Girls’ Generation is the self-titled first album released by Girls’ Generation. The title track was used as the promotional song and Kissing you was also used to promote it. The album also includes two songs from their first single. The album proved to be a success and helped establish the group’s fanbase.
Released: November 1, 2007
1. Girls’ Generation (소녀시대)
2. Ooh La-La!
3. Baby Baby
5. Kissing you
7. Tears (그대를 부르면)
10. Honey (소원)
11. Into the New World (다시 만난 세계)
The title track opens the album and it opens it with a blast. A remake of Lee Seung Chul’s 80’s hit, Girls’ Generation is definitely changed up from the original as it features a dance beat, a blast of sparkling synths and some cuter vocals. It’s still one of my favourite songs from the group because it has a lot of energy in the verses, a nice calming pre-chorus and a powerful electric guitar based chorus. It’s a great song and a great way to start things off.
It’s really odd that things go the bubblegum pop direction with Ooh La-La!, as here we replace the electric guitar for some cute synths and a bouncy beat. It’s not a bad song, but it’s still a bit juvenile for the group. They did cuter pop tunes on the first single, but this just takes things even far in that direction. The good thing about the song is that it has a great melody and it’s still quite catchy. It reminds me of late 90’s pop music like S Club 7.
Baby Baby is another bubblegum pop tune, but it isn’t as upbeat. I actually prefer this one over the last song because the harmonies are much stronger and the chorus is nicely flushed out. It’s not quite in your face, but still has a nice innocence to it that keeps the flow of the album. The girls also sound great and it feels like all the girls’ vocals fit this song. Not the strongest tune, but its a pretty piece.
Complete is the album’s first ballad and it’s a pretty gentle pop tune. The verses are not that great though as the melody just sort of drags on. I feel like this part would benefit being sped up a bit. Luckily, the chorus is quite beautiful. It’s sung in unison like a lot of the choruses on here and the melody works wonderfully with them all blended together. It’s simple and sweet and that ending with Taeyeon doing riffs and runs is stunning.
Kissing you is a return of the saccharine pop sound like Ooh La-La!, but this one feels a lot more focused in its delivery. The music is quite sweet and features a lot synths, but it also has a pretty cool guitar that lays underneath. The melody is quite nice and its fun to sing along to. It’s one of the girls catchiest songs, especially in their earlier days.
Merry-go-round keeps the innocence, but slows things down a bit and adds a stronger beat. I really enjoy this song and its one of my favourites of the album because the chorus has some great harmonies. The only odd parts of the strange jumps in pitch from the verses to the chorus and back. Still, it’s a good song even though it blends a bit with the other tunes on here.
Tears is another ballad, but we finally get something a bit more mature and dramatic. The song sounds like your usual K-Pop ballad with your haunting strings and R&B beat. It’s probably the weakest song for me at this point. The verses are decent, but there is something off about the chorus with the vocal editing and the melody.
Tinkerbell returns us to the bubblegum pop sound and while its another slower tune, it is definitely better than the last one. My only problem is that this song sounds so much like Merry-go-round for me that it becomes hard to differentiate them, although the melody here is a bit weaker. It’s cute, but isn’t as strong.
7989 is a duet between Taeyeon and H.O.T.’s Kangta and references their birth years. Kangta has a really smooth voice and is great for this light R&B elements here. Taeyeon also has a great voice that suits many genres. Unfortunately, this song just isn’t my cup of tea. It’s more fitting for a coffeehouse and doesn’t have quite a lot of energy to it. I don’t really like the arrangement and I’m not a fan of the melody either. Not for me.
Honey is actually “Perfect for You” from their first single but renamed. This is another bubblegum pop song and was the archetype for many of the other songs on the album, but this is one of the my favourites as I love the music with its touches of guitar and great harmonies. It’s sweet.
The album ends on a high note with Into the New World, which is still my favourite song from the group. It’s powerful in both its music and lyrics and I love the energy it has. It also gives me a lot of nostalgia from the days they debuted and when I first got into them. It’s the album’s best song and they haven’t done anything to top this yet. Everything from the dance beat to the melody sung in unison is just so strong.
Overall: This is a solid debut album. I think part of that is the fact that I know this album so well and I used to play it so much ten years ago, but there are some really good tracks on here. The majority of the album has great production and even if a lot of songs sound similar, there are several quality tunes. The melodies are also great and I love how the majority of the songs have their choruses sung in unison. It’s a nice change from the usual K-Pop style of having choruses sung solo as it adds some nice harmonies.