After a three year gap since his last album, Psy has finally graced the world with his seventh album, properly entitled This Is PSY’s Seventh Album, and the “Gangnam Style” phenom has released a couple of music videos to go with it. One is the excellent and funky “Napal Baji.” The other is the focus of this review. The highly addictive and incredibly creepy “Daddy” hits all the right marks as a fun and energetic Psy track but it is slightly tripped up by some undeniably fairly cringe-worthy moments in its music video.
To start with the good, the song is absolute fire. The hyperactive EDM beat may seem slightly dated and more suited for an e-sports event than the pop charts but Psy is one of the few performers who can take a beat like this and make it seem calm and controlled in the face of his fervent delivery. Truth be told, the track isn’t that far removed from Psy’s last three notable music videos in “Gangnam Style,” “Gentleman” and “Hangover.” However, “Daddy” is definitely Psy’s strongest single since “Gangnam Style.”
Most of the song’s success comes down to Psy and the structure of the song. Compared to his previous two widely viewed releases, “Daddy” gives Psy more room to perform. While “Hangover” and “Gentleman” somewhat buried Psy under auto-tune, vocal samples, Snoop Dogg and G-Dragon, “Daddy” is undeniably a Psy show from start to finish and his bombastic voice comes across much stronger when he’s not forced to share the stage with anyone AND he’s allowed to sing-rap his heart out. The repeated line “I got it from my daddy” (backed by an entirely perfunctory CL guest spot) is signature Psy – simple but devastatingly effective in its catchiness. As far as hooks go, “Daddy” works far better than “Hangover” or “Gentleman,” if for no other reason than the fact that the latter two songs more or less tries to beat listeners’ over the head with a single phrase while “Daddy” employs a far more listenable call and response between CL and Psy’s lines. The final bridge – a gloriously mess of swirling synths, snares and Psy’s booming voice – is a perfect victory lap for a song that manages to let Psy shine on his own without the unnecessary fluff and try-hard virality that somewhat weighed down on Psy’s post-Gangnam work.
While the track is a huge success, the video is not without its faults. The choreography owns (I’m pretty sure that Pys could make any dance move look good through sheer force of will) and Psy’s makeup hits that sweet point between “somewhat believable” and “hilariously exaggerated” but it all threatens to be overshadowed by a frankly bizarre decision to start the video by having Psy’s very adult face super-imposed on a child’s body that literally causes very little girls to swoon while Psy sings lines like “You be my curry, I’ll be your rice.” Psy is no stranger to the outlandish, but the image of a grown man’s face being explicitly tied to a bunch of elementary school kids’ sexual feelings is a tad wince-inducing and almost ruins a welcomed Ha Ji Won sighting.
Thankfully, that imagery only takes up the first minute of the video and the rest is glorious, glorious Psy in all of his hyped-up, adrenalized glory.
Still, even when taking into consideration the questionable taste of the opening minute, “Daddy” is a welcomed return to form for Psy. The man’s greatest gift may be his ability to convey an almost unstable, pathological commitment to fun and “Daddy” is nothing if not catchy. Three years removed from his greatest hit ever, Psy finally has a couple of songs (don’t forget “Napal Baji”!) that are worthy successors to the Great Pony Dance of 2012.