I’ve been meaning to write a piece defending Girls’ Generation’s game-changing hit “I Got a Boy” for quite some time now but I have been pretty hesitant about it for a few reasons.
First, it’s an extremely belated post (duh) and it has been settled that the song did what it was supposed to do. IGAB was a success for the group both in terms of sales and reception. Yes, general response from Hallyu netizens may have been quite mixed (not surprising) but elsewhere, press for the song and the group has been great.
Heck, it is the pioneering Video of the Year awardee at the YouTube Music Awards and Time Magazine hailed it as one of the best pop songs in 2013.
Second, I have been waiting for a catalyst that will urge me to write about it and that trigger finally arrived! Who would’ve thought that a nugu group would send me wielding a pitchfork in defense of I Got a Boy?! In 2016?!?
In a nutshell, I Got a Boy was a calculated risk from SM that everybody did not just understand. I wouldn’t say it’s ahead of its time because I believe that it came at the perfect moment considering how K-Pop’s scope was expanding at a rapid pace during that time and how it shook the K-Pop scene (something that the genre badly needed anyway).
Also, it is a privilege to have a group who is as complacent (at least musically) as SNSD to embark on such a project. If you think about it, IGAB solidified Soshi’s influence and position not just in K-Pop, but in the whole spectrum of modern pop music.
Love it or hate it, IGAB was a trailblazing pop masterpiece that comes only once in a blue moon.
Now, three years since IGAB blessed our lives, another group attempts to emulate the brazen insanity that SNSD has done and by the looks of it, they’re doing quite the job.
(L-R: Haena, Dan-A, Sae Byul, Semmi)
Matilda is a four-piece nugu girl group from a nugu company called BoxMedia. I was surprised to discover that one of them was actually a former member of the now-defunct (but extremely talented) group Kiss and Cry.
Sidenote: Had K&C been handled better, they might have given Mamamoo a run for their money! Also, #JusticeforDominoGame
They debuted in March this year with the quite uninteresting “Macarena”. If you’re gonna name a song based on a classic bop, you better live up to it – which in this case, did not. They followed it up with “Summer Again”, which was pretty good by 2011 standards and that’s about it.
Now on their third attempt to make waves this year, Matilda is finally picking up the pace with the downright crazy “You Bad! Don’t Make Me Cry!”
Not minding the silly title, this is perhaps the most overwhelming song that you will hear ever since IGAB. “You Bad! Don’t Make Me Cry!” shifts genres in every verse. It’s that intense!
I’ve done the honor of describing every verse in “YB! DMMC” to help you understand what in the world is actually happening in that song:
- Stage 1 (2NE1/EXID): The song starts off with a strong, mid-tempo dubstep beat with an autotuned voice singing the title. This goes on until the song’s first verse.
- Stage 2 (T-Ara): As soon as the next member starts singing, the song goes enters the Shinsadong x T-Ara electropop territory. Think “Sexy Love”. Yes, that good.
- Stage 3 (4Minute): The song tries to slow down with a pre-chorus that sounds like something Gayoon would sing.
- Stage 4 (Pocket Girls): True to its role, Stage 3 was a perfect prequel to what will happen at this point. “YB! DMMC” suddenly explodes into full blast EDM, the kind of breakdown that was perfectly nailed by the holiest nugus of 2015 – the Pocket Girls! Boombayah wishes its chorus hits as hard as this one!
POCKET GIRLS IMPACT!!!!!!!!!!
All of those took place in less than a minute, by the way.
On first loop, this song WILL blow you away. No shit. You’d tremble in fear and ask yourself what the hell is going on. It’s similar to that feeling of being invited to a party without knowing that it’s a front for a gathering of scheming multi-level marketers. Yes, that exact feeling.
Not to burst your bubble though, but that pattern is just repeated on the other half of the song so there are no surprise switches to expect actually. It slows down right before the last drop but that’s about it. What made IGAB interesting is the fact that it is so unapologetic with its transitions.
It’s just amazing how a nugu group like Matilda attempted to revive this kind of sound amidst the fact that all idol songs have that been pretty much straightforward this year. Not that it’s a bad thing (hello Russian Roulette) but something like “You Bad! Don’t Make Me Cry” is always a welcome change.
As of now, the song is nowhere to be found in the charts (if someone could tip me of any of their chart appearances though, that’d be great). However, it’s been featured together with SHINee and BTS in Dazed, so I hope things pick up for the group.
“I Got a Boy” still remains to be a league of its own just like the group who sang it is (looking at you, Twice lol). While it is less as experimental as SNSD’s pop classic, “You Bad! Don’t Make Me Cry” is a pretty solid effort from Matilda to keep things fresh and crazy.
Anyway, to cap this off with a bang, here’s the iconic, all-natural Pocket Girls. Enjoy!