Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Oh My Girl – The Fifth Season (SSWFL)

Sad Songs For Wirty Lovers…


Alfred Soto: The intro evokes Debbie Gibson’s “Out of the Blue,” complete with synth sparkles and vocals that savor syllables — an approach better suited to rue, not chorus uplift.

Will Rivitz: Anyone remember Cytus? Great game, mediocre soundtrack defined by canned strings and limp backbeats. This sounds like it would fit right in. 

Katherine St Asaph: I have simple tastes. I will almost always love ’90s R&B with disco strings.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I suppose there’s room for GFriend-type songs in K-pop again, but it’s hard to find “The Fifth Season” exciting when Oh My Girl used to release far more daring songs. The spoken word bits are forced, but are an admittedly nice contrast to the more formal vocalizing. The revving up of dynamics in the chorus are a nice touch, but when that whistle synth appears at the end, I’m left wondering if Oh My Girl are moving in the wrong direction. Even Apink’s moved on.

Jessica Doyle: Oh My Girl seems to have taken the idea of a split concept that originally animated Red Velvet and internalized it further, balancing their singles releases between the likes of this and “Secret Garden“–full of swoops and nature metaphors and Jiho staring wistfully out of train windows, clean and smooth–and the louder alternatives. I prefer Mimi shouting to Mimi muttering as a general rule (which comes with the required exception), but when the velvet is this well put together it seems wrong to complain.

Iris Xie: Surprising song, because it is an absorption of many tropes of both K-Pop songs and motivational J-Pop anime theme songs (the theme song “Tori no Uta” of AIR is the closest song arrangement match I can make for this). However, it somehow avoids sounding like a complete copy of those musical themes, although it skews dangerously close at some points, and tries to take those themes a step further. At the beginning, the instrumental opens with ambitious and soaring stringwork, and the interplay of fierce, clipped whisper-singing with another vocal that exhibits a sweeter, lighter tone heartily displays the auditory appeal of precise switchoffs between group members, and is a sound I would more associate with K-Pop groups. However, the chorus is more reminiscent of J-pop, with a series of extremely tight melodies and ambitious stringwork that all end with a driving hope that makes me want to believe I can be the best ninja/mecha pilot/magical girl I can. Most specifically, I want to point out the transition from 2:21-2:23 has a very measured feel of stepping up and launching itself into the next heightened verse as an example of its ambition. Also, what I find most compelling is how the adlibs, instrumentals, and vocal melodies all coalesce into one intense statement :  “Please, absolutely, do your best! No matter what the odds are! There is absolutely another world beyond the broken one we are in right now, but it’s okay knowing that you are here!” The buildup at 3:20 and how it launches into the final verse skyrockets this entire song and pushes it to the far edge of songs that convey adamant levels of hope. I’ve been thinking a lot about the media I grew up with in my youth (I’m only 26 and I’ve been nostalgic forever, so, *shrugs*) and all the overwhelming emotions that it encourages, to believe and give it all for the future that you want to make, and to encourage the optimism of that. In reality, I still crave for that for myself and my own dreams, and it’s good to know that at least one group decided to convey that, in their own defiant 2019 way. This song could have not happened without the last two decades of K-Pop experimentation and being relentless with honoring and refining its influences. But really, I’m very happy and hopeful again after listening to this song, since it makes me feel grounded in this specific cultural moment of embracing all of your influences, hopes, and imagination, even when the world looks incredibly bleak. Maybe that’s the point, so let’s keep on trying.

Reader average: [9.25] (4 votes)

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2 Responses to “Oh My Girl – The Fifth Season (SSWFL)”

  1. Iris I love your blurb ??

  2. The question marks were clapping emojia

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