Selfish, by YooA

There are two hurdles for me and music, and maybe K-pop in particular: repetition, and “cool.” I may need to explain the latter. I don’t know if it was just the environment I grew up in, but I felt like the only thing worse than being uncool was trying to be cool. Even today, nothing is worse than cringe; nobody likes Elon Musk. For me, Blackpink skews too western, and while I respect their artistry – I love Jisoo’s voice – there can be something uncanny about the style. It’s like when anime music has too much broken English. Remember Black Lagoon?

YooA, of Oh My Girl, is closer to Blackpink than Apink, say (Apink being the epitome of uncool, and I love them for it). There’s a lyric on her latest solo album where she’s like “I’m so addictive, you can’t quit this,” but for some reason, I’m feeling it. People should feel that way, and YooA perhaps more than most.

Still, I had to sit with Selfish for a few days. The lead single, “Selfish,” struck me like Oh My Girl’s excellent “5th Season,” that it’s got a godly prechorus and a repetitive chorus. I think I gave the song a mental thumbs down at first – and then it got stuck in my head. Call it the Carly Rae Effect, but even if it’s a cheap way to win, she still won. It’s the “I want you, babe, I want you” that I couldn’t shake, despite it being the initial problem. And finally, it metamorphosed into its final form: a song I really, really like.

This 2022 release not only stands on its own as a great solo album, but it’s also helped me keep an open mind about K-pop. What I think it should be and what it truly should be are two separate things, and we should all be very thankful for that.

The music video:

She had her first win on The Show for the track, and did a live performance:

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