Review

Random Shuffle Review: The Grace (CSJH) – One More Time, Ok?

With over 2,600 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.

The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!


Year Released: 2007

Once upon a time there was a girl group under SM Entertainment called The Grace (or CSJH). Though they released a handful of singles, the girls only have one Korean album to their name. I’d be shocked if many newer K-pop fans will have heard of them at all, which is surprising given SM’s backing. Other than boy group Black Beat, the agency isn’t known for short-term acts. Nearly every one of their debuts goes on to have a lengthy, well-promoted run. But injury, hiatus, sub-units and lapsed contracts combined to result in a murky future for the The Grace. They shone briefly, but brightly.

I was first drawn to The Grace by producer Yoo Young-Jin’s involvement with their album. One More Time, OK (한번 더, OK?) is not listed as a Young-Jin composition on his wikipedia page, but producer information for these older K-pop songs is ridiculously difficult to find online. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a hand in this, since the song follows his theatrical, guitar-fueled dance-pop to a tee. Like so many songs of its era, OK thrives on its propulsive, beat-driven energy. Its instrumental feels like a follow-up to TVXQ’s Rising Sun and ‘O,’ offering a punchy blast of unrelenting power. The Grace answer confidently, with a blistering vocal performance that pairs moments of blissful harmony with more hard-hitting delivery. It’s like En Vogue’s Free Your Mind as seen through a K-pop prism, culminating in the oasis of vocal layering that opens each chorus.

More than that, One More Time, OK is the sound of a bygone era. No SM girl group would ever touch this specific style again. In fact, I’d argue that few Korean girl groups in general opt for such an edgy sound without incorporating hip-hop or EDM — especially these past few years. Imagine an alternate timeline where The Grace had stuck together — just now approaching their fifteenth anniversary. Would the K-pop landscape be any different?

 Hooks 8
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

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5 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: The Grace (CSJH) – One More Time, Ok?

  1. A song from another era. The big bombastic sound. As you say its like a girl’s version of over the top TVXQ songs. At this point, 12 years on, its either a sound you love or loathe.
    I love the vocal harmonies, but to be honest I can only listen to this once or twice every now and then and I am spent. I can only listen to TVXQ Rising Sun a couple times a year. Heck, I love SuJu, and Don’t Don is of the same era, and I barely touch that song too. Brown Eyed Girls “Sixth Sense” is about the same. If I want to hear that nostalgic hard-hitting heavy rock laden pop, I just go for the real thing in like Metallica or something.

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    • Haha you and I are very different in this regard, because I could listen to this style all day, every day. Give me a constant loop of Rising Sun, Don’t Don, Twins, O, I-Yah etc and I’m a happy camper.

      What’s funny is that I don’t actually like heavy metal. I’d never listen to Metallica, for example. But, meld it with performance-oriented dance pop and I am sold.

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  2. What a coincidence! I recently made this comment on a “recent listening” thread on r/Loona:

    >>CSJH The Grace – One More Time, OK? Of course this MV doesn’t sound or look like anything made today. Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem stale or embarrassing in the way that some older MVs do. I wonder why they fizzled out, to be superseded as the SM girl group by SNSD. Was it just mismanagement on SM’s part, or was this switch a response to cultural shifts and changes in taste in Korea? As well as being impressed by both their vocals and dance, I find The Grace’s adult femininity alluring.<<

    Perhaps you could use your knowledge of kpop history to explain the Grace's fall from grace.

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  3. I was on a brief BoA frenzy a long while ago. While digging up everything I could on her, I went searching for her Japanese music videos and stumbled upon Koda Kumi. Now I was hooked on her too. While fishing for everything Koda Kumi, I stumbled on The Grace CSJH (full circle with SM). I always told myself I was going to go back and dig everything up on The Grace, but that day hasn’t arrived.. ..yet.

    This song, “One More Time, Ok?”, is really good, but the one song from The Grace that made my play lists was the first one I happened upon, “Piranha”. I really need to explore the original K-pop girl groups because I know there are diamonds waiting to be discovered.

    Reference:

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