Wonder Girls

2007 – 2017

Here we are again, yet another disbandment news of a second generation girl group. Though, while the former JYP group did contribute to the globalisation of K-pop alongside the other girl groups such as 4Minute and 2NE1, all good things must come to an end sometime.

But not a lot of groups can say they’ve been together for an impressive 10 years! There’s had been a couple of shifts in their original line-up, which consisted of Yeeun, Sunye, Sunmi, Sohee and Hyuna. The latter who we know later went on to be a rapper in 4Minute and who was later replaced with Yubin, Sunmi was temporarily withdrawn as a member in 2010 but later returned in 2015 with Hyerim filling in her place. Sunye also has been on a hiatus since 2013, Sohee left JYP after not renewing her contract in 2013.

Presently, only Hyerim and Yubin have renewed their contracts with JYP while Sunmi and Yeeun had decided not to re-sign. For this week’s SOTW, we’ll be looking at some of their hit songs!

The Wonder Girls from left to right: Sunmi, Hyerim, Yeeun and Yubin.

 1. Irony

“(Irony) It doesn’t make sense, It really doesn’t make sense
You say you played all your ex girlfriends, and you tell me that I’m different, what is that suppose to mean?”

For the first MV of this list, we’ll be looking at Wonder Girl’s debut song ‘Irony’ which was released in 2008 and featured their original lineup. It serves as a cool, retro introduction to the group for those curious enough to look through the growth of their music over the years since their debut. It was a good topic on a lyrical level, taking a sceptical view of the attitudes of the boyfriend in this case which calls out his lies and playboy behaviour. Whilst the MV is comical to watch, it really does also highlight the bonds shown between the members too of having each other’s backs.

2. Tell Me

“I didn’t know you would like me,
What do I do? It makes me so happy”.

This catchy song was also released in 2008 alongside ‘Irony’ in their debut studio album. It’s a cute track overall, which instead of singing about a one-sided crush, the feeling are returned which connects to the title ‘Tell Me’. As there’s a distinct emotion of disbelief of finding out that the person that they like, also surprisingly likes them back. With this MV at the time, Hyuna left the group with Yubin replacing her role as the rapper. The MV, while seems to be unrelated to the meaning of the song, focuses on one of the members, Soohee changes into her alter-ego ‘Wonder Woman’, a strong superhero who comes in to help others, unbeknownst to her classmates who remain oblivious of her double life.

3. Nobody

“I want nobody, nobody but you
How can I be with another, I don’t want any other”.

‘Nobody’ has to be one of the trademark songs that fans of K-pop associate with Wonder Girls. The Korean version was uploaded in 2008, but the English version was later released in 2009 and reached over 44 millions views! It’s one of those songs that never gets old which must have helped in raising recognition for the group. It’s a classy MV as the girls look glamorous and go onto saving the performance by stepping in for JYP, who ends up getting stuck in the toilets. It’s a catchy love song, about not settling for anyone else other than the one they love.

4. 2 Different Tears

“Gave me two different tears, after all these years
Tears of joy, tears of pain, like sunshine and rain”.

In 2010, Wonder Girls released ‘2 Different Tears’. And as the title suggests, it’s tells of torn feelings of going through tears of sadness, then happy tears and the cycle goes on. This is another retro throwback, which gives off 60’s vibes with the MV. As always, there seemed to be a trend with the Wonder Girls’ music videos and the plots being so different from the actual meaning of the song. Which, in a sense, may make the watcher pay more attention to what’s going on.

5. Be My Baby

“Come to me now, please take me with you
Dreaming, that you feel the same way as I do”.

Going into 2011, the JYP girl group return with ‘Be My Baby’ which proved to be a hit and one of their most well-known songs to date. The music video was executed well especially with the monochromatic styling, which showcased their classy concept through the choreography as well as the song. It really cemented their place in the K-pop industry.

6. Like This

“Put down the heavy burdens in your heart for a moment
If you want to really fly freely like those birds”.

The girls switched it up with this refreshing song for their comeback in 2012. It doesn’t go into anything deep or anything thought provoking, however it prompts the listener to stop overthinking and to just take a moment to enjoy life. To not sweat the small things and to have fun, which is really highlighted in the MV as the Wonder Girls start off dancing with each other and gradually integrate themselves into a crowd and dance along to their song. It’s definitely encourages being free-spirited as they let their worries go by dancing.

7. Like Money

“I’m not just a girl,
I’m more precious than pearls”.

Later in 2012, this was their American debut as the girls collaborated with rapper Akon. Wonder Girls set their sights on trying to break into America, while they’re a well-known group in Kpop, it’s still a considerable feat to be able to achieve as K-pop was still growing in popularity at the time. It’s still a catchy song, while it may arguably not be their best, as they covered a futuristic, bionic concept.

8. I Feel You

“What is this spell you cast on me?
I can’t get out of it”.

After three years and much speculation over whether Wonder Girls would continue as a group, they made their comeback in 2015. The track ‘I Feel You’ was under ‘Reboot’, which turned out to be their third and final studio album. They returned back to their retro roots, with Sunmi returning back to the group, but with a twist with all the members each playing an instrument to continue showing off their talents during their hiatus. There were suggestive parts in the MV, as mirrored in the lyrics.The girls showcased their femme fatale charms and came across as being so natural and grown up in the MV.

9. Why So Lonely

“When my lips touched yours
I thought everything would change
But nothing’s special, you’re nothing different”.

And here we have the final single album and MV from the Wonder Girls, it proved to be successful on the charts which showed off their potential in the K-pop industry, but it evidently wasn’t to be. There’s a contrast between ‘I Feel You’ and ‘Why So Lonely, with the former being consumed with the strong emotions of being infatuated while the latter seems to be the bitter aftermath. The girls do still possess the feelings of love, but it seems to be the case that it is no longer reciprocated. Which leads to the focus in the MV is that they all group together to get rid of their partners as a result.

10. Draw Me

“Inside countless drawings are stories of us
Let’s not forget those moments, Let’s remember”.

And finally, we’re at the end with their tribute final song to their fans. While there’s no MV for this song, it still serves as a form of saying farewell to their time being a member of Wonder Girls. It’s a relaxing song to listen to, with the focus being on remembering the good memories that will never fade away as long as there’s people (i.e. their fans) out there to recall them. It’s definitely a fitting song despite having a bittersweet notion.

And that’s it from us! After this trip going down memory lane, there’s been plenty of good throwback songs from the former JYP group. What have been your favourite songs from the Wonder Girls?


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