didn’t have snow so obviously fake it was embarrassing.
    And the cheerleading. GOODNESS. Before I had seen other comments from other sites complaining about it. I thought, “it can’t be thaaat bad”. Of course I was wrong.

    But anyways, thanks for the review. Nice to see a well-written opinion. =)

    • lmao @ dancing in a box. So true. This one is pretty much the same thing.

      On a relevant note: The English version of The Boys keeps referring to “fire”, which I felt should have been a good place to start for an epic SNSD MV.

  5. would like to let know my opinion also. For me the boys mv is great! they really push it well. But for the song, i found no climax and too much effects that kill the quality of the vocals. Also the style of the new album doesn’t really match with snsd. We know SM want to give a new stuff to fans according to snsd development and their age, but need to consider more on selling point aspect and their natural style. Which i found it totally been killed in their new song “the boys”. They tried to hard for this news style

  6. I felt like SNSD could have done way better with their comeback. No lie I love these girls personally, but to tell you the truth i’m not a big fan of their music because before all it was – was this cute concept and these costumes, it was just too little for me. SMent doesn’t really take time in connecting the songs, they just make it catchy. Main Reason : I feel like Girls Generation is capable of doing more unique styles and music, music that connects to people. And dances that are not always leg movements and them standing in a big huge group. Being Honest KARA, Secret, U-KISS, hell even some of the rookie groups had better comebacks. “The Boys” is okay.

  7. eh, i didn’t like this album and this song. then again, as much as i love SNSD, their songs have always been a miss for me.infact, i only started listening to them with Genie because, for me, it was a step up from their old songs.

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