Girls' Generation's Summer 'Party' Is Not As Bad As You Think It Is
Finally, An SNSD Summer Single! Finally, An SNSD Sexy Single!
Probably Better Suited For a Japanese Comeback OverallNeither 'Party' Nor 'Check' Is The Blockbuster Single SNSD Used To Deliver
3.0Overall Score
Reader Rating 108 Votes

Girls’ Generation took a few big risks with singles like “The Boys” and “I Got a Boy,” but that was back when they were at peak popularity and could get away with it. Now they’re a little older and younger groups are topping search rankings and trending on PANN, so SM has shifted its focus from pushing the envelope to pleasing the public.

They first tried this approach with the underrated “Mr.Mr.,” but then literally everything outside of the song itself went wrong: The music video was deleted right before release, the audio leaked online, 2NE1 made their comeback and so on and so forth. It was such a disaster that what was actually a great song (and album!) was completely overshadowed by all this other stuff, and it ultimately torpedoed what would’ve been an excellent era otherwise.

Now SM’s determined to get it right with SNSD’s upcoming fifth studio album, which is getting the YG promo treatment by having three official singles instead of the usual one.

The first of the trio is a sunny electropop track called “Party,” which sounds like a cross between Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and an E-Girls single. With that in mind, you won’t be surprised to learn that the “Party” producer, Albi Albertsson, actually produced E-Girls’ “Diamond Only.”

The music video, shot on location on a Thai beach, panders to the masses just as much as the song does. You can just imagine SM executives holed up in a boardroom pitching concepts: “Well, the public will like seeing SNSD having fun on the beach, so let’s just do that.”

But you know what? It is fun seeing SNSD on the beach! It’s like watching the sequel to Paradise In Phuket. What’s wrong with that?

This is where it gets hard for me, because context is key when reviewing something. Would “Party” be a let down on its own as the sole title track from the new SNSD album? Of course it would be. But if this was the group’s next Japanese single (which it probably was originally), then you’d like it more because your expectations wouldn’t be so sky high. Now look at it as just one part of a triple A-side release–it’s even better, right?

However, I think the deciding factor on whether or not the “Party” comeback is any good or not is the official b-side, “Check.” Produced by Teddy Riley and the Danish dude behind “Hoot,” “Check” is sexy, electro R&B that should shut those people up who’ve been demanding a more mature SNSD for years. If SM had the guts to give SNSD a legitimately sexy concept like Girl’s Day or Hyosung, then then they could set the stage on fire with this.

So, if you don’t like “Party,” you’ll like “Check.”

As usual, overreacting pitchfork-wielding K-pop fans will probably act like SNSD literally just spat in their face and killed their dog because they couldn’t produce another song on the level of “Genie,” but overall, taking everything into account, this comeback is pretty solid so far–it’s just not spectacular. It’s basically shaping up to be one of SNSD’s awesome Japanese albums, just in Korean, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

On another note, am I the only one that wishes SNSD had recorded “Hurt Locker”? I don’t like that song for Nine Muses, but I think I’d like it more from Girls’ Generation.

  • KingBeaArthur

    Both songs were serviceable, but nothing interesting to me (“Check” is slightly better).

    And as far as the mv: sure it was nice seeing them on the beach, but if you’re going to make a huge deal about a video being shot in a particular country, SHOW ME THE COUNTRY! Nothing about that shoreline said Thailand to me. They could’ve gone to Jeju Island and it would’ve had the same effect. Some people roll their eyes at SISTAR’s summer vaca concepts but at least they make you want to visit the places where they shot at. Party’s locale just made me want to take a nap and, ironically, not want to party.

    • byoing~byoing.

      Thai K-Pop fans are next level. I’m pretty sure if any of them tried to go out anywhere they would of been mobbed and if you wanted that whole ‘natural experience thing’ it would of looked awkward with like a big circle around them and a huge ass mob looking at them.

      Source: I’ve been to Thailand, I know how crazy they are.

    • Howaboutno

      Thai kpop fans would have swarmed the girls. Watch Taeyeon’s “I”, she’s not very famous in New Zealand and so they could should a lot of beautiful sights.

