Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TaeTiSeo - "Holler" Album Review


I didn’t really notice it at the time but TaeTiSeo were not as well received by Girls’ Generation fans as I thought back in 2012.  While their debut EP ‘Twinkle’ went on to be a huge success, some fans were disappointed with the direction in sound and sub-unit members.  
Fast forward two years and TaeTiSeo are back with their second mini and I certainly think this EP will change the minds of some of those skeptical.  The EP ‘Holler’ was released digitally today around the world and will be released physically on Friday.
The album opens with the title track and lead single ‘Holler’.  Based on the 30 seconds clips, it sounded like Holler was going to be in similar vein to Twinkle.  But SM teasers are always quite misleading and Holler is NOTHING like Twinkle.  Saying that, it does feel like a natural progression - going from the 60’s jazz of Twinkle to the glitz of the 90’s.  Holler has a bit of a 90’s vibe with the siren effects, it really reminds me of the pop of the late 90’s while also still sounding current.
Adrenaline' continues on the 90's/early noughties pop sound with a thumbing beat and clap track which is just ridiculously catchy.  The chorus is absolutely killer - the hook absolutely ingrains itself in your head, you'll be singing it for days.  The girls sound exquisite here and I really like the harmonies in the middle-eight.  This should have been the lead single in my opinion.  
Whisper' is the buzz track for this album, released on the 13th September and I bloody love it!  I'm a bit of a sucker for 90's throwback R&B and the girls just absolutely kill it here.  The girls voices sound smooth and silky here, over the slick production.  Just heaven.
Stay' is the most 'Girls Generation' sounding on the EP, it wouldn't have sounded out of place on the Mr Mr album.  It's a really funky 80's synth pop song.  I really like the rap in the second verse but I think this song would have suited SNSD instead of TTS.  I think HyoYeon would have slayed the rap and the chorus would have really soared being sung by all 9 members.
Only You' is the weakest track on the album for me.  It's a mid-tempo ballad which has a hint of R&B to it.  It's a really lovely song that was co-written by SeoHyun.  It's nice.  It fits the flow of the album but I'm not sure if I would listen to this much outside of the album.
The closing track ‘EYES' is in my opinion, one of the best songs either TTS and Girls' Generation have done.  I don't really know how to describe it, but there is something about the production and melody of this song that just pulls me in.  I really like it when the girls sing in a higher register and their voices are really pushed here.  They sound exquisite.  You can tell that the Ariana Grande song 'Problem' has had an influence on the production but once you get past that, you just fall in love with this song.  I've listened to this song the most from this EP. The song ends so abruptly that you just have to play it again.  And again and again and again. A  fantastic way to close the album.
Is this album better thank Twinkle?  Absolutely.  Twinkle was a strong cohesive album that was rooted in 60’s influenced pop and jazz.  Holler ramps it up tremendously, taking influence from the best of the 90’s to give us a glitzy package of pure pop that you’ll have on repeat for weeks - if not months.  TaeTiSeo have managed to pull off a strong, cohesive second album which is surely going to pull in fans who aren’t so keen on sub-units.
Now where is that SHY sub-unit SM?!

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