Tag Archives: 2014

SNSD and SONE

Yesterday was Girls’ Generation’s 7th Anniversary as a group. I might not be a fan of them since their debut seven years ago, when they were still innocent girls who stunned the whole South Korea with Into the New World’s kick. It might not even be a year yet for me to be their fan, but despite of my lack of emotional ties with the girls but I’m going to take this chance to reflect on what SONEs have been doing so far.

As I’ve mentioned here and many times before, it hasn’t been that long since I’ve been a fan of Girls’ Generation (GG). That’s why even though I’m cherishing their anniversary, I’m not as emotional as other SONEs, who cried yesterday when they watched videos of GG’s debut stage in Inkigayo seven years ago; reminiscing about the memories they’ve had all these years.

A lot of people (by people I mean senior SONEs) have admitted that 2014 is a year of trial for GG. The year started when Yoona’s dating news with Lee SeungGi broke out, and in mere days, it was followed by Sooyoung’s dating news with Jo Kyung Ho. Not long after that, a shocking statement from the company’s CEO saying that SNSD will be replaced by a new group came out. As if the statement was not discouraging enough, other dating news came out, stating that Tiffany has been dating Nichkhun (a member of 2PM) and Taeyeon dating Baekhyun (a member of EXO). All of those shocking news came out when 2014 was still halfway through, and who knows what kind of news SONEs will have to overcome the rest of the year.

Some SONEs were very disappointed that the news came out that they reacted in ways that I think was quite, sorry to say this, reckless or even stupid. Some fanfic writers stopped writing because the couples they shipped were broken because the member was dating. A girl was cutting her own hand because she was really disappointed that the couple she was shipping was dating other guys instead of each other. A fan was spamming on one of the guy’s Twitter account because s/he doesn’t approve him dating one of the members.

To those people, I say: what the frack are you doing?

As silly as this might sound, those news didn’t have as much impact on me as it was on the other SONEs. Call me ignorant or anything, but for me the news were mere strategies by SM to gain something, like, I don’t know, some profits? I might be a bit down when the news came out, but not because the members were dating, but because (some of them) are dating the wrong person. But even that doesn’t change the fact that I’m still fangirling over Taeyeon’s dorky pictures or Fany’s eye-smile.

Since when do fans dictate what the idols have to do? Yes, one of the reasons why idols are successful was because of the fans, but does that make us their God? Does that give us the right to dictate their lives?

In some interviews, some of the members have voiced their concerns about them dating. As young girls in the peak of their beauty, of course they want to go on dates. They are more than ready, but they have to hold back because they know the fans couldn’t accept that. Even after the news came out, the dating couples couldn’t go out on dates because the spotlights are on them. They would rather stay in their dorm, ordering food, instead of going on real dates like what couples their age supposed to do.

Doesn’t it hurt you that the people you care about have to sacrifice their own well-beings because of your selfish needs for them to stay single forever, just to give you that little spark of hope that by some sort of miracle you could have your idols to yourself and run towards the sunset together?

In all honesty, I was quite broken when Taeyeon’s dating news came out, with Baekhyun of all people. She was the reason why I was into SNSD in the first place, and the news crushed me. Even if now I’m more of a Sunshiner (Sunny’s fan) than a Taeganger (Taeyeon’s fan), the news still brought me down.

No, it’s not because she’s “dating” an EXO member, but because of the consequence she has to endure. A few hours after the news was out, her Instagram account was flooded with harsh comments like “f*ck you”, and people saying that she’s a wh*re and all that. Regardless of the news was real or not, she doesn’t deserve that kind of treatment. For years of her building her singing career, her fans were praising her voice and her beautiful face, saying that she’s a Korean Diva. Then her “dating” news came out and BOOM, she’s a whore.

