Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

(G)I-DLE – Oh My God

Our next pick is from Iain, and from millions and millions and millions more viewers worldwide…


Iain Mew: For when a song with all the bells and whistles isn’t enough, there’s always adding actual bells. “Oh My God” starts full “Run Boy Run” gothic intro, proceeds into a slinky song of dancing (and rapping) through the pain, and builds to not so much a drop as a plummet, dropping off an edge even as they sing of being raised to the stars. As a means of conveying mystical enormity, a big hit of unexpected space works startlingly well. On a meta level, I’ve been pretty out of it lately and, browsing the year’s highest view counts, “On My God” was just the confirmation I needed that I can still be as surprised and delighted by pop as ever. 

Anna Katrina Lockwood: (G)I-DLE are a rarity in K-pop as an almost entirely self-produced female idol group. They’re one of the most talented girl groups of their cohort, so I’m very sorry to say that I just don’t connect with this song. While Soyeon clearly has a lot of mostly good ideas, she sometimes assembles them in a way that doesn’t jive well as a complete piece. One of my favorite K-pop song tropes is abrupt transitions — see SHINee’s glorious “Sherlock (Clue + Note)“, for instance — but here, that move feels laborious and overworked. I respect the compositional risk, and there’s plenty to like here melodically, but this is my least favorite (G)I-DLE single in their 2.5 years since debut.

Rachel Saywitz: Idol producer-extraordinaire and (G)I-DLE leader Soyeon has stated that “Oh My God” — which includes the lyrics, “Oh my god / She took me to the sky / Oh my god / She showed me all the stars” — is about “knowing and trusting yourself.” Self-love is great or whatever, but I wholeheartedly believe that “Oh My God” is about being seduced by a devilish temptress. The song is much more fun to listen to that way. The gothic aura of “Oh My God” is a new and intriguing sound from the group, yet feels like a natural shift, given that they’ve done some downright terrifying performances in the past. Unfortunately, “Oh My God’s” goth-pop promptly disappears about 20 seconds in, in favor of stale trap beats and melodies that only do us a favor by marching single-file towards lesbian seduction (i.e., the chorus). If you want some emo K-pop that is dark and brooding all the way through, might I suggest some Dreamcatcher

Ady Thapliyal: Okay, so this maybe is a lesbian love song, but (G)I-JOE (still the worst stage name in K-pop) have been coy about the female pronoun in the chorus, even though “she showed me all the stars” can only be explained as a metaphor for having an incredibly awesome wlw orgasm with your bestie. Is this musical gaybaiting? The Korean version of “Girl Crush?” Thankfully, there’s no reason to get into the weeds of whether moral flaws are aesthetic flaws, because “Oh My God” has plenty of the latter, too.

Jessica Doyle: This works if it overwhelms, but I’m only whelmed, for two reasons. One, the familiarity of the song’s structure–specifically, the Yuqi/Miyeon leadup to the chorus and Shuhua’s more understated section, both of which were features of both “Uh-Oh” and “Lion“–makes it feel less ambitious and grand. Two, everyone seems to be in a different emotional place: Soojin flirty, Yuqi angry, Miyeon trying to be angry, Minnie dazed, Shuhua calmly observant, and Soyeon downright pleased with herself. Not that I generally have a problem with ambitious, intelligent women being pleased with themselves, but it undercuts the theme of seduction and helpless despair.

John S. Quinn-Puerta: The church bells and minor key had me prepared for doom metal, or at least somewhat dark pop. My surprise at the boom bap-driven verse was then eclipsed by the reggaetón beat pre-chorus, which only set me up for disappointment at the chorus itself, though it at least maintained the through-line of the bass. At best “Oh My God” lacks a unifying identity, and at worst it wishes it was Latin-American, which it decidedly is not. The church bells still really throw me off.

Nortey Dowuona: A low sprawling bass lingers under the clanging bells, then leaps up behind the plinking toy piano and cotton-candy synths. (G)I-DLE spill their clingfilm croon all over the place, then tighten it as they spit spindly, speedy raps. They smash the whole piece into a massive cloud, coalesce it into a small core, and blow it out into a thunderstorm, sending the raindrops through the bass as the bass slumps under the cold bell.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The first dramatic, goth-lite pop song that’s worked on me in a while– playing up the sacrilegious subtexts (to the point that they’re text!) works, as do all the production tricks aside from the faux-Latin piano rhythms. But what really sells “Oh My God” is the vocal performance that (G)I-DLE brings, with the various members conveying the luxuriant nature of divine communion, or, in Soyeon’s case, the anxiety and ambivalence of that same love. It’s slick space opera K-pop, a worthy entry in the camp-pop pantheon.

