In 2010, a group named Girl’s Day made their way onto the K-pop scene to high expectations. Fortunately, they generated a large buzz for themselves before they ever stepped foot on stage; it was one of the rare cases where a group gathered a decent amount of buzz before debut (outside of the big 3). Unfortunately, it was ill-spent and their debut served to be a big disappointment for audiences.
If you remember, Girl’s Day came out with one of the worst debuts that year in K-pop. Their debut song was “Tilt My Head” and all it did was leave people scratching theirs. They also seemed to gain many antis because their name was somewhat reminiscent of Girls’ Generation and people felt they were trying to feed off their popularity. It also didn’t help that fans built up the aticipation and overhyped them to the point of calling them the next big girl group in K-pop. But after the dust settled, the group was forced to change up their direction, which included a change in members as well.
After dropping two members, the new line-up included So-jin, Ji-hae, Min-ah, Yura and Hyeri. With audience anticipation waned, Girl’s Day’s members were ready to prove themselves once again with a much revamped image. They released “Nothing Lasts Forever” which showcased a much more mature side to them. It also made many people, mainly international fans, pay attention to them once again and showcased their voices in a way their debut song had failed to do. The song left international fans praising the group, but failed to make a strong mark on Korea. Even though it was a vast improvement from their previous work, they once again had to reevaluate the direction they would have to take in order to stay alive in the K-pop scene.
Their next release took them back to their cutesy days, but this time with a focus on catering to their male fans as well. They released “Twinkle Twinkle” which immediately skyrocketed their popularity amongst the domestic population. Filled with slap stick humor and aegyo galore the group found a song that would help secure themselves as one of the rising girl groups in K-pop. They would later release “Hug Me Once” which played on the same cutesy direction as “Twinkle Twinkle.”
Fast forward to 2012 and the girls have once again released a fun and light-hearted track for their comeback with the song “Oh! My God.” Their MV shows a night out on the town with a group of girls having brainless fun. Is the song anything dynamic or different than what’s already been seen in K-pop? No, but I do have a new appreciation for this group.
I, for the most part, detest aegyo whether for guy or girl groups and that still stands for this song. Its saving grace comes from the fact that the MV significantly helped to ease me into this song. It allows the audience to put themselves in the position of the group and reminisce on experiences with friends. While watching it, I could see myself hanging out with friends and experiencing the same crazy night that goes on there even though a lot of it was over the top. Whether it’s dance battles, being clumsy and carefree, or just acting silly–it’s the kind of moments that one can easily have with friends. At times it’s senseless, but it’s how life plays out at some of its funniest moments.
As for the aegyo, it’s still not understandable. Along with all of the sound effects it’s just there unnecessarily. Why would one want to sound like a prepubescent child when one’s regular voice would just as easily suffice? If “Nothing Lasts Forever” proved anything it was that these girls are fully capable of pulling off strong, sultry verses (especially at the bridge). Unfortunately they were not appreciated enough for it and turned to something that was more stable for them.
After the group returned to their cutesy concept, I was about ready to give up on them, but I’ve realized something about this group. They’ve found their niche and that’s something that’s hard to come by nowadays in K-pop because of the oversaturation of the market. They’ve successfully created a girls-next-door group filled with humor that seems to be resonating with a large core of K-pop listeners. So, even though I may not love every song they produce I like that they found their way through all the chaos.
What are your thoughts on Girl’s Day’s musical direction, new song and MV?