  • culchan

    Maybe they’ll grow on me. It wouldn’t be the first time: it took a long time for me to come around on Gee, Oh, and Genie, among others. But at first listen, I’m not hearing any particularly strong hooks.

  • byoing~byoing.

    I find it fascinating that all the other girl group comebacks have been extremely over produced and have had fairly interesting style choices… and yet here’s Girl’s Generation just doing a simple, fun upbeat song with just clothes anyone could wear… and somehow they’re the most interesting and fun to watch and listen to. They’re standing out for bucking the curve completely. Because it’s easy to follow along to and visually and aurally stunning due to it’s simplicity, it’s the easiest to replay out of all the songs so far because my ears don’t feel assaulted from the over produced songs from the other girl groups.I also don’t think this is their lead single. The M/V description says: “After the single ‘PARTY’, the regular album with double title track ‘Lion Heart’ and ‘You Think’ will be released so look forward to our girls’ comeback :)” So… this is the fun bop to lure you in before the slayage commences.

    • Even though I love the controversial Ring My Bell I pretty much agree. I played this at midnight Aussie time when it leaked right before I fell asleep, and when I woke up it was in my head still. It’s hardly an amazing hook song or anything, but it’s nice refreshingly simple summer track that suits SNSD I think. Like I said in the review, I’d be pissed if this was their sole title track, but as part of a multi-single comeback I like it.

    • hyowhitebabe

      Hahaha! Very true! Like if the whole k-pop community was looking for a summer song that fits the glove just right…this is it! It has all that elements! It is basic but it does its role so well!

      P.S: Hated RMB at first listen but now, I’m starting to stan it. The legacy of IGAB and clusterfucked SM pop gems….ahhhhh so great! <3

  • Kyle

    Are we not going to talk about how the “disco” scenes look like they’re at a middle school dance? Pretty sure SM just borrowed the room they shot Wiggle Wiggle in.

    • HANI ♥ KEN

      it’s literally the same party scene from the Holler video but with the group lol

  • HANI ♥ KEN

    Great article, although I’d give it a 3.5 and 4 after a few more listens.

  • UncleFan

    I’m not happy with the outfits they wore in the “Party” MV. It’s a beach party… where are the bkinis? Couldn’t they have given uncles a little more eye candy?

  • This sums up how I feel about where this song should be used https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT9GouJDzss

    • MIKEE

      OMFG I’m crying! Nothing but truth tbh.

    • Marhaebwa

      WHY DID THSI SLAYYE MEEEEFE??? It fits so well

    • William Love

      OMG POLLY POCKET X SNSD needs to happen now

    • KAKAKAKAKA GENIUS!

    • Nicole Naeun

      ICONIC TEASER FOR AN ICONIC SONG!

  • Vivienne Greatly Disapproves

    This MV is a recreation of what SNSD after they found out Jessica got kicked out of the group

    • anya

      “Yaaaaaas, the less the income get divided by, the better. Let’s party guys!” or somewhere along that line.

      • Darwin

        OMG YALL ARE HORRIBLE… but seriously though.. Sooyoung was like YAS GETTING MORE LINES BITCHES!!! and Yoona was like I’m definitely the prettiest now. no doubt about it.

  • Vivienne Greatly Disapproves

    Also I found out just now that the name of Hara’s solo album is called “Alohara” which is scientifically proven to be the single greatest album name of the decade

    • ChuLipso

      She’s going to pull a Namie X Hyuna and it’s going to be this century’s perfect song.

      Since she’s still under DSP though, I’m kind of scared the teaser is going to be a completely different sound than the actual song.

  • Lin Yang

    Such a bland and basic pop song. Plus, I’ve always found their Japanese albums and singles superior to their Korean ones. Ever since Run Devil Run, their albums and singles haven’t been that great.

    • vandellas

      Ugh wfs.

      • Lin Yang

        LOL wtf does me being a Wonderful have anything to do with it?

    • Julian Jung

      DEFINITELY!! I don’t think they’ll ever top their 1st Japanese album tbh.

  • KyrV715

    After a few spins of the video I grew to like the song a lot! Because of your comment about being similar with California Gurls I found out that if you put the main verses and chorus from California Gurls to Party they fit perfectly! Now I’m loving the song!

