Let’s get down to business here. I’m as much an SNSD fan as the next guy, but this song is pretty disappointing. Now, let’s note that I’m not talking about the MV or the Album, as both were very good overall. I’m talking purely about the song.
SNSD always has very powerful, relatively complex and grand songs. TaeTiSeo is, and should not be, any different from regular SNSD, aside from the thematic and stylistic differences (heavy soul and funk influence). The problem is three fold. I’ll start with the first major problem, which is that they used the vocals horribly.
Let’s break it down into the members. First we will discuss Tiffany, cause it’s the most clear one. If you look back on past TaeTiSeo, album songs included, you will realize that Fany always does very deep, soulful break downs in their songs. Her range is relatively small, and she’s pretty unstable as a vocalist, but that’s the whole reason they chose her in the first place instead of Jessica. She’s a weaker vocalist, but she’s way more powerful and soulful than Jessica. What I’m talking about is clearly shown from 1:23-1:31 in Twinkle:object
The way she breaks it down there is one of the strongest points of Fany as a singer, and what she is known for in SNSD. However, in Holler, she is demoted to nothing but a shitty sing-talker with a glorified rap spouting random english words every few seconds. Instead of utilizing TIFFANY in the role she is best at, they had Tiffany “sing a specific part of a song.” That is the core problem with SM in recent months. Instead of making a song unique to the members, that matches them in specific, they outsource pre-made music that isn’t custom tailored to the artists themselves. While this may be the trend in the west, it doesn’t work in korea because the companies don’t seem to realize that for an artist to put their own flavor and style into a song YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY LET THEM HAVE A SAY IN WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENS. Lady Gaga outsources all her compositions, but she brings her own style and alters them in a way that fits her as an artist. That isn’t happening in Holler, or any of the recent SM releases, excluding Taemin (more specifically, Danger sounds like Taemin’s heavy Michael Jackson influenced style, which stays through the entire album, but f(x) and Red Velvet have completely outsourced music that wasn’t MADE FOR THEM).
It’s the overall failure to use Fany in her strong positions, and not recognize where she fits that is one of the reasons this song is not very good from a vocal perspective. It’s not catchy because the members are relegated to doing parts that don’t fit them so they can’t sing it in a way that is catchy. A good example is if Seungri sung the “boom shakalaka” in Fantastic Baby. That part is catchy BECAUSE it’s TOP, not because it’s catchy on it’s own. That’s part of the problem here. Twinkle was catchy BECAUSE it was TaeTiSeo. If you gave that to SNSD, or any other group, that sound wouldn’t work because it’s the vocal styles of the members that make the song what it is, and why it’s unique and catchy.
Next comes Seohyun. Now to specifically describe why this doesn’t work, let me break down a part of the chorus to outline what should have been done.
[All] Holler holler holler
[Seohyun] Nawa nuneul matchwo
[All] Holler holler holler
[Taeyeon] Jamdeun ne mameul kkaewo
[All] Holler holler holler
[Seohyun] Sijakhae boneun geoya
[All] Holler holler
[Tiffany] Saerowojin nae gaseume neoreul matgyeo holler at me
The first line is Seohyun, but think to yourself if that really fits her best. I shouldn’t have a hard time convincing you that Taeyeon should do that first line, as that’s more in line with her vocal style. The following line should be Fany, because her lower vocal range and more soulful style would simply have fit better there. The next line should have been Taeyeon again, because Taeyeon is very good at singing something lower, then bringing it quickly into a higher register. The chorus should then end with Seohyun, because unlike Fany, Seohyun is actually resonant in a lower vocal range, which is how that part goes. Fany goes “holler at meee” where as Seohyun would be able to go “holler at me-e-e” dropped lower each time she goes “e-e-e.” Imagine that in your head, and tell me if that wouldn’t be a stronger closer to the chorus.
That’s the failure to use Seohyun. Instead OH GUYS, ENGLISH LINE RIGHT HERE, GIVE IT TO FANY BECAUSE SHE SPEAKS ENGLISH COMPLETELY DISREGARDING HER VOCAL ABILITY TO HIT THIS NOTE IN A WAY THAT WOULD SOUND THE BEST. It’s that blatant disregard for a members strengths and limits that screws Seohyun over so much. While Fany is lower, and more soulful, Taeyeon is a bit higher, and adds her own flavor to specific lines in her unique way of singing that we all love. That’s where Seohyun comes in. Being able to perfectly accomplish any line at a sort of middle of the road between the two, with the most “soothing” of the three voices. They did not utilize her soothing vocals in the manner they have in the past, and that’s seriously a shame.
Next up comes Taeyeon. While I can’t explicitly complain over Taeyeon, it’s not that they “used her wrong.” Yes certain parts should be hers and not hers, but that’s not why they used her wrong. The problem is that Taeyeon is so fucking incredible she can do any line perfectly. Now you might ask “well what’s wrong then?” Perfect execution of a line doesn’t mean it “fits” her STYLE. It’s not the execution that is the problem with Taeyeon, but rather the fact her POWERFUL vocals are underutilized. For example, the opening to Run Devil Run; Taeyeon opens that better in a way that fits her style. If Jessica or Fany opened it it would sound VERY different. The fact Taeyeon does that line is part of what makes it such a good line. It’s consistent through the majority of SNSD releases, where Taeyeon does a line that SURE, Sica or Seo could easily execute well, but something about the fact that TAEYEON sings it puts it in a special place. It doesn’t mean the others aren’t good enough, it’s just that line fits her style the best.
