Girls' Generation Vol. 2: Oh!
Note: I am not sure if I am breaking the "double post" rule by posting this review separate from the index page. I've noticed that some fanfic authors have done something like this - index, and then Chapter One in a new post. Moderators, you can merge this with my index if it's against the rules.
Note 2: I won't talk about the look/packaging of this album because I do not have a physical copy - I only have the repackage, Run Devil Run. Once I purchase a copy, I will add to this review.
After rising to the top of the charts with their smash hits Gee and Tell Me Your Wish (Genie), So Nyuh Shi Dae returned with their second album in the beginning of 2010. The production on Oh! is more polished than their first full album, but still keeps the group's signature girlish and upbeat sound. This album also happens to be my favorite out of the four that SNSD has released.
1. Oh! - The title track is a bright, cheerful song with an infectious beat. It may be too "cutesy" for some people, but I find it charming and fresh. 10/10.
2. Show! Show! Show! - An energetic dance number with a catchy chorus ("Show me, show me!"), this song will get stuck in your head easily. I find Tiffany and Jessica's spoken English part a little bit awkward (especially since they're native speakers), but it doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the song. 7/10.
3. 뻔 & Fun (Sweet Talking Baby) - More catchy dance-pop. The girls harmonize well during the chorus, and I like how they sort of "chant" the lines. I also really like the instrumental part at the beginning. 8/10.
4. 영원히 너와 꿈꾸고 싶다 (Forever) - The first ballad on the album, this is my absolute favorite SNSD song. Period. The girls really shine here, both individually and as a group. I love the musical buildup of this song: it starts out with a spoken introduction by Yoona, then sweetly sung verses and a dramatic, emotional chorus that gets bigger each time it is repeated. After the sweeping finale, a quiet and wistful Taeyeon delivers the last line. The lyrics are some of the most touching out of the girls' entire discography. Lines like "Throughout the laughter and the tears, the one who always believed in me was you," and "Even if a very long time passes, even if you and I become a bit different, I want to dream forever with you like this" will tug at your heartstrings and make you feel an appreciation for your loved ones. 10+/10.
5. 웃자 (Be Happy) - After a moment of reflection with Forever, the girls return to their upbeat side. This song is true to its title: it's hard not to be happy after listening to it! All the girls sound incredibly cute here, especially Sunny. Listen to this one after you've had a tough day. As Tiffany says, "No need to stress, push it off your chest!" 8/10.
6. 화성인 바이러스 (Boys & Girls) - This is a funky song with some great vocals. The whole group sounds awesome on this, but I especially love when Hyoyeon and Sunny, and later Sooyoung and Seohyun, trade lines back and forth in the part before the chorus. This track features Key from the boy band SHINee, although he only has a few lines in the first verse. 9/10.
7. 카라멜 커피 (Talk To Me) - A duet between Jessica and Tiffany, this sweet little song invites someone (probably a boy) to talk about their feelings over a cup of coffee. I wasn't that into it when I first heard it, but recently I've started to like it more. I get a very relaxed feel from this, like I'm sitting outside a coffee shop on a warm summer night. 8/10.
8. 별별별 (☆★☆/Star Star Star) - This ballad is sadder than Forever, but still beautiful. The girls' voices are full of emotion as they regret the end of a relationship. Sometimes, they even sound like they're on the verge of tears. I find this song hard to listen to because it's so painful, but it's still gorgeous. Anyone who thinks SNSD can't sing should listen to this. 10/10.
9. 무조건 해피엔딩 (Stick Wit U) - There's not much I can say about this song that hasn't already been said. It's another cute, catchy track. I don't listen to it much, but I like to when I need a burst of energy. I love the fast-paced chorus. 7.5/10.
10. 좋은 일만 생각하기 (Day By Day) - The Korean title translates to "Thinking Only Of Good Things," so you know it's going to be a positive song! Featuring only the "vocal line" (Taeyeon, Jessica, Seohyun, Tiffany and Sunny), this track has a soft, relaxing beat and smooth singing. The five members' lines are distributed pretty evenly, so each girl gets her chance in the spotlight. 9/10.
This album also includes the songs Gee and Genie, but I will be reviewing them separately, with their respective mini-albums.
Overall: Oh! is a fun, youthful album with lots of dance-y tunes and two wonderful ballads. It's very "classic Soshi" and is a good introduction to the girls' music. I loved it the minute I heard it, and most of the songs put me in a very good mood. I highly recommend this album to all pop-music lovers, regardless of language.
My Top 5:
Star Star Star
Boys & Girls
Day By Day