  • all i could think was ‘why did they try to make ‘starships’ cute’
    hyoyeon’s strappy purple/blue bra is EVERYTHING though. i’ve been looking for ilana’s black one from broad city everywhere but the original is from LF and not available online and i don’t live in a big city /cries forever about cute bras

    • Hyoyeon: The White Babe

      My, my, thank you babe <3 Cheers to that!

  • Justeen

    “On another note, am I the only one that wishes SNSD had recorded “Hurt Locker”?” Lol, not at all. I came to the same realization after watching Nine Muses perform the choreography on of the music shows and thinking “Wow SNSD would look amazing doing something like this”. I think the concept would be a pretty good look for them and they would KILL that dance. Oh well….

    Anyways, “Party” came off as a little bland to me, but it grew on me after a few more listens. The music video does a really good job selling it. I’m just ready for the real meat to come later with their other upcoming singles tbh.

    • Julian Jung

      Honestly, SNSD was the greatest girl group in terms of choreography back in 2007-2009, but with all of the newer girl groups out there in the market, it’s a lot more clear to see that SNSD really isn’t all that when it comes to dancing. Even Hyoyeon is outshined by other ladies nowadays. Any girl group could do well with the Hurt Locker choreography, but very few could do it justice. I don’t think anyone is on the same level overall as After School and Nine Muses. SNSD is just part of bandwagon that everyone has jumped on, when from a dancer’s perspective, they’re lacking in many areas.

      • Justeen

        I think SNSD is still one of the better dance groups out there, and have only seen a few girl groups that perform choreography as tight as SNSD. None of them have ever been outstanding dancers (other than Hyoyeon), but they make their dances look strong regardless because their biggest strengths have always been their synchronization and precision rather than actual skill. I think “Catch Me If You Can” is a good example of how well they’re able to make their choreography work despite a good chunk of them not being exceptionally talented in the dance department. I do think they’ve become weaker over the past recent years though compared to what they used to be, but when they actually try, they’re great imo. With that said, I think they would’ve done “Hurt Locker” plenty of justice.

        • Julian Jung

          In terms of synchronization, they’re no longer on top, and really haven’t been these past couple of years. After School and Nine Muses take that title, and it works even more so in their favor because both groups are pretty much uniform in height. Great point with CMIYC! That’s the best I’ve seen SNSD in a long time, especially with the weaker dancers (excluding Jessica in the first version, who hasn’t danced well since like 2012). I just don’t think anyone but Hyoyeon would look great doing Hurt Locker’s choreo. There’s a sex appeal to it that SNSD has always lacked. They would give the dance a completely different vibe. It would work for fans, but looking at it technically, it’s not for them.

          Same could be said vice verse though. Like when AOA and some other blah groups covered Mr Mr, it was a train wreck. No one can do that dance the way SNSD can. It’s just part of their trademark.

          • Justeen

            Yeah I see where you’re coming from now. I’m not exactly sold on Nine Musesas a whole yet, but I do agree with you about After School. And apart from Hyoyeon, I can also see Yuri and Sooyoung giving us the sex appeal that’s needed in “Hurt Locker”, but the other would just look mad awkward lol.

            I also noticed that you said 2007-2009 were SNSD at they’re best dance-wise. But I don’t really see it other than “Into the New World”. What do you think about “The Boys”, “I Got a Boy”, and “Mr. Taxi”? Because I think those are some of their best dances to date.

          • Julian Jung

            After School can adapt to any style which is what I appreciate a whole lot about them. The Nine Muses dance practice videos from their 2013 era really show them at their best. Yuri absolutely!! Sooyoung is my favorite member, but with her it’s usually hit or miss with the dancing. I think with Gee and Genie, we saw a more synchronized SNSD than today. IGAB has been their greatest choreography yet, but I think some girls delivered much better than others. I’m not sold on Yoona as a dancer.

