Review

Random Shuffle Review: Girls’ Generation-TTS – Holler

With over 2,900 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.

The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!


Year Released: 2014

To this day, sub-units within popular girls groups are not an ultra-common approach. In fact, I’m surprised that we’ve never seen the debut of a unit from current K-pop queens Twice. I guess they’re just working so hard right now that there hasn’t been time. But, a stellar unit can really bring new dimension to an act. When Girls’ Generation’s TTS (comprised of Taeyeon, Tiffany and Seohyun) debuted in 2012, the immense success of their song Twinkle helped to make up for the fact that the full group didn’t actually release a Korean album that entire year. Better yet, the trio showcased the strength of the members’ vocals – a facet that occasionally got lost within SNSD’s upbeat, slickly produced singles.

When TTS made their 2014 return, it was with the high-energy dance pop of Holler. I always appreciate when vocal powerhouses stray from tried-and-true balladry. You can belt it out just as easily over a club beat, and the results are often spectacular. Holler draws on the girls’ strengths, but also harnesses their sense of rhythm. Brassy sounds were starting to make inroads to K-pop at this time, with Holler’s chugging, brass-kissed beat arrived only days after EXID’s (much more industry-defining) Up & Down.

Apart from this concession to trends, Holler is a relatively straightforward pop track. Its verses set the mood, but aren’t particularly galvanizing on their own. The song’s true calling card comes during its titular chorus, which layers the girls’ voices to create a larger-than-life wall of sound. Holler grows more addictive as it goes on, peaking with a gorgeous, vocal-rich bridge that moves into a funky breakdown as we reach the final chorus. Taeyeon’s voice, in particular, is in full bloom here, offering a stirring power note that elevates the track’s climax. In the grand scheme of things, it’s relatively generic fun, but with substantive performances to back it up.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

8 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: Girls’ Generation-TTS – Holler

  1. Waaa, nice review! It’s good to see out songs get taged!

    I was wondering if you were going to keep up with your Legendary Song category! It might be interesting considering how there are not going to be new releases now.

    Like

  2. A song from back when people actually sung songs, all the way through. And the dance follows the song, rather than the dance artiness being a reason to do a song.

    tbh I never really got into this one. It is a solid pop song and a lot of fun for singing into your hairbrush to be sure. But I think it is a super well produced, well performed two trick pony with extra glitzy video.

    It is also rather short, perhaps 3:00 when one takes out the double intro and the outro. Now, I am usually the one who goes on about how back in the day songs used to be short, something about Neil Diamond and the Beatles and such. But the main theme is the Holler Holler holler x 4 in every chorus, and 4 repeats of the chorus, with enough connective verses to make it into a song. Now I am the one who usually goes on about how many times the word “Amadeus” is repeated in “Rock me Amadeus” (Answer: 74?) But Falco is … ok I will stop now.

    Let’s just say, good song, doesn’t click with me.

    Like

  3. Disclaimer: At the time this song released, you could have created a 6 hour video of Seohyun sitting motionless in a gray room wearing a burlap potato sack and I would’ve loop-streamed that for a week.

    I would never try to present a complete K-pop “10” list because it would vary based on my mood and be completely different a day later. However, there are songs that would regularly hit that “10” tier; even if they only held that spot briefly. Examples are KARA “Pandora”, SISTAR “Give It To Me”, SPICA “Painkiller”, and.. ..TaeTiSeo “Holler”; but the complete list is exhaustive.

    Some songs epitomize what draws me to K-pop better than others. This is one of those songs. The glitz, the pageantry, the impeccable styling, the precision, etc., all to the point of almost over-production. There isn’t a single aspect of the song or the video that hasn’t existed in others releases from other groups. However, the way they are all fused into this specific release just works for me.

    Music is personal. I wrote before that many songs may universally register as a 7 or 8 across most metrics, but what drives it beyond that, to a 9 or 10, is going to be up to the individual and how much the song impacted them specifically. Ask me today, and “Holler” is a 10. Ask me tomorrow and it may be a 9; but it won’t ever dip below either scores.

    P.S. ATTN: Dear SM, I really need that 6 hour Seohyun wearing a potato sack in a gray room video; STAT!

    Like

    • SM did a great job keeping the theming to the same theme. It is like kpop does Marakkesh in Vegas. Despite all the costume and scene changes, the viewer is always in the same world with TTS playing themselves. There is a continuity in all the crazy extra glitz.

      It is also something Big Bang does very well in a different way. For example, Fantastic Baby and BBB. They jump around to very different backgrounds but each background last for an entire verse sung by only one member, and the themes are little capsules that fit each of their own personalities.

      For me, many other kpop offerings jump around and split up the members a few too many times over here doing this, now over there doing that and they are now all dressed as ___ , now one of them is a ____ in new color scheme world doing something else yet again.

      I have heard that there are youtube videos people upload of themselves studying quietly that others stream and loop because it is a calming way of keeping themselves focused on studying. If Seolhyun in a burlap sack for 6 hours does it for you, who am I to judge.

      Liked by 1 person

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