Now that I have covered the vocal flaws in the song, let’s the next part of why this song is a failure in my eyes. The bland and lack luster composition and beat. After that one dude says that shit in english (which, btw, is 18 seconds of a 3:04 minute song, making the song really only 2:46 seconds long. Unacceptable), the beat becomes pretty 2 dimensional. What I mean is that it drops into 2 layers. Listen, there is a trumpet sounds that goes doot da doot doot and then a some artificial drum that I don’t know the proper name for that does some generic drum beat. That’s 2 beats. The VAST majority of songs have AT LEAST 3. I implore you to listen to other songs and see if you can pick out the specific beats within the song. Majority of them use 3, some 4 or 5, and typically it ramps up from 3, into 4, 5, 6 during the chorus. A good example what I’m talking about can be found in these two songs:object
Listen to how many layers are in this song, and how perfectly they compliment each other. Even if you haven’t listened to this song much, you can tell which parts were SPECIFICALLY made for each member. You can see where GD outlined which parts would fit each member, even having the beat shift a SINGLE layer of the song to compliment that members vocals. Say what you like about GD, he is an absolute compositional genius.
The point I’m making is that the boring, almost flimsy bland sound of Holler is where it falls short. The point about members having specific parts applies to the producer as well. If a producer says “Ok, so when I layer this higher note in with the rest of the consistent beat, that’s when Daesung sings because it’s going to harmonize with his vocals.” That’s the type of production value that should have been done to TaeTiSeo. Producer-artist relationship that allows them to tailor make songs fit for the individual artist and their styles. That leads back into my earlier point how they see idols in SM as “they go where we tell them” not “we let them influence their works.” Because ultimately they want control, and that control means they cut costs on song production (which means more revenue goes to them) and can hype shit things up with years of promotional practice through teasers, album medleys, pictures, dances, concepts and putting them on TV.
This is sort of my third point. The company doesn’t care about good music. They don’t care if the members are happy. They care if they make money. They are a publicly traded business with a model that they think works. It’s the complete opposite of YG. And listen, i’m not some biased YG stan. My favorite girl group, excluding Kara, is fx and 2ne1 equally. My favorite male group is SHINee, and not as balanced with Big Bang as I like SHINee a lot more. But the point stands. I’m not some hardcore YG stan. I’m a Kpop stan, that doesn’t care where my music comes from as long as it’s good. Check my lastFM. Add up YG and SM groups in the Top 10 most played. SM destroys YG in terms of how much I listen to their music. As much as I would love SM to be killing it right now, they are pretty shit. And Holler is just another drop of poo in the bucket of feces. It’s a result of their shitty company not caring about their ARTISTS. And the reason SHINee is so good recently is because they became god tier in terms of respect. The reason they were allowed a solo (btw, not even TVXQ, SNSD, f(x), Suju, or EXO have been allowed a full solo album) is because of how much respect they have after 2013. This gave them a great deal of influence over their own music and Jonghyun’s recent influx of song production proves that. But the reality is that giving jonghyun more profits for writing a SHINee song makes them less money over all than buying a song with the full rights attached. Short term it makes sense, but long term if your music is lack luster, fans don’t develop quickly. Fans develop over good music, and the company seems to think fans will develop over the individual members themselves, rather than the music they create. Most companies do that, but SM is the biggest abuser of that model. Sure you make less on this one song because a member gets profits from it, but the investment in training that member means you can pay him within his own contract, have him write MORE music, and because of it’s QUALITY a larger, more consistent fanbase will develop. Drastically changing your musical style every comeback can only work for so long. Big Bang has relatively similar comebacks compared to where SHINee started. Reply>Lucifer>Dream Girl, compared to Lies>Haru Haru>Blue. As well as Tonight>Fantastic Baby. And keep in mind how far apart those comebacks actually were. 2007 through 2012. A shift of style is going to happen, but Reply then Lucifer? Or even Gee to Mr Mr? Lots of groups fail at that. Secret, although I love them, keep shifting styles to drastically, and it gets clear backlash from the public. Compare that to BAP, Warrior>One Shot>Angel. The progression from that very hard, hip hop driven song, into a hard, more emotionally driven song, into a very emotional high energy song. It’s mirroring the way big bang progressed. Even VIXX, spare GR8U, went from On and On>Hyde>Voodoo Doll. Conceptually they all fit together.
Essentially SM is continuing a failed business model that’s crumbling as each release gets shiter and shiter. TVXQ was not on the level of Keep Your Head Down and Catch Me. Not even close. Pink Tape was a masterpiece, Redlight was a washed up reused stinker. Say what you like about I Got A Boy, it was pretty fucking fun to watch, and felt like an EXPERIENCE. Mr Mr? Boring, repetitive, dull. Sure, every now and then you get Taemin’s solos, Growl, and Dream Girl, but a fantastic solo debut, and 2 mega hits can only keep stinkers like Redlight, Wolf, and Holler alive for so long. tl;dr: Challah is a shit song, but an amazing bread.
Posted by Gyoshido — Today @ 7:36 pm — Replies 0 — Views 8