Review: 2nd Album – Oh!/Run Devil Run
Hey guys! I am sure album reviews about their songs are about as obsolete as the Concorde in this day and age of Digital ARRRrrr!! (Pirating) since you could just download the album and listen to their songs before making the purchase. However, after a few months of listening to RDR and Oh!, I think a look back on how the songs have stood against the test of time (three to seven months?) and newer releases by the other artists would be nice.
But before we get to my long winded post about the songs, some pics:
Oh! looks and feels like a book while Run Devil Run looks like and is actually a DVD box. That girl on the RDR cover is Yoona, by the way.
The only problem with the Oh! album is that the CD holding slits cut into the last page is right on poor Hyo =( (I have been told, however that there is a reprint of Oh! that does not have Hyo’s face cut off, but I do not have that copy). Other than that, I really like the retro style of the Oh! album, what with the conspicuous liquor and Andy Warhol books in the background.
And this is the insides of the RDR album. Not the greatest in the world, but it will do. What some SONEs have suggested is that you get a second copy of RDR (and a second poster), buy a clear empty DVD box that can only hold 1 DVD (You can find these in shops that sell computer parts) and put the paper on the inside of the Albums back to back in the new empty box. Alas, we could not find the guide to do so (Although the steps are really that easy.) or else it would be up here as well.
Since RDR and Oh! have the same songs, I will be basing this on the RDR tracklist sans Gee and Genie. Take note that I liked ALL the songs here in spite of however I might write about them. I am just trying to look at them as objectively as possible so that my true nature as an SNSD spazzer isn’t immediately apparent.
1. Run Devil Run
Now, it’s no secret that owa1985 doesn’t like the Black Soshi concept. However, the song itself is actually quite good.
The lyrics themselves are sung from the viewpoint of a girl who found out about her two/three/four/many-timing boyfriend and now, she is going to dump him. As far as lyrics go, this is a departure from SNSD’s past songs which invariably involve some amount of pining for a boy or something wholesome like loving your mom and such. It’s about a girl who got pissed off and was ticking off all the boy’s bad qualities before resolving to just go for a boy who would “look at her” only. Well, yeah, you show him… girls!
The music though, is catchy in a somewhat similar quality as Genie, but isn’t as good, for some reason. Now, I am not too qualified to speak much more in detail about the music but suffice to say that while I like it somewhat, my outlook on it is somewhat tainted by my predilection towards more upbeat music. That being said, there are probably more fans of this song than Oh! due to the somewhat more impressive vocals required of the song.
If RDR took some time for me to warm up to the beat, Oh! had the somewhat opposite effect on me. I almost instantly liked the music, but had trouble distinguishing who was singing which line, even the Taengoo and Fany parts.
The lyrics is of course, about a girl pining for her Oppa who has been treating her like a yodongsaeng (little sister) but one day, little sister can’t take it anymore and decides to reveal her (decidedly unsibling-like) affection for her elder brother. Now, before we get *too* grossed out by this, we need to examine the bit where born and bred asian girls/women sometimes take to calling their boyfriends/husbands “big brother”. It’s a cultural thing, so there isn’t anything to debate here. Moving on. Now the lyrics are pretty much right up SNSD’s alley where the target audience is once again girls below 14 and guys above 18.
So, having just put down the lyrics in the nastiest way possible, the weird thing about this song is that quite a lot of grown up young women like it too. Although, I suspect that all these women are in healthy relationships and sing along to this song to have some fun with their boyfriends. And not necessarily in THAT manner too (Get your minds out of the gutter!). No really, there are people out there who sing songs in half jest, fully knowing what the lyrics mean.
Still, the music here is another mind worm. It’s addictive for all the right reasons and it’s memorable enough despite it’s apparent simplicity. The downside here though, is that none of the girls get to really show off their voices, although the airtime here is more evenly distributed (Someone on SSF actually did a frame by frame analysis of the Oh! MV) so I suppose some things have improved.
In conclusion, a Gee style song made to conquer charts that broke some records (Highest placed debut), but promotions stopped before they won another 9 weeks on top.
Now this song is a little odd. And strangely cute. It isn’t exactly catchy, but… eh…
The lyrics have a theme of “I know this boy is bad, but I can’t help but fall in love with him” and ends with “You playboy, treat me nicely too” (As translated by SSF). Hmm, I am sure they are singing the truth about a lot of girls in this world. Oftentimes, girls fall for the sweet talkers for reasons they themselves can’t fathom.
Pleasant enough melody, if a little too simplistic for it to be truly addictive.
4. Star Star Star R&B Version
This is a slightly different version of the Starx3 with less emphasis on the piano and with a slightly more complicated backing music. Therefore, this version has a more epic sound to it, whereas the original version is more plaintive in its pining. Two versions for slightly different moods, to be sure. I can’t say which one I like better.
5. Show! Show! Show!
This is one of my favourites from this album.
The lyrics to this song somehow did not surprise me at all, and yet… It sounds like a girl is putting on the moves on a guy, finally ending with “Just tell me that you love me, I’ll be there, right, alright, just for you” (Translated by SSF). Now the funny thing is that perhaps I grew up in the middle of the feminism movement and all that, but this stance is usually taken by the “guy” perspective in songs (Falling for a girl, doing stupid things for her, etc.), so admittedly it is a little jarring for me when I read the translations for this song (and a whole lot of other SNSD songs). Before I spark yet another “SNSD is promoting subservient behaviour on girls” debate, I suppose I should stop here.
So yes, this song feels right at home in the playlist of one of those Hip-hop-esque electronic rooms in the club. Very, very seductive beat and rhythm.
