SNSD - Hoot

I'm not writing as much as I want to, and it's frustrating me. But I'll just let things take their course. What's the worst that could happen?

I noticed something when I reviewed SNSD songs in the past - either I really liked them but didn't review them, or when I reviewed them I didn't let them sink in, therefore making me regret what I said just a few days later. So this time, I took the time to really give all the tracks a chance to show me something fantastic, and I've come to quite a few conclusions.


There are pretty songs on the album (we'll get to them later), and the production on this was good like always, but the biggest problem of Hoot is that it's not an album. (or mini-album, doesn't matter) It has no right to be called an album.

So what's an album? An album is more than 12+ songs (5+ if it's a mini-album) put together on a CD, packaged and promoted. An album is a group of songs with identity, direction and cohesion - it reflects who that artist is at that specific point in time, and the songs on it become part of the artist's repertoire. I'm not saying all the songs should sound like each other because that's bad too, I'm saying that they should have a distinct sound, something unique to tie everything together.

You can argue that I said a few paragraphs ago that the production is standard SM, good, and that can be the common "sound", but if that's the case, then that means you can put together songs from any SME act and call it an album. That's not the way it goes. Production is an important part of a song, but I'm talking about identity here, something only that particular artist possesses, or pulls off very well.

Listen to these songs alone, and they're not half bad. To be honest with you there are songs I really like, but I'd never listen to all the tracks, in order, as a whole, because they sound like they're not only from different albums, but different years. Once again, you can argue that it's what you call "variety", but there are limits to variety, and you can't just put together 5 songs as you wish - there has to be a concept, an idea, behind them.

On it's own, Hoot is a pretty decent song. I didn't like it the first time I heard it, but it's Genie all over again. Only Genie's better. The idea behind it reminds me of an SNSD and SME-ized Two Different Tears, and I'm glad they've somehow toned down the sickening, and degrading, cuteness, one way or another. (It's still there though, I still hear it) It's got fantastic production as usual, the chorus is melodic but catchy, and the middle 8 has it's appeal. Somehow all these things come together and the song has just that little bit of kick - not fantastic, but not bad, not bad at all.

Mistake is like Hoot (the EP) in one song. It's got pretty verses, a gorgeous, gorgeous chorus, a nice light arrangement with beautiful strings and good vocals, but they don't gel together as well as they should. The jump from the bridge to the chorus is very awkward and, like the album, it's like you took parts of random songs and put them together. The middle 8 fits nicely though, even if it's a little generic and predictable. (like basically the entire song) It's gorgeous, but predictable. I'll give it to them for having pretty good vocals on this though.

Ah yes, My Best Friend. It's very girly and all, and it sounds very Disney - I would have no problem putting this in a Play album circa-early 2000's. I don't know about you guys, but I actually kinda like it. The electric guitars at the chorus give the song an edge compared to the Disney stuff, and even if they do sound very cutesy, it doesn't go overboard and does match the song. Except for the end where the vocals turn juvenile, it's a nice, light song.

Wake Up actually made me fall asleep. Oh, the irony. At some points, it sounds like a bunch of pre-teens trying to do Britney. There are times when it doesn't, but practically the entire hook sounds like that. It's annoying, and the song isn't exactly that exciting either - in trying to be all serious and all, it gets boring and doesn't really go anymore. It's all style, and no substance - there are all these effects, the guitars and all these dark, heavy instruments in the background, but they fail to deliver one, a solid, strong melody and two, a hook that doesn't just go on and on and on and make you want to press forward.

Quite a few parts of Snowy Wish reminds me of one of the songs from Genie. Etude, was it? It has similar percussion and string lines, and even the structure has some similarities. They were good at first, but it's nothing new anymore. Boring. The song itself is the kind you hear on those Saturday morning kid's cartoons about a girl who lives in a small house in the middle of a gazillion flowers then she goes out and prances around, chasing her pet puppy. LOL here I go again describing stuff. (see: my review of The Wanted's debut album) But really, that's what I get when I hear the song!

3.9/5 - Good production, decent songs, but it's not an album. That alone brings the score down, by a lot.

9 comments:

  1. Hmm personally I was surprised at how different all the songs sounded. SNSD is a group that definitely changes their genre alot but this is the first time I've heard such a variety of styles on one album from them. This is probably, most likely, quite definitely my bias talking but this kind of album is fun though. Artistry wise it's kind of a bad move honestly, but fans will get a kick out of this.
    Personally I don't like Wake Up that much. I enjoy the badassery of it but that's about it. Hoot is a nice, solid track. Mistake is a nice ballad but it's no Star Star Star or Forever, or even Complete. My Snowy Wish is your typical SNSD OST-type song; it's just a filler so while cute and feel good, nobody will pay attention to it. My Best Friend is probably my favourite track - it's definitely in SNSD's style plus the lyrics are omgcute if you understand them.
    -
    I score it at like 4.5/5. I enjoyed the EP lol.
    It's overall kind of mischievous, what with all the laughing in the tracks plus the fact that the announcement for the album came out of nowhere and apparently the girls watched and laughed as the fans spazzed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm surprised you have it a 3.9/5....I would have given it a 2/5 at best. I don't like this album at all, Hoot's okay. To be honest the when I listened to the other 4 songs for the first time I ended up pressing the skip button each time. I literally had to force myself to listen to the songs all the way through multiple times. Still don't like it. No I'm not an SNSD hater, Girls' Generation the album is a good album to me and so was Gee. SM this year has just been bleh.

