GIRLS’ GENERATION – HOLIDAY NIGHT
Spend a summer ‘Holiday Night’ with Girls’ Generation! It’s been two years since their last full album ‘Lionheart,’ and they’re back again to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Their sixth album is stuffed full with 10 new songs, and includes the two title tracks “All Night” and “Holiday.”
The album kicks off with the jazzy “Girls Are Back.” This tune is absolutely enthusiastic and ebullient, and really shows what they can do vocally. The girls wrap their angelic harmonies around the lyrics on this one, and the individual vocals range from seductive to powerhouse. If you want a place to start, begin with a bang. This track fills the bill nicely.
Starting with the autotuned line “I like to party,” “All Night” is the first of the two title tracks. This one is a definite club-banger, and the chorus is the hook, easily singable even if your vibrato sucks (theirs doesn’t). I like some of the techno effects here. It’s not as obvious upfront, but at the bridge the EDM influence becomes obvious. Still, the girls seem as into it as ever, vibrant and exciting, throwing themselves into the song with gusto.
“Holiday” is the second of their title tracks and one of the two tracks you’d be most likely to find on a party rock playlist. This one is obviously electronically generated and has a lot in common with R&B, which Girls’ Generation is no stranger to. Once again they give their vocal chords a workout, and even with 8 girls, you can still pick their voices out of a lineup. It’s a fantastic song, to boot.
The billowy “FAN” is a different beast than the previous tracks, and it’s expansive and majestic, particularly during the chorus, which is where it really shines. It’s a fun listen regardless of where you start it, though. The song is overall calmer, but it recalls their older material. Particularly the b-sides. And it’s a piece of perfect pop, too.
“Only One” gets the acoustic guitar treatment, and they prove more than equal to the task. Rather than belted vocals, they calm it down here and pitch their voices slightly higher. The lilt in the main verses is absolutely adorable, and they sound gorgeous when they harmonize. While not normally their sound, this faux-folk style really suits them well.
“One Last Time” is another stripped-down song. There’s not a lot of production thrown at it, but I think that would ruin the effect. It’s a pretty pop song with just a drum machine, guitar, and piano-like keyboards. Not to mention the amazing vocals from the girls. The effect is super-satisfying, and is every bit as good as FAN, if not even better.
“Sweet Talk” is somewhat mysterious and suspenseful. I like the time-changes in the pre-chorus, before hitting the powerful chorus. It’s fierce and attitude-laden, and I think that’s what makes me like it so much. It has an in-your-face feel even as it draws you in. It’s slightly naughty as well, which just adds to the awesomeness of it. These girls have grown up, and they let you know it here.
“Love Is Bitter” is undeniably a jazz number. It sounds like something you might hear in a nightclub in the 30’s, and the girls slip into this one like they were born to it. The honking horns are right on point, and the little flourishes here and there are golden. The fact that these girls can cross genres effortlessly lets you know they’ve been around for a decade.
“It’s You” is a soft-pop number, almost like a ballad, but not quite. It’s got a clean picked guitar for accompaniment. The main verses are sweet, but it really picks up during the chorus, and the girls get a real chance to shine vocally. It’s got one of those sweeping choruses, and it delivers the feels nicely.
“Light Up the Sky” is a ballad with a very grandiose feel to it. A fine example a ballad that’s done right, this has controlled, dignified main verses, and then this lofty, magnificent chorus that just fills your ears. It’s emotional, ceremonious, and awesome all at once. It’s not for the fans — it’s a love song. But it could be. It’s that good. And it’s a wonderful closer.
Listening to their singles in and around the “Lionheart” era, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this would be more EDM-inspired. But everything sounds just as it should, from the more techno-style club bangers to the ballads with more traditional instruments. As Sooyoung said, this LP is “very SNSD.” And that is a very good thing.
So the girls are on holiday, going shopping, dancing in front of a faux-beach on a faux road, and hanging out inside. They eventually hit a stage and continue dancing and singing.
Oddly, I felt as if I were watching a CF, probably because of the word “Holiday” streaming across my screen every minute or so. I thought that was an odd choice. Also, I thought the obvious fake background was a little distracting, but the fireworks were a nice bit of CGI magic.
This could be a very bad thing, as it seems to be a summer song with the video taking place entirely inside. But the dynamics and the movement were pretty awesome as we trip from one stage setup to the next. And it’s not like it bored me, either.
The dancing I think was really the highlight of this MV. Their movements were as confident and on point as they ever were, slashing the air with their hands and moving around. As I’ve said before, keeping 8 girls together with limbs flailing and not smacking your bandmate in the nose is art all by itself, but Girls’ Generation is known for some pretty good choreo that takes advantage of the fact that there are that many girls.
I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t enjoy it. It’s campy, yes, and silly. But that’s part of — and indeed, the point of — the MV
This isn’t going to be much of a review, as I can’t find a copy of the video without the documentary in it. And the MV is all sliced up and interview pieces are interspersed throughout. However, I can give you quotes from the girls that stood out to me:
Yuri: “It was likely due to those emotions that formed my motto – Now SNSD, future SNSD, forever SNSD…”
Yoona: “It was the happiest time in my life.”
Sunny: “10 years is a long time, and there were [hard times], but I was able to stay through the years because I enjoyed it.”
SEE ALSO: Girls’ Generation releases the ‘Clean Version’ Music Video of “All Night”