Not that they’re not “cool” now, but I mean “cool” as in they had the look and vibe that gave them ’nuff street cred. And yes, even before their hyped up image of glittery, frilly dresses, wigs, stockings and their annoyingly addictive sound, the Wonder Girls made real good music.
There’s not a space in this world (at least in the fandom) that does not know how to do the finger-pointing dance and you’d be considered deaf or stoic (or completely living under a rock) if you haven’t yet been infected by the “Nobody” craze. That was about a year ago, and it’s still going on until now. There are even rumors about making a Spanish version of the song. Say what.
It was pretty nice for quite a while, I wouldn’t mind listening and watching their style that was a good throwback to Hollywood retro 50’s—but at some point my head exploded from all the “Nobody, nobody but chuu~” until my brain melted into a pile of goo. Enough is enough!!
Okay, the main reason for this post is that I had my IPOD on shuffle when it suddenly played “This Fool.” Hearing the first few verses, I had to check again who sang it—surely this is not the Wonder Girls? The funky beats, hip hop sounds, fierce rapping, and what’s this? The song is NOT actually repetitive? I was hooked, and I immediately dug out their old singles.
So let me take you down memory lane and tell you a bit about the songs I really liked in their previous releases, particularly “The Wonder Years.” First off, before their megahit “Tell Me,” they had a slew of songs that had a very distinct sound: a little mature, hip hop that’s not too fast, not too slow—just right to get you in the groove. JYP has been credited for bringing in the trend of repetitive song and easy-to-follow dance steps, but when the Wonder Girls debuted, I think he had something different in mind for their image.
In “Irony” they were going for the strong, femme fatale yet still retaining lady-like appearances (in modified school girl outfits). They were trying to find a balance between what boys would drool for, but also a look that female audiences would like. Unlike now, they’re all glammed up, girly and too conceptualized.
“This Fool” is signature JYP style—with sexy and experimental beats. It does not really stand out, but it’s less dramatic and less fruity than their title tracks. Actually, I think WG’s unpromoted songs are way better than their more popular songs. Another song that’s similar to this one is “Move feat. Lee Min Woo.” Again, it starts off real slow then builds up to the chorus. It talks about “losing control and partying.” LOL. It’s a really hot track! I can imagine this song playing in the clubs when the night is about to cap off and everyone’s all intoxicated. Lee Min Woo had a bit part in the rap but it made the whole song a little more interesting. Then we go to my fave track “Bad Boy.” It sounds more upbeat—and angrier as it cries out, “Don’t come back to me!” Something that you’d rarely see in WG. It’s catchy enough without being annoying, and, dare I say it, it’s pretty damn COOL. While the previous tracks I mentioned are more dance-y, “Take” is a mid-tempo ballad reminiscent of what Jojo would sing.
Remember this fashion disaster? Pink ear muff, volleyball knee pads and one mismatched pair of green socks?! LMAO
While I’m happy for the girls’ established fame and I don’t think they’ll be successful had they stuck with their “Irony” image, I’d love to see WG in a “less is more” image—one that focuses on the girls’ skills rather than what would sell. JYP has found a niche market for WG and it seems like he’s sticking with it, marketing the girls as “the nation’s little sisters.” All respect to the man, he knows what will make them big. However, I do think it’s time for them to grow up. I mean, Kara grew tired of being “Pretty” and even SNSD had to hang up their “Gee” colored pants. I’m not expecting them to go all Abracadabra either. Granted, So Hee is too cute and SunMi is a little awkward and goofy (but lately she’s done quite a sexy solo perf). I do think that the other girls are definitely downplayed.
SunYe was a trainee for 8 years and her dancing is superb. There’s a reason why she was paired up with hottie sex-on-legs Taeyang in their WonderBang collaborations. I don’t think their dance routines are pushing SunYe’s dancing skills.
Same thing with YeEun, who I think is the most confident in the group. Even in the way she speaks she seems like she’s taking charge. Don’t pitchfork me SunYe fans, but for me, YeEun would make more sense as a leader. Remember the way she pawned that brainless foul-mouthed racist anti over at Twitter? And during US interviews, YeEun seems more at ease, and I’m not talking about being familiar with English. Even in US red carpet events you’ll see her look really comfy with the camera.
YeEun was the only one who didn’t look scared of Miss Jay.
Then there’s Yoobin, the queen of fierce. I think she upped the ante for WG when Hyun Ah left, and at first she looks like she’d fit in better with another fiercer girl group. She’s in a league of her own. But sadly, “Nobody” happened.
Anyways, I’m not a WG anti. I guess I just want to see something new from them, and I think they can do better. But the wait is overrr! David Stewart (famous for working with Gwen Stefani and Tatu) is said to be working with them, so here’s hoping they’ll make it even bigger in the US. And please no more “Nobody!”
P.S. I miss you Twitter friends! I’ll be able to tweet only on weekends! sigh.