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Lion Heart (album)

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Lion Heart
The album cover is surrounded by orange and yellow borders, with the group's name and the album title cover appearing above them colored in orange and black, respectively. The band members are clothed in 1950s style dresses.
Digital and Lion Heart version cover
Studio album by Girls' Generation
Released August 19, 2015
Recorded February – June 2015
Genre
Length 41:14
Language Korean
Label
Producer Lee Soo-man
Girls' Generation chronology
The Best
(2014)The Best2014
Lion Heart
(2015)
Holiday Night
(2017)Holiday Night2017
Singles from Lion Heart
  1. "Party"
    Released: July 7, 2015
  2. "Lion Heart"
    Released: August 18, 2015
  3. "You Think"
    Released: August 19, 2015

Lion Heart is the fifth Korean language studio album recorded by South Korean girl group Girls' Generation. It marked their first record as an eight-member group since the departure of member Jessica in September 2014. Produced by Lee Soo-man, Lion Heart musically encompasses styles of electropop and bubblegum pop. It was released in two parts throughout August 18 and August 19, 2015 by S.M. Entertainment; another version with a different cover titled You Think was distributed on August 26, 2015.

The album spawned three singles. Its lead single, "Party", was released on July 7, 2015, and peaked atop the Gaon Digital Chart, further reaching number ten on the Japan Hot 100. It was followed up by "Lion Heart" and "You Think" in August 2015, charting at number four and thirty on the Gaon Digital Chart, respectively. In order to promote the record, Girls' Generation appeared on several South Korean music programs, such as Music Bank, Show! Music Core, and Inkigayo, where they performed material from the album. The group additionally embarked on a concert tour named Girls' Generation's Phantasia, which commenced on November 21, 2015 in Seoul and visited East and Southeast Asia.

Lion Heart received mixed reviews from music critics, who opined that the album's styles were too generic and considered it a decline in the group's career. Commercially, the record experienced commercial acclaim in South Korea, staying atop the Gaon Album Chart for two weeks and becoming the 13th best-selling album of 2015 in that country. It also appeared on United States' Billboard World Albums Chart, and charted at number 11 on the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart.

Background and composition[edit]

According to Slant Magazine's Anzhe Zhang, Lion Heart consists of primarily bubblegum pop songs.[1] Echoing Zhang's viewpoint, Chester Chin from Malaysian newspaper The Star wrote that the album was a collection of bubblegum pop tracks.[2] The record's opening track, "Lion Heart", is a soul pop-influenced bubblegum pop song which embraces a retro-styled sound while being instrumented by basslines and brass.[3] "Party" was detailed as an electropop song that is backed up by guitars, synthesizers and Auto-Tune.[4][5] Aside from the signature sound, Lion Heart also encompasses several other genres; "You Think" was characterized as an electropop and hip hop recording featuring trap beats and horns in its composition.[1][6] "One Afternoon" draws influence from bossa nova and incorporates Spanish guitars,[1] while "Show Girls" portrays an electropop song originally recorded in Japanese for the group's 2014 greatest hits album, The Best.[1][7] "Check" is a mild R&B track,[8] and "Sign" was described as a dark synthpop song.[8] "Bump It" is a hybrid of various genres that incorporates hi-hat beats.[1]

Release and promotion[edit]

Girls' Generation performing at MBC's 2015 DMC Festival.

On June 30, 2015, the group released music video previews of three then-forthcoming singles "Party", "Lion Heart" and "You Think", serving as a promotional tool for their first Korean language studio album as an eight-member group.[9] Details on album, including its title, release date, cover artwork and track list, were announced on August 12, 2015. The group's label, S.M. Entertainment, revealed that the record would be released in the span of two days. The first six songs—including the single "Lion Heart"—would be made available on August 18, while the remaining tracks—including the single "You Think"—would be distributed on the following day;[10] Billboard described the release strategy as "atypical."[11] An alternative edition of the album featuring a different artwork was additionally released on August 26, 2015 under the title You Think.[12]

Following the release of the record, Girls' Generation appeared on several South Korean music programs, including KBS's Music Bank, MBC's Show! Music Core, and SBS' Inkigayo, in order to promote the record, with them performing "Lion Heart" and "You Think".[13] Throughout August 18–25, the group also participated and interacted with viewers through a series of mobile video live stream on Naver's mobile application "V".[14] Subsequently, the group additionally embarked on a concert tour titled Girls' Generation's Phantasia, which kicked off on November 21, 2015 at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena in Seoul, and continued in visiting Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan.[15]

