Single Review: Girls’ Generation – “Oh! / All My Love Is For You”

This is the third Japanese single from Girls’ Generation, who are signed under Nayutawave Records. It was released on September 26, 2012 and reached #1 on the Oricon Daily and Weekly charts.

I actually like this more than the Korean version. The styling is more cohesive and it looks more like a 1950s American high school setup. And they all look very cute.

~

A Japanese re-release of the girls’ 2010 Korean hit, Oh! is basically every bit as cute as the original. I was actually surprised they didn’t release it in Japanese sooner, because the whole cute theme really fits what Japanese audiences find appealing. To be honest, it was never the vocals that I was worried about when I learned this song was going to be remade in Japanese (the point of the song was never to showcase the girls’ vocal skills or ranges), but the lyrics, since the original Korean was based on wordplay. Well, the Japanese songwriters found a solution for that one: keeping the lyrics in Korean. Yup, pretty much everything is in Japanese except the “oppa oppa” parts, which I’m honestly fine with because it wouldn’t have made sense any other way. They also manage to add some Japanese into it, but it sounds the same (switching “manhi manhi hae” to “maji maji de” SO CLEVER). Since this song is a remake, I was never expecting much other than that they keep it largely the same, which they did.

I’m so glad the Oh! remake was paired with an original song, and All My Love Is For You was a great choice. The juxtaposition of a cutesy pop song with a more downbeat ballad was a shrewd decision on the producers’ parts. I’ll start by saying I was surprised by how Western-sounding this song was – it didn’t sound Japanese or Korean. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it caught me by surprise. The melody of the song is really nice and the lyrics are sweet too, making it a pretty fair song. I enjoyed the vocals, but man, what a shame it is that the best singers in the group are also the ones with the strongest accents. Seohyun happens to be a good singer who also speaks Japanese well, but the same cannot be said of Taeyeon and Jessica, who are the best singers in the group but have super accented Japanese. Sooyoung speaks Japanese fluently but hardly gets any solos ever even in Korean. If you don’t speak Japanese this shouldn’t bother you, but I did pick up on it. Honestly though, this is just me nitpicking the small things. I really like this song and I thought it was lovely.

Summary: A short but sweet single with two tracks, one fun and one pretty. I’m a fan of Girls’ Generation (obviously) but for some reason I’ve always been less enthusiastic about their Japanese music than their Korean. However, with this single, I feel pretty excited for their upcoming Japanese endeavors (a new single, titled FLOWER POWER, coming this month and a new Japanese album in November). It’s always a good time with these girls around.

Single Grade: A-
Recommended? Yes

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