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What does the United States think of Girls' Generation?
We asked a selection of Americans across the country what they make of all the K-Pop fierceness
With a perky performance on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" and a guest appearance on "LIVE! With Kelly!" earlier this week, K-Pop sensation Girls' Generation have begun barnstorming their next target audience -- the United States.
"Just saw a bunch of really really hot Asian chicks on Letterman," tweeted one viewer. "I'm not sure who those girls are on Letterman but I think I'm a fan," tweeted another.
The Korean media also made much of the fact that Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe said on "LIVE! With Kelly!" that he has a Girls' Generation CD in his possession, despite the fact that he said he has not listened to it yet.
So what will the mainstream U.S. audience make of Girls' Generation? Korea Tourism Organization, for one, are banking on K-Pop to bring more visitors to Korea and have hired the girls as honorary ambassadors.
We asked fans in the world's largest consumer music market to preview the band's latest video, "The Boys."
Josh, 22, Indiana
They're pretty, but their type of beauty doesn't match the kind of "American sexy" they're trying to emulate. It comes out as awkward.
They're obviously trying, but I don't think their attempt will be successful. America likes its music idols sassy and scandalous (see: Beyonce, Gaga, Rihanna, Ke$ha), and Girls' Generation cannot convincingly fake that same kind of persona.
The only Korean girl group I can see succeeding in the U.S. at this point is 2NE1.
Hannah, 14, Oregon
The music is something that I would definitely listen to on a regular basis. I really like the beat to the song: It is very pop and that is what I normally like.
The girls are very pretty and would catch a lot of guys' attention in the United States.
I like their singing and the way they pronounce the lyrics. It is very original and fascinating to listen to.
They remind me a lot of the Pussycat Dolls. They have the same dances and style of music. If I had to choose one of the two bands though, I would choose Girls' Generation.
Kyle, 14, Oregon
I didn't really like it -- seemed kind of obnoxious.
The people seemed nice, but none of them really stood out or did anything different from anybody else. I might listen to a few more just to see how they are doing after they try and get big in America.
It is possible, but they would need to sing in English and they would need to have more of a lead person to get people more interested.
They need to do something different in order to get attention.
Neil, 30, Georgia
Of course they are hot. The blonde with short hair, particularly. But there are so many of them that it's hard to focus enough to determine similarity with other celebrities.
I like the dancing, particularly the strong coordination that allows them seamlessly to intercut two performances with different costumes. Midriffs are always appreciated.
They do have a unique look and composition, but they'll have to do a better job than the Wonder Girls, i.e. do not spend 30 minutes of concerts on their U.S. tour singing warmed over pop songs from 2002.
Allison, 20, Minnesota
I think the music is very modern, trendy, new style. It takes the current favorite techno vibe and mixes it with female pop singers voices without too much going on at one time.
The beat is very catchy, it makes you want to get up and start dancing like you are at a club. They have pretty good pronunciation of the words.
There are some parts that are clear they were speaking in Korean and some parts clearly in English, but other parts were hard to tell, as they would go fast.
Kia, 19, Virginia
Being familiar with a few of Girls' Generation's other hits, I don’t think this single is as catchy or fun to sing along to as “Gee” or “Genie.”
I’m not confident that “The Boys” will be able to capture the attention of U.S. pop music listeners.
"The Boys” sounds slow-paced in comparison to current U.S. chart-toppers, especially because it’s missing that house music component of a constant “four on the floor” drumbeat (think “Party Rock Anthem”), which is really successful right now.
For me, the only comparable group to Girls' Generation in the U.S. market is the Pussycat Dolls, mainly because of the “all-girl group” and the so-many-members-that-I-can’t-keep-up-with-who’s-who similarities.
Mike, 54, Minnesota
I thought the music was very hip. Has today's hip-hop feel to it. Reminds me of Britney Spears only with a little more class.
The girls had great dance moves and their costumes were not over the top. They all danced in time and together with a ton of energy.
With their good looks and talent I think breaking into the U.S. market would be easy. They have a lot more talent than half the groups out there today.
They need to smile more though, and look like they're having fun. They don't need to look so serious.
Doug, 22, Arizona
The girls are awesome! Very attractive and very sexy when they dance, but not dirty either, but a very good mix. They don't really remind me of any singers I know of now, but its nice to see something different.
I think they could break into the U.S market -- most Americans who are into music love the dance type music that they can listen to and dance to at a night club but still listen to on their iPod.
I love their music and hope to maybe meet them one day, they definitely are going in the right direction as far as music is concerned.
What are your thoughts on Girls’ Generation’s entry into the U.S. music scene? Tell us in the comments below.
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