Brad Shoup: No way this mincing track could be as entertaining as the cottagecore industry of vids reacting to it. The pre-choruses gallop right up to the half-speed refrain that’s almost comically dazed, like its singers were concussed by the recurring bell. The sum is an emotional register that’s probably beyond my immediate apprehension.

Katherine St Asaph: Goes from Billie Eilish fronting Enigma bells to Britney fronting Ace of Base pianos to Kanye imitations over dubstep and a chorus with the cadence of Troll 2. These are entirely separate sections of my iffy taste.

Alex Clifton: I normally complain about Frankensongs: several riffs cobbled together to make one monstrosity that lumbers about but never reaches a destination. This could’ve been a Frankensong, but avoids that fate because it’s so seamless. A Gregorian-like beginning makes way for classic girl-group harmonies that fade into a Bollywood prechorus, culminating in an actually cathartic drop rather than a dramatic flourish added for nothing.

Austin Nguyen: The sprawl of “Oh My God” is a feat in itself; contrary to what NCT thinks, silence is the best transition when your song looks less like a kitchen sink and more like the entire floor plan. What (G)I-DLE chooses to seam together is a whole other story. If the chorus did more than military stomp in place on beat 3, there might have been enough momentum for one last iteration to arrive deservedly (instead of forcibly) at the final funeral rite/temple gong. Equally as flawed: the verses, which could’ve been a demo version of “Uh-Oh,” and the pre-chorus, a slowed+soporific take on “Snapping.” I mean, oh my god, was there really nothing else to pastiche?

Edward Okulicz: I’m not saying this isn’t good, I’m just saying that almost every single part of this besides the rap sounds like one song or another off Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale. So either pop hasn’t moved as much in the last 9 years as I thought, or this is laying on the syrup a bit thick to hide the fact that it’s actually kind of dated. After two listens I became sure it was the latter, but it was an exhilarating listen once.

Kayla Beardslee: I discovered (G)I-DLE when the Jukebox covered “Uh Oh” last year, and I’m now a full-on fan, both because of their existing discography — “Lion” in particular is a masterpiece — and because of the massive potential they have. Unfortunately, just as I got invested in their output, it became disappointing. August’s “Dumdi Dumdi” was okay but inconsequential, and “Oh My God” never clicked with me. Its production feels dry and simplistic, and it’s hard to look past the anti-chorus when the rest of the song doesn’t have enough energy to successfully contrast it. But that doesn’t mean I’m not anticipating their next comeback: after all, (G)I-DLE has half a dozen great title tracks already, one of my favorite vocal lines in K-pop, and a leader and producer whom I greatly admire. Not every single will be a winner for every listener, and I at least appreciate that “Oh My God” mildly experiments with their sound.

Michael Hong: Melodrama was nice as spectacle on the likes of Queendom, with their elaborate stage performances, but “Oh My God” feels like building to a grand nothing. The tempo change is ambitious, but the chorus is a sinkhole, a waste of the momentum of its great pre-chorus that, once again, shows that (G)I-DLE are a group built on style over substance.

Rose Stuart: I want to like “Oh My God”. Sometimes I think I do like “Oh My God” — in the intro, maybe, or the pre-chorus, bits and pieces where the song is as haunting and ominous as the concept promises, or at least commits to being a fun pop song. But then the chorus comes in with an instrumental so empty it can’t even be called sparse, stopping the song’s momentum in its tracks before switching to a different train entirely. At the end, you can’t help but feel like the song is just missing something. It’s the same problem (G)I-DLE had with “Lion” and “DUMDi DUMDi”. I hope it isn’t a trend that will continue, but for now I’ll remain the sole person on earth who thinks (G)I-DLE peaked with “Senorita.”

Reader average: [2] (3 votes)

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5 Responses to “(G)I-DLE – Oh My God”

  1. Ady, I cannot dissociate your blurb from the “is liability by lorde queerbaiting” reddit thread:

  2. Señorita is their masterpiece, it’s true

  3. I’m very sad that Wayne didn’t reprise his OMG ranking bit for this one ( I think this would go between Arashi and Usher, if I had to choose.

    @Austin a fellow redditor i see.

  4. Glad that left such an impression on you Ady! Would have included this, but technically that previous one was a ranking of all the OMG collabs. But if you’re interested in revisiting a blurb from earlier this year, wait til later this week when we blurb a certain amazing song by Selena Gomez… ;)

  5. Also, Rose, my Finals Brain was too scrambled to notice the first time around, but welcome as well!

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