music reviews

Soy; listening to SNSD’s “My Oh My” and their YT victory

Recently (or more accurately, November 4th), SM Entertainment released the new Japanese Music Video for the popular Girl’s Generation (SNSD, or in Japanese, Shoujo Jidai)’s “My Oh My.” It will be part of their 3rd Japanese Album.

Fitting that it should be released after the group won the YouTube Award for “Video of the Year” with their previous big release, “I Got a Boy”, and sparked many racist remarks despite the completely democratic, user-based voting method of social media sharing. As their international fanbase has extended all across Asia, and very prominently in America as well, SNSD are one of THE top names of Korean pop music groups, dominating the genre of girl groups in international pop music. Ignorant racism aside, they own whatever stage they perform on.

Personally? I’m not a huge fan of the group in general, simply because my own preferences and loyalties lie with Japanese girl groups like Morning Musume from Hello! Project. However, giving credit where credit is due, SNSD is extremely well-managed and know exactly how to market the appealing. “I Got a Boy” was colorful and fun perhaps, and addicting as always, if not always in the best way, but the experimental switches weren’t my cup of tea. “Galaxy Supernova” didn’t really sit well either.

“My Oh My”, on the other hand, gives an altogether different feel. It isn’t a type of song that attracts a huge amount of attention perhaps because it isn’t overdone with loud music accompaniment, purposeful cutesy additions, or an electronic auto-tuned sound, but that’s exactly why I like it. Still catchy and upbeat, it really showcases many of the girls’ vocal strength, as well as being a genuinely pleasant song to listen to. It really reminds me of the stylized, smooth sound of their past songs like “Hoot” and “Twinkle.”

Watch it here as they quickly break several million views within the first few days:

Looking at the package in which the song is presented, or in other words the MV, it’s fits well with the theme and style of the song. The colors and outfits this time around are unobtrusive and appropriate for each of the settings, which include the brighter coffeeshop, the two shiny stages, and the hallway and other rooms they have scenes doing magic on the guy. With a set of fashionable yet still slightly over the top individual outfits, a gold and black one, and more rock-like street clothes, they keep with a bright gold, and mostly bold colors like red, black and overall stage-like coordination. The sets are decorated to match this palette. Nothing screams as too out of place for this group’s usually performance-centered image.

As for the lyrics, they lack some content but are still comprehensible. I like the fact that this Korean group still keeps up with regular Japanese releases for their huge fanbase there, and have a relatively good grasp on the pronunciation. The proliferation of English words do make sense and flow with the rest of the song as well.

The lyrics in general plays out the story they film, which is centered around admonishing this man for possibly cheating on the girl(s?) in question. The lyrics don’t make this abundantly clear, as it begins with:
(All English translations are from kpoplyrics.net)

“Stay up all night
Waiting for you without sleep GOOD GRIEF EY
It doesn’t mean a thing
When you didn’t come back, I found another guy. Mm.”

which seems like the girl moved onto another guy after being ignored by the first, but continues:

“Hey, love is truly a waste of time
Talk honestly of your feelings, or it doesn’t mean anything
I love you
So throw him away”

This seems a little contradictory, perhaps due to an ambiguous understanding of how it should be framed. It’s hard to know if the girl wants the guy to confess, as she does say to have a fresh start that way throughout the song. Then she finds that it is a waste of time (perhaps they mean playing around non-seriously?) and advises the girl to throw him away anyway.

The main point of the song is clear enough, that the guy has been lying and causing trouble enough for the girls to torment him with some magic tricks. Although the lyrics seem angry enough, it’s clear that the power is in the girls’ hands: they are confident in wielding it, and justice must be served.

At the end as they sing “burning until you take off”, they send off the guy comically in a cannon. Not the deepest lyrics, but 3:27 minutes is a good length so that the repetitiveness does not overwhelm the song.

There is not a lot to comment on for the dance, since it lacks the gimmicky element that causes people to copy them. However, the moves are smooth and fit to this song. While I predict this song won’t be one of those top hits that trend everywhere since it doesn’t stand out enough, it won’t be one that causes people to groan on mention either.

Overall rating: 4.5 / 5
Music Video: B+
Lyrics: B

Girl’s Generation is the quintessential example of the girl group: meant to look appealing visually and audibly, and entertain a large group of people in a light-hearted way. “My Oh My” achieves all of those goals without risking anything too new, but keeping it compact.

It doesn’t completely have the highest “wow” factor for me, but it’s a song I would actually not mind hearing on repeat everywhere, as Kpop songs are wont to do. I would definitely recommend it to others to give it a listen, and see how they do deserve to hold the spotlight of being one of the most famous girl groups in the world.

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