I know a lot of Taeganger and Baekhyun fans were disappointed. I think I would be too if the day comes when Sunny’s dating news came out, and the guy doesn’t deserve her. But who are we to decide who are good for them or not? It’s their lives, not ours. Yes, we would kill the guys who have broken our girls’ hearts, but that doesn’t make it okay for us to just bash the guys who date them. It’s their choice, and the best thing we can do is just congratulate them and hope that the guy was not a douche.

In a recent show, one of Sunny’s statements ‘enlightened’ me. In that show she was asked by the MC what kind of future does she want to go, not as Sunny, but as Lee SoonGyu (her real name). Her answer slapped me hard in the face.

“That’s hard question. Even I don’t know how Lee SoonGyu will live. I don’t remember living as Lee SoonGyu very well. I don’t even know very well yet what Lee SoonGyu likes or what she should do. That day will come, right, when I’ll need to live as Lee SoonGyu again. I think when that time comes I’ll need to search from then on what Lee SoonGyu likes and is good at. I probably won’t be able to return to that. I’ll be remembered and known as Sunny, so I can’t go back. However, once in a while, I miss Lee SoonGyu.”

Most of her life, she “acted” as Sunny, that she started to forgot who she really is. She’s not even sure if she knows what she really likes and dislikes. For me, it’s quite sad to know that an idol would go that far to please the fan, to be the figure that the fans could admire. I think this applies to the other members, not only Sunny.

Seven years is not a short time for a K-Pop idol, especially for a girl group. Of course we should congratulate and thank them for keeping the group for so long, and for being such hard-workers for us fans. But more than that, I think SONEs also need to reflect on themselves more as fans. Have we been good to them? Knowing that our idol would go that far for us, the least we can do as a fan is to support them no matter what. That would be a good start, and more than any gifts, our idols would appreciate that more.

This kind of reminder also applies to me, though. I have been learning to accept the fact that one day Sunny and Taeyeon would get married. Truthfully speaking, I’m still not ready yet if it would happen, say, next year. But I do sincerely hope that no matter what happens the group would still be there, performing their songs in front of their fans, creating more albums even with the increasing numbers of their individual activities.

Above anything else, that’s my wish as a SONE. I hope that’s not too much to ask. After all, all SONEs want to dream forever with GG right?

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Girls’ Generation – Mr.Mr. Mini Album and Music Video Review

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The ‘me’ a year ago won’t believe that I’m actually going to write a review for a Girls’ Generation album and MV, but here I am, after spazzing out on their newest music video Mr.Mr. while I’m having my dinner with some colleagues, on my bed typing my review. Since I’m a newbie SONE*, I might have different opinions about this album than my SONE sunbae-nims**, but still might not sound so objective from a general POV.

Mind you, I’ve listened to all their album, both Japanese and Korean, except their first Japanese album, so this review is based on what I heard on their previous albums compared with this mini album. So, Without further ado, let’s start with the album, shall we?

Here’s my review for each tracks:

Mr.Mr.
When I first heard this song, my first thought was, “Wow, the girls have matured a lot.” Their voices sound better than their previous albums, since this song leans heavily on the singing technique than their dancing ability. In I Got a Boy, the girls did a great job on making a surprising comeback with their funky and unique music, but this song it only has a short dance break, and the rest are pure magic on their improving singing technique. You might be surprised (and possibly disappointed), but for SONEs, this song showed the mature side of Girls’ Generation.

Goodbye
The first thing I noticed was Hyoyeon’s beautiful voice. In their previous albums, the Dancing Queen always had the least part in the song, but in this song she really shines with her sexy alto voice. And forget Sunny’s cutesy voice in the previous albums. She sounds grrreat in this song, without losing her familiar singing voice. This track is yet another proof that the girls have improved a lot in their singing.

Europa
If you have listened to their Love & Peace Japanese album, this track might remind you a bit with ‘Do the Catwalk’. This song is showcasing their falsetto voice, which I think will be such delight to listen to while you’re walking around and having fun with your loved one. Sunny and Jessica’s soprano voices I think is the highlight of this song, so for fans of both the girls, this song will make you proud of the Aegyo Queen and the Ice Princess.

