From Red Velvet‘s “Psycho” to Oh My Girl‘s “Nonstop”, some of the biggest girl group hits in recent years seem to be universally loved by everyone who hears them. On the flip side, many successful releases have been completely polarizing. According to a trending post by Korean netizens, these are the top five “love it” or “hate it” girl group songs from the last decade.
1. “I Got a Boy” – Girls’ Generation
Girls’ Generation’s 2013 song “I Got a Boy” was a huge success around the world. It sold over 1.3 million copies in South Korea, and it received praise from western music critics who said the song could rival Katy Perry and One Direction.
However, many fans felt like the song was just too eclectic. Even member Tiffany said she had “never heard anything like it” before. The song mixes various genres (including bubblegum pop, dubstep, and pop-rap) and features a staggering nine distinct tonal shifts, which some listeners found jarring.
2. “Signal” – TWICE
Released in 2017, “Signal” by TWICE won both “Song of the Year” and “Best Dance Performance” at that year’s Mnet Asian Music Awards. Combining electropop with hip hop elements, it was definitely one of the top songs of the spring.
But not everyone received it so well. According to some fans, the composition and arrangement were messy. Others found Momo and Mina‘s rap at the beginning of the song too abrasive, saying it was a strange way to open a song.
3. “Coloring Book” – Oh My Girl
Another 2017 song, Oh My Girl’s “Coloring Book”, drew mixed opinions. Continuing their cute and quirky streak, the track featured a bright instrumental and impressive vocal runs likened to “Wings” by British girl band Little Mix.
That said, the structure was “all over the place” according to many listeners. Some said they couldn’t tell where the verses ended and the chorus began, and the consistent high energy made the song too confusing to enjoy.
4. “RBB” – Red Velvet
The titular successor to “Bad Boy”, Red Velvet’s 2018 song “Really Bad Boy (RBB)” was nothing like its R&B counterpart. Neither decidedly red nor velvet, the song blended heavy brass with catchy hooks and featured the highest recorded studio note in K-Pop history, courtesy of Irene.
Despite that, it was one of Red Velvet’s poorest performing title tracks from a commercial standpoint. Numerous listeners simply found the song too repetitive, and others didn’t like that the overarching melody was formed by the members’ vocals rather than the instrumental.
5. “Zimzalabim” – Red Velvet
Red Velvet makes the list twice, their second entry being the 2019 track “Zimzalabim”. The EDM-influenced song was seen by many as a fun and energetic anthem which pushed the boundaries of modern K-Pop music. Alongside achieving success in South Korea, it reached the Top 5 on Billboard‘s K-Pop Hot 100 chart.
Several fans, however, can’t stand the song. Like “I Got a Boy”, “Zimzalabim” incorporates several distinct shifts in tone and genre. On top of that, many didn’t enjoy the chorus, which is composed of cult-like chants.