Girls' Generation Hope to Ape Psy's Success with New Song

Girls' Generation's latest song "I Got a Boy," which was released at the beginning of the year, is already proving a hit. As the music video is being viewed on YouTube at a faster pace than "Gangnam Style," some expect the song to ape the success of Psy's viral hit.

"Gangnam Style" ranks as the most viewed video in the history of YouTube, attracting 10 million hits 19 days after the video was released and 20 million hits within 26 days. "I Got a Boy" garnered 10 million views in just three days of its release and over double this number within six days. As of Monday afternoon, the video has received 29 million views.

By country, it has attracted the most hits in the U.S. with 4.5 million, followed by Korea with 3.1 million. With Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Britain included among the top 20 countries, the song is becoming popular all over the world.

It has also received favorable reviews from the foreign media. Billboard recently wrote that Girls' Generation's new album is a series of "polished K-pop confections that combine elements of forward-thinking EDM (electronic dance music), classic and modern R&B, 80s new wave, and more." Rolling Stone said the song is "sharply plotted and blindingly razzle-dazzle." And Time magazine said the U.S. market wants the girls.

"I Got a Boy" has met with a mixed reception from local fans because it is so different from the band's previous songs, which revolved around an addictive and repetitive chorus. Although the song can be considered as electronic dance music, even the band's hardcore fans say it is quite a departure from the norm as it mixes various musical genres including hip-hop.

"Foreign fans are more interested in the song partly because it has broken out of the typical K-pop mould," said popular music critic Song Ki-chul.

SM Entertainment, the band's agency, said, "We expected local fans to say that the song feels a little strange to them, but we wanted to try various new avenues as we regard the song as a cornerstone to enter the U.S. market."

As the song targets the global market, the composers consist of people from four different countries. Including SM Entertainment's producer and director Yoo Young-jin, British, Norwegian and Swedish songwriters participated in writing it.

The big question now is: can Girls' Generation follow in the oversized footsteps of Psy?

Experts say the band stands to benefit as Psy has already paved the way and laid a strong framework by meeting famous producer Scooter Braun and engaging in various promotional activities in the U.S. Going down a similar road, the girls plan to release a new album via Interscope Records, a major label in the U.S., this year.

"We are preparing a number of new songs for Girls' Generation's new album, including an English version of 'I Got a Boy,' and they will travel back and forth between the U.S. and Korea," the agency said.

"The music video for 'I Got a Boy' is a feast for the eyes, much like 'Gangnam Style' was, due to the dynamic choreography," said music critic Kim Jak-ga. "Close cooperation between SM and Interscope will play an important role in its success."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 15, 2013 09:24 KST