[#43] Girls’ Generation, “Paradise”

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I had pretty much given up on Girls’ Generation in Korea after Oh!/Run Devil Run before the release of Lion Heart, and I was surprised to find that the group decided to drop an album that not only managed to not rip apart at seams, but held itself together as a cohesive idea that respected the where the ladies were in life. Yeah, there were serious missteps like “Party” (though I would implore you, again, to listen to the remix) and “Sign,” and smaller fumbles like “You Think” and “Show Girls,” but the rest was really pleasant. Lion Heart is not album of the year material–frankly we all knew that before it even came out–yet there’s genuine soul in there, and that’s more than I could have ever expected from the Korean Soshi.

“Paradise” is, in my opinion, among the best examples of this sincerity and elegance, and like equally great “Check,” “Talk Talk,” “One Afternoon” (a highly underrated track), and “Lion Heart,” “Paradise” doesn’t try to drag by its claws into the cutesy affair (minus Sunny‘s strange vocal intonation) that has marred post-“Gee” SNSD in the worst way possible. What makes “Paradise” stand out though is the balance between hook, meaningful verse, instrumental, and transitional melodies. “Pa-Pa-Pa-Paradise” might be the hook on paper, but it’s Seohyun‘s “And tonight…,” the “좋아…” ad-lib, and the middle 8, that make me catch my breath and revel in the small beauties that the song carries. Nothing feels out of place and each portion of the song cleanly connects into the next with grace. One would think that “connectivity” and “maturity” should be a given, but spatial synergy in a song is surprisingly rare around these parts.

 

 

 

 

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2 responses to “[#43] Girls’ Generation, “Paradise”

  1. So, which ‘Party’ remix?

    You’re the first person I’ve come across who shares my opinion of Paradise. It is, in my opinion, the best song of the album, but for some reason, fellow Sones seem to think it’s only filler material. It honestly leaves me confused.

    Sign seems to be a favorite as well (I share that opinion), so would you mind saying why you think it’s a misstep?

    I would rate the songs as it follows:

    Paradise, Sign – 4/5
    Lion Heart, Talk Talk, One Afternoon – 3.5/5
    Bump It, Green Light, Fire Alarm, Check – 3/5
    Party, You Think – 2.5/5

    I just pretend the Korean version of Show Girls does not exist.

    Lion Heart has to be my favorite of SNSD’s Korean albums as a whole. It is not perfect by any means (can’t consider an album with filler singles and remakes anything close to perfect), but like you said, it respects the girls age and maturity plus it is cohesive, something all of their previous albums painfully lacked. It is not an album where the divide between the title song(s), a few b-tracks and mostly fillers is clearly heard and felt.

    I admit to being SNSD trash and liking a lot, if not most, of the songs they release to a degree, especially their Japanese material. I’ll also be one of the first to admit that their music is generally speaking nothing groundbreaking (we can’t deny them the “ownership” of a few great songs though), somewhat of an acquired taste and vanilla as it gets, but man, do they do vanilla better than anyone else in kpop.

    I can only hope they remain on the road of improvement for the time they have left as a group.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Their Japanese material is among my favorites and it’s why I bother with them–I do catch onto most of their Korean singles as well, it’s just the albums that are disastrous.

    The Party remix I was referring to is the i5cream remix which brightened up the song nicely. It’s still not groundbreaking but it’s a lot better than the original.

    As for why I hate “Sign”: the song is a patchwork that has horrible mixing for an SM track. While the hook is fine the rest does nothing to support it. I especially despise the “more and more and more,” but all of the “ad-libs” (for lack of better term) were terribad. Tbh, I’m surprised it’s a fan favorite.

    Like

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