monthly soshi pt. 1: the nine best b-sides of girls’ generation

In an unrivaled anticipation of Girls’ Generation’s upcoming 10th anniversary comeback, I have decided to come up with a new segment in this flop blog of mine called “Monthly Soshi”. As the title suggests, it will be a monthly series of posts that will focus on everything and anything that I love about this phenomenal group right in time before #GirlsGenerat10n arrives. I guess some of you don’t know it but I am a S<3NE above anything else, so you can vouch on me on whatever crap I talk about here.

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For this month, we will be talking about SNSD’s great and massive discography – particularly their non-title tracks. Most people easily dismiss SNSD’s music as bland and although there are other great groups out there with a more interesting array of songs, what makes Soshi’s special is that it stays true to the brand that this group has tried to establish throughout the years – one that continues to evolve as time goes but always with a Girls’ Generation flavor that only they can concoct.

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One can’t argue that SNSD will go down as a rare breed in K-Pop girl groups with their ability to easily switch concepts without ever alienating their audience. This is one of the reasons why this group continues to be a strong force in today’s industry especially if you consider how their second generation girl groups are falling apart one by one (Sistar </3) and how fast newer groups rise from nugudom.

Without any further adieu, here are nine of Sonyeo Shidae’s greatest b-sides. Note that I will only be limiting this list to SNSD, which means you won’t be seeing any Shoujou Jidai or TTS or solo tracks here. Maybe next month.

9. Show Girls (Lion Heart, 2015) – I know most of you will not agree with this but Show Girls is definitely one of the group’s most experimental tracks and that alone deserves merit. This song clearly tips its hat off to I Got a Boy and by that, we are talking about multiple genres in one song. Think of Show Girls as IGAB’s older sister from the 20s with its mix and match of jazz, funk, and big band music. Add in Soshi’s live performance which features gorgeous flapper outfits and choreography and we’ve got a complete package of innovative and excellent pop here!

8. Destiny (Gee, 2009) – SNSD robotically cooing on a beat that could easily come from an early Britney record is a banger and that’s what Destiny is all about. It’s amazingly vintage and fits the group to a T.

7. Telepathy (The Boys, 2011) – The whole “The Boys” album may be quite a letdown with all its fillers but that does not mean that it doesn’t bring the goods. While most casual fans go crazy over the crowd-pleasing “Trick”, it is the pulsating and euphoric pop of “Telepassy”that stands out more.

6. Ooh Lala! (Girls’ Generation, 2007) – Most of the early SNSD stuff revolved around saccharine bubblegum pop and “Ooh Lala!” captures that era perfectly. If you want to have a peek of what SNSD is all about circa early 2007-2008, then a spin of this song will serve as your time machine. To put it simply, they were cute and adorable af just like this song.

5. Wake Up (Hoot, 2010) – We all love the Black Soshi era and with Wake Up, they take it up a notch by serving Thriller/Halloween-inspired realness accompanied with one of their sultriest vocal deliveries yet. This is actually the last remnant of the Black Soshi alter-ego until “You Think” came along so we’d really appreciate it if they added more of these kinds of songs in their catalogue in the future (hopefully).

4. Show! Show! Show! (Oh, 2010) – Show! Show! Show’s! greatest strength lies on the fact that this song wouldn’t feel outdated at all even if you release it now. Newer K-pop fans would definitely eat this bop up, trust me!

Trivia: By the way, both Wake Up and Show! Show! Show! are produced by Hitchiker. Yes that astronaut oppar that goes blah blah blah on all his songs. With this, I can confidently say that y’all can choke because this dude is capable of producing quality bops!

3. Etude (Genie, 2009) – Although this song is iffy in terms of message (I mean, feeling good about yourself is okay but all that for the sake of a guy? Nope, shut it down!), Etude exerts a bright and lovely aura that made Girls’ Generation a household name. I’ve once read that SNSD’s appeal is based on the fact that they have this extremely “relatable” vibe to a point that you can easily approach them and this song encapsulates that.

2. Goodbye (Mr. Mr., 2014) – Goodbye perfectly displays the girls’ growth in terms of vocal performance so it is always a delight to listen to despite being a rather simple and straightforward song. Everyone sings on their range (finally!) which means that those members whose capabilities (Hyoyeon) are doubted were able to bid their (Hyoyeon) haterz a ”really, really good goodbye”. I guess that’s the whole point of the song, so there.

1. Express 999 (I Got a Boy, 2013) – “Along I Got a Boy came Express 999,” the popular proverb goes.  This song is actually serves a thesis and anti-thesis to IGAB (aka SNSD’s greatest contribution to modern pop music). It follows that genre-bending theme explored in IGAB but in a way that it is less frenetic than what the former is.

Take Express 999’s lyrics which seamlessly complements with the song’s shift as an example. In the verses, the girls examine themselves as to why this certain oppa got them shooketh. By the time the chorus hits, the pace suddenly speeds up akin to an express train, signifying that they’ve fallen hard for that guy and there’s no stopping them…up until it goes back to that period of confusion. This is a cycle that is perfectly represented in the whole song unlike IGAB wherein the shifts in both lyrics and composition are all over the place.

I guess that’s what makes Express 999 easier to follow – it combines SNSD’s commercial appeal while making room for a bit of experimentation. Nonetheless, it is still one their most exciting offerings to date but then again, there’s no risk like I Got A Boy.

And that’s it. I don’t know if you agree with this list but I couldn’t care less. To be honest though, this was quite a challenge to compile as there’s a lot of great GG songs to choose from but I have tried to be inclusive as much I can so you betta recognize.

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Anyway, here are some other great Soshi tracks that didn’t make the list but are still worth checking:

Bump It
Fun and Sweet Talking Baby
My Child
Girlfriend
Wait A Minute
Talk Talk (2015)
Check
Talk to Me (featuring Jessica and Tiffany)
Honey
My Bestfriend

How about you, what are your favorite Soshi non-title tracks? Leave a comment below and let me and my girls be the judge.

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