SNSD’s “Gee” is such a seminal classic, not only for that seminal band but for all of K-pop and thus Art itself as we know it in the 21st Century, that it sounds maniacally partisan to suggest that A Pink’s second single–no flop but certainly with nothing of the commercial impact of SNSD’s defining megahit– might in some regards actually have surpassed it. And to be sure, “It Girl”s delirious opening synth whistle takes direct inspiration from “Gee”, so A Pink certainly were standing on the shoulders of giants.
And yet, “It Girl” so potently captures an uncanny and ageless magic of spring and summer, of verdant leisure, and of teenage puppy love, that it must be regarded as some kind of pop masterwork– and that just on the basis of the sound, never mind the flirtily ironic lyrics which are an inspiration in themselves.
I speak of course of the album version of “It Girl” because the separate single release, though fine in itself, plays down some of the original edit’s strengths in favor of a more middlebrow bop. Fortunately A Pink’s third recording of “It Girl”, the Japanese version for the Pink Doll album, returns to the original arrangement in all its lustrous synthpop magic:
Naeun of course substitutes for Yookyung’s original Engrish: her delivery is softer and more halting, but she places an emphasis on her words that betokens a humorous intent of her own. It’s great to have the “mature” A Pink return to this classic song– and I still would love to have them collaborate again with Super Chongdai and indulge in a little “retro” backwards glancing to the shimmery style of their early works.