MV Reviews

Published on May 28th, 2012 | by ponyforprez


TaeTiSeo: Bringing back girl power with Twinkle

When I first heard that SM was releasing an SNSD sub-unit, I was a little disgruntled (I mean, there’s no real need for one with their success, is there?) – even more so when I heard that the unit was going to contain three of SNSD’s main vocalists, namely Taeyeon, Tiffany and Seohyun, and was going to be called TaeTiSeo (very original, SM).

Much as I love them, I have to admit that these girls have definitely been edged a little more into the limelight as compared with the others in the group, what with their solo projects and all. With Tiffany being one of the SNSD members with a core MC-ing career for a long time now (from her early days co-hosting on Mnet’s Sonyeon Sonyeo Gayo Baekso to dazzling Music Core viewers alongside Yuri), Taeyeon’s various features on OSTs for her stellar voice, and Seohyun steadily garnering attention ever since her Goguma days (We Got Married) with Yonghwa of CNBLUE – it’s safe to say that these girls aren’t falling short of any attention at all.

Yet, I was curious to see what they had to offer. The early concept pictures were definitely… mind-boggling. I wasn’t digging the Alice in Wonderland-esque concept at all, and one of their first teasers actually looked like an oddly mashed Photoshopped picture. And are Taeyeon and Seohyun sharing a fringe dress made of… hair?

Also somewhat resembles the kind of banners that you find on Blogskins.

But then Taeyeon’s teaser rolled along and I was completely sold. The girl’s got some major alluring power to match her vocal chops. I replayed her teaser about 10,000 times just to watch her perfect hands-on-hips strut and fingers-under-chin come hither teasing gesture. Loved Tiffany’s teaser too – pretty! Seohyun’s? Meh… Wasn’t feeling it.

And when the official music video was finally released, I threw all initial doubts out the window. It also suddenly struck me just how perfect TTS (I refuse to call them TaeTiSeo) was as a sub-unit. Taeyeon and Tiffany, having gone through rounds of their joint ‘solo’ performances of Lady Maramalade in their poofy skirts and corset-tightened waists while touring during the SNSD concerts last year, were ideal candidates for the group’s concept – which had a very modern day Moulin Rouge feel. The trio also reminded me of 2006′s musical film Dreamgirls, which similarly featured three girls set against the 60′s and 70′s glittery backdrop of musicals and broadway music.

SNSD fans would be familiar with SM’s tendency to make their videos a synchronised assembly of catchy choreography and an avalanche of close-ups dedicated to the more popular members. However, what’s different about ‘Twinkle’ is that with just a third of the members now, there’s a lot more room for each girl to take the spotlight.

The video plays up the superstar prowess of TTS with an outstanding visual palette – they pose effortlessly in front of enamoured paparazzi (did you spot the cameo by EXO-K’s Chanyeol?), get made up by a throng of makeup artistes and sing about not catching the attention of the boy they like despite living the glamorous life. It’s an easy-to-like, girly set-up that does not emphasise on too-slick moves (good thing too since the unit’s made up of some of SNSD’s weaker dancers). But what they lack in dancing, they make up for in their singing.

‘Twinkle’ is a song that’s made up of mostly pop, a little bit of sass and a whole lot of fun. It’s no secret that Taeyeon’s vocals are top-notch and practically a need for a song like this, or it might otherwise fall into the league of catchy, repetitive sounding jingles like SECRET’s ‘Love is Move’. While Taeyeon takes on most of the belting in the song as usual, Seohyun does impress with a couple of her own high notes as well. The ad-libs in the song are mostly done by Tiffany, and they suit her perfectly (no surprise there seeing as how she has a history of being in charge of the ad-libs in SNSD songs).

Though I still feel that fellow member Jessica would have been a better fit for the unit – given her naturally doll-like stature, bouncy hair and position as one of the leading vocalists in SNSDSeohyun does somewhat oddly fit in too. While it’s more or less a given that Seobaby’s never going to be completely comfortable on stage in my eyes, being in TTS does somehow suit her overall image as a performer, one who’s earnest and just enjoys performing for what it is, and not forcing herself to blend in completely with the different images her company moulds her toward. If the other two girls are the natural divas of the group, I would say that she helps tone down the unabashedly flirty group image, so that the trio comes off more saccharine sweet than sexy.

Possibly Seohyun’s edgiest moment in the MV

And while I still yearn for a possibly more unpredictable sub-unit in the future now that SNSD has broken out of its performing-as-nine rut, for now, I’m completely digging these already bright stars. Don’t just twinkle girls, dazzlingly blind us all!

Watch the ‘Twinkle’ MV below!

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About the Author

Online: I spend a bulk of my time dissecting music/dramas in all their entirety or covering events for Dinoseoul. Offline: I’m really just your average, socially awkward girl who happens to have a penchant for dancing and cats.

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