OH MY GIRL – 'THE FIFTH SEASON'
1. The Fifth Season (SSFWL)
3. Case No.L5VE
4. Tic Toc
6. Crime Scene
7. Underwater Love
10. SSFWL (Inst.)
Oh My Girl has just dropped their first-ever Korean LP, 'The Fifth Season.' The album has 10 tracks, including their title track "The Fifth Season (SSFWL)," as well its instrumental version. It's been nearly 8 months since we've heard anything from these girls, so this is definitely welcome.
Their title track is "The Fifth Season (SSFWL)," and it fronts the LP. So you're probably wondering what SSFWL stands for. It's Spring, summer, fall, winter, and love. Not only that, but Love is the fifth season. I love how sweet this is. It's cute, and particularly the raps are adorable. The way it alternates between soft and dynamic is awesome. Just in case you hadn't had enough sweetness yet, "Shower" will give it to you. However, it sounds super-familiar to me. If it tickles that same deja vu funny bone in you, take a listen to "Secret Garden" again, then come back to this one. It's not a direct clone, and I can think of worse songs to riff off of, but I would have preferred something more original.
"Case No.L5VE" is nice, kind of like a spring rain (monsoons notwithstanding). They sound as sweet as ever on this track, and high octave vocals rain. One of things I like is there are more raps on this track to balance all that out. The track "Tic Toc" is probably about the highest tempo track we've heard on here, as well as more fun overall. It seems a great deal more playful than the other tunes. It has a distinct lack of gravitas and dispenses with elegance to deliver a straightforward, solid pop tune.
"Gravity" is kind of soft pop, until it reaches the chorus. Then it resembles those uplifting inspiring tunes. That's not a bad thing by any means. While the vocals are pretty good, I'm intrigued by the synths in the background. This song is driven by sounds you don't hear that often. If you want more playful sounds, then "Crime Scene" is your tune. With vocal snaps, chanted lines, and rap lines interrupted by sung interludes, this song ticks all the boxes. Not to mention a backing track that sounds like a cartoon character getting a hair plucked from the top of their head. You can't go wrong with this song.
"Underwater Love" is an R&B ballad done right. Yes, they do raise their voices to be heard above the music, but the next effect is that they all do, often together, so it doesn't sound bad at all. In fact, it just infuses it with more emotion than a solo singer can muster. Starting out with a thrumming bass and spoken words, "Vogue" probably takes the cake for a girl crush heaven on this album. There are sharp vocals and a very catchy chorus. I'm a particular fan of attitude-drenched tunes like this, and I'm in love here. And last, but not least, the soulful "Checkmate." YooA, Binnie, and Hyojung handle the first verse, and they belt out the lyrics with deep, throaty voices. Seunghee gives a soft landing from the stratospheric vocals we just heard. Mimi spits her 16 bars in the second verse, and Jiho and Arin provide some softness. I'm distinctly impressed with how well they did on a very different song for them.
I like this a lot. This kind of LP is my jam. They do all sorts of things right on this album, particularly "SSFWL," "Crime Scene," "Vogue," and the surprise vocals on "Checkmate." And those songs alone are worth a download. But that will likely whet your appetite, and you might want the whole thing. There are so many good songs on here, it's not a waste of cash. This is certainly a band worth stanning.
The girls filmed an MV for "SSFWL" and it's gorgeous.
I like effects-laden MVs. I think that the beauty of CGI can convey a message better than a zillion rooms with lights or hanging glass globes (which also make an appearance in this MV).
And it does. We have all sorts of representations of the seasons. A single flower blooming in a snowbank for winter. Flowers and fresh fruit to herald the appearance of spring and summer. Didn't see too much fall in there, but that's a minor quibble. I was lost in the pink cotton-candy clouds in the background.
The dancing is entirely appropriate here. Rather than sharp movements, they rely on graceful ones, gently extending an arm, moving the hands and fingers, and leaning elegantly. They don't show much of it, and more's the pity. What they did show was quite good.
There were some nice touches in here, such as the cherry blossoms blooming on the train. There are numerous such touches in the MV, which is just icing on the cake. It's a beautiful MV, and entirely tied into their whole concept. This deserves an enthusiastic thumbs up.
MV SCORE: 9.0
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0