11:24 pm - 01/15/2013

The I Got A Boy "Controversy" Examined by ‘My Daily’ Writer Lee Seungrok

To say the least, it’s clear that Girls’ Generation didn’t release a song that’s like every other song. There was no girl group before Girls’ Generation with such bitter controversy over one song. Controversies girl groups get caught up in are usually over “suggestivethings: suggestive dancing or outfits that expose too much skin. However, people are talking not about their choreography or outfits, but about Girls’ Generation’s song.

What kind of song is “I Got A Boy” to have people divided into either “liking” or “hating” it?


It’s not a song that you can’t listen to. There are already a lot of girl group songs that you can’t bear to listen to, that sound similar and have a similar feel, and they keep coming out. However, “I Got A Boy” is never a song that’s on the same level as those other songs. If it were something you can’t bear to listen to, it probably wouldn’t have become such a controversy because nobody would listen to it.

“I Got A Boy”, first of all, is unfamiliar. “Strange” may even be a better, more accurate expression. The changes in the song are frequent, and it’s not a pattern change that people are used to hearing in their ears. It’s difficult trying to predict that pattern as well. This song is clearly different from Girls’ Generation’s usual songs, and so people initially are repulsed by the song.

Also, when you place the image of “a girl group doing hip-hop” up front, it adds on to the repulsion. People laughed and passed over Girls’ Generation members rapping awkwardly on variety shows and going “Ayo”, but people become stern when the girls earnestly begin placing “Ayo GG” in a song when they say they plan on doing hip-hop. (translator’s note: the girls won’t take it seriously, because they joked about it using the same phrase) It makes people think, “Let’s see just how good you are.” It’s similar to the repulsion and stern feeling people get when male idols say they’re going to do rock music. But honestly, the introduction rap in “I Got A Boy” is awkward. It doesn’t give off a professional vibe.

However, putting this repulsion aside, you can only feel the true charm of “I Got A Boy” by continuing to listen to it. It’s an appeal that remains once the initial repulsion thins out.

“I Got A Boy” is largely composed of two parts. The loose and speedy rhythms of the two parts differ greatly. While it seems different, it also seems similar somehow. This is because after clearly contrasting the two parts, they skillfully mix the two at the end of the song. The sense of awareness of this difference is somewhat addictive.

As soon as the introduction rap ends, they quickly present the hook of the first part. The change into the hook of the second part, which is a lot faster, is made clear by saying, “Ayo! Stop! Let me put it another way.” Because they pour it all together without any gaps after that line, the change of speed feels extreme.

Tiffany’s part, which starts with “I’m so angry I could die”, suddenly erases the electronic sounds that created the fast rhythm. Unlike the first half of the song, where chattering voices could be heard, it captures the listener’s attention with particularly deep vocals, switching up the mood. They then say, “Don’t stop! Let’s bring it back to 140″, increase the speed once again, and they reach the last part, where they combine the two hooks, not giving you the time to catch your breath. The four minutes and 30 seconds are precisely filled up so it’s not boring, and the song livens up a lot more when you listen to it while watching Girls’ Generation’s choreography on music programs.


In the end, if you want to understand the fun of “I Got A Boy”, you need to have a fairly good understanding of the outline of change. The problem is that you can only see that outline when you continuously listen to it. As mentioned before, because of the repulsion of “girl group hip-hop”, it’s not easy to enjoy it repeatedly.

However, you don’t have to judge “I Got A Boy” while hanging onto “hip-hop” so much. Aside from the rap in the intro, it’s not a song that is classified as hip-hop, so you shouldn’t expect them to sing a hip-hop song well. It’s also a well-made song that’s worth listening to repeatedly. Also, if you think about why Girls’ Generation sang this song, there is a fairly important reason.

This meaning is that, through Girls’ Generation’s selection of “I Got A Boy”, they’ve broken away from limitations and the currently existing road of girl groups. This movement was seen to a certain extent through “The Boys”, and you can say that they’ve completely entered a new path with “I Got A Boy”. They’ve entered a path that will allow Girls’ Generation to be maintained for a longer time without regressing.

Before this, Girls’ Generation’s weakness was clear. A finite “girl” image. As the members get older and the farther they get from their debut year, the image will become one that they can’t put forth, and the “girl” image is bound to disappear little by little as time goes by. This isn’t a problem that applies to just Girls’ Generation, but to all girl groups.