    ReplyDelete
  3. yayyyy another review!
    could you please explain a little more (you already have explained it a lot..... sorry... ) what do you mean that it's not an album?

    ReplyDelete
  4. It was a very good album...

    If you think that it was not an album, have you ever listened to other hit albums... take Lady Gaga's Fame... It has Beautiful, Dirty, Rich and it has Eh, Eh... Both sound extremely different... Then take Britney's Circus... Each song is hell different from the other...

    And let me remind you there is NO FUCKING LIMIT to variety... You wrote a stupid review... Only see negative points... thinking that you have a bigger brain then the professional stars is not going to make you look any wiser...

    ReplyDelete
  5. yup, i def. agree with you..the songs are good but it seems like SM just picked 5 songs and put it together and call it a EP.. Hoot and Mistake are my favourites from the mini-album, but i wish SM would pick the songs that actually suits the concept of the mini-album

    ReplyDelete
  6. I thought Hoot album was tons better than the Oh! one when I was listening to Best Friend but I immediately took it back when I heard Wake Up. And Snowy Wish sounded like the songs in Oh. I thought that SNSD's sound was going to mature for real but I guess not.

    ReplyDelete
  7. So I'm finally reading your Hoot review (disclosure: I am a biased SONE) 'cause I wanted some time to absorb the album as well, and I agree with you for the most part. (The part that doesn't agree is the SONE in me. heh ;P)

    The first time listening to the album AS A WHOLE was really hard. I'd listened to the songs individually with gaps of time in between, so it wasn't immediately apparent to me how much it lacked cohesion. (Listening to Oh! album again rn and omg the difference! O_o) As you said, this album sounds like it comes from different years, but maybe that's the point?

    Right now SNSD is trying to transition from a group of teenage girls to women. RDR was a start, but before that was 2 years of cute and fun Soshi. Some fans won't be happy for them to completely throw that image away in one album. If they even can. Over the years, SNSD's image just became inherently cute. /shrugs

    I don't like Wake Up at all. As much as I love the big bass and badassery of it, the song drags along sfm. I couldn't even finish it the first time I heard it. T_T Show! Show! Show! has that grungy electronic sound too, but was so much better than Wake Up. I'm sure SMe can afford to give the girls better songs than this now.

    Snowy Wish and My Best Friend is pretty typical SNSD. If it wasn't there, then it would've surprised me. The fact it IS there doesn't prick my interest at all. lol But I love My Best Friend for the underlying meaning. XD

    Like Anna above mentioned, I thought SNSD's music was going to mature. I'm really looking forward to that day, but at least there wasn't another Oh! on this album. I confess I spazzed hard to Oh! when it came out, but I really don't want them singing that type of song in two more years. That would just be ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It seems like when SNSD went off the debut in Japan, everyone figure they weren't going to make a comeback in Korea for a pretty good while. SM ent. probably thought they need to keep up SNSD's popularity in Korea so they quickly threw a mini album together. The songs grew on me a bit but they are nothing like their first couple of albums / mini albums. It would of been better if they would of just waited longer to put out a new mini album & worked harder on it. I dont think Korea was ready for a SNSD comeback. They left for japan and it was just weird how out of no where they put out this EP. oh well!

    soshi hwaiting <3

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree totally with you. The hoot song is like another Genie but Genie is better too. I am a SNSD fan too. Although I also support other groups too like T-ARA, etc. Basically their songs do not really have those catch-phrases as in like one part of the song that makes the world go round. x.x
    But I could really see SNSD is turning into a mature women and you would roughly know what type of songs their gonna come up with in the future.

    ReplyDelete

Want to share any of your thoughts on the above post? Drop a comment here! I read all comments and reply occasionally, especially if you have specific questions for me. :D

Note that comments are moderated. Spam, self-advertising (K-Pop-related and otherwise) and overly vulgar submissions will NOT be accepted. If you want me to promote/endorse/follow/link to your site, please e-mail me at popreviewsnow@gmail.com instead.

 

Recent Tweets

Like Pop Reviews Now on Facebook!

Statistics (Since May 2009)

Blog Archive

You're reading an award-winning blog

The K-Pop Writers' Workshop


A workshop for writers of critical pieces on Korean entertainment -- formal reviews, expository essays/Op-eds, and personal essays/Creative Non-Fiction.
Learn from the best in K-Ent writing