Korean Girl Group Girls’ Generation Prepares for Global Domination with ‘The Boys’

by Bradley Stern

It’s been a long time coming (and something that’ll make my K-pop Krazy friend Prophet Blog wet himself with delight), but it’s time I finally acknowledged the wonder and splendor of the force known as Girls’ Generation.

Now, I myself am more of a J-Pop connoisseur than K-Pop girl group guru (I go hard for Utada Hikaru, Namie Amuro, Koda Kumi and Ayumi Hamasaki in particular), but it’s all but impossible not to notice the extraordinary influence of Korean girl groups making their way overseas.

Girls’ Generation–sometimes referred to as SNSD (an acronym based on their Korean name)–is by far one of South Korea’s most popular acts. After their debut back in 2007, the nonet (that’s nine members) has gone on to win countless awards and smash dozens of records in both Korea and Japan, most notably for their 2009 international smash hit “Gee,” the Ke$ha-penned “Run Devil Run,” as well as their #1 Japanese hit from earlier this year, “Mr. Taxi.”

(By the way: Think a nine member group is crazy? Check out AKB48, a J-Pop group consisting of 59 members to date. Go ahead. Just try and remember their names.)

Now, quite excitingly, Girls’ Generation are set to make their official mark stateside (well, worldwide really) with the release of their third studio album The Boys, due to hit iTunes on October 19, followed by a US single release via Interscope Records sometime in November.

“The Boys” is the album’s lead single, which was recorded in both Korean and English. Today, the full song hit iTunes and the video has premiered (in both languages) and…well, it’s absolutely incredible. (To be fair: J-Pop and K-Pop videos usually slay Western videos. This is certainly no exception.)

Featuring some truly ferocious choreography, the ladies work it out in some sort of icy snow palace while rocking sky-high stilettos and killer haute couture threads. For fans of girl groups of any kind, the video relentlessly delivers everything that a good girl group video should: Fierce poses, glamorous looks, glossy styling…it’s everything!

And as for the song itself? Crafted by Teddy Riley (Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga), “The Boys” is a solid modern R&B/dance-pop effort with some attitude–a welcome change from the all-too-grating sugary-sweet sound that K-Pop girl groups tend to churn out on the regular. The chorus is an instant ear-worm. Plus, for those easily offenced by a foreign tongue hitting their ears, their accents aren’t even that strong at all–a key factor in helping them to crossover to the West.

As an English debut, “The Boys” is a pretty massive introduction for the group. I’m incredibly excited to see what the international response is to Girls’ Generation–especially in America. Yay for global pop recognition!

“The Boys” was released on October 19. (iTunes)

  • http://www.facebook.com/calenjames Calen Crate

    These girls look like Asian boys in drag. And not the good kind. 

  • Anonymous

    sorry but are you insane ? they look flawless.

  • Anonymous

    I def like the song/video, I wasn’t expecting this…

    Genie is still their best song to date, 2NE1 better hurry the fuck up, can’t wait anymore!

  • Beem1

    The video’s cool, but I’m not feeling the song that much.

  • Anonymous

     Yeah, no. Get over yourself. They look amazing.

  • Anonymous

     I’m so excited that the song finally came out! Apparently the album isn’t that good, BUT THAT DON’T MATTER BECAUSE THE SONG IS EPIC.

    P.S. Small correction: Ke$ha didn’t write Run Devil Run. She just sang the demo.

  • John

    Happy to see you and JonAli (my two favorite music blogs) give some cred to my lovely SNSD. I’m a longtime fan and was SO skeptical of this. There are just so many ways this could have gone wrong. I thank dear sweet baby jesus that it turned out as amazing as it did. Hopefully, we’ll convert you to K-Pop in due time. =P

  • John

    Agree with ALL of this. Genie is my life! 2NE1 has the most US potential, hands down.

  • Dal

    I tried liking SNSD (Kpop in general) but i still find it hard… The only thing i’ve noticed is that Kpop fans are scary. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/kittykat3544 Katie Gustafson

    My store has been looping a 3D Blu-Ray demo for a couple months and their 3D video for “Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)” is on it. I think thta’s what it’s called. Oddly fascinating. It’s also got “Hurricane Venus” by BoA on it. The 3D for that vid looks really awesome.

  • SerferTJ

    lol, you think Kpop fans are scary?
    I’m sorry, but are you new to the internet??? lol
    I’m guessing you’ve never faced a Bey or Lady Gaga stan yet……

  • Anonymous

    What store is that? “Hurricane Venus” is not bad, but I like BoA’s “Copy and Paste” much better. It made me think of Janet Jackson, in the “Control”/”Rhythm Nation” era.

  • SerferTJ

    I love that you posted Girl’s Generation!!! :)
    AWESOME song (even though it’s sooo 2007, but in a good way)
    FLAWLESS video!
    Git it guuuurlllllsss!!!

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve been following SNSD for a couple years now. Everything they do is pretty wonderful. They were who got me into Kpop in the first place, and I love it.
    I’m very happy they are finally getting some play in America. It’s about time the Korean Wave hit the west

  • Anonymous

    The song and video absolutely SLAYED me. SNSD definitely stepped it up with this song, I only wish the corresponding album was stronger. BoA still remains SME’s strongest artist in terms of her discography. Still, I’m proud of these girls and can’t wait for the inevitable repackage (which should only be a month or so away, lol).

    By the way, there are LOTS of great K-Pop groups that aren’t sugary sweet if you’re looking for something to whet your appetite! I already see some Black Jacks in here singing 2NE1’s praises but T-ara, 4Minute, and Brown Eyed Girls also have some real gems in their discography too. I definitely think you could find some stuff you’d like and it’d be great to see you do some reviews as I love your review style. Just a suggestion!

  • http://twitter.com/link_Sone Link

    Yayy .. I love Girls’Generation ..This song is really good

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  • nicky

    Kesha didn’t write Run Devil Run, she just sang the guide track.



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  • Mish

    Oh, so you still remember Namie and her peers? Didn’t think so, considering how they keep on releasing new music and you keep on fiercely ignoring them. I was initially attracted to this website because you featured the ocassional J-Pop commentary, but now it’s pretty much hopeless.

    Good article, by the way. Those girls are cool.