          • omg i wish i were here the moment you two were discussing this. most of my appreciation with k-pop is because of the choreographies and what i most hate about discussing this topic with the general fans is that most people know shit about dancing – they think it’s all about sync and doable moves. you two got on many of the points i try to tell people when analyzing k-pop dance.

            first of all you cannot think of k-pop dance as solely the group. in terms of choreography per se any group could perform any choreography due to how well trained they all are, even if they’re not DANCERS per se.

            take tiffany for example. she’s not hyoyeon, but she works her body well, especially because she PERFORMS well. her facial expression is on point and she works the camera and the stage amazingly. so fuck it if she’s unable to move her hips properly – i always say: if you’re able to perfom all these intricate routines, sing and still look good on stage i can accept your criticism on any of these girls.

            second thing is: a choreography is not only the moves. it’s the whole thing we see on stage, the moves, the changes of place and group formation. ever since i got into k-pop SNSD has always been the group that got me awestruck because their choreographies flow perfectly. you don’t see one girl doing her solo part of the song in the center and then walking to the back to change position for the next girl and catching back later. the group move reveals the soloist then the other and so on. most k-pop groups has this walk-off thing on choreographies that are actually very unrefined and lazy [look at apink for example].

            as you said most of snsd are not the best dancers out there but they are very competent and they do better than most, because NONE of their choreographies are any easy.

          • lemme meddle here too. lol

            early SNSD is for synchronicity. from “run devil run” onwards they’re more about stronger moves and group formation. btw RDR is FANTASTIC! the shapes they form on stage, the group-lines, the cascade effects! MARVELOUS!

            this cover shows up well what i mean

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68UI_ipuC1c

            after they debuted in japan though their choreographies changed a lot. their first japanese original single is pure evidence because they ditched synchronicity for more of those things i mentioned on my comment bellow (cascade effects, stage movements etc). in songs like “flower power” for example it actually seems like they’re un-sync and that they are terrible dancers. HOWEVER, that’s part of the choreography – you can tell that by seeing if it’s something ONE member does or if it goes with everyone.

            the thing with dance is that sometimes the discomfort of un-syncness is not only intentional but it makes you see things from different angles.

            this is snsd best japanese choreography in my opinion:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNbWrI2RuqU

            finally we have “i got a boy” a song and dance so energetic, all over the place (in every good way) and mind-blowingly hard! not only because it contains many fast and ferocious moves, very unusual with what we’d seen from them back then, but because it worked like stage musical, changing scenarios and feels all the time – just like the song.

            i don’t only say it’s my favorite by them because the leg-walk from genie is the ICONIC. i would walk on the streets like that lol

          • Justeen

            Sorry for the late reply lol. But you’re right, their dances did change a lot after they debuted in Japan. But I think it changed for the better because like you said, they became a lot stronger. Almost all of their dances for their singles after their “Hoot” era have been some of my favorites in k-pop in general. And the choreography for “Genie” will also be a special favorite for me. Those leg moves are everything lol.

  • shoopdoop

    “Finally, an SNSD sexy single!” ROFL this Polly Pocket promo song is not even close.

    • That’s about the b-side ‘Check’, this is a review of both tracks on the CD single.

      • shoopdoop

        ohhh I see

  • Julian Jung

    Making a point out of the last note in this article: If SNSD released ANYTHING that Nine Muses has ever had as a single, they would win awards left and right and have no where left to put them. Which is what irks me about the Korean fandoms. It’s never about quality or talent, or even handwork. It’s about who’s the big thing at the moment.

    I used to be such a huge fan of SNSD. Like I stanned for them ever since they’re remake of “Girls’ Generation”, and then that was solidified with “Gee” and “Tell Me Your Wish”. But now, SM just keeps giving them crappy songs, and with Jessica’s departure, I get this sense of fake sisterhood from this group. The only two girl groups I can stand behind from now on are Nine Muses and Rainbow.

    I have no comment left for this comeback, because it doesn’t deserve a comment.

    • Howaboutno

      Do you honestly think all kpop group love each other?

      Like, do you look at Big Bang or Rainbow or whatever and say “I bet they’ve never fought and are always on the same page and every member is perfeclt and loved equally by every other member”>

      No. Jessica didn’t want to be an idol anymore and was indecisive about leaving the group, so SNSD made the decision to push her out because having someone there who is not all in must be draining.

      SNSD is killing it this year, and Jessica is making a good name for herself. You, on the other hand, can remain deluded about your kpop fantasy groups.

  • ResidentTHOT

    Oh my god love this review. And you gave it a three! LOVE YOU <3
    AND OMGGGGG DID YOU SEE T-ARA SLAYING BAIDU FAN CAFE RANKINGS. ONLY KOREAN GROUP WITH OVER 1 MILLION MEMBERS YAAAAAAS BITCHES BOW DOWN.

