Review

Song Review: Seventeen – Oh My!

Since their debut in 2015, Seventeen has established themselves as an idol group that never disappoints. There’s a sense of comfort whenever they return because you know the song won’t fall below a certain level of quality. It helps that, along with in-house producer Bumzu, they compose their own material. But this consistency can also be a double-edged sword. The guys have delivered showstopper after showstopper, so what happens when a comeback is simply “strong” or “solid”? After all, it’s awfully hard to compete with a showstopper.

This is new single Oh My’s biggest challenge. It’s a perfectly fine pop song, stuffed with the kind of light funk influence that’s characterized much of Seventeen’s work. It’s buoyant and well-constructed, but it is definitely not a showstopper. And when it comes to a Seventeen track — especially a Seventeen summer track — that’s unfortunate. Instead of bounding forward with the kind of tightly packed energy they deliver so well, Oh My (어쩌나) is laidback and modest.

As usual, much of my response to the song is colored by expectations. Last time Seventeen made a July comeback, it was with Very Nice — a modern classic if ever there was one. Oh My doesn’t seek to replicate that kind of ambition. It’s more in keeping with what we’d hear from the group’s hip-hop unit, or even their SVT Leaders track Change Up. Its mid-tempo beat ditches tropical house (thankfully), for a mellower blend of synth and piano. Like the best Seventeen tracks, its verses switch things up often, resulting in an improvisational flow that leads nicely into the more straightforward chorus. Oh My’s hook is catchy from the first listen, but feels too much like coasting. Seventeen’s sterling discography has definitely earned them the right to coast, but they’re overdue for another summer anthem.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

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13 thoughts on “Song Review: Seventeen – Oh My!

  1. Personally, I’d definitely rank this higher. For some reason, I can count on my fingers the number of songs I’ve loved on my first listen (whether or not I like a song can typically only be determined after ten listens or so; my initial reaction is always much more negative). This song was an immediate favorite, and I liked it better than Thanks before I was more than halfway through. It’s unmistakably Seventeen, and it’s experimental with its sound in a way that’s only really replicated by some of their past album tracks. They make the chorus, which is definitely simple and straightforward, an absolute pleasure to listen to without relying on high notes all the way throughout. I’ve never liked any comeback initially as much as this one and, if it follows the pattern, I’ll only appreciate it more as time passes. It’s certainly no Very Nice, but it’s not trying to be, and I don’t think they can or should be judged against each other. I’d be interested to see whether this became a riser or faller for you in the future!

    (Side note: I’m on mobile as usual, and my phone just stopped autofilling my info here. If it doesn’t recognize me and changes to another default, I’ll miss my green icon!)

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    • Exactly my thoughts! Liked it better than thanks, and liked it immediately (which i too dont experience often after 1 listen)

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    • I assume it’ll be a riser simply because it’s Seventeen. But so far I haven’t really felt compelled to return to it as often as their past titles. Maybe their live stages will change that. Sometimes the promo is what makes a song truly click with me.

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      • For me I kind of think of it as the Seventeen spin on the trend being set up by iKon and Pentagon and they’re kinda capturing early and already spinning it with their own seventeen style.
        Not my favourite of theirs but I think for sure in my top 10 for the year already, its got a nice slow silky groove and it has enough surprises and changes to keep it interesting. I found myself wanting to dance while walking down the street earlier and thats always a good sign for me.

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  2. I like it. It puts me in a good mood whenever I hear it (which often since I have it on repeat). Do I think it will be as successful with the general public as Aju Nice and Mansae? Well…

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  3. If I’m being honest, it was a let down. Maybe I put my expectations too high because it was a summer comeback and I thought they would comeback with something upbeat and high-level energery as “Very Nice”. I should’ve known better as it’s become quite of a trend for boy groups to release “chill” song (iKON’s effect maybe?).
    And opposite to what the previous commenters said, the fact that it’s a song that can be liked right from the start, it tells me how simple, catchy and repetitive it is. Maybe they are trying to appeal to the masses?

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    • It’s interesting that you mention Love Scenario, because I’ve also been wondering if that song has had some effect on this current trend of chill comebacks.

      “Chill” is probably my least favorite vibe for K-pop, and these types of tracks tend to do very little for me. Seventeen makes it work, but it’s just not my preferred sound for them.

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  4. Music tastes are no doubt subjective, but I personally really enjoy this song. Especially after the whirlwind that was Call Call Call! (which was also great), I can definitely appreciate something a little more subdued. That being said, Seventeen’s version of chill is still a lot more upbeat than some other groups in recent memory.

    Oftentimes, I find song structure shifts to be jarring, but the way Woozi and Bumzu handle them is consistently done exceptionally well. The first time I listened to it, there were a few times when I was surprised by the direction the song took, but the flow never seemed to be disrupted. Everything just works, for lack of a better explanation.

    Again, this is personal taste, but while Aju Nice is high on my list of Seventeen favourites, it’s never been in contention for first. Oh My! is, though. I guess time will tell how well it ages in the long run.

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    • It’s so interesting how subjective music truly is. For me, Oh My is in contention for last when it comes to Seventeen title tracks.

      With that said, I’d consider the vast majority of their titles to 9 or 10s, so being last on that list is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

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  6. Pingback: Top Three K-Pop Songs of July 2018 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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