An Honest Review of 8NSD’s “Party”

With the release of so-called SNSD’s “Party”, we come to the end of the pre-A Pink K-pop girlapalooza of Summer 2015, and to the formal Korean comeback of the Jessica-less Girls’ Generation.  At this milestone, I will offer a few bits of honest, nonvituperative commentary.

On the positive side, I can honestly say that “Party” does succeed in modestly surpassing its current competition on the K-pop charts.  With the staggeringly low bar set by Girl’s Day’s shockingly awful “Ring My Bell”, the simple fact that “Party” makes some modest effort to sound like an actual piece of sing-songie music (as opposed to utterly disorganized noise) helps steer it ahead of the present, wretchedly low pack.

That said, “Party” is utterly abysmal.  It sounds like album filler from some early 2000s Spice Girls-wannabe Western band.  “Party” sounds like SNSD took the Time Machine back to pre-“Gee” days.  It’s not just that the song sounds “retro” in an unpromising (ie. “retro” for some time nobody wants to get back to) way; it’s so woefully undercooked it sounds like something some nugu rookie group would release.  I mean, seriously.  This is “Sound-holic”, not SNSD!

And the video is cheap.  Sunny’s hair is a disaster, and I say this as a very lenient critic of Manic Panic hairdos.  Why on earth are they recycling Krystal Jung’s 2013 locks on Sunny now?  Perversely, it makes Sunny look like Sulli.  What is SM Ent thinking?

Letting Valley Girl Tiffany do an Engrish entro is another unforced error.  Make me gag, Tiffany:  “It must be party time”, my ass.  Surely  it’s late in the day for Girls’ Generation to use such a cloy, childish device.  They’ve been rocking their stylized J-pop electro doll schtick for years now, with real merit (“Flower Power”, “Beep Beep”).  Why on earth are they retreading this juvenile style of midtempo happy-crappy like they never became the biggest girl group in Asia?   If the notion here somehow is that, by acting like a gaggle of fifteen year-olds, SNSD can make us forget the recent Awfulness Against Jessica Jung, forget it.  We know all about you, “Girls’ Generation” (I don’t think they really deserve the title “SNSD”, as you may well infer), and there’s no use pretending.  Might as well do “Catch Me If You Can” Part III, with no smiles.  That would keep things honest at least.

The dye jobs do few favors– only Sooyoung still looks really pretty here. Yuri still looks okay, and Hyoyeon’s shorter hair isn’t bad.   Seohyun, you tire me.  Taeyeon, I just think you’re wicked now.  All that TTS crap wasn’t enough for you, was it?

All in all, a depressingly bad and shockingly puerile comeback.  At least even “Mr Mr” had some superficial sheen to it.  If A Pink comes back with another “No No No” or “My My”, I think we may see another “LUV”-scale sweep.  But with so many vaunted groups releasing such dispiritingly dreadful music, it’s as if awful summer comebacks are some sort of law this year.

PS: Compare “Party” with the Laboum track “Fantasy” if you want to hear how to do this wannabe-retro thing right.  Yes, a mere “filler track” from rookies Laboum blows the (hopefully) last SNSD comeback out of the water.  “Last”, because SNSD truly is dead.  Everything we loved is gone.

 

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4 comments

  1. UPDATE: Perhaps my use of the word “retro” isn’t the most precise here, but let’s just say “Party” isn’t trying to be state-of-the-art pop. That in itself isn’t a problem; in fact, it’s hard to say when “state of the art pop” is actually a good thing. I guess it’s good when it means stylish electro a la “Flower Power”, but pure high tech studio gloss in and of itself isn’t enough to make a great song, which is partly why T-ara’s “Sugar Free”, though impeccably glossy, clearly isn’t as great a song as “Number 9”, which is certainly state of the art in its own right but has lots of timeless musical elements (you know, melody, emotion, accessibility, the occasional touch of live instrumentation) which enrich it and make it more truly stylish and engaging.

    Anyway, “Party” is just such a lackadaisical effort, it’s hard to give it even technical merit points, never mind that it’s childish, cheesy, and unimpressive. Even a straight-up clubfiller track like “Catch Me If You Can” or 9Muses’ “Hurt Locker” would represent a vast improvement over this. Those songs are further instances of empty State Of The Art techno-pop, but at least you could dance to them. But who would want to party to “Party”?

  2. http://www.allkpop.com/article/2015/07/its-party-time-with-girls-generation

    allkpop commenter Mondaigirl94 writes:

    WOw THIS SONG HAVE THE SAME QUALITY AS A FART. There is no purpose at all except to sell this fart to the stupid sone. yet Of course they bite, i bet those sone will bulk buy it so much until they justify to thesmelves the song is good song. Go ahead make fake happy feeling with your circle jerk gang Just ealize some day u gotta grow up and become a indepdent man/woman, that time there is responsibility and accountability. YOu are lacking so much in maturtiy and discipline you behave so poorly and disrespectful I will be shocked if you are become lured by Bill cospy into consuming 4 relaxing pill! Change your ways now ASAP.. the more you wait the harder it is to reverse all that retard you built since birth.”

    And:

    “this album is not even DL worthy imo. I will rather turn myself to isil to die horribly. why cuz I actually treasure this healthy mind 1000% free of retarded. If you disagree then you are just slave of SM u will buy even their loose stool and drink it too”

    LZLZOLZOLZOZLZLZZLOLZlzlolz!!!!

    Seriously, I wish I could trashtalk with the hysterical inventiveness of some of these ESL Asian teenyboppers.

    I also wish I could date one of them.

  3. Seeing your review is somewhat enjoyable and refreshing 🙂 I’m tired of seeing positive comments on their youtube official channel and think, “Is there anyone out there thinking the same with me?”
    The song is not okay. It is not as expected from “The” SNSD. The concept is obsolete, it doesn’t match their image now.

    1. Well, I guess I should feel a bit sorry for the SONEs. Their band has had a great run, and it’s hard for them to let go. Still, there’s a lot of hardheaded conformism involved in refusing to admit an obviously lackluster single like this has failed to live up to standards.

      I assume most would agree that “The Boys” and “Mr Mr” weren’t career highlights, but at least they allowed SNSD to present a strong, glamorous image. “Party” is like early Girl’s Day– very thin and treacly, just all-around cheap. I’m astonished at this failure in quality control. Especially with Jessica’s controversial departure, SM Ent should have made every effort to try and provide 8NSD with a single that made us feel they were as epic as ever. That would’ve been a hard sell for me, regardless, but this song doesn’t even try.

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