But guessing that Tiffany probably had multiple orgasms about the set.
The usual reason to look forward to an SNSD Japanese music video is the styling. While the songs can often be hit (“Bad Girl”, “Let it Rain”, “Paparazzi”, Time Machine”) or miss (“Flower Power“, “Love and Girls“), the styling is usually spot on. Unfortunately, SNSD’s latest effort in “Beep Beep”, a holdover from last year’s short version, is aggressively retrograde SNSD, the kind of effort that was already kind of uncomfortable to watch during the “Gee” era and is now an uneasy mixture of boring, grating and awkward.
The musical production for “Beep Beep” is bare and almost depressingly anti-septic. Light synths bounce around in halts and stops, which creates an experience that isn’t so much a groove as it is an ordeal. The clapping effect is deployed well to give “Beep Beep” some much needed assertiveness, but the deliberate pace and minimal use of enriching synths (until the bridge before the outro) makes the beat more like forcefully cheerful window dressing than main attraction. That would be fine if the vocal performances were anything to write home about but they just aren’t. Instead, that uncanny valley level of auto-tune helps wipe away any sort of personality from SNSD (of which, in their music, they tend to lack much in the first place) and everyone sounds like a Valium-ed J-Pop robot. Not helping that illusion is the chorus of “Beep, beep, beep, beep” which sounds like a placeholder for a more interesting hook. When combined with the nondescript dance beat, SNSD and “Beep Beep” sounds like something that could have been made by any group with any number of members or by a specific J-Pop computer program. The song’s complete lack of personality may be the most remarkable thing about it, and that’s never a good sign.
The video tries to compensate for the song’s lack of… much at all by going all out in SNSD’s “charm”. Never mind the fact that the type of charm that SNSD displays here should have been retired by the group after “Into the New World”, SNSD knows the world can never have enough Sunny aegyo. The laughable amounts of pink in the set pieces make “Beep Beep” look like a Pepto-Bismol commercial. The editing and direction at least try to do some interesting things with the SNSD-mandatory dance-in-a-box set by including some interesting pans during the choreography bits and some admittedly pretty cool cartoon effects to lend some personality to the video. Even the solo shots are livened up somewhat by intermittently inserting multiple members into them. SNSD seems very comfortable in their cute get-ups, but that’s not shocking given the fact that it’s the same act they’ve put on for the last six years. Less comfortable is watching grown women act like pre-schoolers on sugar highs.
The wardrobe choices are a mixed bag. Too much lace for the most part, but at least only Sunny’s hair is questionable (also, whoever makes Yuri do stuff like this instead of stuff like this needs to be tried for crimes against humanity). However, some cute direction and editing tricks don’t do enough to hide the fact that SNSD is kicking the proverbial bucket down the road with “Beep Beep”. This is nothing that the group hasn’t shown before. An avalanche of various shades of pink, combined with young women in their mid twenties acting like they haven’t grown a day since their debut, isn’t so much endearing as it is disappointing and awkward.
Yes, it’s a B-side, so not much should have been expected out of this one, but the total non-impression that “Beep Beep” makes is somehow worse than if SNSD had just laid a fat, wet fart of a video. The ironic thing is that the concept works better as a short video teaser. Like a too-sweet dessert, the full version of “Beep Beep” is just too overwhelming in pink and aegyo and underwhelming in adding any other sort of flavor. This is a group that had me excited that they were going to do a “mannish concept” until SM Entertainment debunked the rumor and the excitement wasn’t to see Jessica Jung with a shaved head or anything like that. It was based on the belief, for a brief second, that SNSD would try something radically different with their look. While hope still springs eternal for fools (and I count myself as a big one), “Beep Beep” is an irritating reminder that the most popular Korean girl group is probably much closer to recycling Sunny aegyo and Tiffany’s obsession with pink than they are to doing anything new.
Rating: Three mehs out of…. meh. It’s meh.