You better believe the opening of Taeyeon’s new Japanese single got me all sorts of nostalgic. With a simple “C’mon girls, this is our generation,” I realized once again how much I miss Girls’ Generation being a force in K-pop. They’re often held up as the definition of a “Nation’s Girl Group,” and for good reason. Their music hugged the line between so many of the industry’s extremes, delivering a timeless sound that’s rarely matched in today’s K-pop climate.
For now, we have to make do with solos and (the very infrequent) sub-units. Of all the group’s members, Taeyeon has released the most material over the past few years. The quality level of this solo work has generally been very high, but her ballad-heavy sound doesn’t exactly rekindle the aspects that made Girls’ Generation’s discography so legendary. Still, a song like #GirlsSpkOut feels as if it could be featured on a modern SNSD album. It’s got a nice groove, fueled by rhythm guitar and sinuous bass. The entire thing is quite slinky, rarely rising to any noticeable climax.
In this way, #GirlsSpkOut struggles to stand out among Taeyeon’s discography. It feels more like a b-side than a single, but repeated listens draw out its subdued charms. Taeyeon sounds flawless as usual, assisted by rapper Chanmina for a few standout bursts of energy. More interplay between the two might have made for a more dynamic track. Ultimately, #GirlsSpkOut’s melody just isn’t all that memorable. The layered vocal arrangement helps make it feel grander than it is, but this is more of a satisfying groove than a killer standout. Still, I’m eager to see if this style makes more waves within the context of her upcoming EP.