"Party" was made available as the lead single from Lion Heart for digital purchase by S.M. Entertainment on July 7, 2015.[16][17] The physical CD single was made available for purchase on July 8, 2015.[18] An accompanying music video for the recording was released in conjunction with the release of the single.[19] Commercially, "Party" debuted atop the Gaon Digital Chart on the chart issue dated July 11, 2015, selling 256,390 digital units within its first week of availability,[20] bringing total sales to over 843,843 digital units in South Korea as of December 2015, thus becoming the 58th best-selling single of 2015.[21] "Party" additionally peaked at number ten on the Japan Hot 100 and number four on the Billboard World Digital Songs.[22] The title track was serviced as the album's second single, and its music video premiered on August 18, 2015.[3] Subsequently, "You Think" served as the third and final single, being accompanied by a visual which was released the day following "Lion Heart"'s availability.[6] The title track was added to Korean Broadcasting System's "K-Pop Connection" radio playlist on August 21,[23] while "You Think" impacted KBS radio on August 23.[24] Both songs charted on the Gaon Digital Chart, peaking at numbers four and 30, respectively.[25]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Slant Magazine3/5 stars[1]
IZM3.5/5 stars[8]
The Star6/10[2]

Upon its release, Lion Heart garnered mixed reviews from music critics. Slant Magazine's Anzhe Zhang wrote that the album was released to "quash" the suspicions that Girls' Generation was declining after the departure of member Jessica in September 2014. However, she added, "while [the album]'s great for omnivorous die-hard fans, it ultimately feels a little more than scatter-brained."[1] Chester Chin, penning for Malaysian newspaper The Star, praised the release of singles "Party", "Lion Heart" and "You Think" as "a promising start." Nevertheless, he disapproved of the rest of the album, dubbing it a "relatively tame offering" for "[traversing] way too quickly into filler territory" and criticizing the songs "Green Light" and "Paradise" for being too "generic."[2] Kim Do-heon from South Korean online magazine IZM was slightly more positive towards the album, calling it "elegant", and appreciating the record's musical styles even though he felt that it was a decline compared to the group's previous albums as a nine-piece group.[8]

Lion Heart experienced commercial acclaim in South Korea. It debuted atop the Gaon Album Chart on the chart issue dated August 22, 2015, and remained on the top spot for a further week.[26][27] Two weeks after its debut chart appearance, it dropped 35 positions, charting at number 36.[28] Lion Heart was the best-selling album of August 2015 in South Korea, selling 131,228 physical copies,[29] while overall being the 13th most-sold album of 2015 in that country with total sales of 145,044 units.[30] Lion Heart additionally charted at number 11 on the Japanese Oricon Albums Chart on the chart issue dated August 31, 2015,[31] while peaking atop the Billboard World Albums chart and becoming the group's second number one following their 2013 album, I Got a Boy.[32]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Lion Heart.[33]

No.TitleLyricsMusicArrangementLength
1."Lion Heart"
  • Ilwol Paril (Jam Factory)
  • Choi So-young (Jam Factory)
  • Joy Factory
  • Avenue 52
  • Smith
3:44
2."You Think"Cho Yoon-kyung
  • Forsberg
  • Jones
  • Sammons
  • Remedios
  • Jhun
  • Karvinen
3:09
3."Party"Cho Yoon-kyung
  • Albi Albertsson
  • Chris Young
  • Shin Agnes
Mussashi3:13
4."One Afternoon" (어떤 오후)
  • Hwang Hyun (MonoTree)
  • Shin Agnes
  • Hwang
  • Shin
Hwang3:35
5."Show Girls" (Korean version)Mafly
  • Ricky Hanley
  • Paul Drew
  • Greig Watts
  • Pete Barringer
  • Joe Killington
  • Katerina Bramley
DWB3:39
6."Fire Alarm"Kenzie
  • Kenzie
  • Trinity Music
  • Kenzie
  • Trinity Music
3:11
7."Talk Talk"Cho Yoon-kyung
  • Mental Audio
  • Ylva Dimberg
  • Mental Audio
  • Dimberg
3:23
8."Green Light"Mafly
  • The Underdogs
  • Mike Daley
  • Andrew Hey
  • Britany Burton
  • Rodnae "Chikk" Bell
  • The Underdogs
  • Daley
  • Hey
  • Burton
  • Bell
2:52
9."Paradise"
  • U.F.O (Jam Factory)
  • Mafly
  • Harambašić
  • Woolsey
  • Viken
  • Fjeld
  • Mian
3:50
10."Check"Mafly
  • Riley
  • Lee
  • Rodriguez
  • Klein
  • Larsen
3:26
11."Sign"Kim Bu-minHitchhikerHitchhiker3:17
12."Bump It" (예감)Cho Yoon-kyung
  • Wik
  • Svendsen
  • Fahrenkrog-Petersen
  • Fizgerald
3:48
Total length:41:14

