Year Released: 2007
It’s hard to understate the impact of Girls’ Generation’s momentous Into The New World (다시 만난 세계) on not just K-pop but Korea as a whole. Few songs, let alone debuts have had such far reaching effects but almost like a sign of things to come, it kickstarted a whole new wave of artists and gave way to one of the most legendary groups the country had ever seen. It’s a song that goes beyond simple pop music and becomes something completely transformative in nature. From soundtracking protests to being the standard for all girl groups, the song is more a musical moment than just another pop song.
From the moment we hear the opening synth riff we know we’re in for something special. It’s one of those musical moments that will forever be etched in history and one that immediately solidifies the track as an immortal classic. It just sounds like the beginning of something important. And important it is. The riff continues on for far longer than we would see today and it just goes to show the importance of great production and arrangement. It allows for the instrumental to truely envelop you and leaves an instant mark. It’s a melody and chord progression thats been riffed right from 4th movement of Dvorak’s “New World” symphony and I honestly think that’s pretty neat. It’s just great stuff all around and perfectly sets the stage for Taeyeon’s gorgeous vocals. It’s hard to believe that even at the start of her career that her vocals were so instantly arresting and the sheer consistency of the girls vocals all round are one of the main reasons why the song has held up so well nearly 13 years on. There aren’t any needless vocal effects, high pitched cheer leader esque notes or shrill aegyo. They just sing. And boy is it nice.
This brings me to the chorus, which is one of the biggest and best moments in Kpop history. Honestly it’s hard for me to talk about Into The New World without getting a little misty eyed. It’s shimmering melody is just so utterly perfect that it works just as well as a fully formed pop song as it does a ballad. And that’s exactly why the brilliant chorus leaves such a mark each and every single time it rolls around. The soaring melody is just so flawlessly arranged and performed that I cant help but get a surge of emotion run through me. It’s a moment that’s given me goosebumps multiple times and just goes to show the importance of a great chorus. New World‘s magnificent centrepiece goes on for a while and for something of its sheer brilliance, it’s all deserved. I love it when producers layer vocals on top of each other and this technique makes New World‘s chorus all the more climactic.The whole thing manages to feel both empowering and celebratory, nailing both moods with equal finesse.
But what really transforms the track into one of Koreas most important songs is its brilliant climax. Given our current influx of singles in 2020, it seems as though many have forgotten the importance of a great climax. Into The New World is a song that perfectly showcases the power of an incredible, larger than life climactic moment. The tracks rather unique bridge manages to make great use of dynamics by starting off at a soaring high before pulling back into a more comfortable range. But just when you think it’s going to maintain its more reserved sound, Taeyeon’s brilliant high not cuts through like a knife throwing us right back into the tracks gigantic final chorus. This is the moment. The payoff. The confetti drop. All complete with some hair raising ad libs to really round it off.
It’s a song that not only introduced the world to one of the greatest girl groups of all time, but one who’s significance has only grown over time. It truely feels powerful, without resorting the kind of faux badassery that we’ve become accustomed to over the past few years. And rather than just be a great song, it’s one that has become a soundtrack for change and one that will forever remain in the Kpop Hall of Fame.
Final Rating: 10 / 10