I haven’t had a proper review to talk about Oh My Girl to any extent, save for my Top 25 songs of 2016, where they were mentioned not once, but twice. Needless to say, they are one of my favorite rookies from last year, and I was super-excited for them to get away from the reggae sound they had in the latter half of 2016 from collaborations with Skull and Haha.
The main problem I have with “Coloring Book” is the same problem I had with “Rookie” by Red Velvet – and that was dynamics. It’s not a deal-breaker for me if a song has a raucous instrumental, talk-singing for most of the vocals, or even a crazy structure. What is a problem is how these things are implemented. In “Coloring Book,” we have a lot of interesting elements, but it loses itself in the way that every single piece seems to be fighting for space within the song. It makes the song loud and hard to listen to, and the song comes off messier than it actually is.
The saving grace of the song is the fact that not every part of the song is just talk-singing. When we get to hear Oh My Girl’s vocals (and by Oh My Girl’s vocals, I mean Hyojung almost exclusively), we can see some grounding elements that could’ve made the song interesting had everything else not taken up the rest of the run time.
Despite all these things, it can still be a good listen when you’ve replayed it a few times (and by a few times I actually mean a lot of times), but I know that most people beyond Oh My Girl fans won’t actually do that. I’m not sure if this will get them a win on music shows, but we’ll see.
As for the music video, it follows a lot of the same guidelines that Red Velvet’s “Rookie,” does, but it doesn’t confront the same pitfalls. There is either a saturation or an absence of color within this music video (unsurprising, since the entire concept of “Coloring Book” is…well, coloring books). The white sets were as jarring to look at as the colorful dance shots, and that’s mainly because of how saturated they were. That being said, the music video doesn’t entirely come off as a crazy acid trip (like “Rookie”). Sure, a pink dolphin does go over the dance set, and the girls are sitting on a conglomeration of chairs, tables, a piano, and even a bathtub in a few scenes, but it’s not quite as bad as alien spaceships, puppets, colorful children’s show sets, etc.
However, there was a very noticeable lack of Arin in this video. She’s present in flashes during the dramatic shots and group shots, but beyond that she’s barely there. Part of this might have to do with her ankle injury she attained sometime before this comeback, but even then I find it surprising she got just about as many shots as Sungyeol did way back in Infinite’s “The Eye.” Therefore, when a member of a group doesn’t show up much in a music video, I will refer to it as being “Sungyeoled” from now on.
Overall, I think this comeback is interesting, but it doesn’t size itself up with Oh My Girl’s other stuff. That being said, I find myself slowly warming up to it after listening to it countless times from the time of its release. Only time will tell if this will be a success or not, but in the meantime I’m planning on buying their album because they are sweethearts and I love them and I want them around for a long time.
Until next time!