Wait a Minute
Being one of my favorite track in the album, I kinda hope that they will make a video for this song. The song might not be easy to hum with, but the song itself is so catchy that you can’t help but hum “Oh my Gosh” with Tiffany (she’s the lead vocal in this song). I think this song portrays the exact feeling of a girl who’s flustered with her own feelings.

Back Hug
My absolute favorite track of the album! I instantly fell in love with this ballad song the first time I heard it, and can’t help but blush hearing the girls sing it! Even now, I still find myself smiling to myself once the intro for this song is played. This song is really fluffy, that if you have a Soshi couple you ship you will instantly imagine them back-hug each other! Seriously though, I thought I’m the only one, but a lot of people have been telling me the same thing. That’s how good this song sounds! And with a warm ending by Taeyeon’s ‘Please cover my heart’, you can’t help but say “Awww!” the first time you hear it.

Soul
This is a remake version of their chinese track entitled Find Your Soul. A lot of SONEs have been expressing their disappointment since the final track of the album is not a new song. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to look up to from this track. Look forward to hearing Tiffany and Hyoyeon’s rapping in this track, which made a lot of people love this track.

Overall Album Review
As I’ve mentioned a lot above, the girls have matured a lot in their singing technique. Before this album, people know Soshi as the girl group dancing in sync, with easy-to- follow dance moves and familiar songs, but not this one. You hear them showing off their singing abilities, and some people might find it disappointing because it seemed like a decline from the ever-lovable Gee or powerful I Got a Boy. But at the same time, you can’t hate this album and can’t stop listening to it! And before you know it, you’re anxiously waiting for the music video.

And now, the exciting part and most-awaited part of Mr.Mr.:

The music video.

When the very first teaser came out during Marchen Fantasy concert last December, it showed a masculine concept from the girls, with black and white video, but nothing else. And then there was another image teaser by SM early February, teasing the desperate SONEs showing what looked like a cross-over between the famous slasher movie Saw and the mysterious-Soshi concept, with the girls donned in pink nurse clothes.

Confused with my description? So did SONEs, but the 40 second teaser was more than enough to spark our curiosity since SM already informed about their masculine concept, and the latest teaser was nothing close to masculine.

After all the ‘mishap’ from SM (which I think was just a marketing strategy) and making all SONEs desperately waiting for any information on their newest MV, at February 28th 2014, at exactly 10 pm KST the girls are back with their long-awaited music video.

I have to be honest that I’ve only watched the video once and my jaw literally dropped. I have mentioned that I watched the video while I was having dinner with my colleagues? Yeah well they were so intrigued since I said “Daebak!***” a lot, especially during the dance break.

They did have that Saw-Mysterious Soshi crossover, AND their masculine concept during the dance break. It’s like the puzzle pieces showed the big image we’ve all been waiting for anxiously. It’s just…awesome.

I mean, currently a lot of Korean girl groups have been using sexy concept for their 2014 comeback, and Soshi confidently use a sexy-masculine concept, and they’re rocking it, clearly showing their class as the nation’s best girl group without showing their cleavage as the bait to make people curious! I don’t think the word ‘Daebak” cuts it.

It calls for a “Heol, daebak sagun!****”

Phew.

Now that the digital and physical album came out, and their MV too, what’s next?

Promotional activities of course! The girls will be making their comeback on M! Countdown on 6th of March so expect a lot of TV appearances after that!

Notes:
*SONE: fanbase for Girls’ Generation. It’s read “so-won”, means “wish” in Korean. It also have different meaning, which is “Soshi (a nickname for Girls’ Generation) and fans are ONE”
**sunbae-nim: in Korean “sunbae” means “senior”, and “-nim” is a Korean suffix to show respect to someone older or have more experience in something.
***daebak: in Korean it means “amazing” or “awesome”
****heol, daebak sagun: in Korean it means “Gasp/Wow, how epic!”

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