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Lion Heart.[33]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Edition Format Label
South Korea[36] August 18, 2015 Lion Heart part 1 Digital download S.M. Entertainment
August 19, 2015 Lion Heart part 2
Worldwide[37] Standard
South Korea[38][39] August 20, 2015 CD
  • S.M. Entertainment
  • KT Music
August 26, 2015 You Think edition
Taiwan[40] March 18, 2016 Standard CD + DVD Universal Music Taiwan

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Zhang, Anzhe (August 19, 2015). "Girls' Generation: Lion Heart | Album Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Chini, Chester (October 21, 2015). "Review: Lion Heart by Girls' Generation". The Star. Star Media Group Berhad. Retrieved March 31, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff (August 18, 2015). "Girls' Generation Drop Sassy, Soul Pop-Inspired Single 'Lion Heart'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Girls' Generation's 'Party' tops music charts in Asia". The Malay Mail. Redberry Group. July 8, 2015. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (June 30, 2015). "Girls' Generation Tease 3 New Singles for the Summer". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff (August 18, 2015). "Girls' Generation Showcase Their Mature & Sexy Dancer Sides in 'You Think' Video". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  7. ^ The Best (CD liner notes) (in Japanese). Girls' Generation. EMI Records Japan. 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Lion Heart". IZM (in Korean). August 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  9. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (June 30, 2015). "Girls' Generation Tease 3 New Singles for the Summer". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  10. ^ Park Sojung (August 11, 2015). "Girls' Generation to release 5th album". Yonhap News. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  11. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (August 12, 2015). "Girls' Generation Reveal Retro 'Lion Heart' Album Cover, Unconventional Release Strategy". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  12. ^ Park Ah Reum (August 11, 2015). "SNSD Undergoes Dramatic Transformation for ′Lion Heart′". Mnet. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ Ahn Sung-mi (August 18, 2015). "[V Report Plus] Girls' Generation to go live for 8 days". The Korea Herald. Herald Media Inc. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  14. ^ Ko Ji-seon (August 24, 2015). "[V Report Plus] Final episode of Girls' Generation's show to feature bowling tournament". The Korea Herald. Herald Media Inc. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Review: Girls' Generation's 'Phantasia'". Korea Economic Daily (in Korean). Economic Daily Media. November 23, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Party – Girls' Generation" (in Korean). Melon. LOEN Entertainment. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Party – Single". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  18. ^ Ko Ji-seon (July 8, 2015). "SNSD's 'Party' sweeps Asian music charts". The Korea Herald. Herald Media Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Girls' Generation & K-pop hits Koh Samui beaches". Bangkok Post. The Post Publishing. July 8, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Download Chart: 2015.07.05 – 2015.07.11" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Gaon Download Chart of 2015 (Year-End)" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved April 2, 2016. 
  22. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (August 12, 2015). "Girls' Generation Reveal Retro 'Lion Heart' Album Cover, Unconventional Release Strategy". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Play List/Entertainment/Program". KBS International Radio. Korean Broadcasting System. August 21, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Play List/Entertainment/Program". KBS International Radio. Korean Broadcasting System. August 23, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Gaon Digital Chart" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on August 27, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "Gaon Album Chart: August 16–22, 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on August 27, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Gaon Album Chart: August 23–29, 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on September 3, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Gaon Album Chart: August 30–September 5, 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  29. ^ a b "Gaon Album Chart: August 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  30. ^ a b "Gaon Album Chart: 2015" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  31. ^ a b "Oricon Top 50 Albums: 2015-08-31" (in Japanese). Oricon.
  32. ^ a b "Girls' Generation Chart History (World Albums)". Billboard.
  33. ^ a b Lion Heart (booklet) (in Korean). Girls' Generation. S.M. Entertainment. 2015. 
  34. ^ "G-Music Albums Chart (J-Pop)" (in Chinese). G-Music. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Girls' Generation Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Girls' Generation Discography" (in Korean). S.M. Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Lion Heart – The 5th Album by Girls' Generation". iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Girls' Generation – 5th Album / Lion Heart" (in Korean). Less Music. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Girls' Generation 5th Album 'You Think' Version" (in Korean). Lees Music. Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Lion Heart by Girls' Generation" (in Chinese). Universal Music Taiwan. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. 

External links[edit]