Nov 4, 2016

I.O.I - Very Very Very

I can't believe how fast time has gone by. It feels like yesterday that I.O.I was formed and now suddenly they're having their last comeback before disbanding. I've grown to like this group and these members a lot, and I know I'm not the only who's going to be sad when the finally go their separate ways. What I.O.I has is something truly special and I don't know when we're ever going to see a girl group with as much star power as this one, because these girls coming together as one has resulted in one of the most popular groups in Korea. Unlike their last comeback with "Whatta Man" this time it's all the members, and it seems they're going back to their roots with a comeback that feels like a sequel to their debut "Dream Girls".

This comeback is, in almost all ways, very different to "Whatta Man", which in my opinion remains the superior title track thus far, but "Very Very Very" is still a great track. Above everything it's ridiculously catchy, with a chorus that sticks with you only after one listen and has you singing "Neomu neomu nemou" like a crazy person. The song is produced by mr JYP himself which might seem slightly strange, but member Somi is actually signed to the agency so there is a connection between the two. The song isn't anything groundbreaking or innovative but it's a cute and upbeat pop track that I think fits the group quite well. It seems like the public agrees with this too since the song has been on the top of the charts since it came out. I also really enjoy having all the members back , although I loved the unit, as I missed hearing Sejeong and Yeonjung's vocals. This comeback also introduces us to Mina as a rapper, which she pulls off well, and lets Yoojung show off her vocals instead.

The video is also a really cute watch, but in my opinion it's not as instantly likeable as "Whatta Man". The main problem I have with the MV is that it seems like a mix-up of about 10 other music videos that have come out in the last year or so, as it plays on the "cute but kooky" trend that we've started to see a lot among girl groups recently. It's cute and colorful but at the sametime a bit random and quirky, and there is a lot of play with camera angles, props and editing as well as having the girls rock semi-weird hair and makeup. It never really crosses the line of being too weird though, as it's mostly just cute and youthful but with a dash of playfulness.

I.O.I pulls of the video as one would expect and it is a fun watch, but the lack of originality takes a bit off the charm away. When I heard that it was highly popular video production company Digipedi who made the video I wasn't surprised, as many of the videos this one reminded me of was made by them; such as A Pink's "Mr Chu", Oh My Girl's "Liar Liar" and Lovelyz' "Candy Jelly Love". The choreography is also very cute and bubbly and it matches both the vibe of the song and the video, although it's maybe not as strong and powerful as the one for "Whatta Man". It's a bit unfair to compare those two though since they have two entirely different approaches, but in terms of impact this one still feels slightly weaker. I will say however that the point move is very rememberable and very easy to dance along to, which I think is the meaning as well. I don't have many complaints about the styling either as the girls all look gorgeous, but they'd do that in pretty much anything so that isn't saying much, and I particularly like the makeup. My only wish is that Chungha would've stuck with black hair but I guess that look was a bit too strong for this concept.

As for the mini album, called "Miss Me?", I actually enjoyed quite a few tracks off of it. Apart from the title track my favorite song is without question "Hold On". B1A4's Jinyoung made quite a name for himself when he composed "In The Same Place", one of the hit songs on "Produce 101", and he also made one b-side for their first album called "When The Cherry Blossom Ends". Both those two songs have been frequently played in my K-pop playlist, as well as the track he made for Oh My Girl, and with "Hold On" he does it again. He really has carved out a signature sound and I can definitely see him making a living out of this because literally all of the songs he's made for girl groups have been fantastic. "Hold On" is another example of this and I love how emotionally mature it sounds whilst still fitting I.O.I's youthfulness.

The other songs on the mini are good listens too with "Ping Pong" especially standing out with a stronger and fiercer sound similar to "Whatta Man". Overall it's a good mini without too many surprises or musical strides, but that's to be expected. I'm happy for them to go out on a high point and with a strong public recognition and appreciation, but I'm slightly anxious as to what will happen next for all the girls. Some of them have already debuted with new groups without too much buzz and some are waiting to debut again, but I honestly feel like it will be hard for them to reach as much success as they have with I.O.I. I know this group was always meant to be temporary, but part of me wishes they could all stay together or at least release a single every now and then. The star power of I.O.I is not to be underestimated and it's a shame they have to disband this early. I don't know when they all will reunite next time but I hope it's not too far in the future, but until then I'm happy they had one last comeback that was as enjoyable as this one.

MV: 3,8/5
Album: 3,5/5

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