Let’s face it, IGAB is probably the most experimental song in Soshi’s discography. Let’s forget the fact that many people are crying about this song because it sounds weird, people cried about Gee as well because it was too poppy and trying to be overly cute.

SNSD I Got a Boy edit

I’ve put this song on repeat for a few days straight now and I actually really enjoy it. However, I can understand how people don’t, it’s not really pop…it’s an experimental variation of pop elements. My musical tastes start with rock and metal, and it evolved into Progressive Metal/rock, and I feel that IGAB has links to progressive music.  I’ll be analysing why people who LOVE kpop seem to be afraid of this song so much, and why people seem to find it difficult to listen to.

THIS IS A LONG READ, but it might give a very good insight as to why the song is done the way it is, and hopefully will garner more appreciation.

Here’s an example, if pop music was on one side of the see-saw, progressive would be on the other side. It is music that is supposed to be difficult to play. Progressive songs have always changing time signatures and rhythm’s, drum beats are chaotic and all over the place and every instrument is playing to it’s own beat most of the time, it all culminates into a product that is very hard to listen to. However, progressive music is an art form where you have to listen to each part individually to see the end product and to see how subtly all the instruments meld into together, it takes work, and most people don’t want tot hink when theya re lsitening to music, and I understand that, it all comes down to taste.

Although IGAB does NOT classify as progressive music, it can surely be attributed to having elements of it. the time signatures change and overlays of vocals are repeated during different parts. this is where the “it sounds like 4 songs into one” motif comes from, however to a more basic form since the music actually stops completely before it changes beat, progressive music is much more crazy as they change mid riff or play to a different time signature, but you can see it there. This is number 1 reason why it can be so hard to listen to. Jessica’s “Don’t stop! Let’s bring it back to 140″ could mean the mark at 1 minute and 40 seconds… but it could also mean 140 bpm (beats per minute), which is the chorus part onwards. The first part only goes at 100bpm, which is why it seems slower. This is a rhythm change, which can also be a time stamp.

It takes time to warm up to this music, and if you aren’t in it for the deeper things, then that’s probably why you prefer pop music over any sort of progressive music, that’s not wrong, it’s just different. Just think about when the chorus comes in, change the perspective but not the goal which leads into the lyrics and also the choreography.

I’m a man who like his music, but I advocate that lyrics aren’t the most important thing. IGAB breaks that for me, the lyrics and the choreography go hand in hand to tell a story

I recommend watching the live performace to get a better idea of what I’m about to explain so lets look at the Mnet countdown one.

IGAB STARTS AT 4:18

Lets start by looking at the lyrics translated to english, follow the link but I’ll be taking excerpts with time stamps.

http://www.kpoplyrics.net/snsd-i-got-a-boy-lyrics-english-romanized.html

If you look at the lyrics, it’s really confusing, but lets try to make it easier. It hit me as soon as I read the lyrics that there is a story inside this song, and it’s told from multiple girls perspectives, and the dancing actually adds to the story as well, it has story context choreography.

The ENTIRE first part up until Tiffany’s “LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF” notes the following from 4:18 to 4:47

Ayo! GG! Yeah Yeah, shall we start?
Gosh! Look at her, look
What happened to her that she cut her hair? huh?
Gosh! Again look at her, look!
From head to toe, her style has changed
Why did she do that? I’m curious to death
why did she do that? Tell me

Lets look at the choreography, it’s Sooyoung and Yuri talking while the rest of the girls are saying “OMO”. They are talking about a particular girl and gossiping about how she is acting, standard highschool clique. This opens up the scene already that the subject is a particular girl who is going through change, evidently we already should know based on the title that the girl “gots a boy”.

From 4:47 to 6:00 up to the SICK beat change.

Who is she? Ridiculous
Do you know you’re too self-assertive? She thinks I’m average
Yeah, I guess she really liked him!
No way! No way!
She became so pretty and sexy, it’s because of him, right?
I almost asked her what her new makeup was

Truthfully, I’ve seen it for the first time
The deep eyes, like a scarred beast
I was dizzy by just talking to him!
You really are something else! You really are something else!

Oh ohh eh oh
(Here’s come trouble, hey girl listen!)
Oh ohh eh oh
You really are something else! (something!)
Oh ohh eh oh (Hey!)
Oh ohh eh oh (Na na na na hey!)
You really are something else!

