K-Pop debuts can be tricky things. At times, they’re the best song a group delivers. Sometimes, they’re the only song a group delivers!
But, debuts can also be huge wtf moments in an artist’s career. In this feature, I’ll be looking back at debut songs through the prism of time, re-evaluating how well they hold up and how representative they are of an artist’s eventual singles run.
Debut Date: July 9, 2010
Girl’s Day went on to craft an amazing discography, but you wouldn’t know it from Tilting My Head (갸우뚱). The first time I heard this, I think my face made one of those derpy emoji expressions, utterly shocked by the autotuned “haallooo” that opens the track. Looking back, I have a fondness for just how weird this song is.
First, some context. In 2010, it was not unusual to hear tracks with vocal effects slathered across every moment. It wasn’t to cover flaws in the performance. It was meant to sound synthetic. For better or worse, this was a trend during the time. Some songs carried strong enough melodies to cut through the computer wizardry. Tilting My Head isn’t one of those songs. I can’t tell if the producers were aiming for the sort of techno aesthetic favored by J-pop groups like Perfume and Capsule, but the whole package is wrapped in chirpy repetition that embraces the worst instincts of this approach. The anime-esque color-coded outfits certainly don’t help!
Still, I can’t hate Tilting My Head. It’s too ridiculous to completely dismiss. I also think there’s a good song buried in here. I like the call-and-response nature of the hook and the pulsing electronics of the instrumental. They just need to remove the incessant effects from the verses to offer contrast for the hyper-processed chorus. Luckily, Girl’s Day would soon follow this experimental debut with the sublime Nothing Lasts Forever and all would be right with the world.
Does the song hold up?
No. It’s pretty dated.
Is the song stronger or weaker than most of the artist’s title tracks?
It’s their weakest title track, though they did release a few dull ballads.
Does the song represent the artist’s music going forward?
It doesn’t represent their overall sound, but definitely hints at the quirky nature of their music.