SNSD/Girls' Generation (Taeyeon, Tiffany, Seohyun) - "Twinkle"

When news broke of this SNSD sub-unit, I had so many expectations, and honestly, if we were looking at just my expectations, they were actually met. Being my three favorite voices in SNSD, I wanted a song that would bring out their vocals, and at the same time I wanted an interesting uptempo, not the obligatory sappy ballad that people with actual voices in K-Pop get. Twinkle is all of the above, actually. There's a good balance of singing and screaming, they all sound phenomenal, together and apart, the production is clean, and obviously, it's not a sappy ballad.

But I guess that's where the problem lies -- my expectations were vague and flawed, so the song is too. Yeah sure, the song's meant to have attitude, it's supposed to be gritty and soulful, but honestly, that kind of direction just doesn't work for SM. SM productions are cleaner than clean, and while the girls' vocals give the song attitude, in a song like this, ideally the vocals and the song itself carry each other -- both have to be on the same level. Balance is key.

Another big problem I have with Twinkle is that the entire song is so anticlimactic, mainly because the lines are too spread apart. There are too many awkward pauses in the melody, so much so that I have problems even calling it a melody because it seems to me like these are just individual lines put together. I understand the value of letting things sink in properly, but this is overdoing it, so much so that the dead air makes the song sound awkward, even if everything else is so polished. In being anticlimactic, the entire song loses the attitude that they were trying to go for, even if the vocals have them.

I see what they're trying to do, because it's the kind of music I grew up listening to, but aside from boredom, the impression I get from this entire song -- the vocals, the instrumentation, the arrangement and especially the production -- is that it's trying way too hard. The song isn't pathetic or anything, it has its merits, but at the end of the day, it lacks that impression of effortlessness. It sounds stiff, on top of being boring. This is supposed to be Stevie Wonder-esque -- soul music, soul music. Just because you sing the same way, use the same chords, and mimic the instruments, doesn't make it soul music. It has to have emotion, raw emotion that actually moves people.

The main culprit is actually the production. Once you get over the non-existent melody, the song actually has so much more attitude when they sing it live, especially from Taeyeon (side-eyeing Tiffany for sounding like a three year-old for half the song/when she's not belting out high notes). Twinkle is an interesting idea, executed in the wrong way,



If you read my emo post on tumblr last week (was it last week?), I'm still not totally okay, and I still have a gazillion things to resolve, but I'm getting there. Thank you for all your wonderful comments and tweets, and even if I didn't respond to them (T_T), I read them all.

Music show recaps are still on hold, but we'll see what I can whip up this weekend.


  1. Twinkle was actually not that bad. Like you, I was expecting for sappy ballad. Actually, I was expecting that TTS would be the female counterpart to Super Junior K.R.Y.

    Twinkle is essentially lady marmalade with a little bit of dancing queen (the chorus reminded me of dancing queen.) Or in kpop references, it would be Secret 2.0. If one was to mash madonna, magic and shy boy togther, they would get twinkle.

    I definetely agree with the awkward pauses in the melody and song, as well, the transition to the chorus was rather anti-climatic. Personally, I was surprised by Tiffany. She is finally showing off her vocal chops, but I wish she would stop singing through her nose. Seohyun sounded great too, and Taeyeon like wise. However, I found Taeyeon's and Seohyun's high notes way to shrill. Personally I think Tiffany hits them much nicely.

    The purpose for twinkle was to show off the groups vocal prowess. For that part, I can say, twinkle succeeded in doing that. However, it was too much belting and screaming for my taste; it went over board. Although, the girls look much happier singing this then the boys. Which is good.

    I was quite pleased with this sub-unit. These girls are clearly the best vocalists of SNSD, and I was so glad that Jessica was not in this group (her voice would have been soo grating and shrill *shudders*) nor YoonA.

    However, TTS's lives were kind of painful to listen to. Tiffany can't sing live that well, and Seohyun was pretty off too. I hate it when fans say "oh its the dancing!", please, they barely have any choreography to this song.

    Great review by the way, and I hope your feeling better. I read your post on tumblr, and I totally get what your going through, only my experience was with basketball.

    Just ask yourself what makes you happy.

  2. To the poster above me... I think the music bank live was much much better. Have you seen that one?

  3. Funny i was in a store the other day and i heard a song in english that was very very similar to twinkle. Not sure what that is about but i did hear snsd's version first.

  4. You say that Tiffany sang like a 3 year old for half the song, I thought she sounded good and can you sing any better. I think that Tiffany sounds good live. A lot better than most of the singers now, in fact if you listen to the song live it pretty much sounds the same. They probably couldn't reach the high notes all the time because they were singing this song so often that they probably were wearing out their voices. I personally liked the lives they weren't the best, but no need to say that it was painful to listen to. I understand that it's just an opinion, but seriously that's kind of rude, because they probably practiced this song a lot and to say that it was painful to listen to is just. yeah. That's all I have to say. Sorry if it's harsh but it's just my opinion.

  5. Anonymous, the song wasn't being bashed. Neither was Tiffany, people have a right to say and write what they please. Everything I've been trying to get into words about this song was done much more eloquently here.

  6. I actually think Jessica has amazing control and range- i actually really like her singing. I know pretty much everyone finds it annoying, but I'm not sure why.. Some light shed would be much appreciated.

  7. I honestly love the song but I just don't like how the song is performed by... Because it makes ME think that Taeyeon,Seohyun, and Tiffany are the only talented ones in Girls' Generation.....They are talented but it makes people think that they are the most important.....Sorry if this is harsh but its what I think


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