The stakes are higher on mega girl group Girls’ Generation’s fifth Korean full-length album.

Between 2013’s genre-bending I Got A Boy and the release of this record, the K-pop scene has seen the rise of many dynamic female group acts.

Of course, there are also all those bad news and equally bad online reputation following the dismissal of Jessica Jung. So yes, the now eight-member Girls’ Generation is in need of good vibes – both musically and public image-wise.

Taking the aforementioned into account, the selection of feel-good jam PARTY as the lead single can be perceived as a careful and calculated release. Nothing like a super fun party anthem to take your mind off the elephant in the room, right?

But age is beginning to show on Girls’ Generation’s fusions of euphoric bubblegum-pop. Once the leader of the female K-pop pact, the girls have unfortunately been relegated to the mediocre bin.

That isn’t to say that Lion Heart is a humdrum offering. Far from it, actually. Cuts such as the retro-tinged title track and aggressive You Think show that the girls are still pop chameleons capable of staying cool on the charts.

The album gets off to a promising start – one that finally culminates in the bossa nova sentiments of the cosy One Afternoon. However, Lion Heart traverses way too quickly into filler territory. Numbers such as Green Light and Paradise are so generic, you can’t help but wonder if they are rejected materials.

Instead of roaring to the top, Lion Heart is a relatively tame offering. It has its brilliant euphoric moments, but the many missed opportunities here make you long for the group’s past glory.

Girls’ Generation

Lion Heart

S.M. Entertainment