Many years ago, the world was filled with darkness, deceit and death. Innocent lives were perishing, wars were destroying the world and a new era of evil was beginning to rise. Then thy father, who art in heaven had decided he had quite-effin-enough of the world’s tomfoolery. Inspired by the teachings of the The Spice Girls, he ditched Jesus’ comeback like SM do to f(x) and spiced by his life, crafting the nine most beautiful women ever, and placing them on the world to vanquish the evil 2NE1, birthed from the fires of Mount Doom with their beautiful music, beautiful voices and beautiful faces.
Fulfilling their destiny, those girls named Girls’ Generation, have since ended recessions, fed the hungry and are on their final mission, before they bring their heavenly teachings beyond Asia, through the release of their album, GIRLS’ GENERATION II – GIRLS&PEACE, calming the hostility of the world and throwing CL and the gang back in Mordor. HUZZAH.
All stanning aside, I was piss worried. Following the release of their chart slaying, follicle snatching, genre defining debut album, the only way this sophomore album could go is down. However, God/Leesus Soo Man/Soosus have pulled their weight ensuring that the cursed sophomore slump effects were as minimal as they could be.
Opening with the beautifully messy, heroin chic of FLOWER POWER, the girls tear through the song, dabbling in sultry vocals, vocal vocoders and enough spoken lines to be described as an ode to Madonna‘s Vogue to create a somewhat weird but endearing end result, standing out from the average top 40 chart song despite sharing similar components, doubled with their blissful euphemism as they long for deflowering. (Tell me this song means otherwise and I will cry).
FLOWER POWER is quickly followed by the hypnotic Animal, serving it’s purpose as a sophisticated predecessor to their Japanese début, carrying on the electronic sound utilized readily on songs like You-aholic and The Great Escape while continuing the lyrical theme set by the opening number with Jessica standing out with lines like “come into my territory” with filthy results. Yes please, Jessic-allah P.S., make this a single while you are at it. I’m A Diamond, however, it sets the trend for the rest of the album, showing the first signs of deviation from the progressive electronic sounds already showcased, spitting out lines like beasts to a modern hybrid of Britney Spears earlier work and the egoistical brother of The Boys with enough sass to twerk to.
Reflection, an anthem for those who like to fornicate in front of mirrors, adds itself well to the list of stellar songs on the album but the album’s first pitfall quickly follows in the form of a ballad. The first album prided itself with it’s stinking electro beats and lack of ballads, maintaining the pace for the album as a generally cohesive offering while highlighting each song’s uniqueness but it’s follow up fails to repeat this. Stay Girls isn’t necessarily a bad song but quickly dismantles the pace of the album, offsetting the album’s direction. T.O.P., despite it’s large dosage of Sooyoung and the egocentric flare which we all adore, barely recovers the speed, due to weak verses and poor production either.
The album, from this point on descends to anarchy, with Boomerang‘s husky vocals being followed by the Korean uber hit, Oh! in all of it’s sickly sweet glory and the adorable All My Love Is For You. Paparazzi does rekindle the club twerking feel of the album but little can be done to amend the Oh! album rejects of Girls&Peace and Not Alone.
Although not excelling to the heights of 2011′s best pop album, Girls’ Generation I – The First Japanese Album, Girls&Peace holds its own for the most part, starting off with the bang wanted and expected from Shoujo Jidai despite ending on a somewhat flat note. Regardless, the peaks are well deserving of praise while housing some of the most interesting pop songs of 2012. But who cares, this album will sell like hotcakes.
4/5 (Based upon the scoring system used by one of the AKPF staff, oh his own site)
Check Out : FLOWER POWER, Paparazzi, Animal, I’m A Diamond
Skip: Not Alone, Stay Girls
World Peace achieved? Pretty much so.