#(mini)K-POPalbumoftheday = TIFFANY: I JUST WANNA DANCE

Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany has finally gone solo. She’s still in GG, as well as the GG subunit Taetiseo, but now she has her first mini-album under her belt as well. Of course, this isn’t the first solo song we’ve heard from her, as she’s done ballads for soundtracks like Princes Ja Myung Go and Blood and Princess, but this is her first mini-album and quote unquote official solo release. It’s a real winner, too. One, two, three, four, five, six gems, all perfectly polished.

The mini-album opens with the title track, “I Just Wanna Dance,” which has already become one of my favorite K-Pop dance songs ever. It’s an especially interesting track because it meshes a dash of late ’70’s disco with ’80’s pop and today’s EDM. For some reason, it keeps making me think of Madonna’s “Borderline,” but I can’t put my proverbial finger on why, so color me a lousy critic. Maybe it’s the tempo or the programmed bass. Regardless, it’s a catchy song that instructs *you* to dance with every golden beat. “I just wanna dance the night away,” she sings in English, which is sure to make the song an international hit.

“TALK” follows and begins with some light synth before deep beats start throbbing away, nice and down-tempo. “I just wanna talk to you babe,” she sings during the R&B stunner’s chorus, assuring herself a second international hit. Of course, she doesn’t actually need to sing in English to have global hits — we all know how popular K-Pop is here in the States already — but it certainly can’t hurt matters.

Next we have “FOOL,” which starts off sounding like a mellow R&B ballad but a drum build before the chorus leads to a more up-tempo, pop beat, which contributes to the chorus being so damn infectious. If Calvin Harris traveled back to 1988 and had to make a song using the technology of the time, it would probably sound an awful lot like this. Which isn’t to say that it sounds primitive, just that it’s a throwback.

To my ears, “What Do I Do” briefly starts off sounding like a Lionel Ritchie song but it then proves to be more like a classic, Music Box-era Mariah Carey song, which is a good thing in my book. Of all the songs on hand, this is the one that reminds me most of Taetiseo. You actually could argue that this one sounds a bit primitive — not that there’s anything wrong with that — since they either used an ’80’s drum machine or something made to sound like one here. “What do I do, baby,” she sings, sounding like someone frustrated in love.

The ballad “Yellow Light” is my second favorite song on hand following “I Just Wanna Dance.” It’s a very subtle sort of down-tempo song that is ripe for chilling out when you get home from dancing at the club. To that end, I imagine they could make some great dance remixes of this one. (If I was SM Entertainment, I’d send these songs to some of the best remixers in the business and put out a remixed version of the mini-album in six months. Just saying. It’s not like it could hurt anything, right?)

The mini-album concludes with another ballad, this one featuring acoustic guitars and organic percussion. “You are my once in a lifetime,” she sings, radiating warmth, coming across like a teenager in love. It’s not really a slow-dancing sort of song though, the tempo during the chorus especially being too up-tempo for that. It’s quite the lovely little song.

All in all, it’s a very solid solo debut from Tiffany. If she continues to release music this strong she might be able to quit her day job someday. Although, I for one hope that she never does. SNSD forever!


But I Just Wanna Dance on Yes Asia.

label: SM Entertainment
released: 5/13/16


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