A Whole Mess of Comebacks!

Music, Reviews & Reactions

I’m back! TVXQ! is back! Girls’ Generation is back!

Midterms are halfway through, and I’m finally finding time to write about K-pop again as my photos print. Hooray!

So first, super handsome TVXQ! has made their comeback with their repackaged album and “Spellbound!”

This Repackage album is consist of 15 tracks which are 12 tracks from the 7th album of TVXQ! and three additional tracks including ‘Spellbound’, ‘November With Love’ (U-KNOW Solo) and ‘Heaven’s Day’ (MAX Solo). The album is fully filled with the magical attraction of TVXQ :)
(from SMTown Youtube video description)

Love this. It’s not quite as catchy as “Something,” (and by “catchy” I mean “gets stuck in your head”) but I think it’s because it’s a lot more laid-back and less big-band-showy. Still jazzy, which is wonderful–I really love that they’re pulling from old jazz roots. My favorite part of this song is the tight chord hook thingy. I have no idea what it’s called technically, but it’s the very first thing they sing. The “surisuri” part. I would say that this song is more difficult to sing because of the melisma-y vocalizations sprinkled throughout, and that probably lends to it being less catchy than “Something” since it’s harder to sing along to for the casual listener.

As for the MV, I love that SM did a one-shot video again. One of the aspects of music videos that I like the best is that within the space of an MV, a “perfect” performance can be achieved. No sound system malfunctions like dropped microphones, no light fixtures falling and shocking leaders into a swoon, no rain to make it hard to dance on a wet floor, no wardrobe accidents, no broken props. (SHINee, I’m looking at you. Poor dears.) Sure, it’s lip-sync in an MV, but rules are different in MV-world. Like, nine really pretty young women can perform medical procedures with highly questionable tools and neon pink liquids near lit candles, dressed really fancy party outfits. While singing. And it’s okay. (I think one of them is even having a picnic of bedazzled fruit and cupcakes in the operating room.)

That leads me onto my next topic for today: “Mr.Mr.“! Now I can’t say much about the MV itself, since it’s a bit of patchwork after the data-deletion-fiasco. But I do like what they were able to come up with, especially in the way of camerawork and editing. It’s rather different than the stuff the girls have come out with before, more fluid and organic and visually interesting to me as opposed to “The Boys” MV. My favorite outfits are the garage scene ones because they’ve got a casual, sleek, cool, chic, comfortable kind of feel. I also really like the boyish outfits and I’m DYING to see more of the choreo. Especially since they incorporated male dancers somehow? I’m having a hard time defining what the concept for this seems to be. I wouldn’t peg it as straight out “sexy” though it’s got some strong undertones of that. Hats off to Girls’ Generation for playing it subtle and low-key! I have to say that Jessica’s first part is probably my favorite part of the MV, followed closely by every shot we get of their choreo. I usually get a feeling of a distant princess from her (which is probably why she’s called the ice princess), but in that part, it felt like there was no longer a wall that she put up. And again, it just seemed to flow so well and so naturally. I like the subdued color scheme there too.

As for the song I really like it. The beginning noises threw me off a bit, but I felt so much better when TaeYeon started singing: it was a feeling of “they’ve got this handled, it’ll be okay, don’t worry about the weird noises.” So I like it. And this description by SMTown on the Youtube video is nice too:

The cheerful message from Girls’ Generation to ‘Mr.’s all abound the world.
The title song ‘Mr.Mr.’ from the new mini album of Girls’ Generation is done by world-famous producing team ‘The Underdogs’ who have worked with Beyonce, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake and other famous celebrities.
The lyrics is about cheering messages from Girls’ Generation from ‘Mr.’s, saying ‘Be more aggressive, Mr., you are the one who made my heart beats.’ 
You can find out more mature and powerful Girls’ Generation’s music with the new mini album.

It’s a nice official summary of the message of the song, so for me as a foreign fan, I very much appreciate it!

Something I read that I appreciate less is that apparently the boyband MR.MR also released a song called “Mr.Mr” and it has been confirmed that the song is indeed a dis against Girls’ Generation. For using their name. As a song title?

Um. For real? Talk about publicity stunt.

I read about this first on allkpop, but I’ve seen it other places too. I can’t confirm their sources though since I don’t know Korean. 

So, I’ve got nothing against the boyband (honestly, this is the first I’ve heard of them?), but this is a silly reason to write a dis song. It’s not like they own the word. Hello, KARA “Mister.” Isn’t there a band called BOYFRIEND? So I can’t have songs called “Boyfriend” because that’s not fair to the band? Doesn’t Taylor Swift have a song with a specific country singer’s name as the title? Tim McGraw. (which is not a diss song like her other breakup songs can be interpreted to be.) And Taylor Swift and Super Junior both have songs called “Superman.” Isn’t Superman DC’s character, whose name is owned by DC? Technically the stylization of the word Mr.Mr. is different for the song title and for the group, right? So it’s not exactly the same, if we want to get nit-picky.

I’ve never heard of this song content thing ever being an issue before (except for, of course, in cases of libel and slander, which is not what GG has done considering the song message), so why now? After the girls release the song. It probably doesn’t even affect SM or the girls because it’s such a silly thing, but just looks kind of bad for MR.MR. But they’re getting what they want, right? Here I am talking about them.

Anyway, TVXQ! has released their second version of the MV, I can’t wait to see a performance of Mr.Mr., and KEY AND WOOHYUN COLLAB TO COME! and new girl group? Excitement!! Let’s see what happens with the 2NE1 and Girls’ Generation comeback thing, yeah? If you haven’t seen “Come Back Home,” go do it! The MV’s got some pretty interesting things happening thematically and symbolically with the Virtual Paradise and futuristic dystopian imagery. The sci-fi concept is right up my alley as a Digital Culture student, even if the music is not quite my style. There were moments I liked though, like the more acoustic sounds accompanying the rap about halfway through.

But yeah! Everyone, fighting!


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