2015 gave birth to my favorite Girls’ Generation comeback. The moment I first saw the snippet video the group released for all three comebacks that were to come that year, “You Think” was, hands down, the best out of the three. While I kind of liked “PARTY,” too, it wasn’t the same with “Lion Heart,” because it was a bit too safe for me. That being said, I truly hoped for another badass track from the group à la “You Think,” “Mr. Mr.,” or “The Boys” when their 10th anniversary comeback was announced. Unfortunately, we didn’t get an in-your-face type of track during this promotional cycle, but we did get two promising title tracks, “Holiday” and “All Night,” which are accompanied by two stunning music videos.
If I were to describe “Holiday” in a single sentence, I’d say that it is a track with an execution similar to that of “PARTY.” The two music videos greatly differ with their contrasting color palettes, not to mention “Holiday” plays on the “city girl” visuals. However, song-wise, there are a lot of similarities between the two.
Along with their 2015 summer hit, “Holiday” is one of their most pop-driven title tracks to date. The two tracks have that early teen-friendly formula that makes them sound like something straight off a Barbie doll ad. And while it’s not necessarily something bad, it does point to the fact that the two tracks may not be for everybody. “Holiday” is a pop track that stays true to its nature, and it’s definitely a treat for those who love the effortlessly catchy, carefree sides of K-Pop.
The other title track, “All Night,” is the more experimental track of the two, and while I didn’t get a dark-Soshi comeback track this time, “All Night” makes up for the lack of said releases. It was as unexpected as a lot of their dark-themed comebacks, and I instantly loved it, mostly because I like it most when the group does something completely different from what they usually do. The girls channeled a lot of disco influences with the track, both musically and visually, and I personally thought that the arrangement for this one was a lot fresher. The track didn’t need a repetitive verse to showcase how catchy it is, because the opening lines during the chorus work perfectly, crafting a perfect transition leading to the “all night” hook.
Of the two title tracks the group has put out with Holiday Night, “All Night” was the clear winner for me. "Holiday" came off as a bit too sugary for my taste, and just like how I said it may not be for everyone, I’ve included myself. The track has great production, but I don’t think it’s something I can jam to on a regular basis.
The Music Videos
This era’s strength is definitely leaning towards the visual aspect. Besides the amazing teaser photos, the music videos for the two title tracks are both stunning
“Holiday” pays homage to iconic Hollywood, playing with that idea throughout the video. I loved the prominent use of orange in the video, as it gave the track a summery sunset vibe to it, but the sets and camera work were definitely the winning elements. The two of them allowed the film to stay true to the idea of Hollywood as it’s often portrayed. My favorite scenes would have to be the ending choreography shots where they perform on a stage donned with yellow lights and confetti. It was the perfect sight to go along with the choreography, particularly when the girls perform sitting on the floor. If I loved “All Night” more in terms of production and style, I’ll have to say that “Holiday” is the clear winner in the video category.
The video for “All Night” had two versions: the clean version and the documentary version. They only differ because of the inserts of interview shots with the girls, but both in general didn’t use flashy sets like “Holiday.” The video for the track relied heavily on the visual grading, using a more faded color tone despite the producers instilling flashier elements in the track. It stays at a 4:3 ratio, which gives the video an additional throwback vibe that works perfectly with grade-A visuals in the shots.
The accompanying album, Holiday Night, was very solid, especially when compared to a variety of their previous releases. In my opinion, it still doesn’t beat Lion Heart, mostly because that album had a lot of amazing cuts. Holiday Night, nevertheless, boasts 10 tracks that fit the group perfectly. My top three album tracks would have to be "Love Is Bitter," "Sweet Talk," and “Fan.” However, the remaining tracks are all equally solid.
“Sweet Talk” is the most modern-sounding track on the album. It sounds closer to the type of music I love from the group, being those that are more sultry and full of attitude. There’s a prominent use of brass and 808s in the arrangement, and I’m honestly a fan of this type of combination. "Love Is Bitter," is my favorite track off the album. It's jazzy, organic, and catchy. If you strip the audio off of the “Holiday” video and incorporate this track instead, it would work perfectly, simply because this track sounds like something straight off a musical.
Overall, Holiday Night is a release that’s true to Girls’ Generation’s style: bright pop and oozing with colorful visuals. It was the perfect project to showcase during the group’s 10th anniversary, accompanied by two title tracks that did the job perfectly. However, I do have to say that I am still unsatisfied with the comeback. Despite all the elements being really good, I was still longing for something that would blow my mind, but it didn’t happen. I’ve heard fan rumors that the girls are quickly gearing up for another comeback soon (perhaps a repackage) so I’m hoping they do something out of the box this time around. Nevertheless, Holiday Night was a solid release, and it does a great job showcasing that Soshi style we all love.
“Holiday” Title Score – 8.0/10
“All Night” Title Score – 9.0/10
“Holiday” Music Video Score – 9.0/10
“All Night” Music Video Score – 8.7/10
Holiday Night Album Score – 8.5/10