Over the years Girls’ Generation has released a number of singles and albums, each with a different concept and sound. To ensure that both past and present concepts are given due attention, Soshified’s writers will be giving reviews, starting with Girls’ Generation’s first 3 music releases, ‘Into the New World’, ‘Girls’ Generation’, & ‘Baby Baby’.

The reviews vary from the quality & decorations of the album itself, to the vocals and lyrics. We’ve also given ratings at the end as an overall gauge. Have a nice stroll down memory lane, and tell us what you think!

shizzles9’s review:

My favorite part about the ‘Into the New World’ single would be how light hearted and sprightly the whole concept is.

I love the picture of the girls on the cover. It doesn’t scream “attention seeking” and it’s just really simple with 9 smiling girls, which I love as well. A minor issue would be the random patterns like the balloons and that scary girl on the right, because I think a cover with just the girls and some pink would have sufficed. I enjoyed looking at the pictures in the album, and I like how each member gets her own unique page, because it sets them apart from each other, allowing fans to recognize them better.

For a debut single, I thought the songs were pretty much spot on. My favorite vocals would have to be Tiffany’s, because her raspy voice stands out a lot in all of the 3 songs. ‘Into the New World’ is such a great song, I can understand why the girls love it so much. While I thought the dance break was a little too long and almost spoiled the flow, the energy is just really amazing. It just lifts your spirits up, and I think that really is the intention of such a powerful tempo. I found myself bobbing my head to the beat while listening to the instrumental version. Kenzie, you’re a genius! I like the catchy beats for ‘Beginning’, and I like how the random English throws you off, but in a good way. One problem I had was the amount of lines Taeyeon & Jessica had compared to the rest of the girls. I could have easily imagined another member taking one of their lines, but I’m guessing the purpose of ‘Beginning’ is to further showcase the main singers. ‘Perfect For You’ is still, till today, one of my favorite Girls’ Generation songs. It’s so easy to listen to, and the vocals were really strong. I like how Sooyoung came in with that high note and Jessica’s falsetto during the bridge was impressive.

Debuting with the ‘Into the New World’ single was a good choice, everything was so nicely put together without coming off too strongly.

Overall: 7/9
Packaging: 6/9
Songs: 8/9

residentbenchwarmer’s review:

Looking back 3 ½ years ago, ‘Into the New World’ seems incredibly different from what Girls’ Generation would produce now. Of course, the girls were still teenagers then, and SM tried to play up that “young girl” image to differentiate them from the typical sexualized girl groups who are too mature for their ages. Was this a good strategy? It depends, but that’s a story for another day. Right now, let’s take a look at their first ever release.

The album cover reflects the “young girl” theme, but perhaps a bit too much. Despite the fact that the girls were in their mid to late teens when they first debuted, the cover seems more suited for a well-to-do eight-year old girl living in some old-fashioned estate in the countryside. It’s too flowery and it’s too busy. Rather than making me think, “oh, that’s cute”, it kind of makes me shudder. What matters most though are the songs, and thankfully they’re not bad and are a great first attempt. The overarching theme across all of the songs is that the girls’ voices haven’t matured completely. They sound higher and not as full as they are now (except for perhaps Jessica’s, since she has a high voice). Another problem is that the background music is a little too loud. It’s called background music for a reason, and making it softer would have featured the vocals more.

As for individual songs, ‘Into the New World’ gives a nostalgic feeling, making us remember when the girls first started, as well as projecting a vision of a hopeful future. ‘Beginning’ has a country twang to it, and it’s refreshing as it shows off the girls’ versatility. ‘Perfect for You’ is a catchy and comforting tune, and is actually one of my favorite Girls’ Generation songs as Taeyeon shows off her voice during her ad-libs. The static in the background ten seconds into the song and at Jessica’s English part seemed unnecessary. Hyoyeon and Yoona’s parts sound awkward. They’re in tune, but their voices aren’t well-rounded and sound a little piercing. Lastly, the instrumental version of ‘Into the New World’ is suitable for karaoke and oddly soothing. However, there’s too much background again, and more than anything else you hear the first three notes repeating over and over. The melody is too soft, which is distracting. Rather than sticking the accompaniment by itself, I would’ve liked the full song without words and the melody played by another instrument.

Overall: 5/9
Packaging: 3.5/9
Songs: 6/9

michaelroni’s review:

It’s impossible to think about Girls’ Generation and their history as a group without also thinking about the song which gave them their name. Lee Seung-Chul’s 1989 song ‘Girls Generation’ was remade as the lead track in the self-titled first full album for Girls’ Generation. But it’s not all about the past, for the album itself is full of songs that, at the time, were brand new and gave the group an identity unique to themselves.

The packaging of the original ‘Girls’ Generation’ album is clean and elegant. A glossy pink finish to the album is offset by the shiny silver material used for the silhouettes of the girls and the title printing itself, giving it a high-quality feel. The photobook features portraits of each member, personal messages, song lyrics and a group photo. After the youthful image from ‘Into the New World’, it’s easy to see that the girls have matured somewhat. The doll-like concept shows off the girls’ beauty, but one gets the sense that they’re somehow still in between girls and women.

