By Tricia Mata
A girl group that defined a generation? Only one name comes to mind: Girls’ Generation. It’s so hard to imagine that the girl group who’s famously known for their nine beautiful and talented members has now become a quintet. In light of the recent news of Sooyoung, Seohyun, and Tiffany leaving the group, a lot of SONEs have got their hearts broken. Who would have thought that a secd generation K-pop group who have surpassed the 7-year jinx would have members leaving after 10 years?
But instead of sulking because of the unfortunate news, it’s rather nice to look back on Girls’ Generation hit tracks that made an impact not only on the Soshified SONEs but also on the entire K-pop universe.
1. "Into The New World"
Opening the list is the girls’ debut single “Into The New World” which actually paved their way to the music industry. Very nostalgic and reminiscent of '90s music, the 2007 hit holds a special place in the girls’ hearts as the song tells an underlying message of what awaits the group as they embark on their journey together towards their dreams. Not to mention, these girls rehearsed the choreography of the song for one whole year!
Fun fact: This was supposed to be released as a comeback single by the short-lived 1st generation K-pop girl group M.I.L.K. but was instead passed down to their 2nd generation hoobaes. Talk about destiny!
~Gee gee gee gee, baby baby baby~
This is how the girls actually won the hearts of their millions of fans not only in their home country, but also internationally. Released in 2009 which was considered the “Golden Age of K-Pop,” the girls were among those idols who contributed to the upsurge and international recognition of K-po, along with Super Junior’s “Sorry Sorry”, 2NE1’s “Fire,” and Wonder Girls’ “Nobody." This also catapulted them to superstardom, making “Gee” the group’s signature song. From its upbeat tune and catchy lyrics to its cutesy choreography, it won’t be too easy for anyone to just get this bubblegum pop treat out of their heads!
3. "The Boys"
A great attempt to enter the American music scene, the girls partnered with world-renowned music producer Teddy Riley for this “girl power” track. A song that sounds like something that you would hear from a Britney Spears album, “The Boys” signals the group’s growth and transition to the empowered women that they are today. The 2011 chart-topper also shows the versatility of the group because of its Westernized tune which is a 180-degree turn from their usual bubblegum Korean sound. This is particularly a top track for international SONEs because this is the group’s first official English release.
Fun fact: Tiffany wrote the rap part in the song’s English version!
4. "I Got A Boy"
Hailed by Billboard as “one of the most forward-thinking lead pop singles heard in any country," Girls’ Generation welcomed 2013 with this beautiful, one of a kind tune. Breaking more barriers for this album, the girls tried to go the hip-pop route this time, but still kept traces of the bubblegum pop sound that they’re known for. The song also boasts a “hybrid remix” cred for its experimental sound, wherein two to three independent songs were mixed to form an entirely new song. Sounds crazy, right? And they also veered away from wearing high heels this time due to the song’s intense choreography. This is also a popular pick among SONEs because this showcased the group’s versatility and growth as artists.
5. "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)"
Last but definitely not the least, the song that made Girls’ Generation the supergroup that they are today, this song converted a lot of K-pop listeners into die-hard SONEs. With just the right mix of cute and sexy, the 2009 hit further cemented their names in the scene and even helped the girls earn the nickname “Korea’s National Girl Group.” This also became a staple in the Korean radio airwaves, TV shows, events, as well as one of the most covered KPOP songs. Also considered as Girls’ Generation’s signature song, this has popularized the famously called “leg dance." It even made us SONEs wish to have those same legs as theirs every time they sing the line “Sowoneul Malhaebwa!” (Tell Me Your Wish!)
These hits will surely continue to stand the test of time. With a great decade behind them, they have made themselves the queens that they are today. So even if they go their separate ways, they will always be our OT9! Right now, always and forever, it’s Girls’ Generation!
Banner Photography from Girls' Generation