Tuesday, August 18, 2015

[Dual Review] Girls' Generation (SNSD) - Lion Heart & You Think

I apologized beforehand for the blog lacking as of late. It doesn't have anything to do with my gig over at AKF, I've been fighting off the flu lately, which means I haven't been up for more meaty posts.

But now, I'm feeling much better (flu's almost gone) and SNSD made their long-awaited comeback of comebacks. At first I was worried but if EXO can lose members and have their sound improve then so can SNSD's and it is both nostalgic, fresh, and just what was needed.

What I like about this comeback is that it seems to be a mature remake of their Oh! and Run Devil Run era, which was the era that got me into SNSD and K-pop. This, touches base with that and makes it revamped to suit SNSD's current ages. While Oh! has a cute cheerleader concept, "Lion Heart" has a grown woman in the 1950's concept, which came off more mature than I thought it would. While "Run Devil Run" had a typical bad, and edgy girl, "You Think" has a baller status woman concept with a little more sass.

If you're not into retro Motown songs, then you will not be into "Lion Heart." In fact, I will go out on a limb and say most will probably hate it. But I was surprisingly very happy with the song and I'm sure I'll be replaying it. I think I love it so much because it reminds me of when Secret did "Shy Boy" and "Starlight Moonlight", which was awesome but they never looked back. It's easy to make boring songs with this type of sound but what sets apart Secret's and now "Lion Heart" is that is has some pep in it's step given it's more show-tooney chorus. It has an upbeat nature that puts a cheesey grin on my face. I'm digging the guitars, xylophones, horns, and bumping drums and how they all come together during the chorus. I think the rap was unnecessary but it only has like 15 seconds and gets buried in the instrumental so thanks SM for attempting to spare me.

The music video is quite interesting. It starts out with the girls eating in their 50's pajamas, then Tiffany points to the TV and they all start looking at the typo on the screen (Gilrs Generation.) SNSD then give into bestiality[?] A Lion-man-hybrid comes into their lives and charms them, but then he stupidly tells them all to show at the exact same train station at the exact same time and then they all get pissed and make him work for their feelings to no avail, we even get Kpopalypse wearing a tiger head wooing Sunny in the end. Then they wake up next to him and scream because there's a man with a lions head in their room and that's something to scream about. While the music video is humorous and refreshing from a company like SM that has a tendency to rehash music videos with the various set-changes, however what confuses me is the 1920's flapper costumes during the dance scenes? Don't get me wrong they all look great in them, but it doesn't seem the decade they're trying to re-create. 

"You Think" is what "Mr.Mr." should have been. "Mr. Mr." was good, but once it goes off it becomes boring and I forget what the song even sounded like. "You Think" sneakily borrows a baseline similar to the one used in Beyonce's "Partition", but this is k-pop, so it's going to be injected with more layerings, more singing, and more noise making the song bombastic, sassy, and sexy. At first I hated the rap but after a couple of more listens, I can give it a pass, it's still SNSD and SM is still content on making them rap, so we have to take what we can get and at the end of the day, it could have been a lot more jarring. 

The music video is on-point in damn near every way. It takes all of SNSD's previous bad-girl concepts and revamps them. The outfits are more mature and less-coseplay-ey. Their styling is great too but more on that later. The dark lighting vs the bright and colorful sets make for good contrast without either straining too far from the concept. There's no storyline but that is to be expected from a dance track, and the message is basically "I'm cooler than you" which is exactly what this MV does: show how cool SNSD are.

Onto the visuals in these's MVs: damn. No one is shafted, everyone is styled to their strengths here. The standouts are Taeyeon(always), Seohyun, Tiffany, and Yuri. Seriously Yuri is styled her best here. I'm glad they gave Taeyeon natural looking green contacts in "Lion Heart" vs those scary looking circle lenses. Seohyun is working her ginger-colored hair like no other, Tiffany almost always looks good in mv's (I don't like the contacts they give her in the car scenes of "Lion Heart" but everywhere else she looks good.) Sunny (red hair for the win seriously.) Hyoyeon, Yoona and Sooyoung all look good as well.  Everyone shines in "You Think" tbh.

Overall I give this comeback a 5/5. It's a welcomed change and comeback from SNSD.

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