‘Girls’ Generation’ was later repackaged with the title track ‘Baby Baby’, and the concept shifted to something much simpler. While the album retained the glossy finish, the silver on pink color scheme was put aside in favor of light pastels. In the photobook, the girls wear simple light pastel tops paired with skirts, shorts, or pants. Standing against bare white walls, the even lighting brings out light and fresh images of the girls which contrast the heavier makeup and elaborate decorations of the ‘Girls’ Generation’ album photos.

When given a full listen, the entire album itself has a light and innocent feel. Standout singles like ‘Girls’ Generation’, ‘Baby Baby’, and ‘Kissing You’ are well-known among fans and reminiscent of the group’s earlier days. If I had to pick out a few hidden gems, I would choose ‘Merry-Go-Round’, ‘Kissing You (Skool Rock Remix)’, and ‘Complete’. While ‘Merry-Go-Round’ has an easygoing beat, I find myself getting goosebumps whenever I hear the surprisingly mature background vocals during the final parts of the song. The high energy in ‘Kissing You (Skool Rock Remix)’ is something that always gets me hyped up. Finally, ‘Complete’ is a song which this reviewer will forever say is Girls’ Generation’s best ballad song. Every time I listen to ‘Complete’, I always marvel at their incredible and powerful vocals at the end.

‘Girls’ Generation’ and ‘Baby Baby’, as the first full albums, are especially noteworthy for fans. While a little more variety in the styles of songs would have been nice, the entire track list is enjoyable with a few underrated songs. It’s hard to find another Girls’ Generation album that has a better combination of build quality, included extras, and quantity of good songs.

Overall Rating: 8/9
Packaging Rating: 8.5/9
Songs Rating: 7.5/9

spiceshoe’s review:

When you have the album in your hands, you can’t help but notice the silver imprint of the girls’ silhouettes that shine from the plain pink cover. The design is simple yet elegant, which reflects the overall concept perfectly. I personally really like the “GG” logo, which symbolizes the elegance of the girls. The 31-page booklet stuck to the CD packaging has high quality photos in full color. The girls in their unique doll concept look stunningly perfect, from the poses to the camera angles. The lyric section comes in handy for sing-alongs, but the cramped writing is barely legible. My favorite part of the booklet, though, is the “Thanks To” section. Each girl gets at least a whole page – 10 pages in total (2 for Taeyeon) – with a full-body doll picture accompanied by their messages. For mini albums, the “Thanks To” is normally combined and written in only about 4-5 lines so getting to read the girls’ messages one by one makes you a little happier inside.

The songs on this album have a girly, elegant and fantasy theme. Even after all their new releases, this is my favorite album because the pure songs can drive you down a melodic lane which you wish would never end.

Despite ‘Girls’ Generation’ being a remake of Lee Seungchul’s 1989 hit, the girls managed to give the song a new image and made it livelier. ‘Baby Baby’ on the other hand is a bit more mature, with lyrics about a girl being shy about her feelings towards a boy she likes. The preppy tunes and arrangement are interesting to hear, and ‘Baby Baby’ is recommended to those who like to listen to classic tracks.

The tracks ‘Into the New World’ and ‘Honey’ (previously ‘Perfect for You’) already sound familiar as they were on the group’s debut single. ‘Kissing You’ is a cute and jumpy song which makes you sing along right from the “doo-doo-doo-roo-doo-doo”. The English lyrics slipped in also makes it easier for international fans to sing along to the song. ‘Merry-Go-Round’ is a calming song, and like the others, is considered easy listening; you can’t help but fall for this track.

‘Tinkerbell’ has its interesting title based on Peter Pan’s fairy; the song tells about a girl’s feelings and how she wants to give the boy she likes all his dreams. ‘7989’ is a beautiful duet between Kangta and Taeyeon, featuring two beautiful voices which meld together perfectly. ‘Ooh La-La!’ is one of my favorites, a song about a girl dreaming and waiting patiently for her prince. The most interesting part is the bridge – the girls don’t sing, but talk, as if telling a story. A perfect touch to a fairy-tale song, no? Next comes one of my favorite ballads, ‘Tears’. This sad track gives you chills and shivers when you hear it and is packed with so much emotion. Finally, the track that has become memorable to all SONEs around the world: ‘Complete’. When performed at their first concert, the girls paused towards the end to form a circle and share a moment of silence. Like how touching the performance was to the girls, I’m sure ‘Complete’ also holds a special place in the girls’ hearts.

Overall Rating: 8.5/9
Packaging Rating: 8/9
Songs Rating: 9/9

What’s your take on the albums, our reviews of them, and the format of our reviews? Leave a comment, let us know how you would rate these albums, and how we can improve on this new venture!

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Disclaimer: Views expressed are solely those of the authors and are not representative of the Soshified community as a whole.

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