Review: 2nd Mini Album – 소원을 말해봐 (Genie)

After the unparallel success of Gee, the task of creating a follow-up single and mini-album would have undoubtedly been challenging for SME and our girls. The hype surrounding the nature of the sound and concept was huge talking point for sones and netizens all over the world. After the teaser revealed the likely concept and snippet of the single 소원 을 말 해봐(Genie), many believed that the group were now headed towards a more mature “sexy” sound and image rather than the sugar coated goodness that was ‘Gee’. Some fans (including myself) actually believed that the new “marine girl” concept was infact too full-on and didn’t suit the girls. However, I must say that the promotion really grew on me and is probably my favourite they have ever done in hindsight.

The 6 track mini-album was released June 29, 2009 and drew on the works of renowned composers Yoo Young-jin, Kenzie, Hwang Seong-Je and Kim Jin-Hwan. The album includes extensive photobook featuring all the girls and also came with a free poster upon early release.

The tracklist for the album is as follows:
01. 소원 을 말 해봐(Genie) – 3:50
02. Etude – 03:13
03. 여자친 구(Girlfriend) – 03:19
04. 남자친구(Boyfriend) – 03:50
05. 동화(My Child) – 03:36
06. 1년 後(One Year Later) – 04:01

Songs reviews:
소원 을 말 해봐(Genie) –
The main single off the mini-album had undoubtedly epic task of attempting to emulate the success of ‘Gee’. Looking at the progress of the girls as a group, this undoubted was important step in becoming the group they are today. 소원 을 말 해봐(Genie) or Tell Me Your Wish introduced fans a new sound fit for the clubs. The song kicks in with a catchy synth beat and Taeyeon’s vocals. Immediately I noticed similarities in sound with many American artists were making waves with at the time (Rhianna and Gaga come to mind). In many interviews many of girls regarded this song as their favourite due to the fact that it was the first time they could perform without having to rely on their aegyo charm to drive the concept. The song really takes off at the end after Tiffany’s “DJ… put it back on” leading into the final chorus and Taeyeon’s epic adlib at the end.

Etude –
This is a bouncy, fun filled song with a lovely cute melody. The girls occasionally performed this song alongside Tell Me your Wish during the promotion. I found it was quite easy to distinguish their voices in this song compared to others for some reason. This is undoubtedly the feel good song of the album and somewhat goes back towards the aegyo sound they had developed in previous releases.

여자친 구(Girlfriend) –
Another bouncy song fast tempo song with a catchy synth keyboard hook. Something about this song is very j-poppy to me. Once again more traditional SNSD sound with the feel good lyrics and cute melody.

남자친구(Boyfriend) –
A song written for the fanboys no doubt… The song possesses a heavy bass drum driven beat and definitely more of a ‘clubbier’ sound similar to that of TMYW. Interestingly, Jessica gets more adlib moments in this song which is a welcome changeup.

동화(My Child)-
This song begins begins with just piano and comes off as a ballad at first. Soon after, the full band kicks in and song becomes more of a mid tempo song. Somewhat lacklustre and unmemorable in my opinion. Something tells me that the song would’ve been more pleasant with just piano. It gets slightly cheesy at some points. However, there is a nice key change at the end with finish off the song nicely.

1년 後(One Year Later) –
A duet featuring Jessica and SHINee’s Onew. This is a lovely little ballad about a couple who have been apart for a year. A simple piano/strings arrangement works well for the song and showcases Jessica’s sweet sounding vocals as well as the rich tones of Onew’s voice as well. There are some nice harmonies as well.

Overall, as a mini-album I believe that the quality of tracks in this one are probably the best out of all the girl’s minis. It also marked a change a change in style which signified a much needed maturing phase for the girls.


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