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Music Review: Girls' Generation II - Girls & Peace


On the 25th November, Girls' Generation dropped their 2nd Japanese Album Girls and Peace and have been topping the charts quite well. Their 1st Japanese Album was a masterpiece, leaving a great impression of them towards the Japanese audiences and also anticipation for their next project.

The album consists of 12 track lists including four singles that they promoted this year. Let's begin the review...

1. FLOWER POWER



Their sixth Japanese single has been the odd one out of all their past singles. From the instrumental, vocals and even the lyrics (DO U KNOW ADABANA!!?), the song turns out to be weird but not a bad one. What I like about Flower Power is how the verse and the chorus combine beautifully despite the contrast in them. And another bit that I find pretty amusing is their vocals' harmonization during the post-chorus section (at the 1.09 minute mark). I like how they sing "Flower" with a high tone and at the same time Sunny (I think) sings the "Oooh~~" part giving us that magical feel at that time. It's a nice song, but is not the same standard as Mr. Taxi and Paparazzi.                    
- Points: 3.5/5


2. ANIMAL



Following the electropop beats club style Flower Power, Animal is another song that fits the club environment. The synth (I think) in this song fits well and the chorus is quite catchy. The only problem I find is the adlibs. The adlibs is like out of place that I hope the composers did not ask Taeyeon and Tiffany to sing it in the first place. This song will be perfect if they minus the adlibs.                 
- Points: 3/5


3. I'M A DIAMOND



With a military-like sound, I'm A Diamond is somehow an attention-seeking song. To me, this song is new to them since they are required to use their base vocals a lot in this song and I like it. The fast rap-talk in here also gives the song a much higher level than Animal in my opinion. It's strong and sassy, that's all I can say about it.
- Points: 4/5


4. REFLECTION



Next track in the list is Reflection, one of my favorite song in this album. While I'm A Diamond shows Girls' Generation's strong and passionate side, this one shows their feminine side instead (note the vocals). It's great to see the transition of their vocals from I'm A Diamond to this, showing music fans how they have wide range of vocals. And since I am a middle eight lover, I just could not express how happy I am with the gorgeousness of it in this song.
- Points: 5/5


5. STAY GIRLS



This song is also my favorite in this album. I just love how the instruments are more into some kind of orchestral sounds added with a piano piece. Plus, this song also showcase their sweet vocals which we can easily notice in the chorus. If you look closely, most of their songs' concept in both 1st and 2nd album is the lady-like concept which is going on in most of their Japanese promotions. And this song sets an example on how songs will have that lady vibe in it even though you do not use heavy instrumentals to highlight about it.  
- Points: 5/5


6. T.O.P



This song is ALSO my favorite in this album. But, the first time I listen to it, I realize how this song sounds SO similar to a cheerleading cheers (note the chorus). But what I really like about this song is the use of trombone and the drum line. Why? IT FITS WELL WITH THE CHEERLEADING CHEERS CONCEPT!! Yeah, I'm kind of torn with the concept of this song. However, what makes the song amazing is the climax of each verses in this song as well as the middle-eight (again). It's just simply amazing. So put it together, you will have a fierce powerful cheerleading cheers for your upcoming sports day/basketball match.  
- Points: 3.9/5


7. BOOMERANG



Man, this song is RUINED! Sorry guys, but if you listen to the original version (Korean version which is leaked ages ago), you will, no matter what, will love it much more than the Japanese version. The beginning of this song (the Japan version) somehow sounds like a beginning of a PC game, which is cheesy while the  Korean version starts of with an electric guitar sounds, which makes it sounds so lady-like and fierce. And another main factor that I really hate this version is the chorus. Boom Boom Loving You? Da heck is that!? One thing that makes this song valid is the beautiful middle eight (Wow, I'm so bias with middle eights).    
- Points: 2/5


8. OH!



As much as I love this bubbly cute song, I have to minus 1 point for the unsuitable addition of this song in this album. Same goes to Gee in their first Japanese album. But, what I really like about this version is the random use of Korean and English in this Japanese song. Yeah, I like it without a doubt.
- Points: 4/5


9. ALL MY LOVE IS FOR YOU



I freaking love this song so much. What makes this song amazing is its beauty and melody. I just love the nice and calm voice of each members. Plus, I really love the harmonization in the beginning of the song and after each chorus. It's pretty and very lady-like.
- Points: 5/5


10. PAPARAZZI



Their forth Japanese single is purely amazing. To me, this song is on the same level as Mr. Taxi, but much more solid in my opinion. And like any other songs in this Japanese Album, I love Paparazzi for its middle eight.
- Points: 5/5


11. GIRLS AND PEACE



I'll be honest, the song is great. In fact, it really suits with the album cover. One big problem though that this song is the least outstanding in this album. With all the songs minus Oh! have this lady vibe in them, it makes this song so out of place. Even though this song has the 80's/90's retro pop feel to it yet sounds like what Girls' Generation would do during their debut years, it makes the album less solid and less cohesive.
- Points: 3.5/5


12. NOT ALONE



Not Alone is a perfect example for cheesy ballad to me. It sounds so eccentric and although I love the piano piece and their vocals, I just think that this song doesn't have the feel to be in this album. I think Not Alone will be suitable as an OST of a drama.
- Points: 3/5

OVERALL SCORES:

3.9/5


RESOLUTION: Girls and Peace is not their latest perfection nor is the same par as their first album. But, most songs are great fillings for this album. It certainly has much more room for improvement.

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