And so this is why most girl groups seek the method of switching from an “innocent” image to a “mature” one. However, “sexy” is mistakenly used to show a “mature” image, creating a paradoxical “sexy girl group” image that people turn away from. Even fans are starting to leave newly debuted girl groups with “innocent” images, and many girl groups have been forgotten and have disappeared.

Girls’ Generation and SM Entertainment probably were aware of this girl group life cycle. And so they probably didn’t go for “sexy”, but true “maturity”, and not for their image, but “musical maturity”.

I think you can define Girls’ Generation and the new path they discovered as becoming “musically mature” and “a girl group that leads K-Pop”. The meaning of “The Boys” was that they would be separating from stale, fed up girl group-esque music. The maxi-single they released, carrying a remix of “The Boys” with lots of electronic sounds, showed their will regarding musical change. Of course, people’s reactions towards “The Boys” was not that good either. It wasn’t as bad as “I Got A Boy” now, but there were still complaints of “Why did they release a song like this?

Still, receiving a refreshing shock with songs like “The Boys” or “I Got A Boy” is a lot better than being shocked seeing Girls’ Generation doing “spread legs dancing” while wearing disconcerting miniskirts. I would think Girls’ Generation fans should be thankful that a sexy Girls’ Generation didn’t appear.

While there are some people who suggest that they should be singing another “Gee”-like song, it’s not like a “Gee” 2.0 syndrome is something that you can just throw together. Not only that, but looking at “Hoot” or “Oh!”, it’s been proven that it’s not easy reproducing another “Gee”.

No matter how much people say about this and that over “I Got A Boy”, Girls’ Generation is already going on their way. They’re going down a road that other girl groups couldn’t even think of, singing, “you’re such a show-off”.


Disclaimer: Views expressed are solely those of the author and are not representative of the Soshified community as a whole.

Source: My Daily via Daum
Translated by: ch0sshi@soshified
Edited by: moonrise31@soshified, taengsoshi@soshified, MoonSoshi9@soshified

though its main focus is igab, it touches upon a lot about girl groups in general. i really like how the writer discerns "mature" from "sexy". a recommended read!

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flumes 16th-Jan-2013 07:41 am (UTC)
i don't think i would call this maturation. but the whole idea of this is bizarre. i don't think this article is saying what girl groups should or shouldn't be but the way it's consumed is so...there's very little in between and it's either cute or sexy while still pandering to men.

idek what im saying really i gotta pee
stephantasm 16th-Jan-2013 07:42 am (UTC)
lmao... this article is really weird and full of hyperbole.

Edited at 2013-01-16 07:46 am (UTC)
markthatcoin 16th-Jan-2013 07:50 am (UTC)
They’re going down a road that other girl groups couldn’t even think of, singing, “you’re such a show-off”.

huh?

so who is the clever group here... the ones who didn't take this 'road less traveled' or the ones who did...
cagallisakura 16th-Jan-2013 07:52 am (UTC)
lol yea, the translator herself didn't really get that last part either "(dunno if that makes sense, but it's the part of the lyrics, so…)"
hellodee16 16th-Jan-2013 07:52 am (UTC)
what about GLAM's song tho. It's a mixture too...
stephantasm 16th-Jan-2013 08:06 am (UTC)
and I think the song is more cohesive? Like the individual parts with the rougher music are about how much they're trying to be happy being alone, while the chorus with the happier music is that actualization.
boba_holic 16th-Jan-2013 07:52 am (UTC)
I don't understand what half of this article is trying to say..
tterriffic 16th-Jan-2013 07:54 am (UTC)
what a load of poop
weird song is weird and hard to listen to, why does everyone and their mother need to excuse it
and wtf at the "just be thankful they didn't spread their legs and go the sexy way" part? an overly innocent image is just as bad, thank you very much

Edited at 2013-01-16 07:55 am (UTC)
bolingi_aii 16th-Jan-2013 07:58 am (UTC)
sm is trying hard to get this song to happen with all these damn articles. Half of them grapple with a coherent sentence to justify this song
nyokou 16th-Jan-2013 07:57 am (UTC)
I don't think this article is very well written but I understand what the author was trying to say. I wouldn't be able to say it any better than that though, I'm not eloquent in writing at all, lol.
heartsolid 16th-Jan-2013 07:59 am (UTC)
...didn’t release a song that’s like every other song

lol well that's for damn sure.

This song is clearly different from Girls’ Generation’s usual songs, and so people initially are repulsed by the song.

Except not really. You could have given this song to Rihanna and people would have still went WTF for a long moment.

