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Girls Generation "I Got A Boy" Reviewed

Released New Years Day, the nine person collective Girls Generation have released their attempt to break out of the confines of South Korea to Japan and the US (and if they had any sense China) with their sixth release I Got A Boy. Mixing Korean, Japanese and English lyrics along with state of the art electro-pop I bet G-Dragon is studying as we speak, it is a highly addictive slice of superpop that will cement their six year search for the top of the pop hip while not making much of a dent in the US.

In another music planet, rock journalists have been decrying the state of music criticism, but really, to find deeper meaning in anything but the sound of Girls Generation is a suckers game. The nine girls sing in harmony and solo, they have constructed some superb pop moments but its meaning is all technique. This is dance music, mostly in Korean, and when it is in English, it isn't insightful. Here is a couple of lines from "Dancing Queen": translated to English: "Party, a dancing party to set fire to our youth. everyone all together party, a dancing party to set fire to our youth."

The song itself is fabulous, a tremendous little mover. and while it is true that too often the girls sing like birds chirping on a wire outside your window, it still works. But deeper meaning?  Now, I am not claiming that meaning is a problem for me. Here is a Bobby Fuller lyric for taste: "Well let her dance with him all night long, Let her dance to our favorite song. Well let her dance with him let her dance all night long." Both songs signify elsewhere. Girls Generation generation shout and sexual ambiguous (or self referential?) lyric  don't matter and the reviewer doesn't matter except how it makes you move.

And on song after song, Girls Generation make you move, they get in your ear and they make you jump up and down and very well. The polished electronic feeded up beats swamp the song and the consistent melodic come on are first rate. This is the Off The Wall lesson, this is what pop music is MEANT TO DO. It is better than, say, Ke$ha's Warrior, though both are state of the art statements about modern pop.

If it was all as good as "I Got A Boy", "Dancing Queen" and the superb "Express 999" -a fully charged tempo switching Latin pop flavored dance song which should be a huge huge hit when they pull it, there would be no debating this album. At its best it is better than BIGBANG's Still Alive, but it really flat lines in places. The ballads are awful, "Promise" is so twee you wanna stick Juniel in front of them and have em play backup. "Baby Maybe" -written by Pixie Lott of all people, is catchy pop music Western style with a catchy little hook "Put your hands up like this" and "XYZ" urban K-Pop which kinda sucks, like Michel Jackson at 78 rpm.

Still, even at its worse I Got A Boy is never ordinary, Ten tracks, no real dogs but too much filler, and the heights of "I Got A Boy", "Express 999" and "Dancing Queen" leading the way.

Grade: B

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