The reason is revealed, OMO it’s a boy! she’s got a boy and she’s changing herself, the only noticeable difference is that the group is in sync, and that might be just an openness that everyone knows about the boy now.

Now come the part where everything changes

Ayo! Stop! Let me put it down another way.

This line…this line changes everything. it encompasses an extra reason for the beat change to 140bpm and the sudden stoppage of the music. To understand this we just need to read the chorus.

6:00 to 7:00

I got a boy, a handsome one! I got a boy, a kind one!
I got a boy handsome boy, who took all my heart
I got a boy, a handsome one! I got a boy, a kind one!
I got a boy awesome boy, I must have really fallen for him

Ah, my prince! When are you gonna come save me?
Will you lift me in your arms and fly, like a white dream?

I’m like, surprised, mental collapse!
He wants to see my face without makeup.
I really like him, would it be okay to show it to him?
Oh! Never! Right? Right?
Let’s keep what needs to be kept, right! right!
Don’t ever forget this until you take all of his heart!

Oh ohh eh oh, Oh ohh eh oh
Even if I stay up all night, it’s not enough, everything everything
Oh ohh eh oh, Oh ohh eh oh
Our biggest interest, everything everything

This part is a complete monologue, it is the girl that everyone is talking about. “let me put it down another way” shows that the perspective is changing, and that perspective is of the main girl who has the boy. What follows is a monologue inside her own head about her own worries and doubts, hopes and dreams.

7:00 to 7:15 is what made me really sit down and think about doing this in the first place.. everything..seems to work too well with the lyrics.

Lets do and ultra breakdown because this is just..beautiful…

Seohyuns lines come in twofold. Start with

7:00 to 7:05

Listen to me, you all know him, right?

You notice all the girls are turning to each other? this is the gossip train, the whole school is finding out about her telling everyone about her boyfriend.

He’s a bit young but he’s full inside

This part where the last 3 big beats, and the girls turn at seohyun. This is the part where the girls are at an “OMG” stage and are looking at her like she has gone completely insane and weird and are all taken by surprise. The sudden turn with the beat coincides with the looks of the girls looking at seohyun.

Tiffany’s part hasn’t got anything extra so lets just pass by that. It’s just the girl spazzing over him.

As of normal till that Spotlight at

7:30

I’m really angry, my boy doesn’t look at me as a girl
What should I do when I feel hopeless?
Should I make him feel jealous? I’m so upset! What do I do?
No way! No way!

This is the girl at a crossroad. She is feeling the push and pull part of the relationship and is stressing over everything. She needs and wants to be answered and thus the spotlight comes in.

Don’t stop! Let’s bring it back to 140

it could be the time stamp or the beats per minute. I personally prefer the beats per minute aspect.

Jesssica and Seohyun’s parts at 8:10

Always next to me, it’s you, who’s on my side and listens to me
You oh oh oh oh~ you oh oh oh oh~
I’m happy as it is right now, cause everything will work

The change in beat and the suddenness of the pitch change signifies a big revelation, near the end of the story it is getting wrapped up. She’s found a good spot in the relationship and believes that everything is right.

Before we end this..there’s one last thing. I’ll add this as an asterisk cause it might be me looking into it too much, but

The last chorus where taeyeon and Sunny are re-singing their parts at 6:20 while the chorus is going.

I feel it fits well and maybe it’s a call back that the girl has found what she wanted in these lyrics, she has found her prince and is currently living her dream.

Look…if all of this is too much and you feel that a song is trying way too hard. Then that’s fine. But understand that music works in layers and styles depict where the layers lie, whether it be all laid out for you on the table, or nestled away in the centre like an onion. Most progressive music is a notch above this, and it’s not like a pop song. To me, it’s got all the elements of pop, the catchy chorus, the harmony and the almost streamlined beat. It’s just arranged in a not so clean way. There’s always a reason for a beat change, a drop in music, a sudden loudness or big riff of music that never turns up the rest of the song.

Give it another listen, just sit back, shut the curtains and watch the live performance or sit down close your eyes and listen to the beats and the changes in the music.


Credits:

http://www.kpoplyrics.net/snsd-i-got-a-boy-lyrics-english-romanized.html