It’s been a long time coming (and something that’ll make my K-pop Krazy friend Prophet Blog wet himself with delight), but it’s time I finally acknowledged the wonder and splendor of the force known as Girls’ Generation.
Now, I myself am more of a J-Pop connoisseur than K-Pop girl group guru (I go hard for Utada Hikaru, Namie Amuro, Koda Kumi and Ayumi Hamasaki in particular), but it’s all but impossible not to notice the extraordinary influence of Korean girl groups making their way overseas.
Girls’ Generation–sometimes referred to as SNSD (an acronym based on their Korean name)–is by far one of South Korea’s most popular acts. After their debut back in 2007, the nonet (that’s nine members) has gone on to win countless awards and smash dozens of records in both Korea and Japan, most notably for their 2009 international smash hit “Gee,” the Ke$ha-penned “Run Devil Run,” as well as their #1 Japanese hit from earlier this year, “Mr. Taxi.”
(By the way: Think a nine member group is crazy? Check out AKB48, a J-Pop group consisting of 59 members to date. Go ahead. Just try and remember their names.)
Now, quite excitingly, Girls’ Generation are set to make their official mark stateside (well, worldwide really) with the release of their third studio album The Boys, due to hit iTunes on October 19, followed by a US single release via Interscope Records sometime in November.
“The Boys” is the album’s lead single, which was recorded in both Korean and English. Today, the full song hit iTunes and the video has premiered (in both languages) and…well, it’s absolutely incredible. (To be fair: J-Pop and K-Pop videos usually slay Western videos. This is certainly no exception.)
Featuring some truly ferocious choreography, the ladies work it out in some sort of icy snow palace while rocking sky-high stilettos and killer haute couture threads. For fans of girl groups of any kind, the video relentlessly delivers everything that a good girl group video should: Fierce poses, glamorous looks, glossy styling…it’s everything!
And as for the song itself? Crafted by Teddy Riley (Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga), “The Boys” is a solid modern R&B/dance-pop effort with some attitude–a welcome change from the all-too-grating sugary-sweet sound that K-Pop girl groups tend to churn out on the regular. The chorus is an instant ear-worm. Plus, for those easily offenced by a foreign tongue hitting their ears, their accents aren’t even that strong at all–a key factor in helping them to crossover to the West.
As an English debut, “The Boys” is a pretty massive introduction for the group. I’m incredibly excited to see what the international response is to Girls’ Generation–especially in America. Yay for global pop recognition!
“The Boys” was released on October 19. (iTunes)