Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Proof that you can sell music using a concept alone

Girls' Generation / So Nyu Shi Dae / Shoujo Jidai - Gee (Japanese Ver.)



SNSD is like the unicorn of the pop music industry - no matter what they do, everyone loves it because it's SNSD. They're giving Japanese fans an exact replica of their most popular song ever, except it's in Japanese. No other artist/company in their right mind would risk that, for fear that the fans would be expecting something new. But this is the power of So Nyu Shi Dae - nine pretty girls singing a cute pop song = money in the bank, even if we've already heard the song 50 million times (no, that is not an exaggeration). Only in Asia.

That being said, I really like the styling in this video, and they all sound a lot better than they do in the Korean version, so I can't hate. SM had better hire whoever produced/mastered this and get them to work on all SNSD songs in the future.

2 comments:

  1. It is amazing how Girl's Generation can get away with this repackaging. I know that here in the US, during the Latin crossover wave, artists that simply translated songs they already had into English (i.e., Paulina Rubio) didn't do so well as those that put out original material suited for the American audience (i.e., Shakira). Sure, there are many differences between Japanese and American audiences in terms of musical pop culture, but you hit it on the nose about this being almost a rarity. Although, I do have to point out that SNSD wasn't the first to do so. KARA's Japanese career started off with very much an identical treatment of "Mister", except for the music videos. So maybe its a tried and true concept that works? I'm not sure.

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  2. @Christian

    You know, I'm not sure either. The songs are tweaked a bit for Japanese audiences ("Mister" had the vocals processed a lot more, SNSD's stuff is remastered), but they're still very much the same. I'm thinking it has something to do with the particular appeal of SNSD and Kara - that is, they're gorgeous - and that they're being marketed specifically as Hallyu stars, as opposed to J-pop stars. Groups that have previously seen this much success in Japan have recorded original Japanese material (DBSK, Big Bang, FT Island, etc.), which makes this promotion method and its success even more of an anomaly.

    Another possible explanation is be that they want to establish a fanbase using already popular songs, and THEN record original Japanese material and that way transition from Hallyu star to J-pop star. That's what 4minute did, and Kara seems to be doing the same - they're releasing their own Japanese single next month, and from the previews it's definitely got more of a J-pop sound.

    Interesting point about the Latin crossover, too - I think the difference here is that Latin pop didn't have a hold on American audiences the same way that Korean pop has a hold on Japanese audiences, so it's a more viable marketing scheme for Korean artists in Japan than Latin artists in the US. I mentioned in a post on my old blog (which I'll transfer here soon) that Korean artists have also begun to record original material and develop new marketing ideas for their efforts in the US, because the cultures are so different. However, with the growing Latin American community in the US, I wouldn't be surprised if Latin-American artists would find crossing over a lot easier in the future.

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