Review

Song Review: YooA (Oh My Girl) – Bon Voyage

We may want to deny it, but so much of our own personal music taste spawns from formative experiences – the genres and styles you were exposed to as a kid or young adult. For me, a piece of that puzzle comes via The Lion King’s Circle of Life. I will always love a hearty chant and big, resounding percussion. It’s basically fused into my DNA. So, when I heard the teasers for YooA’s solo debut, I was intrigued.

As the first member of Oh My Girl to go solo, YooA has so much to offer. She’s a bundle of charisma, with a well-rounded set of skills as a performer. And, I can’t express how refreshing it is to hear her tackle a track that doesn’t just regurgitate the same sounds everyone else is peddling this year. With Bon Voyage (숲의 아이), she’s dug out her old Deep Forest cds (another formative experience for me) and hitched a ride out to the glens of Korea to reconvene with nature.

Visually, Bon Voyage almost feels like a nod to BoA’s immortal Atlantis Princess, though the actual song has very different charms. It’s the rare K-pop single that takes its time, placing just as much emphasis on silence and space as it does hooks and drops. The percolating synth that underpins the verses is minimalist but effective, shining ample spotlight on YooA’s bright, clear vocals. Most of the production drops out for the pre-chorus and we’re left hanging in the air for a longer-than-expected segment. This provides a great springboard for Bon Voyage’s chant-heavy chorus, which resounds with a robust delivery that makes for a satisfying centerpiece. I think a secondary chorus would have sent the track into the stratosphere (and given YooA more to do), but I’m utterly charmed by the choices made here. There’s no point in making a solo debut unless you’re going to do something different, and Bon Voyage arrives with a character all its own.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


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31 thoughts on “Song Review: YooA (Oh My Girl) – Bon Voyage

  1. After I heard the teaser yesterday I almost wished I didn’t because my curiosity made the wait so much more painful! The wait was worth it though because I was not disapponted 🙂

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    • And then after one painful wait was over I had to endure another one because I was extremely curious to know what you thought of it haha

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  2. the stages are also amaaaazing https://youtu.be/WFeW_EZpDzE

    everyone thought that as YooA is OMG’s main dancer she’d do something ‘girl crush’, but she stook to the group’s “dreamlike” image while maintaining her complexity as a performer. Also love the Princess Mononoke & TinkerBell references as the title is literally ‘Forest Child” she took visual inspiration some of my favorite forest characters haha

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the more spaced out EDM-influences of the track, even though the song did feel a little outdated for me. But YooA still shines thanks to her always wonderful vocals.

    I wonder if we’ll get a Buried Treasure for this mini? Both Diver and Abracadabra stand out to me, but especially Diver with its high energy and how it reminds me of the golden era of K-Pop. Her lower range shines here!!

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    • The whole mini is fantastic and works so well as an introduction to YooA’s personality and talents, I think. Diver is also my favorite track but YooA’s performances of both Bon Voyage and Abracadabra are very impressive and really help the songs to stand out.

      One of the most pleasant surprises this year for me. And a great day for k-pop between this and Taemin’s great album/single!

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    • I don’t know… I’ve always struggled with the idea of “dated” as a criticism. Maybe it’s my age showing, but I feel like we have decades of amazing music history to pull from. Do we never revisit any of it for fear of sounding “outdated”? Or, is it okay to simply deliver a re-creation of an old sound without adding something new to it?

      Not necessarily a question for you, but it’s something that’s always struck me. I tend to look backward as much as I do forward, so I have no problem with new material feeling like it was ripped from a different era.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I think dated means an overused musical trope or trend that’s been rehashed and recycled in unimaginative ways kinda like what trap is now, tropical was back then and dubstep was further back then.

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        • Yes
          and
          Dated to me means a sound that was overused in the recent past, like releasing a disco song in 1982 or a hair metal band song in 1994. Not long enough ago to be nostalgic. As the saying goes, “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be”.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, there will definitely be a buried treasure! I think the album’s incredibly strong throughout, but there’s one song I absolutely adore. You probably won’t be surprised by my choice 😉

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  4. Analysis aside I loved this immediately upon first listen, it just made me really happy and in a year like this one that is more than enough.

    Also, if there’s anything that’s going to immediately reach out and grab my inner child its this beautiful fairy concept. I got into kpop for the music and I stay for the music, but every once and awhile something like this will remind me just how much kpop’s concepts enhance the overall experience. They bring inventive stories and vibrant aesthetics that personally I thrive on nearly as much as the music. After being removed from popular western music for so long sometimes I forget how unique and powerful those theatrical additions are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beautiful comment ♥️

      The most underrated thing about k-pop, I think, is the way you can easily get lost in it every time you need a temporary escape from reality.

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  5. this is an extremely generous rating lmao
    this gives me watered down shakira waka waka (this time for africa) vibes mashed together with the weakest kpop circa 2016 beat mashed together with tarzan (?????) visuals… all in all not a great look for an oh my girl related project they are 0 for 2 this year

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m really happy that she didn’t stray too far from Oh My Girl’s concept because I really like the whole magical girl thing they have and YooA carries it really well. The aesthetic(not the song at all) gives me Windy Day Vibes. It’s a little surprising since I think a lot of us expected something a little more aggressive and high energy(I was thinking along the lines of the Checkmate performance from Good Girls) but I like that she’s taken a more unique route and experimenting with an uncommon style at least
    in kpop.
    The song itself is good. It isn’t really my style and I wish it had a bit more meat on its bones but I think it works for what it’s trying to be and that’s commendable. If it had too much more sound it would just clutter the whole frolicking in a field, summer drive vibe. It’s not often when a kpop song knows exactly what it’s trying to be and sticks to it so points for that. Sometimes less is more(even though I am more of a maximalist when it comes to music).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like this. I thought she was gonna go with a weirder sound but this is a sweet, charming song. Maybe it’s the element of nostalgia, as I grew up listening to this music style especially when it was overused in Europe. I think a part of kpop twitter is gonna have an issue with that chant though.

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  8. If Shakira did the Super Bowl with Coldplay, they may have made a mashup like this. Waka Waka x Viva la vida. I agree with Gabriel_Tan above, the song is actually a two idea song. And then it ends! Boom! A meaty bridge would have been great.

    That said, it’s alright. 8? for me.

    The showcase version I saw had zero live vocals which was extremely disappointing as I think that YooA is one of the better kpop girl groups singers out there, with a bell-like high soprano. I don’t even think the mic was turned at all. Once again, kpop sacrificed half the performance = the actual singing = in favor of the visual and choreo.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. it sounds more or less exactly what you’d expect a yooa solo and a song called bon voayge to sound, with perhaps a bit more exoticism. also, i’m not sure if im just thinking of it because they have the same name, but the litttle bouncy synth instrumental that you can hear, especially in the beginning, reminds me of e-girls bon voyage? the song is also a bit emptier than i personally like, and i wish that yooa got more of a chance to show off her vocals, as she rarely gets too in full group songs, but its still pretty solid.

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    • You’re absolutely right! I can’t believe I didn’t think of the comparison, given the fact the two songs share the same title.

      The mv’s outdoor setting and sweeping camera shots also remind me of my very favorite E-girls song:

      Now I want to go listen to E-girls…

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  10. This song is interesting! I like that chant in the chorus, but I’m not necessarily a fan of the edm structure surrounding it.

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