Review: SNSD – “Catch Me If You Can” Is Simplicity At Its Finest

catch me if you can snsd

After what seems like an eternity, Girls’ Generation (SNSD) has finally provided a music video for the #CatchGG nonsense with “Catch Me If You Can.” And while any SNSD K-Pop release is almost guaranteed to command the attention of anyone who follows the genre, “Catch Me If You Can” carries extra weight for being the group’s first comeback since they kicked lost Jessica Jung due to still-unclear circumstances. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about “Catch Me If You Can” is that the loss of the Ice Princess is never really felt at all. Despite the rather unfortunate loss of one of its members, “Catch Me If You Can” is the most coherent and straightforward music video that SNSD has made in a long time. Unsurprisingly, it’s also one of the group’s better efforts as well.

The no-frills EDM approach to “Catch Me If You Can” isn’t particularly surprising given SNSD’s comebacks over the past few years but this may be the most direct approach that the group has yet taken to an EDM-inspired song. While some parts already sound fairly dated (the dub-steppish breakdowns during the choruses are particularly egregious offenders), the production is noticeably tighter in “Catch Me If You Can” than any SNSD K-Pop single since “The Boys” (and unlike “The Boys,” “Catch Me If You Can” has a pulse). The synths  are used perfectly to contrast the grungier verses from the slightly sweeter buildups to the choruses. The group’s vocals are much more noticeably processed and it works incredibly well given the instrumental track and the fact that Girls’ Generation isn’t a group that is particularly well-known for its vocal prowess. There may not be anything very groundbreaking here but “Catch Me If You Can” is consistent and solidly conceived from start to finish and that makes it very good.

THIS GOOD.

THIS GOOD.

If the song is solid, the video for “Catch Me If You Can” is as close to flawless as one could hope for from SM Entertainment. The intro is unnecessarily long (what the cityscape has to do with a construction site is beyond me) but once the music video gets to the meat of the content, “Catch Me If You Can” shines. The sunny yellows and dusky dirt give the video a grittiness that the video sorely needs to complement the sterility of the song. The night scenes are beautifully lit and fully clear. The complete lack of seizure-inducing lights is praise-worthy in and of itself. Camera cuts are used economically and smartly. Instead of slamming the viewer with frenzied individual cuts, the video often uses pans for transitions instead which gives “Catch Me If You Can” a wonderful sense of momentum. The heavy use of a panning camera also does so much work for SNSD because the group has a lot of members and their choreography usually manages to be surprisingly complex given the amount of girls on stage. The lack of smash cuts lets the viewer fully appreciate the full choreography (which is fantastic) while the use of panning prevents the video from looking like a static choreography video at all. As far as dance-in-a-box concepts go, “Catch Me If You Can” nails all the strengths of one while it manages to dodge many of concept’s stale weaknesses.

SNSD Voltron.

SNSD Voltron.

It helps that SNSD looks as good as the group has ever looked before (minus the whole “no Jessica” thing). The group’s white halter tops and black cargo pants gives SNSD a believable edge that is more in-tune with the group’s maturity and the night-time construction worker outfits pop without looking like they belong at a bachelor party. Taeyeon in particular slays this whole project in about two seconds. In terms of visuals, the long story short is: 10/10, would watch again (and again and again).

My death.

My death.

Confirmed.

Confirmed.

While I can’t really say that this is a “back to basics” approach for SNSD considering that EDM isn’t exactly what the group is known for, the incredible simplicity and clear structure of “Catch Me If You Can” is a much-welcomed sight for K-Pop’s reigning girl group giant. As much as it pains me to say given my Ice Princess4Life allegiance, the OT8 era is off to a damn good start.

 

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20 comments

  1. blackfire · · Reply

    Reminds me of Sugar Free, Galaxy Supernova, and IGAB. For some reason it reminds me of SNSD’s japanese releases (like galaxy supernova). Also, will never get use to not seeing Sica. SNSD without Sica is just does not feel right.

    1. It definitely reminds me more of their J-Pop stuff.

  2. I don’t care for the song but I do like the choreography and MV. My only issue with it would be that I couldn’t help but be reminded of Ciara’s Work while watching it. The similarities are minimal tho. The song and dance are different. It’s mostly just the outfits and use of a construction site.

