The following is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff.
Here we go again
This isn’t news to those who follow the Asian pop news wires but for the benefit of those who have been living under a rock, Girls’ Generation are making an attempt to crack the lucrative but extremely tough American market. After SM’s attempt with their cash cow BoA only managed to appeal to club goers and those already indoctrinated into K-Pop/J-Pop they have tweaked their approach with their mega selling girl group.
First thing they did was sign a deal with Universal Music. No more going rogue and trying to do things themselves under the SM America imprint. Because we all know how well that worked for BoA right? The album was hardly available in any major music store and if it was, there was usually only 1 copy per store. Well that was my experience here in Western Canada. I don’t know about the rest of you out there.
With the right push from Universal Girls’ Generation could get some decent exposure. From all the pictures I’ve seen from SMTown weekend in New York it seems that the group is getting some love from their new label. We can’t forget that it was K-Pop overload in NY recently so that may have something to do with the high level of Girls’ Generation spam all over the common touristy places. Perhaps it’s best to be cautious & wait for the drop off after all the screaming fangirls and boys go home.
If the push continues after then there’s a glimmer of hope.
Secondly there is the alignment with a major American producer. That’s great & all until you find out that SM went to Teddy Riley. Really? I guess the fees for Kanye, Timbaland, Mark Ronson (& to a lesser extent) Swizz Beats were too high? I have all the respect in the world for Teddy Riley. New Jack Swing was the foundation of what would shape my musical tastes; but he hasn’t exactly been burning the charts in America with hits. Even if he has been working with many other artists outside of his own Guy/Blackstreet endeavors.
The last I heard of Teddy Riley was back in 2007 with his failed collaboration with Japanese vocal (& I use the term loosely because they sucked) R&B trio Full Of Harmony. After that, nothing until Rania earlier this year. Even that was hit & miss with Dr. Feel Good being a return to form & Masquerade being a sad try at Electro Pop.
I think SM’s in-house group of producers do a fine job creating some great music and why they had to go an American one who may be a little past his prime besides the name recognition is beyond me. Well you can’t blame SM for at least trying and learning from their mistakes, even if it leads to another eventual failure.
Many on the web have suggested that perhaps Girls’ Generation should go for the Katy Perry kind of crowd. They have plenty of songs that would appeal to those pop fans and could realistically compete for radio play and chart position if marketed right. But alas, we’re stuck with the sadness that is The Boys instead.
The way things are going it’s possible that a place has been reserved for Girls’ Generation in the discount bin next to the Wonder Girls and all the other failed K-Pop and J-Pop acts.