Yes I am that person who is going to put artists up against each other.
Because it keeps me sane.
For those of you who don’t know who Girls Generation/SNSD then you must not know too much about k-pop either. SNSD is the top K-pop girl group ever. Originally a 9-member group it has since (and sadly) reduced it’s membership to 8. We won’t go into the details but member Jessica left/got kicked out of the group to pursue a fashion career I think about 2 years ago.
This year Jessica released her first solo album which just happened to be only about 1 or two weeks after member Tiffany dropped her first solo album. As the cards were stacked so beautifully, I was going to write a comparison review then.
I mean Jessica and Tiffany were both main vocalist when Jessica was in the group, they were both the American members, and they were supposed to be homies.
So why not?
Well I found out Taeyeon was about to drop her 2nd album so I figured I’d just wait to make a nice three-way comparison.
To be fair, I’ve never been too big of a fan of SNSD. Their songs were always too cutesy and too pop-y for me. I could never really listen to a full SNSD album without getting annoyed by the basic nature of it.
However majority of their singles I’ve always loved for the moment they were out and they were the first group that introduced me to the amazing world of K-pop. I appreciate them but I’m not crazy about them.
That being said, I wasn’t crazy about any of their solo albums either.
I applaud them for all having a different sound than SNSD. Each girl’s album had her own character entwined in the production and that gave it some uniqueness which I always disliked about SNSD’s albums.
Tiffany’s I Just Wanna Dance
What I Like: The production is solid. Lyrics are catchy. Tiffany’s voice isn’t the strongest but she managed to pull a Selena Gomez and let her voice complement the overall vibe of the song. Her confidence and sexiness breathes throughout this album. I like that it’s simple and of course I love the 90s house vibes. The visuals of the MV and the album packaging were beautiful and complemented the album’s theme. Speaking of the MV, I thought the choreography was a bit out of place but Tiffany’s charisma shines not only through her vocals but on stage.
What I Dislike: Although I appreciate the simplicity, this is also what kills the album. It’s too safe of album which makes it lackluster and forgettable. Even sometimes Tiffany’s vocal energy gets overpowered by the instrumentals.
Jessica’s With Love J
What I Like: As much as I hate super pop songs, I kind of like “Fly”. I didn’t download it but it is a very cute song with a nice message of hope that is expressed not only through the lyrics but through Jessica’s sweet, yet surprisingly strong vocals and even the cute little keyboard or xylophone repetition heard in the background. This is definitely a K-Pop album from the pop tracks to the ballads which I wouldn’t always consider a good thing but it really works well in Jessica’s favor as she knows her voice and she knows what it sounds good with.
What I Disliked: Similar to what I dislike about Tiffany’s album is that the album is so safe it gets boring. Even while “Fly” and the other songs are cute, they will be forgotten in about a month.
What I Like: Taeyeon’s vocals are almost everything. In the title track “Why” she doesn’t let her voice get drowned by the music but instead fights to stay above it. Her vocals are definitely her strongest suit and carries the entire album from being too basic.
I also like that she put more dance and upbeat tracks on this album than her first because we can really see the variety her voice can give. We know she’s a great ballad vocalist but it’s nice to know that her voice can even take the challenge of shining in quicker paced songs like “Fashion”. “Starlight” is also a nice R&B-influenced pop track that allows her to go for a bit lower range. Overall I appreciate the catchy, fun songs that are obviously trendy but still have Taeyeon’s style.
What I Dislike: I can still tell that Taeyeon is a factory superstar. By that I mean that she’s been trained and it’s obvious in this album. While her voice is supreme, she tends to lack some true soul and character. Even when watching her dance MV and her live performances you can tell that even her dancing is trained. I mean she doesn’t have to be Beyonce, but I can look at her face and tell that she’s thinking about what to do next.
For me Taeyeon has the superior album. She is able to showcase her vocals and still keep a bit of her character despite the fact that I can tell she’s been trained like a dog. Tiffany and Jessica’s debuts were decent but they weren’t memorable because let’s be honest, if they didn’t have the SNSD name attached then they wouldn’t even be worthy of reviewing. But then again Taeyeon’s album isn’t all that special to me either minus 2 or 3 songs. All of them really lack that “artist” quality that I like. If anything Tiffany and Jessica standout more to me as having more character than Taeyeon, but Taeyeon is definitely the better vocalist.
Basically all of their albums can be appreciated for the time being until something much more magical surfaces..
Who has the better album to you? Anyone else waiting for a Hyoyeon solo EP?