Friday, September 21st, 2018

Girls’ Generation-Oh!GG – Lil’ Touch

Boring pap from remnants of legendary girl group, or proof they’ve still got it?


Jessica Doyle: Admittedly, in my ideal world those SNSD members who need to leave SM do so with no acrimony or bad publicity, and Seohyun sticks around long enough to get that second prechorus. (Not to slight Sunny: I just prefer the lower-voiced sneering Sunny of “You Think” to any other singing Sunny.) But instead we get an apparent lack of acrimony, in contrast to what happened with Jessica (and Han Geng, and Jaejoong/Junsu/That Other One, and Kris/Lu Han/Tao, and that’s just SM, which these days looks positively sane and benevolent compared to the competition). Plus there’s Yuri and Yoona getting to be casually seductive as if they’ve been preparing for this through years’ worth of one-line appearances, and DJ Hyo, and a more relaxed, confident approach appropriate for a decade-plus of experience. Even if “Lil’ Touch” isn’t a harbinger of better labor relations in K-pop, and it likely isn’t, it’s still very good.

Ryo Miyauchi: A more concerted effort to revise the identity of SNSD has been long overdue, so the shake-up of its line-up has been for the better when it comes to the music. The lyrics may suggest otherwise as the group continues to play as this seductive band of women, a voice that has yet to feel as more than a performance. Yet the production choice is an assuring pivot as it reaches for a more regal, grown pop outfit more similar in feel to Taeyeon’s latest records than the club-minded dance-pop that defined the mid-decade of Girls’ Generation.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: “Lil’ Touch” was co-written and produced by LIONCHLD, a group comprised of Rachael Kennedy, Nathalia Nico, and Lance Shipp. Their work includes the following: Fantasia’s “No Time For It,” Britney Spears’s “Coupure Électrique,” Kiana Ledé’s “Fairplay,” Bebe Rexha’s “Mine,” and Evvie McKinney’s “How Do You Feel.” They also appeared on Timbaland’s Lifetime show The Pop Game. All of which is to say that LIONCHLD are relatively new, don’t have the best CV, but are well-connected. “Lil’ Touch” is also their first K-pop song, and it’s a bleak reminder of how passionless SNSD’s music has become. On the bright side, it’s refreshing to hear each member being meaningfully utilized, but none of them are able to translate the lyrics into anything beyond hollow performance. The verses’ minimalism is tedious, the guitar skanks feel cold and unnaturally fast, and the song’s subtle development is unable to inject the song with even a modicum of energy. “Lil’ Touch” has set a handful of records: the best selling Kihno album, the highest number of YouTube views within 24 hours for any 2000s Korean girl group, and the highest number of YouTube views within 24 hours for any SM group ever. It’s all very impressive given the mediocre promotion for this, but K-pop is also bigger than ever. In other words, there are more people who are content with mediocrity.

Juan F. Carruyo: It starts with the chorus and it will repeat 4 times throughout the song, but only to establish a familiar element within the structure, since every single verse that follows is completely different from each other. This is devilish arranging skills with superb melodies to match. 

Alfred Soto: Unimpressed with the last couple singles, I heard little in “Lil’ Touch” that impressed me beyond the echo and slight skank in the last third. 

Crystal Leww: Listen, I think that Tiffany Young’s media tour has been much more interesting than the music that she produced, but if this is what the remaining bit of Girls’ Generation has been given to work with, I don’t necessarily blame her for jumping ship. “Lil’ Touch” is overstuffed without feeling maximal and feels like it’s just coasting off the good will of its former girl group.

Reader average: [7] (5 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

11 Responses to “Girls’ Generation-Oh!GG – Lil’ Touch”

  1. I don’t know whom I should address my ouch to: JMK, or the editor who put my and Ryo’s blurbs before his

  2. This song got old quick.

    Y’all reviewing Siren?

  3. Low key the best SNSD-related thing within the past couple years is Yoona’s ‘When The Wind Blows’.

    re: Tiffany Young, her recent interviews have been very good and are among the best K-pop interviews to ever take place. But yeah, with Crystal in that the music isn’t so hot.

    Also lol love you Jessica + Ryo

  4. “In other words, there are more people who are content with mediocrity.”

    this stings a bit as the [6] here but i mean… it is true

  5. i personally love the song but i knew it would have very mixed reception. y’all need to review Sunmi’s ‘Siren’ and Park Jimin’s ‘April Fool’s’

  6. We should be on “Siren” soon

  7. Still laugh every time I see it put as 5N5D, but it’s still a far superior name to “Girls’ Generation-Oh!GG” jfc what is that

    Yeah, the song went in one ear and out the other, but that’s nothing new for SNSD singles. There’s always at least one album track that makes it to my music player, though (usually the Kenzie one).
    SNSD could never be girls full of ~attitude~ and whatnot, so songs that try so hard to impart personality to them are doomed to failure. They’re meant to be like classical musicians: trained within an inch of their lives to technical ability, servicing the composer’s vision and not their own.

  8. Low-key disagreeing with Joshua here: the best SNSD-related song for the past couple of years is hands down “Secret” by Yuri & Seohyun. Often the maximal-ism style is done quite poorly by a lot of K-Pop acts but this one just nails it. The way the beat pulls back before the chorus is released….Lord oh Lord. How is this only a Pantene commercial? This should have been blasting through the dance-floor everywhere.

    “Lil’ Touch” is flat-out embarrassing. Weak hooks, weird transition, unmemorable vocals/harmonies and overall a mess.

  9. @Ted: obviously disagree with you re “Lil’ Touch” but agree with you on “Secret” (though I wouldn’t rank it above “Something New”).

  10. I was actually only thinking of things from 2017/2018 because I liked Taeyeon’s stuff in 2016 but that was obviously unclear from my language. “Secret” is great for sure, was just further proof at the time that LDN Noise was much better than everyone else attempting dance music pastiches for K-pop artists. “Something New,” however, is uh… not my thing at all. I think it’s extremely boring!

    re: “When The Wind Blows,” I think it deserves more love because all *great* coffeeshop ballads (and there aren’t many tbh) need more love from K-pop fans. Also, I think it’s a good example of an established indie songwriter (Conan of Rocoberry) writing for a bigger star. Song definitely suits Yoona’s voice, and also ends up sounding way better than anything Rocoberry has ever done.

  11. It’s not a terrible song, but it suffers a lot from needing to repeat every single verse and chorus melody so Sunny AND Hyomin, Yuri AND Yoona can all get equal screentime… I’m sure the fans are happy with the representation, but the song itself suffers. This would have been better with SNSD wittled down to just 3.

    But our opinions don’t really matter because the fans, not us, are the audience for this anyway.