#TBT to SNSD’s “Oh!”

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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.

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8 comments

  1. I love Oh so much, it was the song that got me trapped in kpop. I saw it before Gee so in my mind Gee is a lesser version of Oh. I watch the video every so often for nostalgia vibes.
    If you’re taking requests I vote for T-ara.

  2. #TBT to T-ara – Lies. Please. I beg you.

    1. Will definitely do some T-ara.

      1. and inevitably Boram, then.

  3. When I was hooked with snsd, it was at the time between the boys and IGAB, so there’s already a bunch of hit titles to catch up with. This was hands down the hardest song to like among those, because the beat they used just felt horrenďous. By the power of snsd fandom I eventually liked it but still think to this day that they should’ve pushed show show show instead of this.

  4. “Oh!” is my favorite SNSD song. It’s funny, I would actually describe “Gee” as the “uncanny valley of cute” and the lesser version (or maybe the prototype) of “Oh!” Plus the girls look so much better in this video, if you ignore Jessica’s curly hair + straight bangs combination.

    I nominate Rainbow’s “A” for #TBT!

    1. Rainbow’s “A” is a great suggestion. Will probably do that one this Thursday so I have an excuse to play it for an hour.

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