I’ve held off on writing a full post on Girls’ Generation’s (aka: SNSD, Soshi, GG, 소녀시대, etc) comeback, since the video hadn’t come out yet, and videos are arguably the most important part of a K-Pop comeback. Well, it finally came out this morning, and even though I’m slightly pressed that it came out basically the same day as BESTie’s flawless new video, I have to say “Mr.Mr.” was worth the wait.
First off, ironically, boy-group Mr.Mr. who just had a scandal that resulted in a member leaving released their own song called “Mr.Mr.” today. What is it with these groups coming for SM this year? First Girls’ Day released “Something” right on the curtails of TVXQ’s song with the same name, now this? Wow. Next thing that’ll happen is that Super Junior has a comeback called “ELF 사랑한다” and some nobody group will release a song with the same name too. (I slightly kid.)
Anyways, this comeback has been hyped since last year. The initial teaser was played at SNSD’s SMTown Week concert. From what I heard, the video wasn’t ‘good enough’ so a re-shoot happened. Though from what I saw in the teaser, part of the original footage was used in the video – that segment reminded me of “Bad Girl” – a dark parking garage, with powerful dance moves. So I’m wondering why a re-shoot was even necessary since “Bad Girl” is perfect.
Overall the video is great, and kind of typical of SM; but actually a bit more f(x)-like than I was expecting. Sometimes I’m wondering if SM forgets they have f(x) and gives all of their concepts to SNSD. Anyways, I would have liked more dance-shots, but I’m sure there’ll be a dance version released at some point. The colors are great, the girls all look fabulous, and Hyoyeon actually had some time to shine; though I’m confused since I heard it was only supposed to be Hyoyeon, Sooyoung and Yuri doing the dance break, but each member killed it.
I really have no complaints about the video at all. It’s not loud and crazy like “I Got a Boy”, it’s not too ‘high budget wannabe’ like “The Boys” and the concept isn’t as ridiculous as “Hoot” – so basically I dub “Mr.Mr.” the best thing SNSD has released since “Run Devil Run” back in 2010.
As for the mini-album, I enjoy most of the songs on it. I loved the title track, despite that it was a bit of a let down upon hearing the full version compared to the teaser, but I’m still constantly jamming to it. “Europa” is my second favorite track, and it sounds a lot like something that would have been included on a Japanese SNSD release. A lot of fans are kind of upset that “Soul” is the Korean version of the song SNSD recorded for a Chinese video game, but I prefer this version; similar to how some of the re-records on the first Japanese CD are superior to the Korean language versions. The other three songs are mediocre to me, particularly “Back Hug” since as I keep stating, I don’t do ballads. Just as many other fans and reviewers are saying, SNSD’s vocals have improved so much over the last couple of years, and it’s great to hear Jessica sing so much on this mini. When will SM put her in a subgroup with Sunny?
I’d give the Mr. Mr. mini-album a 3.5/5. SNSD shines more on dance-upbeat tracks, a lot of the songs have a similar sound to them, and for a year, only 6 songs seems kind of cheap unless we’re getting two Korean comebacks this year.
I’m still confused what happened with the official release. I know it was pushed back, but apparently iTunes put the album up early by mistake, hurried up and took it down, and then fans were re-posting the songs on social media and YouTube. The physical CD was released on the 27, I believe, and SNSD do great with physical sales, but I can’t help but wonder what went wrong here. SM hasn’t promoted this comeback half as much as they did “I Got a Boy,” and a leak likely hurt their sales – we’ll see when numbers are released next week; not to mention SNSD won’t be making appearances on music programs until the first week of March. I really wonder how they’re going to do this promotion period, since SM seems to not be backing them properly and is making poor decisions.
Not to mention, YG’s attempt to snatch SNSD’s spotlight by releasing 2ne1’s CD the day after, despite that I’ve seen 2ne1 fans saying that the company has been sitting on the CD since 2012. Even though SNSD did get an all-kill, 2ne1 seems to have replaced them on many charts. Obviously YG was going for a rivalry and riding-the-coattails approach with 2ne1, but SM not promoting SNSD and waiting to put them on music shows is likely going to hurt them. Disclaimer: I haven’t listened to 2ne1’s album, and I don’t really care to.
Anyways, it’s really a shame that SNSD is being overshadowed despite that they had a really solid comeback. The title track isn’t the worst song on the album like last time, and the video flows well, has great imagery, and kinda makes sense (at least in the K-Pop realm), without a gimmick-y concept. I should be whining how BESTie and Ladies’ Code and my other nugu faves are being overshadowed by SNSD, but I’m not. While that is still happening, lackluster promotion and another company from the ‘Big 3’ promoting on top of SNSD is going to hurt them a lot, and it upsets me. If this song wasn’t so amazing, I wouldn’t be as butthurt, but I can’t help it. It’s not as if this is going to kill SNSD’s popularity completely, and I don’t doubt they’ll still do great on music shows, but right now it seems like there’s more hype over Orange Caramel’s upcoming comeback over “Mr.Mr.” which is a shame.
One final note – SM released TVXQ’s repackage album Spellbound this week too. The title track and video are also flawless, which also makes me wonder why SM decided to promote quality material from their two most popular groups at the same time.
SM, please stop screwing up, and let the Queens reign. Thanks.