Review

Song Review: JO1 – Oh-Eh-Oh

Japan’s first season of Produce 101 spawned boy group JO1, who made their debut this March with their single Infinity. For me, that song amounted to little more than a checklist of boy group tropes, but it did quite well for the guys. Now, they’re back with the bigger, ballsier Oh-Eh-Oh. Co-produced by Pentagon’s Hui, this feels like a leap forward for JO1.

Oh-Eh-Oh is much more confident and focused in its sound, and that goes a long way toward painting JO1 as a convincing group of their own, rather than simply the product of a survival series. The song finds Hui in full Energetic/Sha La La mode. He pulls the driving electronic beat from both of those tracks and makes it even beefier, injecting a heavy dose of rock guitar that’s particularly dynamic as the song reaches its finale. Oh-Eh-Oh is as much shouting as it is singing, which hinders its ability to settle on an engaging melody. But given the unrelenting energy of its instrumental, I think this structure works.

Oh-Eh-Oh’s second verse is particularly rowdy. Like so many K-pop tracks this past year, it surrenders to half-time for a moment. But, this allows for a bombastic injection of guitar that works well within the context of the existing production. JO1 prove themselves up to the task, delivering a searing performance that matches the intensity swirling around them. Apart from the J-drama music video, Oh-Eh-Oh borrows much more heavily from K-pop than J-pop. But, that’s been JO1’s approach since the beginning. And this time, their music has eclipsed many recent releases from their Korean peers.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


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14 thoughts on “Song Review: JO1 – Oh-Eh-Oh

  1. Geez, i did not expect it to be that good. I really enjoyed the bounce of the instrumental during the verses and i like the vocals as well. The “Oh Eh Oh” was slightly cringe but im definitely willing to look past that.

    Super random question : do you prefer SF9 Go High or SVT HIT? They are so similar imo.

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  2. this is surprisingly sooo good! it makes me scratch my head why every pentagon thing from Dr. BeBe to Road to Kingdom (re-makes and final songs) have been so baaad, but Hui can make amazing tracks like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This song was a surprise coming after Infinity, it’s really enjoyable! I’ve been playing it since the short live version came out earlier this month. I like how each chorus has a new section added, but I think the best part of the song is the future bass drop for the “oh eh oh” prechorus.

    Any chance of a buried treasure for the mini? They surprised me again by also sneaking some good pop tracks on it this time around, Go is SHINee-styled SM funk and My Friends is the song that sounds like it could be an actual Japanese hit/karaoke staple (Written by one of the members, too!)

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  4. Yes! I loved the preview of the track and I’m glad it held up. This track really sounds like and Energetic rehash but at this point I really don’t care. It’s amazing and I really hope this energetic sound can become a hallmark for JO1!

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  5. This feels much less like straight up kpop than Mugendai did. Its a lot more fun, and I really like the second half of the chorus.

    I know you mentioned before that you’ve been slowly getting in Hello! Project, I was wondering if you’ll be looking at either of the A-sides off of Angerme’s upcoming release at all?

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    • Mirror Mirror popped into my feed a couple weeks ago and I didn’t particularly care for it, but somehow I totally missed A Limited Moment.

      I just gave a listen to the song and I like it a lot! It might be a little late to do a review now, but I may still write something up if there’s a slow release day in the near future. Thanks for bringing the song to my attention.

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  6. I finally got around to this. I wish we had someone like a Kevin from ReacttotheK to give us an education on all the interesting chromaticism going on in here, someone who can tell us “nice Phrygian” or whatever it is. I can hear Kevin saying something like “instead of doing a simple E minor diminish, they turned it to a E minor raised 7th with a diminish on the 4th” or whatever.

    Nice song, more going on than most and yet it still fits into the contemporary Jpop gestalt.

    I am not a fan of the video, all the bullying going on.

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