Noteworthy

Wotasphere Responds To SNSD’s “The Boys”

Will “The Boys” bring success for SNSD in the US? – Seoulbeats
Girls’ Generation – The Boys – Selective Hearing
Girls’ Generation – The Boys PV – Selective Hearing
REVIEW: GIRLS’ GENERATION “The Boys” single – The Groove Music Life
SNSD (Girls Generation)’s The Boys MV Review – Wota (in training)
SNSD The Boys reaction – HallyuSurfer
SNSD makes a splash on Youtube, Twitter, and iTunes – Koreaboo
Girls’ Generation signs with a record label in France – Koreaboo
Ryan Seacrest’s blog features Girls’ Generation “The Boys” – Koreaboo

SNSD’s latest single, “The Boys”, is also the first to try to break into the American market, with an English version released as a digital single on iTunes. As a result, Kpop watchers are taking a closer look at the release, judging if it’s good enough to make the cut. Seoulbeats gives a run-down on three previous attempts by Kpop stars to make it in the U.S. market, and what sets SNSD apart with their own attempt. It seems that SNSD have indeed learned some key lessons – perhaps most importantly, signing with a major U.S. label – but the odds are still stacked against them.

As for the Korean album, American single, and music video, the verdict is less than encouraging among wotasphere bloggers. Greg of Selective Hearing finds the Korean album a mixed bag at best, with the American version of the title song not being producer Teddy Riley’s finest moment. And while the music video is the typical high quality one expects of SNSD, Greg highly doubts it will chart high on the Billboards charts. CJ of The Groove Music Life finds “The Boys” inferior to earlier singles, and the choice of Riley as producer unfortunate. Mina of Wota (in training) goes over the different aspects of the video and deems it a “less impression female version of Super Junior”. As for the song itself, she notes a dramatic intro but finds herself “blue balled” by the lack of sufficient follow-through. Hallyu Surfer finds the English version more awkward than the Korean, though the dresses in the MV receive a good deal of praise.

As for how it’s actually doing in America, Koreaboo notes that it broke the Top 100 on the Singles chart for iTunes – squeezing in at #99 – and as of today it stands at 117. That’s respectable for a new act, if not astounding, and a foundation worth building on. SNSD has also picked up the attention of Ryan Seacrest’s blog – with a good deal of encouraging comments from readers – and have even signed to a French record label, though I’m not sure if it means SNSD will have a French version of the song. Of course, “The Boys” is topping the charts back home in South Korea.

SNSD are assured their place as Asian pop superstars, but it’s clear that they’re seeking world domination. Whether or not they can claim the West the way they have the East is highly debatable. That said, the success or failure of SNSD will probably not deter other Kpop acts from making their own attempts. (And hey, let’s not discount what the Wonder Girls have done with the Nickelodeon crowd!) Given time and enough exposure, the hallyu may finally make itself felt in the American mainstream.