Girl’s Day Comeback Review: “I’ll Be Yours”

It took me forever to check out Girl’s Day because of their hiatus.  Now I totally wish that I had discovered them sooner, because I absolutely love them.  They have great music, great moves, and great style.  Hiatuses can be tough on a group’s relevancy, so they must be top tier girl if they’re still making waves after a year and a half. I know I’m making this post just as they’re finishing promotions, but I decided to go ahead because I truly loved everything about this comeback.  If you haven’t listened to “I’ll Be Yours,” you definitely should.

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*WARNING!* This review assumes the reader has listened to the music and/or seen the music video!

Concept: Girl crush, with hints of glamorous and sexy

Previous concept(s): Various kinds of sexy

SONG:

“I’ll Be Yours” is the literal definition of (K-pop) girl crush. It’s upbeat and sassy, exactly what you listen to when you feel like strutting your stuff.  The composer is Ryan Jhun, who has created plenty of other girl crush hits such as Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb,” Girls’ Generation’s “You Think,” and I.O.I.’s “Whatta Man.”  All of these songs share key elements that define “girl crush”: energy, a catchy beat, a thudding bassline, bold brass, and power vocals. “I’ll Be Yours” also has a lot of influence from jazz and swing, which I love.  I’ve always thought of that type of music as very classy and chic, which fits Girl’s Day’s current aesthetic.  It melds with pop well, and it infuses a little spunk and flair.

Girl groups are putting out a lot of earworms lately, which are catchy but tend to stay on the same level energy-wise. While “I’ll Be Yours” is similar, I like how it has a significant dynamic change with the bridge. Yura starts off with a rap, then Hyeri lays the foundation.  After a brief interjection from Sojin, Minah builds up the whole thing to climax in a spectacular high note.  The bridge is longer than usual, but well worth it for what it brings to the table.  And it doesn’t feel out of place

I personally love this song and think it’s perfect for them.  It matches all four vocally, with alto parts (Yura and Hyeri) and soprano parts (Sojin and Minah). I’m particularly impressed by Minah.  Runs are so difficult, and this song has so many!  She does them all so effortlessly.  Basically, I think the style of “I’ll Be Yours” fits them to a T.  It’s charming, confident, mature, and glamorous.

SCORE: 20/20

LYRICS:

The key to a girl crush concept is confidence.  In these types of songs, love and flirtation is a game.  It’s all about who has the power, and the lyrics should be dripping with bravado. The girl knows she’s got it, and she knows her “victim” is spellbound.  And most importantly, she revels in that fact. “I’ll Be Yours” has so many great lines for this.  Sojin says that she’s “dazzling like a popping champagne.” Minah confidently sings, “Close your eyes, throw the dice wherever you want because it will come back to me.”

Though “I’ll Be Yours” is first and foremost an addictive pop song, the lyrics have a maturity you don’t often see from the newer (and younger) generation of K-pop.   Even though being bold is the cornerstone of a girl crush, the women have a lot of vulnerability here. The crux of the song is them encouraging the objects of their affection to pursue them: “Empty out your complicated thoughts, throw away your awkwardness / Be a man, tell me how you really feel.” But there are moments when they freely admit not just their attraction to this person, but also the level of their attraction.  Minah’s section of the bridge best demonstrates this:

“Baby, like the flower scent at the tip of your nose
I wanna tickle you so you won’t forget me
Baby like the sound that lingers in your ears
Wanna follow my voice? Feels so good, oh yeah”

Asking somebody out or even letting him or her know you’re interested can seem like such an easy thing.  But for so many people, it can be especially daunting. It gets better as you get older, but I still cringe thinking how many times I fell flat on my face with a guy that had literally zero.  Putting yourself out there and risking rejection can be terrifying, and kudos to those people who remain completely unfazed by it.

Confidence often is equated with playing cool, appearing strong and not letting things get to you. But a valuable lesson that we all need to learn (or remember) is that confidence can also come from being honest and open – showing a vulnerable side of ourselves to someone without knowing how they will react.  I really like how this song is not a game between the singer and the love interest, or at least not the game that we’re used to.  While Girl’s Day is sassy and bold, they’re also taking a risk by saying how much they’re into this person.  The chorus is basically “Want me? I’ll be yours.” It’s as simple as that. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

SCORE: 10/10

LINE DISTRIBUTION:

Minah is totally hard carrying this song.  She pretty much sings every other section and takes care of all the runs and high notes.  But just because she gets half the song doesn’t mean the others are overlooked.   Sojin also has a good amount of lines, as well as half the chorus.  Yura and Hyeri both have the pre-chorus, and Yura has a small rap break while Hyeri gets to open the song. Girl’s Day has been around for a long time now, so it’s fair to say that they all know their own positions within the group and stick to them. It’s far from a “Minah and the backup dancers” situation, which happens more often in a small-membered group than you’d think (just look at Sistar).

SCORE: 8/10

CHOREOGRAPHY:

I love Girl’s Day dances.  They always have a huge amount of filler and backup dancers, both of which are usually pet peeves of mine. But I find it more acceptable in their case because of how they stage their routines.  With Girl’s Day, it’s more about putting on a show rather than just dancing it out.  So it’s okay if they’re not moving around constantly. Plus the choreography itself – especially the key points – is always great.  I absolutely love the move where they bounce down to the floor.  It’s so effortlessly sexy.

Key-Point

Judging from the shouts I hear during Girl’s Day’s performances, I’d guess they have a large male fanbase.  So the choreography has plenty to make those guys cheer: swaying hips, booty rolls, and of course that line of hot girls that appears in every sexy girl group dance.  Girl’s Day has been doing this kind of thing since 2013, so of course they know how it goes. Their sexy dance fits right in with “Something” and “Ring My Bell.”

