Given the circumstances of the titan comeback that is SNSD, and the people that dare to stand in the whirl of the hurricane: i.e. Kim Hyun Joong, Secret having their comebacks at the same time as SNSD, I thought that I should watch all the performances to give my own assessment.
Who is in the eye of the hurricane (the calm in the midst of the storm)? The Countess speaks ^_~ keke
They have got massive PR coverage, and everyone who is into K-pop has SNSD on their lips for this comeback, so they are the big winner here, regardless of how many awards they eventually win.
I agree with many people that their MV was underwhelming, and I thought that the song had Super-Junior-undertones on first listen. After watching their music program performances however, I think my impression of the song has improved a little, although I still read a lot of criticism for the song amongst the general netizen communities.
What defines a SNSD song is a catchy repetitive phrase and dance move. “The Boys” song has the catchiness in their english one-liners (“Girls bring the boys out”),
but the dance move (elbow sticking out and hand behind head) is more than a little strange no matter how many times I watch it. Especially when they do the leg shaking action after. It’s not exactly a great standout move to copy, if you know what I mean.
Sniff it…… dang! gives me a headache. >.< (See what I mean?)
However, because I like the sexy stuff, I like the dance move where all of them go down in a half-split. (Very Charlie’s Angels ^^)
And, I adore Sooyoung’s tassled pants. ^^
Mr Taxi is one of my fav SNSD songs, so it saddens me that the korean version of Mr Taxi was a fail. The outfits were pseudo-peasant/cowgirl and had no link to the concept of the song.
And SNSD’s choreographers really need to scrape the part where the girls preen and pose in the beginning of every song. It looks uncoordinated, unsexy and strange.
“How great is your love” is a nice song: kudos to Sooyoung for writing the lyrics, but it’s sad that she as the writer was given only half a line to sing >.< And this performance proved that there is only one true standout singer in SNSD: Taeyeon should have sang the whole song, IMO.
Before I have Sones descend on me, let me clarify that my definition of a “better” singer is someone who can sing more technically difficult songs. Just being able to hold a note isn’t cutting it: if you can’t even sing in tune, you shouldn’t even be a singer.
(So based on said definition, I think Seohyun, Jessica and Tiffany can sing nicely too, but Taeyeon is undisputedly the best of the 9. Sorry, Sunny and Yoona. But, I do love Sunny’s new boyish hairdo, v fierce.)
Conclusion: Actually, Sooyoung isn’t my bias in SNSD, but she stood out more in these performances (anybody else finds this strange resemblance between her and Joey Yung 容祖儿 in this comeback?)
Jessica and Taeyeon are getting prettier though! I am so glad that Taeyeon’s hair is back to normal (no more of that curly thing with blond ends that just looked untrimmed).
I like Seohyun and Tiffany, but in this Music Core “The Boys” performance, Seohyun’s outfit didn’t flatter her while Tiffany’s outfit made her look like Wonder Woman on retro-Barbie mode. I really don’t think Tiffany should have gone for her latest plastic surgery, she used to be prettier before. It’s such a pity. The good news however, is that both of them were given the best outfits for Music Bank.
Tiffany’s Hermes-esque bustier-plate:
Seohyun’s chest-gap jacket:
Honorary mention to Yuri’s winged jacket, which reminds me of Kyu Jong’s jacket during SS501’s Love Ya promotions:
Hyoyeon got 2 seconds of airtime as usual, the poor thing, there’s barely anything to comment on. Yoona and Yuri didn’t stand out much to me in these performances, they were kinda like (pretty) wallflowers. I did notice Yuri more though, because I like her outfits, and her navel looks (very slightly) like Lee Hyori’s long “1” navel. Yes, the random things I notice. keke
I have been a fan since their “Omo omo~ My mazic, mazic, mazic!” days, and I do like Ji-eun a lot. And Hyosung’s purple hair.
In fact, they used to be my favourite girl group, until “Shy Boy” turned their concept on its head and morphed them into the typical cutesy girl group. Yes, I did find “Shy Boy” catchy, but where was the sexy that they used to have?
I wanted to like their comeback “Love is Move”, I really did. (And I also try really hard to disregard the grammatical error in the title…. >.<)
The song is aiight. It’s a little bit like Betty-Boop-on-acid. I actually preferred it to SNSD’s “The Boys” on first 2 listens, but now they’re kinda on par. I am not a huge fan of a completely retro sound (a few touches are nice, but not for the entire song), but this song is jiggly fun, so I don’t have much beef with it ^^
The standout dance move for me is the dance line: where Hyosung shuffles down past the other girls (really reminds me of Betty Boop!)
The key dance steps of the song (back wave, window-wiping, pointy hands, chest wiggle) are variants of typical retro dance moves, so I won’t showcase them too much here.
There are also a couple of sexy-sweet moves that I like. Unfortch, they are thrown in as quick parts of the dance, and not standout dance moves per se. Kinda lessens the impact.
The otokay-fist-to-chest move:
All of Secret’s members have nice vocals, but beyond that, they always look like they’re having fun. (Their pop-ish songs don’t showcase their vocals as much, but check out Ji-eun’s solo songs ^^)
They also have their fair share of strange dance moves, but it is executed with an exuberance that makes you go.. Ah! Oh well then~
Zinger’s look-at-what-mama-gave-me (boob stroke) dance move:
The MV outfits are a little bit too tacky though: a beef I have had ever since “Mazic” days.
However, they redeemed themselves admirably with some awesome clothing in their Music Core performance. Sunhwa and Hyosung’s outfits are like something straight out of my wardrobe. Well-played, girls, well-played!
And yes Hyosung, pls show Orange Caramel how Chinois Chic is done.
Sunhwa’s McQueen-esque outfit:
Hyosung’s cuthole cheongsum:
Nothing.. nothing! can compare to the travesty that is Orange Caramel’s “Shanghai Romance”.
Look, I love headgear and cheongsums as much as the sadomachistic-lovin’-girl that i am (ok, i know i said that out loud again keke), but……. This. Is. Such. A. Sin. (and i don’t mean that in a good way.)
I could barely bring myself to screen-cap anything, and after watching the video, I hope you understand what I mean.
The act-cute-aegyo, cheesy dance moves, scarily-similar-doll-hair, aegyo-vocals…… this would have been more appropriate for 5-year-old girls in tacky singaporean singing competitions. (and Singaporeans should know what I mean: those gawd-awful singing competitions that only aunties & uncles watch, and the rest of us criticize as making children undergo premature-adulthood what with all the thick makeup and overly-dressed-up outfits).
SNSD triumphs over Secret by a whisker, for me at least.
Both SNSD and Secret had their hits and misses in dance moves and clothing choices (<-also an important criteria!),
so it came down to music preference at the end of the day, since vocal ability isn’t a fair assessment criteria when it comes to poppish songs.
As for Orange Caramel…… well, like I mentioned before, my colleagues and I have jokingly formed a girl group called “After Work”, and we also have our subgroup “Banana Caramel”, but………… I’m sowwie. I’m sure fans will manage to find some merits in their performances. Nice headgear, though. I bought something similar too when I went for my Beijing business trip 1.5 years ago ^^
(P.S. Aigoo! It took me a gazillion years to complete this blog post because of all the screen captures, especially since everyone was jigging so much it was near impossible to get good shots without their hair flying around, or their face in a wierd expression. Believe me, I tried my best!)