Ladies and gentlemen, I know you were probably hoping for a dark Christmas classic this week, but sadly, finals have destroyed my life, so this will have to do instead!
You know, when a song blows up huge and I mean manages to top the Oricon charts (Japan’s incredibly highly competitive music ranking charts) means good things. When the same act gets that honor twice in a row, it’s a signal to milk the popularity for all it’s worth. And man, with Paparazzi and Oh! reaching the top slots as quickly as they did, SMTown would be crazy not to take this fad for all its worth. But does that necessarily mean that this new single is a song of that seem breed, or it is the beginning of the end for this string of Japanese-only tracks? Let’s take a listen to Flower Power by Girls Generation.
Here’s the video with English subs:
The lyrics the first time round are a little confusing. I’m thinking the theme is something about fleeting, deceptive romances and dancing at a club. Hell, the spider-butterfly metaphor is pretty ingenious, considered the verses themselves are pretty difficult to follow on their own, so it pulls the idea all together. Again, it’s not the same-old-love-story or clubbing song that seems to never be in short supply in this genre, but there could be a trend of pulling away from those old themes. The use of English in the song, well certainly not original, is well used to punctuate the bridge.
Where this video really shines is it’s editing and setting. And let’s be honest here, that’s what a music video is supposed to do – make a really great visual presentation for the audio track. The futuristic neon-color background works really well, especially the bright colors befitting the theme. The costumes are also very well chosen, even if they are all essentially uniforms. There’s the one where they are all dressed like bikers:
And then, for whatever weird creative decision, they decided the other “logical” costume was airline stewardess. It goes with the aesthetic feel, just not to much with all of the other imagery in the video. Well, I have seen worse, so it’s passable.
The dance, especially in the parts in the beginning seems a little clunky and awkward with the raising of the knee in a weird sort of walking motion. There’s a lot of turning around and moving in a wave, which can be a hit or miss. Honestly, it’s not their best one, and is better to just be ignored, even if the butterfly-spider move is actually kind of fun.
The beat and overall sound quality is actually really well put together and is what really saves the song for me. The vocals are strong, of course, and the use of the electronica and autotune is sparring, which is how it should be. The chorus is a burst of energy sandwiched between two more subtle and relaxed verses, which creates an interesting dynamic that was probably pretty difficult to pull off.
Ultimately, Flower Power is not the best single they have had, but it is certainly not the worst. It’s a fun song, and will probably earn its place on the Oricon charts, just maybe not at number one. If this song strikes a chord with you, I’d recommend buying it as it may be the last of the Japanese-language singles to come out for a long time.
– Beautiful music video.
– Unique lyrics (for a pop group anyways)
– Good costumes.
– Poor dance.
– Not instantly catchy – the first verse is a little slow.