[Review] Selfish – YooA (OH MY GIRL)

Today’s review focuses on OM MY GIRL’s YooA, who makes her return as a solo artist with the single Selfish. She also dropped her second mini-album of the same name on Monday. This is YooA’s first comeback as a soloist and follows her debut with Bon Voyage back in 2020. As part of the promotions for this comeback, YooA also released two pre-release singles from the mini-album, Lay Low and Melody ahead of Selfish. I will return to these releases when I have time in the future. As for now, here are my thoughts on Selfish.

After listening to the song the very first time on Monday when it was released, I went away with one pretty brief thought about Selfish – that it is overwhelmingly repetitive. I like the use of repetition to help make a hook memorable and have praised its usage in many songs when others didn’t necessarily like it. And while the opening hook “I want U babe I want U” (which is repeated throughout Selfish) does get keyed into your mind, its the dull spoken and monotone delivery of this hook that pretty much makes it lackluster. And since it is repeated at the start, makes up the first half of the choruses and features as part of the second half of the choruses, this lackluster is consistently brought up and I am pretty much over it by the time we get to the second chorus. Whilst on the topic of the second half of the choruses, I am a bit shocked at how much of the monotonal approach is adopted in the song. I appreciate the shouty and chanty style of the second half of the choruses, as it brought some life and body to Selfish. But YooA’s monotone and flat delivery layered under the chant just brings the energy down. Luckily, the chant was pretty intense, otherwise that low toned line might have canceled out the energy. As for the rest of Selfish, I am okay with it. The verses decently displayed YooA’s vocals (just wished the drumming R&B instrumental was a bit more tight and had more meat to it). The repetitive (its a theme with Selfish!) “Zom” bridge was pretty interesting at first. A bit weird in the first instance and hilarious upon reflection. But listening back, I do find it somewhat charming now. It might be due to the fact that YooA gives the lines wispy ends which I find to be pretty nice (relative to everything else we got in the song). Her vocals that follow the “Zom” section were probably the best we got from her. Unfortunately, Selfish was a disappointing return riddled with elements that were intended to be memorable, but instead were dry and dull.

The lyrics of Selfish likens frustrating feelings stemming from an uncertain relationship due to an indecisive significant other to a fish inside a bathtub that is being drained (taken from SOOMPI). While we don’t necessarily see the fish in a draining bathtub (this would have equated to animal cruelty), we do see the frustration in some scenes courtesy of YooA, particularly when she is slamming her keyboard and looks somewhat angry. Other than that, the music video is bright and colourful. It pretty much felt like an OH MY GIRL’s video. I kind of wished that the producers created a different visual environment for YooA and her solo releases to help differentiate between group and solo work. But it was still a decent video.

Despite the disappointment I have expressed with regards to the song, I actually thought the performance for this comeback was very well done and recommend that you check it out. I really liked the way the dancers were utilised in this performance to add more to the performance. Take the first chorus as an example, where the male dancers were doing this on-the-spot break dance move to the side of the stage, while the YooA and the female dancers were doing the main twist move at the centre of the stage. We also see a bit of mature vibe to the performance, with the bridge showing off a somewhat sensual energy, especially when YooA and co. bend backwards on their knees.

Song – 5.5/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 6.7/10

[Album Review] Bon Voyage (1st Mini Album) – YooA (Oh My Girl)

Sorry for the absence from the blog for the past few days. I have been a bit tired and had some personal stuff to deal with. But I am hoping to get back on track with one album review, one Weekly KPOP Chart post and one review tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here is an album review which I should have written one month ago when it was first released. I am talking about YooA’s debut mini-album, Bon Voyage. The album features the title track of the same name, which has wowed me for its uniqueness and refreshness. And while the feeling still remains for her title track, the rest of the songs on the album are as promising as the title track. So, without any further ado (and before I fall asleep again), here is my deep dive into Bon Voyage (the album).