  • SKS

    Out of this current summer girl group battle, this is the song I like the most.

    I think it’s because it’s not trying hard to be different that I like it. It’s admittedly simple and basic, but it’s catchy and silly and fun.

    The whole thing makes me laugh, and that goes a loooooong way for me. Camp > ~*SEXY*~.

  • Db

    What’s bad is your taste of music these days :P

    And this song.

  • Guevara

    Agree. Check is what expected from SNSD. Party doesn’t suit them,

  • Now that you mention it, I do wish Hurt Locker was a GG single. I really dig the song, but there is something “aegyo” (?) about it that might better fit their image. Maybe it was just the doc, but 9muses always had a sad sexy edge for me. Would’ve liked a harder concept from them. Still love the 9muses video, but I get what you mean.

    Before I finish, is anyone else memorized by the tall girls this era? Sooyoung & Yuna are finally snatching my attention, as well as Yuri & Seolhyun.

    • lucinda veen

      I am loving Yoona with blonde hair! It’s the first time I’ve really noticed her and found her attractive.

      • Who knew she would be better blonde? She just seems so chill too.

  • ByronZ

    I don’t like this song at all, just because is GG doesn’t mean it’s good. Don’t get me started on that strategy they’re using, releasing 3 singles to try to get a hit?, they’ll have that hit for sure, they’re GG!, but the “hit” is their name not their songs, at least this one.

    Nine Muses’ Hurt Locker is still the best summer comeback for me.
    Deal with it GG, Sistar & AOA.

  • Koodzi 시대

    Thank you for that shout out for Mr Mr. Still LIVE for that mini-album. Sooo underrated.

  • calvitron

    I like the song more when I’m not watching the video.

    But I do still like the video just because it’s them.

  • lol i was anticipating this review. i know your writing wouldn’t disappoint me.

    as usual your arguments are damn solid. i didn’t trash on “party” because the first thing i thought was “hey people CONTEXT! this is the first single of a bunch and the whole idea COULD be shown in a crescendo” [which is usually the idea].

    second of all, i loved “check” and jesus christ what a sexy choreography SM allowed them to perform in korea. we’d been graced with SNSD sex appeal on their japanese tours, but for korea they’ve always been tame due to stupid korean slut shaming. i hope there’s more to come from that.

    finally, as for “party”, although your arguments are indeed very valid it’s still a pffffshht song. those bob sincalir-esque whistles are disgusting and as summer song it’s weaker than ns yoon-g’s entry to this idiotic competition.

    but well, fuck it, YURI HAS A TAN! *drools*

  • snailsong

    i’m late but honestly i love it, it’s like snsd’s own chasing the sun, a simple summer song (to prove to the korean public that they’re still the biggest and best girl group on offer) soon to be followed by a more full on comeback

    like what hillary would have done if her team hadn’t been bought out by tinder

  • Darwin

    The song gets better after the third listen.
    Especially the “soju, the tequila” part slays!!!!!
    It’s a basic song from a group that’s becoming basic. When you have AOA, EXID and MAMABOO slaying and actually kind of trying…

  • Johnnyyy

    The fact that SM let Yoona dye her hair blonde proves that they have somewhat given up on SNSD – which is a shame.

    The song is nice and they all look flawless (with the exception of Sunny..). Also, I’m glad that Jessica is gone. She is not missed.

  • Nicole Naeun

    WHAT A STRONG AND UNEXPECTED STYLE OF COMEBACK!! Teaches those basic bitches of sistar, aoa, etc somethin huh?!
    Can’t wait for comeback no 2 and 3!

  • j d

    The mediocrity.

  • Sunny

    liked this better than that Catch Me If You Can. The video was cute and simple (not a fan of overdone videos tbh)

    My favorite summer song so far! Even over Nine Muses.

  • ㅅㄴㅅㄷ♡

    ” It (Mr. Mr.) was such a disaster that what was actually a great song (and album!)”

    I so agree with you. My fellow sones are calling it as Soshi dark age when it was actually a good song. Worst promotion I must say but a good song and album nonetheless