Sunday, December 16, 2012

[#21] TaeTiSeo (SNSD) - "Baby Steps"

From: "Twinkle"
Format: EP
Released: April
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearances: First Appearance (as TTS)

When I first heard that my favorite voices in SNSD would be forming a sub-unit, I was all for it. For once we get a group where everyone can stand on her own vocally. However I wasn't a big fan of "Twinkle", mainly because even if their vocals all delivered, it seemed to me like all the soul, all the emotion, was sucked out where they were needed the most. I don't blame it on the girls' vocals, because even if Seohyun was pretty flat, Taeyeon was there and she slayed everyone else, I blame it on bad production decisions.

It's a good thing there's none of that on "Baby Steps". This was the track that I really, really liked when I first heard the EP, and even if their live performances fell short of my (pretty high) expectations, I still adore the recording.

"Baby Steps" is the kind of song that really matches the SM aesthetic of "let's just douse everything in the most flashy production we can get our hands on and be done with it". It's a very luxurious song, with very rich production and all these generic but classy instruments behind, but at the same time these very rich elements also make the song very heavy.

That melody is stunning, it really is, and I genuinely think it's one of the most beautiful melodies of the year. It's not the kind of intense that hits you over the head, it's more like the kind that wraps around you then just squishes you to death. But I like that while all this intense squashing is happening, the girls' vocals manage to give it this ethereal sound, and kind of lighten things up a bit.

"Baby Steps" is a good song on its own, and it's one of those songs that will be good regardless of who sings it. That's not really a good thing for TTS/SNSD and their musical identity, but it's a good thing for the song itself. As far as pop goes -- the more universal your song, the more it can carry and not just be carried, the better it is.

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