Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Girls’ Generation – Holiday

Happy 10 years!


Ryo Miyauchi: Now a decade into their career, Girls’ Generation have got down what note to hit and what pose to strike like a science. For the case of “Holiday,” their tight professionalism limits the group more than it impresses. Their constant push for fun under the sun offer not much room for actual ad-libbed silliness, and it makes the all-smiles performance feel like just that: a performance. It also does them no favors that their retro sunshine boogie isn’t the most original backdrop right now.

Juana Giaimo: Although the cheerful and over-energic spirit may seem perfectly suitable for a holiday themed song, it sounds dated even when it was released only a month ago. The rap verse over the funk beat as well as the horns in the chorus are more suitable for a holiday in a classic broadway musical. 

Alfred Soto: A holiday indeed with these sugar-fast tempos and the ease with which the girls’ vocals and the synths sync in harmony. Faster, though!

David Moore: We all knew this would be sunny and delightful and good clean fun and, obviously, the perfect opening soundtrack to a summer teen comedy in some parallel universe where millennial American pop metastasized unchecked and yada yada yada, but the real question before us is, how does it compare to a knock-off of “Holiday” by Madonna, which is to say Jessica Simpson’s “A Public Affair?” Less good, but not by as much as you’d think!

Anjy Ou: Ten years after their debut, Girls’ Generation can no longer pull off these sorts of songs convincingly. The youthful lightness songs like these require is missing in their performance — and it’s sorely needed in a song so lacking in personality. I don’t know why their fans and management seem to want to preserve their cute, young, carefree image in amber, but it does not do them any favors.

Maxwell Cavaseno: If I’m being honest with myself, I’ve never believed in Girls’ Generation. “Gee” was an unquestionable banger, and more than a few tracks have impressed me out of the camp. But the more I get into K-pop, the more I continue to ask myself, “Is this group the Biggest, The Best or simply definitive?” Amazing that one can be so reductive of setting precedent, but there’s a point where SNSD have not bothered to continue to establish these precedents. “Holiday” is a generic soul-influenced musical number that somehow manages to sound even more boring than the tyrannically useless mock-Motown-review that was Mamamoo’s “You’re the Best,” no doubt an influence on the group bothering to make a record that feels so conservative in the wake of their recent identity flux. And what trips me up is wondering if a song like this had come from any group without the sense of legacy as the Girls’, would anybody truly be interested?

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A Mamamoo-informed take on “Party” that’s here to prove that Girls’ Generation aren’t here to stay. They’ve solidified their status as legends long ago, so to release a single that finds them experimenting with new styles is surely not in SM’s interest, especially with the TaeTiSeo girls now flying solo. Even then, it’s a bit ironic that a song meant to celebrate the group’s tenth anniversary finds them at their most anonymous. It’s because of this very reason, though, that “Holiday” has become such an affecting song for me. I’ve finally found a career I love and consequently have an idea of what the next decade of my life will potentially look like. And while I may have settled into a predictable groove, I’ve found immense contentment in the current state of my life. I’m just thankful that I’m still alive and am able to find time to do the things I love, all whilst being around people I can gladly call friends. Considering all the girl groups who have called it quits recently, I’m sure Girls’ Generation feel the same.

Alex Clifton: I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single from Girls’ Generation I’ve ever disliked; their music is always theatrical and catchy, and “Holiday” is no exception. This is everything I could ask for in a summer song: funky guitars and horns, a beltable chorus, and a heavy dose of winning charm. I find it impossible to listen to this passively — I keep finding myself tapping my toes against my computer chair and bobbing my head at my desk, which makes this even better. Perhaps the highest compliment I can give is that for three minutes, my brain shuts up from its incessant stream of anxious thoughts and just focuses entirely on the music. Well done, Girls. Please stick around.

Reader average: [4.5] (2 votes)

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20 Responses to “Girls’ Generation – Holiday”

  1. SNSD peaked with Love & Peace copy this

  2. @Joshua AGREED

  3. So y’all skipping LORD’s Whisper by GFriend huh

  4. Also mamamoo has been canceled ever since their blackface incident, but maxwell is dead wrong about you’re the best

  5. You’re The Best is like… one of three Mamamoo tracks worth caring about (and maybe their best single?) *rolls up sleeves* Maxwell is also doubly wrong because he liked Taller Than You.

  6. Wait, I thought we agreed that Love Whisper wasn’t any good?

    Also, Piano Man > Ahh Oop! >>>>>> all other Mamamoo singles. (And Decalcomanie > You’re the Best.)

