Generally speaking, most K-pop fans tend to favour Girls’ Generation’s Japanese releases over their Korean ones. I don’t (and I think their Korean music is underrated and under-appreciated), but I get why the more top forty-driven electro-pop of their Japanese stuff appeals to the international fans better.
With that said, Girls’ Generation’s self-titled Japanese debut album is definitely one of the group’s strongest releases ever — primarily thanks to its lucky inclusion of three of Girls’ Generations greatest tracks, “You-aholic,” “The Great Escape,” and “Mr. Taxi.”
The Divine Nine’s J-pop follow-up, Girls & Peace, had some super strong cuts but was ultimately a bit of a let down. Luckily, they’ve got their mojo back with their latest album, Love & Peace, which you should already be somewhat familiar with through iconic jams like “LOVE&GIRLS” and “Galaxy Supernova”.
The standout track has to be “Lips,” which sounds like Foxy Brown’s “Foxy’s Bells” re-imagined as a glittery slice of Japanese K-pop. The splutterly synth-hop production is out-of-this-world amazing, and the lyrics name-check John Coltrane. Who else but The Divine Nine could plagiarize a ’90s rap diva and sing about one of jazz’s most iconic figures? The musical diversity of the world’s No. 1 girl group truly knows no bounds.
I’ve already crowned “Lips” the official successor to “The Great Escape” as far as perfect SNSD J-pop originals go. The fact that songs like these are delegated to Japanese album filler and not title track status is a crime against pop music, and I’m sure y’all will agree. While we’re on the subject, I think “Romantic St’ and “Express 999” from the I Got a Boy album both needed MVs and promotion, too!