At a certain point, a specific K-pop sound becomes so ubiquitous that it’s difficult to write about with any originality. Such is the case with this blah blah blah, la la la “girl crush” style that has invaded the industry over the past two years. I’m not a fan of this style in general, but there are exceptions. Debut-year ITZY is a major one. Unfortunately, not every group comes from an agency as wealthy and well-connected as JYP. And when smaller acts attempt this boisterous sound, the results can feel quite muddled.
This is the case for Bling Bling’s Oh Mama, though it’s not for a lack of trying. The song bends over backward to deliver hooks at all costs. They come in rapid succession, cartwheeling in and out of the track. From the chanted chorus to the multiple beat drops to the quick blasts of vocal breakdown, there isn’t time to breathe.
This Frankenstein approach can be a real treat, and has become one of K-pop’s calling cards. But the problem with Oh Mama (and so many songs of its ilk) is that none of these hooks really sink their teeth in. They’re catchy, yes — but in a disposable, surface level way. There’s only so much excitement you can wring from giddy exclamations. At a certain point, Oh Mama needs that shot of pure melodic bliss to give it an anchor. Its titular refrain doesn’t quite rise to the challenge, even if it will be rattling around my brain for some time. In the end, the song is like a buffet. Everything tastes good in the moment, but it’s not until you get home that you realize you’re both stuffed and unsatisfied.