Oh! is Girls’ Generation’s 2nd album and it was released on January 28, 2010.
2. Show! Show! Show!♠
3. Sweet Talking Baby
5. Be Happy
6. Boys & Girls (feat. Key of SHINee)
7. Talk To Me
9. Stick Wit U
10. Day by Day
12. Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)♠♠♠♠
It’s safe to say that I had high expectations for SNSD’s second full studio album but then I remembered that this is K-Pop we’re talking about. I expected the fantastic title track but lukewarm if not horrible album tracks that sounded like filler material. Fortunately, I wasn’t COMPLETELY correct.
I wanna start with the way the tracks are structured. All the “promoted” tracks are split evenly between the beginning and ending of the album while the new tracks are bunched in the middle. Since there is little to no flow between the tracks, I imagine it was organized like this just to simply get an order without any real thought put into it. This is unfortunately something that happens a lot in K-Pop albums and something that really bothers me.
Now we’ll get into the new tracks. First is Oh!, the albums promo track. As many SNSD fans, I was excited to hear it for the first time since it is in a way a successor to both Gee and Tell Me Your Wish (Genie). To my pleasure, it did meet up with its previous hits. I consider Oh! to draw influences from the two previous tracks; it has that poppy and hook-heavy structure from Gee while also being influenced by the synth use and overall sass found in Genie. It’s followed by Show! Show! Show! which is on the same train as Genie but has a more disco sound with deep synth and a repetitive chorus. While I admit that it took a while for it to grow on me, it is undeniably sexy and danceable.
So now for the eight middle tracks. I won’t say that they are all horrible, but I wouldn’t label any of them amazing either, that is except for ☆★☆, a ballad! Now what differentiates this ballad from others is that while it also has spectacular vocals, it has something the others didn’t, emotion. Both vocally and in the melody. It’s really a powerful song with strings and piano that climaxes at the “star star star” line. Fortunately it’s not the only new track I enjoy. Both Talk To Me with its lovely tropical lounge sound and Day by Day which has a heavier use of the acoustic guitar and a carefree yet laid back atmosphere managed to catch my attention.
However, that’s where my love for the album goes. Everything else is pretty bad. The biggest offender would be Boys & Girls, a track featuring SHINee’s Key. Not only is Key’s part in the song totally tacked on and awkward, but the song is just so uninspired and sloppy. Stick Wit U also fails for me since it’s your typical cute SNSD song but with unnecessarily obnoxious synth and a familiar melody. At least it’s short at only 2:46.
Be Happy is a step in the right direction but ultimately gets overshadowed by the much more interesting Genie and Show! Show! Show!, both songs that share its dance sound. You didn’t think they’d forget to add the generic ballad right? That’s what Forever is for, although I must admit that they made some progress with the addition of a chorus and a climax near the end of the song.
With this album, I’ve learned something about SNSD. First, their title tracks will forever and always be awesome, this we have proof. Their ballads with this release have definitely gotten better, though only 1/2 would I listen to in the future. Now for the eight new tracks, I enjoyed the two, slower lounge tracks since SNSD pulled them off very well. As for the upbeat, pop tracks, I’ll give them a pass since they sound very generic and like the dozen tracks they’ve done in the past like that. While Oh! is an iffy album, I thought that a better track ordering and one or two generic pop tracks removed would have made me enjoy it more.