6. 뻔&Fun (Sweet Talking Baby)
This is a light and upbeat song that samples Luigi Boccherini’s “Menuett aus dem Streichquintett E-dur” or Minuet from String Quintet No.5 in E major. At times, the sample is played using a Gayageum, otherwise known as the Korean 12 string harp.
Musically speaking, it lends credence to the claim that classical music make pretty good pop songs.
The lyrics sing about a girl being unimpressed by a guy’s claims of love for her, proclaiming “Rather than the words forming in your head, tell me what your heart is saying” (Translated by SSF). The girl loves the guy, but still holds out on him, being unimpressed by the apparently insincere claims of love by the guy. Not bad, if you ask me.
My own impression of the song was that at first it sounds like a cheap ass version of Boccherini’s Minuet, but give it a half minute and the song flies into a pretty grand rendition of it, topped off by SNSD’s singing. Not bad, but it does come off as a little too upbeat for what it is singing about.
7. 영원히 너와 꿈꾸고 싶다 (Forever)
For those of you who have heard Complete, Forever sounds and feels like it. Except with a more epic feel.
Forever is one of those songs that proclaim everlasting love for the significant other without any tragedy (Yay!) involved. Very sweet, lovely non-gender specific lyrics (So, guys, you know what to do) that when delivered by SNSD’s combined voices near the end make for a very moving tune.
I think this song is actually an upgraded version of Complete.
8. 웃자 (Be Happy)
Hmm, a song about not yelling at each other so much. It’s a pretty awesome theme that is admittedly rarely sung about (if ever).
The beat and yelling bits are reminiscent of cheerleading marches. But, that’s not a bad thing, just slightly weird considering what it’s singing about.. >.>
And a bit of the translated lyrics (Taken from Soshified):
This and that, why do you have so much to say
Oh, let’s smile, let’s smile, let’s just smile it off
Do this, do that, stop saying such hurtful things
Oh, let’s smile, let’s smile, let’s just smile it off
So yeah, lets just stop saying hurtful things. =D
9. 화성인 바이러스 (Boys & Girls) (ft. Key of SHINee)
This song is exactly what the title suggests. It’s about boys and girls and their differences done in a rather retro (read: Has actual singing) style.
Well, the lyrics sound like whoever the songwriter was, he/she took every single major concept out of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and put them all into this song. Not bad, but you would think that since it is such a popular book, the references would be a little more obtuse.
One of the more enjoyable songs, but Key sounds a little underutilised here. =/
10. 카라멜 커피 (Talk To Me)
I find the English title of this song a little weird because the Korean title literally means “Caramel Coffee” (Romanisation: Karamael Kawpi. Lulz, I know). It doesn’t change the fact that this is one of my favourite songs in the album though. The genre is Easy Listening and it is done by JeTi.
And despite the Korean title, the lyrics are more true to the English title. It’s about getting butterflies in your stomach and having the other person’s words sweep you away. It’s like listening to your love speaking to you, whether it’s sweet nothings or heavy stuff, it doesn’t matter, because that person’s words is sweet like caramel and soft ice cream.
I somehow find it typical that SNSD would liken pleasant things in life to food (Given their infamous propensity for eating) but having JeTi sing it is just… *sigh with dopey smile*
11. 별별별 (☆★☆)
So, the most inconveniently titled song in the entire album also happens to be the most beautiful one. This is an honest to goodness ballad sung by one girl at a time, but with Sunny doing the backing in the pre-chorus and Yoona getting only the speaking bits in the start.
The lyrics seem to be about pining for a one-sided physically distant crush. Well, that’s if you interpret it at its most negative. The most positive interpretation I can have of the lyrics is pining for a lost physically distant love. Slightly depressing, I know. But it is sung with such a hopeful tone that you can’t help but feel that as well. Then again, it’s probably no good for the singer’s perspective either way. >.<
Still! This song provides the vocal showcase that everyone has been clamouring for in this album. Even Yoona showed off her emotional projection prowess in her spoken bits.
12. 무조건 해피엔딩 (Stick Wit U)
This songs starts off and plays like a typical computer game theme. In fact, I couldn’t have guessed what the song was about until I saw the translated lyrics.
The lyrics are about dreaming about a guy/girl in a dream and then meeting him/her in real life in a whirlwind romance. Sounds suspiciously like roughly 30% of fanfics out there, and not just SNSD ones too. XD Maybe the lyrics writer read some and wanted to poke fun at them? Well, I can’t stop laughing now after seeing the translated lyrics.
To be honest, the song is okay for the first 20 or so listenings, but after that, it does grate on my nerves. Well, until I saw the lyrics that is. The song’s okay, I guess. =D
13. 좋은 일만 생각하기 (Day By Day)
In case anyone is wondering, yes this song has the same title as that Beethoven Virus theme. And yes, it has the same tune but the words are different and this version has parts for the rest of the girls who weren’t in the original version. The genre is also Easy Listening with lots of acoustic guitar sounds. It does get a little epic at its climax though.
The lyrics is filled with indirect advice for lovebirds. “If I just think of those wonderful memories of you, I can be happy” (As translated by Soshified) it says. I couldn’t agree more.
The bottom line is that owa1985 likes this song quite a bit especially the part where Tiffany chips in with her strong voice to support Jessica’s bit at the end.
And there you have it, the Soshicatalogue review of the RDR/Oh! album. It’s really a good album with a song list that has more songs that would probably stay in your playlist longer (owa1985 still has all of Oh! and RDR in his playlist).