Of the many, many rookie groups in k-pop at the moment, the one I’m rooting for the most strongly is Snuper. Their endearing goofiness and solid teamwork reminds me a lot of Infinite during their debut years. And then there’s the Sweetune-produced music, which has been absolutely fantastic. Over the past few months, the group has gained a bit of a foothold on the j-pop market, touring and promoting abroad. Obviously I would like them to be successful wherever they can, but judging by Oh Yeah, I really don’t want the j-pop sound to become their driving force.
It’s funny. Yesterday, I praised B1A4 for sticking to their core style for their latest Japanese release, and now with Snuper we have the exact opposite situation. Yes, Oh Yeah is as bright and cheerful as much of their k-pop output, but it’s also quintessential, hyperactive idol j-pop. The song is perched on a feather-light dance beat. Its incessant synths sound more like the hiss of a poorly-transcoded audio file, in desperate need of a lower end to compensate for all the frenzied sparkliness. In fact, the entire song feels like it could have been brought down a key. It constantly feels on the verge of collapsing in on itself.
This is due in part to the busy melody, which tries to pack too many lyrics in a space that’s not quite big enough for them. The “hello, hello, hello” refrain is cute and insanely catchy, but quickly grows exhausting when paired with the stream of words that immediately follow. The one bright spot is Taewoong and Sebin’s dynamic rap verse. It feels like the most grounded moment in the entire song, and the only point where the texture changes. It’s a brief reminder of how incredible their Korean work has been, and has me eagerly counting down to the next comeback. For Snuper’s sake, I hope Oh Yeah absolutely conquers Japan. But if I’m allowed to be selfish, I just want them back in Korea, back with Sweetune, and back to making quality pop music that isn’t quite so frantic.