OH MY GIRL BANHANA – BANANA ALLERGY MONKEY
1. Ukiuki Waikiki (Intro)
2. Banana Allergy Monkey
3. It is Said
4. I'm Not in Love with You
Make a wish!
Oh My Girl is back once more, this time with a fun new concept. They formed a new subunit, called Oh My Girl Banhana, and made a pop-up album 'Banana Allergy Monkey.' Oddly, the subunit consists of all the members, but different girls are featured on each song. Hyojung, Binnie, and Arin are the ones involved in the title track, and Mimi, YooA, Seunghee, and Jiho sing the other tunes.
To put you in a tropical mood, the EP starts out with "Ukiuki Waikiki (Intro)." It's an instrumental played on a ukelele (apparently) and is meant to have a mellow sound to it that emulates Hawaiian popular entertainers from back in the day (like Don Ho). It strangely ends with 8-bit video game music. "Banana Allergy Monkey" starts out with similar 8-bit music. The song itself is bubbly, upbeat, and impossibly high-pitched. Some have compared it to Orange Caramel, I think more Crayon Pop. It's the chorus that really grates on me. It's cute, almost sickeningly so, but it grows on you the more you listen.
They don't look happy. Was it something I said?
"It is Said" has some hints of the 8-bit thing, but I really like this one. It's not as saccharine as the title track, and it's extremely aegyo-like. It's very minimalist and simple, but refreshing for all that. It also lacks the night core feel of the first one. The final track, "I'm Not in Love with You," is actually far and away the best song on the EP. It starts with a lively ukelele but moves into a higher tempo. I like this happy tune the best. It's got more substance to it, featuring Seunghee's sugar-spun vocals, sung with more emotion than super-high-pitched voices can offer you.
I understand that the video game is part of their concept, and we can be thankful they didn't use 8-bit music throughout and threw in only a pinch of it here and there. This newest release is a serious departure from their sound. I found the title track distracting and hard to get into. "It is Said" is not bad overall, but "Didn't Fall In Love" is a beautifully realized singer-songwriter-style piece. But it doesn't save it. IMHO this EP is simply not as good as what they've done in the past. It's a shame they stopped their uptrend momentum.
The MV is a fun mess. It's almost impossible not to like the visuals, just because it's intentionally campy and in some ways videogame-like. They traipse through different environments such as the snowy arctic, the jungle, and even outer space, with a steampunk-style airship to take them places.
The dancing is kind of blah. It's cute, and they do their best with the rather weak choreo, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. They've been criticized for parts of the choreo, like the butt scratching. However, that's very monkey-like. There's also a condition called "monkey butt" for people who have an itch there, hence the "Allergy" part of the title. I would hope it wouldn't be offensive to people with allergies. What's next -- offensive to monkeys? Or bananas?
May I suggest some Gold Bond?
Really, I like the MV a lot. It's better than the song it's meant for. It's funny and cute, and so are the girls. There's an innocent charm that just suffuses the whole thing. It almost seems like a kid's show, harmless, annoying in parts, and just adorable in general.
MV SCORE: 9
ALBUM SCORE: 6.3