K-Pop debuts can be tricky things. At times, they’re the best song a group delivers. Sometimes, they’re the only song a group delivers!
But, debuts can also be huge wtf moments in an artist’s career. In this feature, I’ll be looking back at debut songs through the prism of time, re-evaluating how well they hold up and how representative they are of an artist’s eventual singles run.
Debut Date: April 20, 2015
2015 was a huge year for girl group debuts – and debuts in general. Many of the year’s rookies ended up writing the next chapter in K-pop history, dominating the charts and casting a long shadow behind them. This ascension took longer for Oh My Girl, but they got there eventually. When looking back at debut track Cupid, many of the group’s core elements were included right from the start.
Oh My Girl have always been a bit off-kilter compared to their peers. This is in keeping with WM Entertainment’s general approach to K-pop. Given the agency’s pre-2015 success with the quirky B1A4, it made sense to bolster Oh My Girl with a similar energy. Cupid conforms to many of the year’s trends – most notably a big brassy beat – but it stands on its own as a unique pop concoction.
The group tackles a chant-heavy hook, but rather than fixate on chirpy cutesiness, this refrain is gutsier. Its aggressive stomp reminds me of After School’s Bang, but that may just be the drumline percussion talking! More importantly, the rest of the song is incredibly strong. Its verses and pre-chorus offer memorable melodies, while the first half of the chorus shines spotlight on the girls’ enviable vocal blend.
Even so, Cupid’s most addictive element is also one of its quietest. The singsong vocal riff that opens the track and carries through to its chorus is deceptively catchy. It’s the perfect introduction to Oh My Girl’s unique sound: bright and fun without being cloying. It gives us a taste of the sugar-sweet ride that we’re in for, and provides a fantastic foundation for Cupid‘s arrow to flourish.
Does the song hold up?
Yes, though I’m not sure I’d want to listen to it on a constant loop.
Is the song stronger or weaker than most of the artist’s title tracks?
I’d actually rank this in the bottom half of Oh My Girl title tracks. That just goes to show how great their discography is!
Does the song represent the artist’s music going forward?
I think it represents their general spirit, if not their signature sound.