By Paris365 on January 04, 2013

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SM Entertainment

Since I already spent so much time writing about the first two tracks, "I Got A Boy" and "Dancing Queen," it seemed only fitting that I should give the rest of Girls' Generation's colorful new album a track-by-track rundown...

A mid-tempo pop song/ballad, "Baby Maybe" begins with some playful and mellow piano followed by the sugary sweet line, "baby, baby, baby." If that's not enough to entice you, don't worry -- the chorus is nothing short of captivating. "Put your hands up if you feel like this," the girls sing, harmonizing radiantly, alternating between this line and some Korean lyrics. It's easy to picture them doing an adorable dance to this one, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's their next single. Interestingly, it was originally written in English for Pixie Lott, the title being "What You Do," but she didn't end up using it and it found its way to Girls' Generation, at which point Seohyun, Yuri and Sooyoung re-wrote it. (Pixie and her co-writers also receive writing credit.)

TRACK 4: "말해봐 (TALK TALK)"
As you'll see below, there are some retro songs on I Got A Boy. "말해봐 (Talk Talk)" is not one of them. On the contrary, it sounds entirely futuristic. With moody, pulsating electro-synth behind gritty, synthesized bass and a vigorous, throbbing beat, it's easily one of the girls' edgiest and darkest songs to date, if not the very darkest. While their vocals sound smooth and harmonious as usual, there's a bit of a dark twist there as well. It reminds me of some of the songs on Mylene Farmer's album Avant Que L'Ombre. One lyric is, "let's talk about it boy," but it comes across more like "shut up and let me do the talking for once."

The ballad "Promise" starts off with a little piano intro but that quickly stops to make room for a silky, warm-hued R&B beat, complete with a clapper. It's a mellow affair reminiscent of many '90's ballads that has retro written all over it. "What about us? What about love?" the girls sing, their voices saccharine-infused. Your heart might skip a beat.

This astounding track is like a train ride from the '70's into the future. It starts off with a funky, '70's groove, right down to the sort of bass playing commonly associated with pornos. But then there's a fantastic burst of sound that makes me think of pinball machines -- and '80's children's shows' theme songs -- and that leads us to the modern-sounding chorus at the end of which the girls sing "ohohohohohohoh" (or something to that effect) and it's downright electrifying. From there we have more luxuriating pinball music followed by a mix of the retro sounds we heard in the beginning and a heavy, modern beat. While it doesn't change styles and tempos quite as often as "I Got A Boy," it's certainly just as genre-bending and forward-thinking with a totally whimsical vibe. It's also my favorite song on the album.

TRACK 7: "유리아이 (LOST IN LOVE)"
This slow-burning ballad is retro but it mixes sounds from so many different times and genres that you can't tie it down to one decade or period in the history of pop. It's full of bright and sunshiny synth, much of it the sort you'd hear in new age songs by Enya or Enigma, meanwhile part of it has an R&B/pop beat and vibe that calls to mind Barry Manillow and Abba. The girls' voices, which are full of longing, somehow manage to tie it all together but it's just not as affecting as it aims to be. It's actually just what the title says -- lost in love.

This experimental track begins with a healthy dose of hip-hop over some organic sounding beats that sound like something sampled from one of those sounds of the rainforest CDs. "You look at me, I look at you," goes the buoyant, danceable chorus, which has more of a contemporary beat. Although it's a bit odd, it's ultimately a captivating and fun track.

This intriguing pop number sounds like a collision of sounds we've heard earlier on the album with its throbbing beat, scuzzy synth bass and various other little beats and electro-tinkering. "ABC and XYZ," the girls sing, "give it up, give it up." They're diva-sized vocals, but they sound as sweet as chocolate cake and it's undeniably one of the album's catchiest songs.

TRACK 10: "낭만길 (ROMANTIC ST.)"
The vibe here is totally '50's when it comes to the girls' vocals. Their playful and warm harmonizing goes perfectly over the track's subtle music, consisting mostly of charming piano and synth so light and airy you almost don't notice that it's there. It's a dreamscape worth riding into the sunset and the perfect closing track for this wonderful album.

Considering that each track had a different producer and different co-writers it's really not so surprising that the album is as diverse as it is. What's surprising is how well the different songs mesh together to form what truly feels like a proper album. Bravo.

For Michael's review of "I Got A Boy" and "Dancing Queen," go here:

In addition to the online stores below, I Got A Boy is available in the U.S. iTunes store, so you have no excuse not to check it out.

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