Of all the remaining members of Girls Generation, yet to do a solo debut, Hyoyeon was definitely a surprise pick. In their 9 year career, she’s been known for one thing and one thing alone – dancing. Nicknamed “Dancing Queen” she has always, and I mean, always brought the goods when it came to breaking it down, cutting the rug, pop-locking and dropping it. Matter of fact, it just seems that in any Girls Generation comeback, the dance break was specifically designed for Hyoyeon to shine, since she’s never really had any singing parts. So, it was definitely a surprise when on November 29, her agency SM Entertainment released a teaser for her solo debut single “Mystery.”
That, we could say, was the first surprise. The second surprise, was the music video for “Mystery” didn’t have as much dancing as would be expected. Although, the practice video was released soon after (see below), it almost gives the impression the agency rush things a bit. Since it’s Hyoyeon, of course the dancing looks great, but it’s just not that engaging, energetic or even imaginative. She obviously did what she had to do, but I wonder if this debut wasn’t meant for someone else, who then rejected it. And, either Hyoyeon jumped at the opportunity, or they just laid it at her feet.
To the Soshified* world, Hyoyeon has at times come across as the rejected step-daughter. Early on, even on album covers, it just looked like she wasn’t paid a lot of attention. When all original 9 members are ranked by popularity, she often pulls the rear. It wasn’t really until her appearance on Dancing With The Stars in 2012 that she started to come into her own, and shine in her own light.
*PS: Fans of Girls Generation are known as Soshified.
Girls Generation’s lead vocalist is Taeyeon. And, she’s already released two solo albums. And, that’s really not a surprise. Taeyeon, has consistently been one of the best vocalists (male and female) in Korean Entertainment. She released “I” in October of 2015, and “Why” in June of 2016.
Not far behind, has been Tiffany. Taeyeon may be the official leader, but Tiffany has pretty much usurped the role and is the group’s de-facto leader. During live performances, whether in Japan or the United States she plays a key role in communicating with the audience. Tiffany released her solo debut “I Just Wanna Dance“in May of 2016.
We won’t go into Jessica, in detail. However, it was partly her departure, that sparked some soul-searching within the agency, and eventually lead to all these solo debuts. Also, it was probably becoming apparent that these were not little girls anymore that could be controlled as before. Jessica is releasing her second album Wonderland in less than two weeks, after releasing her solo debut album With Love, J in May of 2016.
Seohyun, should have had her own solo debut. She’s the second lead vocalist after Taeyeon, even though Tiffany has tried hard to usurp that role as well. But, being the maknae (youngest of the original 9), with a naturally shy and timid disposition, she instead shared her debut with Yuri. It would likely have been a challenge for Yuri to have a solo debut, given she’s not known for her singing. After Hyoyeon, she’s the next best dancer, with Yoona coming a very close third.
So, who else is in line? Yoona is really an actress. She barely has any lines in their comebacks. Then Sunny. Sunny sings. But, her singing is a bit high pitched, and somewhat infantile. It works best when placed in between some of the other stronger singers. And, given her status as the agency’s chairman’s niece, if she wanted her solo debut, as much as Tiffany did for example, it’s likely they could have worked something out.
Last but by no means the least, is Sooyoung. Sooyoung is into fashion. That’s her thing. It seems she’ll rather sit front row at a Coach show during New York Fashion Week, than be cooped up in the studio learning dance moves. She also doesn’t come across as aggressive, like say Tiffany. So, she’s probably just waiting her turn.
Mystery, by Hyoyeon, borrows a lot from Indian music. The underlying beat, as well as some of the melodies sung by Hyoyeon take on that Bollywood vibe. May be that’s the essence, the name of the song conveys. As in the exotic, being mysterious. The verses are catchy, but the chorus is rather bland. Actually, it’s just kind of terrible.
Mystery Mystery Mystery
Come and get it baby
Come and get it get it
Come and get it baby
Come and get it get it
But again, the very fact Hyoyeon is doing a solo debut, ahead of the others except Taeyeon and Tiffany, is a major coup.
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