Bon Voyage Album Cover

1. Bon Voyage (Title Track) Click here to read the full review for Bon Voyage. (9.5/10)

2. FarFar instantly stands out for me for YooA’s crisp vocals. And that is a very strong selling point. Far features a bouncy tropical EDM instrumental. For me, I find it relatively nice and light for an EDM track. There is some intensity when it comes to the chorus, which I really liked (though I wouldn’t be surprised if some people mistook it for just plain old simple ‘noise’). I like the inclusion of the metallic xylophone in the verses, helping pose the song (with the tropical EDM) as refreshing and suitable as a Summer heat (and also to follow Bon Voyage). To me, it isn’t the strongest song on the album, but it isn’t too far from that title. (8/10)

3. Diver YooA adds both funky pop and some attitude to the album through Diver. It might not be an intended infusion of attitude, but her vocal style in Diver comes off like so and this is more of the YooA that I am used to when it comes to performances. I really like the energy that comes from the song, instantly picking up from the more subdued energy from the previous two songs. The chorus stands out for its catchiness and the instrumental is quite colourful in its own way. Overall, Diver is a fun and strong song for YooA and her album. (9/10)

4. Abracadabra – You will be kidding yourself if you don’t agree that Abracadabra’s chorus is its main drawing point (or the weakest point in the song, depending on how you perceive the song). YooA literally is the driving force in the chorus, with the instrumental more so just a background piece and doesn’t amplify the melody (which isn’t present in the first half of the chorus – as the song’s main hook is more spoken than sung). It is definitely an intriguing yet risky style that draws me in and ends up working out perfectly. The second half of the chorus is more vocally driven, with a melody brought in to ensure that the song is balanced. We also get a bit of YooA as a rapper in this song, which pushes her boundaries effortlessly. (10/10)

5. End of Story – Ahh… the mandatory ballad on any KPOP album. For YooA, it comes in the form of a beautiful piano piece. Her vocals are husky and very innocent sounding. I would say it is almost child-like. I really like her harmonies with the backing vocals, which adds an extra level of depth to the song. I do feel like her vocals in End of Story might be overpowering, covering up the beautiful piano which I think should have had more moments to stand out. But still, a very nice song to end the album with. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10

Bon Voyage Teaser Image

[Review] Bon Voyage – YooA (Oh My Girl)

2020 has been a very successful year for Oh My Girl, probably exceeding the success the group achieved in 2019. Despite dropping their Nonstop/Dolphin comeback four months ago, the two songs are still ranking high on the digital charts, outperforming many artists and songs released more recently! And now it is time for Oh My Girl to step into new territory with solo promotions. First up is YooA with Bon Voyage!

Through Bon Voyage, it can be agreed that YooA has managed to show the best of herself. It a really great track and it stands out due to its unique sound (relative to other KPOP releases). Bon Voyage is a very airy and light in tone, diverting us away from the synthetic and heavy music influences of today’s music and opts for more a sound and vibe that feels fresh and natural. In many ways, the song feels like the it is reconnecting us with nature. Take the percussion, for example. It sounds wooden-like, rather than metallic and hence man-made. The instrumental also makes use of tribal-like chanting in the background, which also has that natural tinge to it. That being said, there are synths used throughout the song. But they are selected carefully to emphasis and highlight the nature vibes. The lightness of the song pairs up with YooA’s light and breathy vocals, helping create an aesthetic atmosphere overall. To me, the best parts of Bon Voyage are the choruses. They pretty much sum up everything I mentioned above and brings about a memorable feeling. The first chorus reminds me of Shakira’s Waka Waka, whilst the second chorus features YooA’s harmonies with the chanting background and is rather short (but sweet)! I did wish it was longer, so more charm could have been exuded from the song. But despite that, what Bon Voyage already had done before the final chorus was enough to warrant a positive review.

What a visual masterpiece. This music video captivates all possible senses and it is hard to look away when there is just so much going on, despite so little happening in each scene. The cinematography and especially the drone shots were extremely artistic and aesthetic. Definitely a video to watch if you want to see something stunning and are willing to be blown away. Fans have been floating some ideas about the concept of the music video. Personally, I like the idea of YooA reconnecting with Mother Nature, as that is what I initially thought of when I first watched the music video. I think the idea of YooA being a ‘child of Mother Nature’ to also be suitable, but I am unfamiliar with that story.

YooA is the main dancer of Oh My Girl, so I had high expectations for the performance for Bon Voyage. And those expectations were definitely exceeded. While the music video showed a lot of freestyle and interpretive dancing, the routine on stage is pretty much set. But the set routine carries the same vibes over and we get a glimpse of something similar to what we saw in the music video towards the end of the performance. I also like how artistic it looks, overall.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.8/10