SNSD - Oh!

SNSD are back, all 9 of them, and it is once again new single season. Has the song passed or failed my standards? Gah.

When I first heard Oh! I thought it was a fail, but then again the first time I heard it the song was in LQ. When I heard it in HQ it was only a straight pass (pasang-awa in Filipino) but then it grew on me the more I listened to it. There are quite a number of issues (good and possibly bad) that accompany the sound of this song.

Is the autotune generation FINALLY moving on?

And by 'autotune generation' I mean both the bands who've excessively used processing in their material AND SNSD/Girls' Generation. This applies only in Korea.

Yeah sure some of the first releases of 2010 have been laden with processing and autotune and bells and whistles all around BUT, you do realize that change anywhere comes from the top. One of the first big, established bands to release new material this year is SNSD - apart from them all the new releases have been by new, rookie bands who either don't have enough label/talent company backing to actually make a decent, original song or are just following the trends, hoping to cash in on the success of bigger bands who've successfully marketed the specific sound.

SNSD, I believe, are at the stage in their career where they can choose to do anything they want and their millions/thousands of fans would stand by them. They've had their 'adhering to trends to get famous' singles and SM has made a sufficient amount of money out of their image to be able to now set new trends.

Gee was cutesy, Genie was well-produced and slightly cutesy - what's Oh!? That may take some time to explain.

Oh! does NOT use the type of processing that was so so very popular in 2009 - THANK HEAVENS FOR THAT. The verses seriously sound like something deliberately aimed at the CHINESE MARKET (ala SuJu M's Confession or Only U) but then the chorus/hook sounds like something straight out of a Swedish production house like Maratone or one of Steve Mac's masterpieces if it was the late 90's. By that I mean the vocals during the chorus aren't mixed like they are today where it's monotonous and there is one distinct voice on top - the vocals on this track are mixed in such a way that they actually sound like 9 girls singing at the same time. OK maybe less but you get the point.

Oh! I think will set the standard for girl groups this year for a few reasons. SNSD are superstars in their own right - two massive hits last year are enough to immortalize them in Kpop so whatever they do this year will set the standard. The second reason is slightly more musical - they'll set the standard because now that they have the power to influence, either they themselves or SM and his slave songwriter Yoo Young Jin are planning to cause a slow but sure shift in the over-all sound of Kpop.

It only took a short time to get everyone hooked on autotune and processing, it'll probably take a similar amount of time to get everyone out of it. Personally I like where they're moving towards - the circa Play/Swedish bubblegum pop-type production. I like it because the well-done part of Swedish music is my taste but it's a bit bad for the industry because they're moving backwards not forward.

However I do think that anywhere is fine, as long as it's away from processing.

EDIT: There are now claims going around that Oh! is a rip-off of Rihanna's Shut Up and Drive. Look. Unless the song has the exact same chords and melody as Shut Up and Drive, you can't call that plagiarism anymore. Why? Because pop music today sounds so similar that if something sounds like something else and that's what constitutes plagiarism, then I could say that Chris Brown is an Usher rip-off or Jada's American Cowboy is a Poker Face copy. There is very little originality in pop today so UNLESS the melody and the chords of the song are the exactly same, that isn't plagiarism - anymore. I'm not biased towards SNSD, I'm just stating something that I think is right. If this was any other act I would've done the same because people fail to realize that these days, every single song sounds the same.



  1. I would kill myself not giving a comment about this. Let's set aside the fact that I'm totally into SNSD, what you said about POP music nowadays are true. Sounds in this genre can be similar with other songs but that doesn't mean they plagiarized it.....

    Also I love how I can really hear 9 of them sing, not like in Genie where I thought I only heard of Taeyeon singing(which is totally fine by me). I really didn't expect them to autotune their voices since hello its SNSD!! They can sing live no doubt without any extra package.

    Anyways, I absolutely agree with you. Keep it up, I love reading your reviews!!

  2. It's quite good although their fashion sense is horrible. they will regret those outfits before the day is out never mind in the years to come!!

  3. Unless you dress like that of course, then you are the most lovely exception to the rule :P

  4. I'm an SNSD fan so I can't really dislike this song, but it's just OK for me. It sounds catchy but you're right - they went backwards with this. But I appreciate the no auto-tune haha! I think SM should of got someone else to compose the song instead of Kenzie coz his/her songs aren't really that good...

  5. totally agree on your plagiarism comments, music is basically art for the ears, you can't help but be influenced by the things around you so unless it's a straight up carbon copy of shut up & drive then it's not plagarism in my eyes (i've yet to listen to Oh! so i'll only comment on this)

  6. I totally agree with everything you've said. I'm a pretty big SNSD fan and I've raved on about how much I love the song but deep down inside I know the song is taking a step backwards and may not be accepted by everyone at first. It definitely does grow on you though. I'm glad you bothered to listen to the HQ after you thought the LQ was fail, a lot of people don't bother to do that :/

  7. LMAO at Paul --

    Anywho, I've yet to hear it but I'm interested now. I was a bit turned off when you mentioned it was similar to "Gee", which I hated, but...I won't knock it till I've heard it.

  8. Sheng - GAH! Hahah.

    Paul - NO, why the hell would I dress like that? LOL.

    Cindy - hmm. I heard it was written my Kenzie, but you never know, he might've wanted to 'try something new' (although this isn't necessarily new)

    Erika-Rafaela - I know, right?

    Fiona - I gave them a chance. And it doesn't help that I'm an omgkpop editor so I know these things.

    Mel - I dunno if you'll like it or not though. But it is worth at least one listen.

  9. We shall see what Rihanna's company thinks of this, here Nikki look at this and judge for yourself:

    Oh yeah, I have a new post:

  10. Haha~ I was waiting for you to comment on this song. I'm a SNSD fan, by the way.

    I heard "Oh!" in LQ first, too. In fact, after I heard it I was raging (like when I first heard f(x)'s "Chu~<3"). It just sounded so horrid. Then I heard another LQ recording, but with better quality, and I was surprised with how much better it sounded, so I didn't give up hope. I actually heard a groove. When I heard the HQ, I realized that the song was going to be an off/on song for me. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. That's because when I was listening to the 2nd LQ, I thought that the "Oh!" sounded kind Frankenstein-ish, parts put together from other songs. Frankenstein songs. I really hated the melody for the "brand new sound" line, because the line before had a good build-up and then it's followed by gah!%#&@! (There was so much potential for another pop-rock song. Why, Kenzie, why?) I like the line now, sort of. I'm just glad that that auto-tune effect wasn't all over the song (even though I heard traces of it in there). It's does sound like a step backwards, but *sigh* I'll just enjoy it while it's here. Besides, they have Rino Nakasone doing the choreography and Lisette Bustamante for another song (ooo~ but which one is it?).

    And of course, on the Oh! album is a ballad, more E-tribe, other stuff, and a Jessica+Tiffany duet <3 *hyperventilates*. Bossa Nova, man! Even, though I've now heard 5/12 of the songs that are to be on the album (thanks to bootlegged concert recordings and SME for putting Gee&Genie in there), I'm going to enjoy it. Waiting for the 28th. *A*

    Wow, I wrote a lot.

  11. "SNSD, I believe, are at the stage in their career where they can choose to do anything they want and their millions/thousands of fans would stand by them."

    SOO~ true =D
    & again same to me: when I first heared Oh! I did like it because it was SNSD, but my mind was telling this is not a good song, but I decided to listen to the song more time...& then I started to LOVE the song, & now I can't stop listening to it <3


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