  3. It sounds like two different songs sung together. “I’m going to find my heart” could be a fantastic song, but then it does a nose dive with the techno “catch me if you can”. Such a weird transition, that really doesn’t work. I was expecting a song more along the lines of AOA’s Like a Cat. The songs okay, just okay. Choreography is great, but that’s to be expected. Overall I give this a 6/10.

    Well, I have to address one of Slugs points in his review:

    “the fact that Girls’ Generation isn’t a group that is particularly well-known for its vocal prowess”

    I must disagree with this. Taeyeon, Tiffany and Jessica are probably three of the best singers in Korea. Jessica doesn’t have a lot of power, but Tae and Fany can easily be compared with the best power singers in kpop, and is likely why TTS is really striking hard in the market. Tae, and even Tiffany, could be compared with Eunji (apink), Spica (all the girls), Hyolyn (Sistar), Seungyeon (Kara), and Ailee, just to name a few. While all the girls have to get their time in the songs, it is Tae, Fany and even more of Sunny’s job now to make it sound good, and they do a very good job at it.

    off the soap box now.

    1. I highly recommend diversifying your portfolio if you think those are some of the best singers in Korea. I like a lot of girls you mentioned but they don’t belong in a conversation about power singers.

      1. Curious who you would put into your power rankings. Still new to kpop so always ready to listen to new or different people or groups.

    2. I think that SNSD’s most talented signers are TaeTiSeo and I think that those three are solidly above average.

  4. The one thing that stood out to me is that for the first time since “Gee” you actually saw members other than the main five actually having significant lines. Yoona, Yuri, Hyoyeon, and Sooyoung might have sung more in this song than they have in the last five or six singles combined. It almost makes one wonder if that was an accident or if none of the main singers wanted to have it appear that they got more lines with Jessica’s departure.

    1. I think part of it was definitely having more lines to go around. The other part is the heavy processing of the vocals means that the group could get away with including more lines for the others.

  5. I think it sounds better with headphones off. With headphones I feel like it was too cluttered but without I feel like it flows better.

    1. Huh, interesting. I only listened to it with headphones tbh.

  6. Yes, this reminds me of ‘Sugar Free’ too. Not bad as far as EDM goes, but not really much of a tune. I enjoyed the MV a whole lot more than the song. Great camera work and choreography – flying hair never looked better.
    Highlight for me was Sunny as a brunette. Jessica who? Hee Hee.

  7. I agree with Slug, SNSD without Jessica seems fine though, my first view went through without noticing the difference. I only thought of Jessica later as in where she could fit in the song, I guess likely to be where the lead singers were doing ” find my heart” part. The SNSD sound remains the same to me. If you went out purposely to want to hear her voice, that is a different issue.

    I love the EDM sound, I had it playing in my car today and it was a BOOMBOOMBOOM. GLORIOUS BEATS. I like this to say this is my fav single right now after Genie and Paparazzi.

    Surprise for me though was Yoona, I know it does not change the fact that she can’t sing well but hell she nailed her parts. The trio of Yuri, Yoona and Hyoyeon did really well and Soo young too. Sexy Yuri and Hyoyeon, please keep those amazing hair colors..

    For me its a

    Dance: 100/10
    Song: 9/10!!

    PS, this song will be amazing in a concert. I can imagine the sounds and the glorious choregraphy.

  8. review exid’s ‘ah yeah’ when it comes out. i demand it, or i will post a thousand picture of Boram on your blog, facebook, and twitter.

    Just kidding. Still, you gotta review them tomorrow.

      1. “Ah Yeah” is pretty good but the first thing I heard when I listened to it was Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps” 🙂

  9. I guess I’m in the minority here.. big SNSD fan, but this track, no so much. Mediocre at best, IMHO.. & the word “sucks” comes to mind pretty quick. I hate that.

  10. Oh, & did anyone else think that Hyo’s new hair color made her look like she was going gray?
    (in an old-lady with blue-hair sort of way).

    Definitely made her look *much* older (& not in a good way)

  11. What do you mean by EDM? great post thou

    1. Just the catch-all term I tend to fall back on for new-fangled electronic dance music. If there is a more accurate term for the song and/or genre (I used to use techno or “synthy beep beep boop boop music” but found that to be a little outdated) let me know! Love learning new stuff.

      Thanks for the read!

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