  7. “Taller Than You” is a banger, more comedy songs biting “Forgot About Dre” less “CUHM AWN HEY BRUTHA, CUHM AWN HEY SISTA”. If I wanna watch HAIR I’ll suffer on my own time, bad enough I have to remind myself people keep pretending Hwasa has charisma.

  8. All Night >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Holiday

  9. A lot of Mamamoo songs ride or die on whether or not I can stomach Moonstar’s quirky rapping. It’s almost always shoehorned in and makes their songs feel more like frustrating theater kid antics. It’s related to why I really don’t enjoy “Taller Than You”… reminds me of all the cringey moments I witnessed in my middle school’s second city improv class.

    @William, All Night is the better song but I like it less for some reason. I guarantee it’s gonna get a higher score than “Holiday”

  10. I’ve totally never found her rapping that way but I think it’s because I’m processing a lot of it 2nd hand? imo a lot of what ends up being considered rapping in K-Pop has more and more fallen into really blase technique overkill shows or simple to the point of cheerleader chant? Or worse, words over a slight melody that leaves real singing for the nice chorus to tie it in a bow.

    Moonbyul’s kind of got a definite sloppy, showboating quality but I like that its kind of bustling, torrential style that overflows over the beats and is more concerned with just cramming in her lil’ moments. They almost never seem shoehorned to me.

  11. Since this comment section is a mess anyways, the real question is why haven’t you guys covered Gashina yet?

  12. This comment section isn’t a mess! I don’t understand why it’s a mess! Explain to me why it’s a mess! And you should recommend Gashina :) I personally think it’s not so hot but it’s an incredible video with great choreography by the great Lia Kim (who also did 24 hours). I also need to know who the stylist is… someone help me.

    @Maxwell, I always try to view K-pop rapping in terms of how functional it is in terms of the entire song’s structure so stuff like “really blase technique overkill” and “cheerleader chant” does not annoy me too much.

  13. Mostly because 80% of it isn’t about SNSD– which I guess is because of the one Mamamoo reference in the blurbs? And honestly I like a single by another female artist formerly under JYP a little more (lol), but the fact that a song like Gashina is killing the Korean charts is compelling in and of itself.

  14. Oh ok yea that makes sense. I was hoping people would chime in with their SNSD hot takes… PS Genie >>> Gee

    And agreed, I like the Hyuna song more! We /are/ reviewing that one (eventually). Am I allowed to disclose that? I don’t know!

  15. I honestly think a lot of people consider Genie to be their tour de force … even now? I know the kpop subreddit did a ranking of SNSD’s discography and Genie ended up sitting at the top. Gee was one of the first Kpop releases I remember being truly present for (radio rips…), so I’ll always be attached to it, though. I actually haven’t listened to Holiday since like 5AM on the day it released, but it definitely seemed a little uninspired even when I listened to it then. They’ve definitely lost something since Jessica left and I think even more than that, their fans don’t really want to move on from it (I know there was some fuss being made that the members weren’t mentioning Jessica in the anniversary letters and whatever), so it becomes really obvious where that “hole” is. It’s sad though… especially since SM handled their promotions for this album so poorly. (As well as apparently sort of neglecting the members altogether.)

    Does that count as a hot take? \o/


  17. Oh yeah I forgot to say that I do think Genie is the better song, even though some bits of the music video are … super offputting.

  18. I love Anna! Forgot about that r/kpop SNSD list… Genie topping it is well-deserved but man, seeing Into The New World at #2 is uhhh disagreeable. Cool to see that a lot of the b-sides that people raved about back in the day are still popular.

    They’ve definitely been worse since Jessica left but I honestly don’t know if that’s something I’d credit more to her departure or just that they’re getting worse/safer songs (though I suppose the two can be related).

  19. Yeah, the r/kpop lists are interesting … I’ve only participated in BTS/EXO/Red Velvet because other than that I haven’t really felt particularly knowledgeable about their discographies or there are some massive gaps (I’ve never heard SHINee’s Misconceptions all the way through…). SNSD was definitely one of those, and I definitely had a big gap there with their JP discography, so in that way that list helped give me a starting point.

    I think ITNW is mostly a sentimental thing now, especially with some of the ties it ended up having to Park Geunhye’s impeachment, etc … (and Jessica’s departure).

  20. Is it too late to cover CLC’s “Where Are You?” Basically K-Pop’s answer to Carly’s “All That,” I love it so much.

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