Friday, January 10th, 2020

Camila Cabello ft. DaBaby – My Oh My

So let’s all pull together…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: I like Camila Cabello. I like DaBaby. I even like songs about daddy issues as much as the next person. But “My Oh My” is an unfortunate misfire I’d like to forget. Camila tries to sound playful and sexy but comes across as mischievous and malicious; DaBaby sounds stale having reached 2017 Quavo levels of oversaturation, and the lyrics are only one step removed from Charlie Puth’s “Mother.” The result is downright creepy. 

Brad Shoup: While I wait for American top 40 to get happy, I’ll settle for creepy. That two-note, haunted-house horn-and-organ motif, Cabello’s cackle, the backing vocalists that remind me of Cab Calloway’s guys… it’s like some ancient delinquent-teen pulp story. Both performers glare at me like I’m one of their parents or something; no one’s pretending they’re not just singing about sex; it’s refreshing, honestly.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Camila Cabello could do well with songs like these, the kind suitable for theatre productions. She gets close to making her affected vocalizing feel meaningful, but the cheap signifiers (he wears leather jackets! Her mom doesn’t trust him! She swears she’s a good girl!) aren’t ever fleshed out. Even a little more would suffice! As is, she sounds like a half-decent actor working with a poor script. Her histrionic vocalizing is missed.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Camila is best when she’s being melodramatic (cf. “Find You Again”), and the vaguely haunted vibes work to her favor here. It’s deeply underwritten — the first verse is just a list of outdated bad boy symbolism — but charming nonetheless. DaBaby helps a lot, though. He’s become pop rap’s best guest star over the past year, capable both as a rapper and as a cardboard cutout of a rapper. He’s in latter form here, playing up his central casting edgy heartthrob appeal without saying all that much. Camila, to her credit, plays the duet partner well too — her adlibs and harmonies during DaBaby’s verse help “My Oh My” work as more than just a generic singer/rapper collab.

Alfred Soto: The production interference — call and response vocals, fine, but echo and chants too? — doesn’t irritate me so much as Camila Cabello’s rank Britney imitation. Go ahead, wink and tease with a cyborg’s flair, 2018’s élan is gone.

Thomas Inskeep: Someone as incapable of sounding sexy on record as Cabello really shouldn’t try to do sex songs. I mean, the way she preens on “My Oh My,” she sounds like a robot; the lyrics don’t help. DaBaby stops by to collect his Hottest Rapper of the Moment paycheck.

Alex Clifton: It’s Havana 2.0: Bad Girl Edition, but Young Thug’s feature was way better than DaBaby’s verse. It also suffers the same problem as “Havana” did, which is that it gave Camila a great verse and then the rest of the time she’s relegated to the chorus, so her role in her own song becomes repetitive. Such a missed opportunity for a bigger, meatier story.

Katherine St Asaph: The title’s every bit as queasy-making as it was when Troye Sivan used it, and it would be fantastic if songwriters just zippity-do-didn’t. The track itself sounds like a blatant attempt to remake “Havana,” except when it sounds like a blatant attempt to re-animate a DJ Mustard RnBass skeleton from 2015, and except when that goddamn title keeps showing up, an Interrupting Choir lurching in after every line with a doomy, inappropriately heavy thud. The lyric is the same good-girl-gone-bad-but-don’t-worry-not-that-bad! stuff of “Dirrty” and “Can’t Be Tamed,” except even less convincing. (Not that the alternative wouldn’t be terrible in its own way, but it’s so telling how the lyric is careful to specify that the sex-having, good-time-liking hellspawn she’s dating is just a little bit older. You know they sell leather jackets at LL Bean, right?) Everything about “My Oh My” (😑) is garishly, hilariously off-brand, but it’d maybe have a scrappy charm coming from a D-list YouTube tryhard. Why is it instead coming from Camila Cabello and Frank Dukes? Why is this bid for urban radio crossover instead being sent to Hot AC(?!?!?!?)? Why did DaBaby bother making his guest verse so much better than the surroundings?

Kylo Nocom: Maybe I’m just taking those “hey” chants and running with them, but the otherwise unnecessary last 30 seconds suggests “My Oh My” as potential Mustardwave in a different universe. Good fun regardless, and I’ll be very happy if (when?) DaBaby becomes the next go-to feature for pop hits.

Nortey Dowuona: Nice, slowly descending bass and slithering synths with popping, dribbling drums that bubble like strawberries in oatmeal, and sharp, trigonometry bars from DaBaby… Oh wait, there’s Camila. She does OK, but the crowd vocals are iffy and weigh down her hook too much.

Joshua Lu: If you’re going to make a song that’s 50% chorus, could you at least make the chorus less dull? The echoey hook feels shoehorned, and by the fourth go around it becomes actively annoying. DaBaby, bless his heart, does his best to inject the song with some momentum, but the fun of his verse is forgotten once the chorus’ plodding pace overtakes the song shortly after.

Leah Isobel: Camila’s sweet-and-sour voice lends itself well to good girl posturing, because she always sounds a little bit like a baby. She knows it, too — this is yet another track where she plays the ingenue laid low by love and/or lust, overwhelmed by the force of her own desire. It’s a classic pop idea, but “My Oh My” doesn’t really do much to expand on it; she can barely be bothered to describe the guy she’s supposedly ready to risk it all for, and DaBaby comes off more as a rascal than a threat. One wonders why her parents don’t like him and why Camila herself seems to think it’s sexily debasing to go out with him… oh.

Oliver Maier: I think, in retrospect, I was having a bad day when I gave “Shameless” a [1]. This is a [1]. “My Oh My”‘s misjudged attempt at a seductive mood winds up feeling like slapstick, with a bassline that shoots for “Camila and her boyfriend tiptoeing around her parents” and arrives instead at “Scooby and the gang tiptoeing around a haunted mansion”. Almost every decision truly baffles me: the back-and-forth on the chorus is lifeless and genuinely unpleasant, Camila SCREAMS the line about being a good girl, offbeat hip-hop “hey”s are stuffed into the final 20 seconds and convey absolutely nothing. DaBaby enters halfway through like a firework set off at a funeral, and predictably sounds like the only person having any fun. 

Reader average: [2.2] (5 votes)

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2 Responses to “Camila Cabello ft. DaBaby – My Oh My”

  1. Now this feels like home.

  2. There’s an alternate universe where Cabello and her producers pushed this and “Bad Kind of Butterflies” into genuinely creepy haunted-house themes… wish I was in that universe. (Except not if it means Cabello got pushed into a reputation era).

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