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My love of pop music dates back to the first time I heard the Spice Girls in the first grade.
Having been initially raised on hand-me-down Beach Boys and Billy Joel cassettes, the Spice Girls were like candy for my ears. Having also been raised on wheat germ and Ovaltine, discovering them was literally like the first time my mom let me have a fruit rollup.
In addition to their catchy hooks, energetic beats, and fun-loving lyrics, I was also drawn to the appeal of the "girl group" concept.
Each Spice Girl represented a different theme, and even though I would switch favorites on a weekly basis, I liked being able to pair their girl-power anthems with a visual component that reflected my own individual personality as a 6-year-old.
Almost 20 years later, I am still an unapologetic, hardcore pop music fanatic, despite having developed an appreciation and talent for singing jazz.
While the girl group and boy band scene has seemed to all but die out in the States, a bold bevy of individual artists and DJs flaunting intricate techno beats, synthesized harmonies, and even cross-genre fusions have risen up to replace it.
Current Western pop music is essentially the millennial reincarnation of disco and its primary purpose is to make us feel good, get up, and dance. It has become the soundtrack to a life of partying and adventure and doesn't necessarily need the caricaturized image branding that US and UK girl groups and boy bands depended on in the 90s.
However, Girls' Generation (my latest guilty pleasure) manages to bridge the transformation of 90s bubblegum pop into today's techno-infused power ballads.
The first time I saw a Girls' Generation music video, it was for their 2011 hit "The Boys." I thought, "this reminds me of Lady Gaga."
Already a passionate Lady Gaga fan, I was instantly hooked. This adorable army of sashaying, booty-popping divas encompassed everything I loved about modern pop music while evoking nostalgia for the girl groups I grew up with.
Moreover, Girls' Generation embodied the iconography of Western pop culture through their elaborate music videos, contemporary fashion, and kick-ass dance moves. As a former hip-hop dancer, I admired their ability to flawlessly execute sexy yet sweet dance routines in perfect synchronization, while still channeling their inner gangsta.
I was also impressed to discover that when they perform live, they choose to don sensible sneakers rather than high heels so that they can carry out their choreography with more precision.
All footwear aside, I am aware that the major appeal of Girls' Generation (much like the Spice Girls) is not so much their music, but rather their image. But after hearing "The Boys," I wanted to explore Girls' Generation's musical repertoire.
As I retraced their early career, I learned the group used to convey a much simpler and purer image when they first formed, wearing minimal makeup and more casual clothing.
It wasn't until 2010 that they began choosing their own outfits and emulating various "sexy" or "feminine" archetypes such as cheerleaders and pinup girls.
Like most pop songs, it was easy to single out which melodies, chord progressions, and other musical elements were borrowed from previous generations of music. Girls' Generation essentially sounds like a mashup of all my favorite songs, which is exactly why I like them.
As for the language barrier, I have to admit that, for me, lyrics are the least important part of pop music. Anyone who has ever enjoyed a song in a language they don't understand can attest to this.
Even without translating Girls' Generation's songs, I have a pretty good idea of what they are about (boys seem to be a common theme).
My simple rule of thumb for appealing pop music is that if I can dance to it or sing along to it, despite not knowing what the words are, it's good in my book.
Girls' Generation meets my fundamental criteria music while inspiring me to brush up on my dance moves and possibly update my entire wardrobe, and that is how I became a fan.
Check out the music video that got me hooked, "The Boys" by Girls' Generation RIGHT HERE
Robyn Adele Anderson is the lead singer of the genre-bending New York City musical collective Postmodern Jukebox. The group has received over 44 million YouTube views for their innovative jazz, doo-wop and soul reinventions of modern pop hits, including "Gangnam Style" by Psy.
Source : kpopstarz[dot]com