And even when they say the girls were joking about the "AYO GG" part I 1) think they are just covering up their mistake by laughing it off 2) Unless you're The Lonely Island, people don't listen to music for jokes or for you to take your profession/their money loosely by tossing something random and awkward in the first single after a year. Just admit you thought it was fly

Whatever my opinion of the song I find these articles lulzy and nearly pointless. It's excuses; Like they're going "Ok since you guys don't like it now this isn't 'hip-hop,' song/concept or the song isn't messy its supposed to leave you breathless, etc. Not everyone is going to take to every single in an explosive "OMG I love it - this is my jam!!~" light. Get over it and just continue to enjoy the comeback.


Edited at 2013-01-16 08:07 am (UTC)
sobaek 16th-Jan-2013 08:02 am (UTC)
Sones are really desperate for this song to be revolutionary instead of just being a mess.
angela_derp_otp 16th-Jan-2013 08:03 am (UTC)
This article is reaching tbh and the tone really throws me off, especially the approach at girl groups and the whole sexy/mature/cute concept thing.


"is a lot better than being shocked seeing Girls’ Generation doing “spread legs dancing” while wearing disconcerting miniskirts"
Well this sentence bothers me a lot tbh but I'm not even surprised.


IMO, Is just that, why do we need articles telling people 'you need to understand this and this otherwise you won't like the song!' ? Popular music made for masses or large markets should be easy to digest, and by easy I don't mean dumb/generic, just music that doesn't need an article every 2 days explaining 'why the song is so great and you should like it and if you don't like it you don't know what you are missing'

I don't see how this song shows off how mature they are, especially with those lyrics.

I don't hate the song, I think it was a nice attempt at something different but it was poorly executed. And if the lyrics were different I would be able to listen to the song.

I do like the 'I got A boy♪' verse.
cagallisakura 16th-Jan-2013 08:10 am (UTC)
to be far, most of the articles are actually coming out around the same day. it just takes awhile for them to be translated so it seems like there's one every few days lol i just posted the ones i thought had ~something new~ to say and the ones i considered boring/didn't bother posting were posted by other members >.>

Pretty sure Lee Seungrok is a man so I'm not surprised by the questionable tone.
sobaek 16th-Jan-2013 08:06 am (UTC)
I like the choreography, I like the change in styling, and I like that they aren't just flailing their bare legs about like they usually did. Hell, I even like parts of the song, I just don't like ow it does together and anytime one of them says 'ayo' 'let me put it down another way' etc I cringe so hard. If it didn't slow down and speed up so erratically, if the different sections flowed together better instead of sounding like different songs just spliced together, it would work.
It's not like I have anything against irregular song structures. Totally different genre but a Dir en grey song titled 'yokusou ni dreambox aruiwa seijuku no rinen to tsumetai ame' similarly has sections where the tempo suddenly switched, from being pretty slow and regular through a majority of the song, to rapid blast beats, with the vocalist switching from smooth vocals to shrieks, roars and shouts. I love that song. Because they pull it off. They make that switch and it works. Partially to d with the actual music genre, partly just because it was done well.

This wasn't done well. It's messy in the wrong way, it doesn't suit the enre hey are working in and they've not pulled it off. In My humble opinion.
okadarei 16th-Jan-2013 11:24 am (UTC)
THIS +1

The idea of the song ain't bad. Some parts are even well matched (at the end mostly), but most of the transitions are horrid. Is not the first song with this type of changes but maybe the first that has those many different beats put into one track. And yes, they've shouldn't try to Grime, that's their weakest point on this song.
dapo322 16th-Jan-2013 08:09 am (UTC)
"If it were something you can’t bear to listen to, it probably wouldn’t have become such a controversy because nobody would listen to it."

Now I don't hate IGAB, but cmon. SNSD, a top girl group, released a single. People are going to listen to see what it sounds like and if anything there are 9 girls in a mv with a bunch of colorful sets. People are going to watch the video and hear the song. Plus there are people who will listen to song a bunch of times just because it's their bias group/artist.


The strong image I guess that they are trying to go for with the clothes and "hip hop" style to make it seem more mature doesn't really go with the lyrics.

"Ah, my prince! When are you gonna come save me?
Will you lift me in your arms and fly, like a white dream?"

