So a funny thing happened in late 2011. I was searching on Youtube for videos of Kanjani8, a Japanese band I like, when I stumbled upon a music video by Girls’ Generation called Mr. Taxi. I was curious. I watched. I was blown away. I was just hooked. I watch other videos, started learning the names, etc, then realized I had become a fanboy. Girls’ Generation, or so nyeo shi dae (소녀시대) in Korean, is probably the top female Pop group in Korea, but has also become a huge hit in places like Japan (as shōjo jidai 少女時代), Taiwan and now more and more in the West. Among fans they are often called SNSD for short. This page is devoted to these awesome ladies.
In general, I never really listened to girl groups, even after I explored Japanese music through my wife’s collection. I certainly never even listened to KPop until encountering Girls’ Generation. But since then, I have consistently enjoyed Girl’s Generation because they have such a good balance of singing, choreography, dancing and style. When you watch something like the song Run, Devil, Run:
The awesome Mr. Taxi (Japanese version shown here):
My personal favorite, Genie:
It’s hard to deny that they raise the bar on pop music. The combination of strong singing, excellent dancing and choreography all make SNSD great.
Compared to a lot of JPop groups I’ve seen (e.g. AKB48), I like the stronger, less “cute” image they project, among other things. You can see this in their recent hit “Twinkle” featuring 3 of the members: Taeyeon, Tiffany and Seohyun. All three have strong, powerful voices, but harmonize well:
I also like how they’re constantly keeping their image fresh and new. For their album, “The Boys”, they opted for a Victorian-style theme, which was pretty new and clever:
The members are as follows:
- Taeyeon (태연) – She is the leader and my personal favorite. She’s got a powerful voice, incredibly stylish and is a strong woman.
- Jessica – She is Korean-American and one of the lead singers. I like her voice among other things. In videos, she often appears in the opening along with Taeyeon.
- Sunny – She is another strong singer in the group, and for some reason I like her look, especially after she dyed her hair blonde. She is my daughter’s favorite.
- Tiffany – Like Jessica, she’s Korean-American and even was born in the same hospital. She’s all-round a talented member.
- Hyoyeon (효연) – She is the main dancer of the group, and often has a solo dance in each video. She has an impressive background and is fun to watch (e.g. Watch “Genie” about 2/3 of the way through).
- Yuri (유리) – Yuri is really sultry and beautiful and earned the name “Black Pearl” for a good reason.
- Sooyoung (수영) – Sooyoung is also very beautiful, and the tallest member. You can also recognize her singing voice because it is much softer sounding.
- Yoona (윤아) – Yoona is probably the most photogenic of the girls, and is often placed in the front for group photos. She’s probably the most recognizable in Korea.
- Seohyun (서현) – Seohyun is the youngest member of GG, but she has a really fantastic, strong voice (see “Run, Devil, Run” and “Twinkle” for example). Also, she is often admired for her natural beauty. She is another favorite of mine.
What Religion Are SNSD Members?
Religion of course is a very personal subject, and every person is different, but by and large SNSD members are all Christian, both Catholic and Protestant. It’s not clear if they’re actively Christian or just grew up that way but that is how they identify themselves in public.
For more more information on religion in South Korea, read Wikipedia’s article on the topic.
That’s a brief look at Girls’ Generation. Along with Arashi, they are among my favorite groups from Asia, and I hope to update this page more over time. Guess I am yet another person swept up in the Hallyu Wave lately. ;p
P.S. Thanks to visitor “Robert Randell” for some helpful feedback and improved links!