As a fan of Oh My Girl who’s been around since almost the beginning, I’m so proud of all the success they’re enjoying now. Their path to the top was pretty slow and steady, and seeing their popularity soar in the time that I’ve lived in Korea has been immensely satisfying. That being said… I’m definitely ready for some new music of theirs. If you’re a regular reader of mine, you’ll know that I go all-in on comebacks that I like for however long a group is promoting and then take a break to balance things out. Unfortunately, this has not happened with Oh My Girl because I have literally heard “Nonstop” and “Dolphin” for an entire year. Seriously, I can’t go anywhere without hearing one or the other – and I’ve definitely had my fill of both by now. So as you might imagine, Oh My Girl’s comeback and the promise of a new fun single were very eagerly anticipated in this household.
Sometimes K-pop songs are rather characteristic of the time of year when they’re released – especially for girl groups – and “Dun Dun Dance” hits that sweet spot right between a spring and summer track. And that’s some perfect timing, because that’s exactly where we are weather-wise in Korea. Oh My Girl’s trademark sweet vocals lend the song a bit of that delicate and gentle loveliness associated with spring, but the disco beats and catchy hook give it a fun summer feel. It has all the makings of a classic girl group hit, and I’m sure it’s going to be popular here. I’m almost certain I’ll hear it dozens of times over the next couple months without me even having to play it on YouTube or Apple Music.
The minute I heard “Dun Dun Dance,” I knew it was going to be a bop. It’s almost perfect for me, except for one thing: I’m not a fan of how high-pitched the chorus is. I’m well aware that many girl group songs are like this (much of Oh My Girl’s discography included), but it’s just way more noticeable to me than usual. l can almost feel my throat close up whenever I hear that part, though maybe that’s because I’m a true alto and I’m being dramatic. I’m not criticizing Oh My Girl’s vocalists or saying they sound bad; I actually think they sound pretty stable and comfortable, even though I imagine singing that high isn’t easy even for sopranos. If anyone can pull those notes off, it’s these ladies. I just think it’s a shame that the key is high when it doesn’t really need to be. It’s not a major complaint or anything, either; it just makes a difference between whether I like it or love it.
The part of “Dun Dun Dance” that I do love, however, is the performance. I’m sure you all saw this coming because K-pop dances are my favorite part like 85% of the time, but it’s the honest truth. As expected, the key point moves are easy to learn and so much fun to do. I can already envision my students dancing along to this at their after school dance clubs. On top of that, the entire performance is thoroughly engaging from beginning to end. All of the formations are interesting and unique, and the choreography uses each and every member as much as possible. And most importantly, it looks like they’re all genuinely having fun. Whoever choreographed this is a genius.
One of the reasons I love Oh My Girl is because they can be so delightfully quirky in both their music and aesthetic, and I’m glad to see that WM has allowed them to keep their whimsical nature even after they found mainstream success. The music video for “Dun Dun Dance” has another fantastical premise, as it seems to hint at the girls being aliens who’ve come to Earth to have some light-hearted fun. An alien theme can be a bit of a wild concept, but I think it’s handled really well here. It’s still a little eccentric – in a good way! – but giving hints instead of spelling everything out is much more entertaining. It’s cool that they seem perfectly normal except for certain moments: Seunghee levitating books, Mimi’s mirror reflections acting differently than she is, Arin video calling what appears to be their home planet, etc. Very cleverly done.
MY OVERALL INTEREST LEVEL
(NOTE: My options for each category are “Love,” “Like,” “Neutral,” “Not My Style,” or “Dislike.” But I rarely dislike anything, so I’ll mostly be using the other four.)
While I was drawn to “Dun Dun Dance” from the get-go, I must admit that I’m not in love with it. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s just a bit too soft and gentle for me to truly adore it. I wish it were just slightly more energetic like “Nonstop” was. I also can’t decide if it’s too cutesy for me or not; it’s kind of right on the threshold of what I like. But even though I say I don’t like cute music all the time on this blog, Oh My Girl is actually one of the few groups whose cutesy concepts I really enjoy. (Which is hilariously ironic, because I feel that sometimes they can be the most saccharine sweet of all.) So if any group could win me over with cuteness, it’s them. We’ll see how I feel about “Dun Dun Dance” in the long run, but I can still say with confidence that Oh My Girl has delivered us another winner for sure!
(“Knee Jerk Reaction” is a column I created to talk about comebacks or debuts when I don’t have a lot of time to write in-depth reviews. A knee jerk reaction is like an automatic response, so it’s a post about my initial thoughts on the song, the music video, and the performance if it’s available. Compared to my reviews, everything is more stream of consciousness and less analytical. And everything is 100% my own opinion!)
SOURCES: Music video and featured image belong to WM Entertainment.