Of the two title tracks released from Girls’ Generation‘s tenth anniversary comeback, the bright Holiday was clearly designed to be the wide-appeal, summer-themed pop hit. It feels like a natural follow-up to 2015’s Party, but thankfully downplays that song’s gimmickry in favor of something less saccharine. In fact, Holiday more closely recalls the kind of bombastic summer-pop that Sistar used to supply year after year. I’m not sure that Girls’ Generation are the most convincing purveyors of this particular style, but it’s hard to fault Holiday‘s insistent hooks.
Unlike All Night‘s sense of refinement, Holiday is a big, messy pop song. Its brash, brassy synths paint in big brushstrokes, providing a busy arrangement that leaves little room for quieter moments. During the verses, the girls pass the vocal baton with each line, creating an assembly-line style performance that threatens to become more of a stream of charm appeals than an actual melody. Luckily, Holiday‘s big, beating heart of a chorus sweeps in to save the day. It’s an unwieldy beast — kind of clunky and gawky — but there’s a certain throwback satisfaction in its go-for-broke earnestness.
Though most would assume the girls are getting a bit too old for this kind of material, they clearly put all they had into Holiday‘s buoyant performance. There are vocal runs and ad-libs to be found around every corner, giving the song a sense of character that helps to reign in its more generic instincts. And when it comes down to it, Holiday is not a song that was meant to be overthought. It’s a top down, hands-in-the-air sort of affair. In that sense, it’s remarkably easy to get swept up in.