"I’m like, surprised, mental collapse!
He wants to see my face without makeup.
I really like him, would it be okay to show it to him?
Oh! Never! Right? Right?
Let’s keep what needs to be kept, right! right!
Don’t ever forget this until you take all of his heart!"
http://snsdkorean.com/2013/01/05/i-got-a-boy-the-analysis/


I'll end on a positive that at least they look like they are enjoying themselves and I like parts of the choreo. Also, with the way that the music shows cutout TaeNY's unnecessary bridge the song is better. I still would take out the Ayo as well as Yoona and Hyoyeon's rap. I think overall the song would be better w/out those parts and some better lyrics.



Edited at 2013-01-16 08:13 am (UTC)
heartsolid 16th-Jan-2013 08:15 am (UTC)
those lyrics...
liarose 16th-Jan-2013 08:09 am (UTC)
NO. this song is a mess no matter how hard we're trying to say otherwise. Now its up to the listeners to either love or hate it.
(I personally liked it after a few times of listening, but I'd just pretending that I was brainwashed...)

its a frankenstein level of a song, chopped and sewed together. some might call it cool but other would get scared.
pseudo_shigure 16th-Jan-2013 08:36 am (UTC)
I actually downloaded a remixed version from youtube because I like parts of the original, but not as a whole song. The one from youtube is far more cohesive.

this is not actually commenting the article, but whatever.
hellicoptajuuce 16th-Jan-2013 08:40 am (UTC)
LMAO at Seobot in the last pic why is she twerkin' her shoulder when no one else is
fay_of_sunshine 16th-Jan-2013 08:51 am (UTC)
well, the song is shite and so is this article.

Edited at 2013-01-16 08:52 am (UTC)
spread 16th-Jan-2013 09:04 am (UTC)
Don't care for the song too much, but I love watching the MV.
Just for watching Jessica not give a fuck, by not doing half of the choreography or half-assing it...
cottonowl 16th-Jan-2013 09:16 am (UTC)
This song got less craze because it's a mess, just get over it SM.
shocko_o 16th-Jan-2013 09:21 am (UTC)
i like the energy of the song, and tbh here i'm not a fan of their title tracks since genie. i'd take this over those, really. but it is a mess, and i can't listen to it for too long because there's little breathing space and jarring transitions. about those transitions, if they were going to do crazy and radical i do think they did not go far enough, or they did not hit the right balance between individual parts. it would have been cool if they did pull this off. now that they're the top girl group, that would have been one of the best things that could happen for their comeback.

and those lyrics...... haha.
jeugd1 16th-Jan-2013 09:22 am (UTC)
The song sucks and so does their new look....pathetic to be honest


and this article is reaching for the stars
aiedailglow 16th-Jan-2013 09:25 am (UTC)
I didn't knew IGAB was "controversial"

It's not a musical or ideological masterpiece, just a pop song with a weird chopping/combining of different melodies and tempo, there's no controversy in that.
keiko_lily 16th-Jan-2013 10:00 am (UTC)
Mte.
keyllastic 16th-Jan-2013 09:36 am (UTC)
Personally I just don't like the chorus - but I don't find anything strange about the song. Hey, Sherlock was a mashup of two songs, and it did just fine as we've seen. I think it's silly to start a "controversy" over the fact that some people like the song and some don't. -shrug-
achan123 17th-Jan-2013 04:13 am (UTC)
sherlock was DA BOMB! but i guess clue and note were both similar to one another, while the bazzilion songs in IGAB all have different instruments, tempos etc.
warriorholmes 16th-Jan-2013 09:44 am (UTC)
I really should read the lyrics lmao
lazmy 16th-Jan-2013 10:03 am (UTC)
do not read them while eating/drinking/operating machinery as you may injure yourself from laughter
hellicoptajuuce 16th-Jan-2013 09:47 am (UTC)
is this really a "Controversy" though but i guess whatever you do in kpop land is a controversy/scandal/innovative/real time chart topping/etc etc etc

i didnt know it was a controversy to have different tastes
line_genrou 16th-Jan-2013 02:23 pm (UTC)
When it relates to SNSD, it's a controversy. If it was anyone else, people probably wouldn't care as much.
vmaknae10 16th-Jan-2013 10:00 am (UTC)
I hear it twice then stop. Well, i didn't understand and the music's change hurt my ears
achan123 17th-Jan-2013 04:15 am (UTC)
trust me u get used to it. then u start to like it (specially when u become familar with the song's individual parts).

also bonus info, justin timberlake's new song 'suit and tie' has a similar song structure to this with tempo changes et all...

Edited at 2013-01-17 04:15 am (UTC)
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