Soon after forming in 2007, the nine-member girl pop band Girls' Generation became one of the most popular K-pop groups in Korea, releasing chart-topping singles and a hugely successful debut album. After their 2010 follow-up, Oh!, they expanded their reach to Japan, becoming quite popular there as well. By the time of 2011's The Boys, the group had set its sights on the American market. The album is teeming with singalong hooks, uptempo dance tracks, the occasional empowerment ballad, and strong vocals from all nine members, with a straight pop radio feel and quite a few tracks that would work well in a club setting. Mostly the album is preteen fantasy fodder with songs about dream boys, perfect loves, and super-sweet, super-nice things delivered with a feather-light touch and the occasional moment of inspiration. Balanced with these moments are the times (like on "My J" or "Sunflower") when the backing tracks barely rise about karaoke levels and threaten to sink the album entirely. On the whole, though, the well-crafted, propulsive club tracks like "Telepathy," "Trick," and "Mr. Taxi" carry the day and the album ends up being a bunch of fun. The best track, "The Boys," sounds as good as anything on pop radio in 2012 and shows that when they are firing on all cylinders, Girls' Generation have what it takes to conquer the world of pop.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra