Review

Debut Re-Evaluation: Oh My Girl – Cupid

Oh My Girl - CupidK-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

Review:

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.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.75


~

17 thoughts on “Debut Re-Evaluation: Oh My Girl – Cupid

  1. Oh My Girl has a treasure trove discography. They are a really quirky, well-rounded group filled with individuals talents. I will always love their most exploratory and fantastical tracks (Windy Day, Secret Garden, SSFWL, Remember Me) …but I love this streak of Oh My Girl and it’s why a track Nonstop didn’t feel out of step for me.
    My favorite track in this more straightforward pop vein by Ohmygirl is “Step by step” which I really wish was fully promoted.

    I’m very excited about their comeback. A lot of the tracks teased in the album preview reminded me of what solo idols release… Some of the teasers of Dun Dun dance feel very city pop while some of the member videos interpolate the chord progression and tease’d melody in a more fairy tale way. I think it may end up combining the fantastical side of Oh mY Girl with a soft mature concept. I’d enjoy that. We’ll see…lol

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice to see Cupid getting some appreciation. One of their best in my opinion, since I prefer when they’re more upbeat since my favorite song by them is Remember Me and my least favorite is Closer. If this were released today I think it would be much more appreciated

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I do so love Oh My Girl. Its the vocals – they have 2 or 3 very good vocalists, plus another 2 or 3 pretty good vocalists, plus the rest who are good enough. Its a perfect matched set of light lyric sopranos to pick from.
    When you add in their usual lush orchestration, they have a Characteristic Sound.

    Sometimes their material skews too young for me – Cupid, Liar Liar. That high pitched with extra helium charmer Banana Allergy Monkey – did you know that Banana Allergy Monkey is the highest seller on the Hanteo chart ever?! Link below. I’d like to believe that someone hacked into Hanteo with the most brilliant joke ever.

    As a debut, yeah this is good. I prefer Closer which was the follow-up single to this.
    Windy Day is one of the classic recommendations for kpop because of the inspired shifts within the song. That Era of kpop when they shifted keys and tempo effortlessly. Other favorites of mine are Secret Garden, Fifth Season, and Remember Me. They also did a cover of “A-ing” which is a fun summer song.

    ‘https://www.allkpop.com/article/2019/11/netizens-lol-at-funny-hanteo-chart-glitch-making-oh-my-girls-banana-allergy-monkey-selling-over-2-billion-copies#:~:text=On%20November%201st%2C%20a%20Keen,sold%20album%20in%20the%20world

    Liked by 3 people

    • “Coloring Book” is MIA in this comment, and it is my favorite from them.

      I feel the mega switch “Windy Day” is a bit too brief for the shocking wow effect it provides, it is a bit watered down from the IDGAF halftime style started by TVXQ (are they the first to do it really? Nowadays I question originality every time)

      Liked by 1 person

      • For once in my postings, I tried to be brief, and picked just a few. I also like Coloring Book a lot, its a combo of the cheerleader chant style with a fantastic sung chromatic progression. The video is also fun with out being too cutesy.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Are you serious? Banana Allergy Monkey was the highest seller on the Hanteo chart?! A song about “monkey girls” being allergic to bananas but they’re suddenly not anymore once they have banana milk? What?!?

      Like

  4. The fact that this one of the weaker OMG singles says a lot, I love the percussion here. It successfully creates a secondary story, conflicting with the simplistic main one. And adds just a tint of edginess to go against the higher-pitched voices. The best example of this is the clashing drums.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is now one of my fav. features of the blog! Really enjoy seeing the debut work of these groups and how far they have come along.

    As far as this song goes, it’s a cute song but it won’t feature in my top songs from this group. It’s a little too cutesy/ sugary for me.

    Like

  6. Pros: some really inspired countermelodies; words cannot describe my love for the brief harmony at 1:24; maybe Seunghee’s best power note in a title track

    Cons: while the snare provides interesting texture, the rhythm is *really* weird. Except for the rap, it sounds like it’s sort of just filling in random textures in the background, and I wish it fit the vocals at all. It actually sounds off-beat at times.

    Like

  7. Ooh I like this one a lot. Not myfavourite OMG track (that has to be Windy Day) but it still is one of the best 2015 debuts IMO. It also helps that OMG has one of my favourite 3rd gen female vocalists (Seunghee).

    Below is my wishlist for this series:
    1. Girl’s Day
    2. OC
    3. Kara
    4. ZE:A
    5. Nine Muses
    6. TVXQ
    7. Stellar
    8. Rainbow

    Like

  8. Something about the drum beat slacks rhythm wise during the verses but I definitely remember it’s bright charm snaring me from the start and it was also notable because they had this song out right before what would be Kara’s own final comeback also named Cupid and OMG’s was the better song by quite a bit IMO

    When I think of Oh My Girl it’s more of their bolder choices ala Coloring Book and Windy Day but they’ve definitely been a peak problematic fave of mine in the past because their songs are just so good.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These girls were vicious. Right off the bat, they sick cupid on my heart with their debut; ensuring that I was on the hook at the very start. Every member of OMG is.. ..OMG! YooA was an instant bias. I love, love, love the tone of her voice, though I acknowledge she’s not the best vocalist in the group. Still, no YooA = no OMG, in my book. Seunghee is one of my favorite mischievous imps in all of Kpopdom. While Mimi is not my favorite rapper is K-pop (that title goes to Kisum), it was her rap in “Cupid” that helped endear the song to me. Binnie is not the girl next door, but you wish she had been. Hyojung is a good mama bird. Jiho is a ray of sunshine. Arin is the little sister you keep the other boys from.

    Then there is JinE (my second bias). So very sad that she had to get off the train after only a couple of stops. It couldn’t have been easy for her being in a group with both YooA and Binnie. Both have narrow skeletal frames that allow them to appear proportionate and model’esque at low mass. There was absolutely nothing wrong with JinE, yet that’s not what the industry instills. Actually, before the drastic weight loss, she could have stood to add a few pounds. When the disorder got to the point of destroying her internals, it was time to make the hard choice. If there is any positive kismet in the universe, a generous helping of it is owed to JinE. I hope she gets the flowered path she deserves.

    I may go through periods of dissatisfaction with K-pop. I’m ensured at least one slump every year though the length and severity varies each time. However, groups like OMG are my safe harbors. I can count on them to offer up something that will delight and reinvigorate my love of this genre. In fact, their next release (Dear OHMYGIRL, dropping TODAY!) promises to be loaded with charm across all tracks. Yay! May 10th, 2021 is OMG day!

    Like

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