Welcome to the first edition of Throwback Thursday, a maybe-maybe not regular feature that will take a look and give a sizzling hot take on a K-Pop music video that came out way before this humble little blog was ever a part of the internet.
Today, let’s talk about “Oh!”
Released around the apex of SNSD’s popularity (which they would more or less hold over K-Pop up to 2015ish), “Oh!” was a nice conceptual pairing to the superior “Run Devil Run” but it was (in my personal opinion) the weakest of SNSD’s monster run of hits from “Gee” in 2009 to “Hoot” in 2010. The aegyo-ish stylings and the repetitive hook on the track and in the video seemingly try to recall some “Gee” magic but the group sounds even more awkward than they did when SNSD first broke out the crab leg dance due to the aggressive auto-tune sheen that blunts the song’s attempts at injecting some measure of personality into it which is a fatal flaw in a track that is solely engineered to charm. The whole effort ends up sounding and looking like an unholy mashup of the best scene in Ex Machina and the whole of Bring it On. It’s the uncanny valley of cute.
Watch this with “Oh!” playing over it. It’s amusing.
As for the video, it’s sort of the best and worst of SM in three minutes. There is nothing groundbreaking or even anything remotely innovative going on in “Oh!” but it’s still somewhat attention grabbing because, to SNSD’s credit, the choreography is pretty great and the members move with a crispness that is sharp and keeping in (unsettling) tone with the song’s robotic nature. It’s a slickly made piece of visual bubblegum and it seems to be happy to be just that.
In all, in case it wasn’t clear, I was never a big fan of “Oh!” On it’s own, it’s a lesser version of “Gee” without the annoyingly effective performative acts of cute or the annoyingly catchy hook that made “Gee” the unbearable titan of K-Pop that it was. And when “Oh!” is placed next to it’s companion video “Run Devil Run”… let’s just say that the dark side wins. Handily. (But that’s probably a discussion that can be had in a future #TBT.)
As always, I’m curious as to what people actually think of these songs. Sound off on “Oh!” below.