Line

Objectively however, the best girl crush dances should appeal to male and female fans. Although there’s some overlap, there’s a difference between a sexy dance specifically designed for the male gaze and a sexy dance for a woman to show herself off.  I like to dance a little sexy when I go out, but it’s not to get a guy’s attention (although of course, that’s a bonus). It’s because I look good, I feel good, and I want to have fun.  I like the dance for “I’ll Be Yours” because I feel fabulous while I dance it, without the sexy moves being overly cringeworthy.  It’s so fierce and sassy, and I love every second of it.

Clap-Your-Hands

I’d also like to put out that this dance is harder than it looks because of those heels.  Dancing in high heels is kind of par for the course if you’re in a girl group, and Girl’s Day has done it plenty of times before. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy or that it doesn’t hurt.  They’re not wearing platforms either – they’ve got on stiletto Louboutins.   Not to mention that the choreography is not especially accommodating of said footwear.  There are certain moves like those kicks at the end that could easily spell disaster.  So props to the ladies for rocking it out and never looking like they’re suffering.

High-Kick

SCORE: 17/20

CENTER AND FORMATIONS:

Girl’s Day is only four members, which means that they can’t do much with formations.  They usually rectify this by having backup dancers, which really helps.  They’re really a key part of the routine, and they blend with the members well (even if they outnumber them). “I’ll Be Yours” also feels like a more grandiose number, so it’s good that the stage is filled with more people.  There’s a good balance between moments that are just the members and moments that are the whole group.

If I’m correct, Yura and Hyeri are typically considered dance line.  A lot of Girl’s Day choreographies will put them in the center for the first half of the chorus, and then switch them out for Sojin and Minah.  “I’ll Be Yours” does it a little differently, focusing on Sojin and Minah.  This is quite similar to “Something,” another choreography that’s quite chic and and glamorous.  Although all of them are women now, Sojin is usually brought to the front for choreography that’s on the sexy side.   And it makes sense for Minah to be in the center a lot because she’s singing the majority of the song.  I wish there was a little more focus on Yura and Hyeri, but it’s a reasonable choice.

SCORE: 8/10

MUSIC VIDEO:

Not only is the music video for “I’ll Be Yours” bold and fierce, but it also makes a pointed commentary about gender stereotypes.  Women are so often shown as the fairer sex in the media.  We’re damsels in distress, princesses that need to be rescued, women that need men to complete us.  But there’s nothing passive about the ladies here.  They have all of the power, and they know it.

The most obvious example of this is Minah, putting a twist on the Cinderella story.  In the fairy tale, Cinderella runs off at midnight in fear that her secret will be discovered.  She accidentally leaves the shoe behind, and Prince Charming takes it upon himself to look all over the kingdom for her.  Minah takes off the shoe herself and hands it to the doorman, hobbling away with her head held high.  She’s effectively putting the ball in his court, and it pays off when multiple men bring her multiple shoes.

MV-Minah

There’s also strong messages that appearances can be deceiving.  Yura appears in a frilly pink dress and matching piano.  As we all know, pink is the ultimate girly color. She plays that piano with such passion and fervor that she sets it on fire, and her admirers are captivated. Hyeri lounges around a boxing ring in a ball gown, which is one of the best things I’ve ever seen in a K-pop music video. She mostly watches from the sidelines, but eventually takes a turn. She promptly stomps on her opponent’s foot with her stiletto and K.O.’s him, eagerly taking swings way after he’s on the ground.

MV-Hyeri

And of course, Girl’s Day reminds us that we women are well aware of how men tick.  Sojin sits in the middle of a barber shop surrounded by men.  One snap of her stocking and all of the heads turn. She’s definitely aware of the power women have over men, and she’s certainly enjoying using it.

MV-Sojin-2

There are a lot of things that I like about this music video.  I complain a lot about music videos failing to convey their message, but “I’ll Be Yours” is very easy to grasp. I do wish the editing was a little less choppy.  There were a lot of cool shots that got cut short.  But as a whole, it’s a light-hearted and fun way to address girl power.

SCORE: 19/20

STYLING:

As we saw with the music video, styling and costumes play a huge role in the story.  For Sojin and Minah, their narratives revolve around a single item.  For Yura and Hyeri, it’s about the way that they are dressed. The ladies in their chic outfits are in these locations that are dull, drab, and sometimes downright grungy.  But they don’t stand out just because of their attire. They stand out because they carry themselves with confidence.  They act every bit the fierce ladies that they are.  The outfits they wear for their performacnes are also great; they’re sexy yet classy.  And the sparkly silver leotards add a boost of glam.  All four of them are so pretty, and their makeup and hair is flawless.

MV-Yura

STYLING MVP: Sojin, who’s giving all those younger girls out there a run for their money.

MV-Sojin

SCORE: 9/10

FINAL TALLY:

Song – 20

Lyrics – 10

Line Distribution – 8

Choreography – 17

Center and Formations – 8

Music Video – 19

Styling – 9

TOTAL: 91

CONCLUSION: Girl’s Day really hit it out of the park with “I’ll Be Yours.”  It was fabulous, fierce, and fun.  And at the same time, it had a clear message without taking itself too seriously.  I think that some of the best K-pop groups are the ones that can appeal to both male and female fans, and Girl’s Day definitely accomplishes that. They took a while to come back, but it’s clear that they put a lot of work and thought into their image and artistry.  It definitely paid off, and I hope they’ll come back much sooner than the last time!

Sources: Youtube, DreamT Entertainment, M! Countdown (MNET/M2)

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