20140807_seoulbeats_eric_nam_ooh_ooh2It’s a been a long year since Eric Nam dropped his debut mini-album Cloud 9, and fans of the adorable singer have been waiting with bated breath for the follow-up to his highly popular “Heaven’s Door.” Well, wait no more! We’ve finally gotten another piece of commendable pop from the B2M artist. “Ooh Ooh” is so funky it’s almost shocking!

The song itself is instantaneously catchy. Though it doesn’t stray from the typical K-pop formula, per se, this little slice of Jamiro-funk is definitely a welcome alternative to the electro/dance pop that makes up the grand majority of most of the top K-pop hits. There’s a prominent bass line underlying the horns, drums, and keyboard that puts this track right into hardcore groove territory. Eric’s voice isn’t out of this world shockingly mind-blowing, but it’s sweet and pop-ready, absolutely perfect for a song with this type of flavor.

“Ooh Ooh” is a party from the first note, the type of jam you’d put on when you’re about to step out on the town, just as our adorable protagonist. The chorus—a string of “Oohs” followed by “Oh, pretty baby”—definitely sticks to the listener. It’s actually quite brilliant, a tailor-made refrain for anyone, Korean or otherwise, to latch onto and sing while skipping down the street. If you need a song to act as your walking music, this is most definitely the tune you’re looking for. With Eric’s little homage to Michael Jackson coming toward the end—a few well-placed “Chamons”—the “Ooh Ooh” becomes a quintessential pop song. It digs its way into your mind and won’t leave no matter how much you sing “The Wheels on the Bus.”

20140807_seoulbeats_eric_nam_ooh_ooh_hoyaAnd praise the Lord and pass the chocolate chip cookies! We finally get a rap that actually fits the mood and tone of the song! Hoya’s presence is not only welcome, it’s hard to imagine this song without it. It’s your standard love song about seeing a pretty girl and knowing she’s the one for you. Hoya’s is a typical little rap break, the brazen second-in-command talking about asking for “your address not your number” and how your “height difference is perfect.” But Hoya’s presence throughout the song is integrated so well that the INFINITE rapper actually becomes part of the song instead of just a featured guest. With all the units cropping up this year (most notably another INFINITE member, Woohyun, and SHINee’s Key with their tasty little number), it wouldn’t be out of order to add this one to the list. Hoya’s contribution to the track definitely makes this a bona fide collaboration.

The music video is just as cute and fun as the track itself. We’re first introduced to Eric as he’s getting ready for his day as, what else, an idol—Micky Mouse underpants and all. We’re then whisked away into the fast-paced life of an idol star, complete with television performances, costume changes, and CF shootings. It’s bright, loud, and there’s constant movement. The stylized video fits perfectly to the pace of the song itself—fun and energetic. Cameos from SPICA’s Boa, U-KISS’s Kevin, and Busker Busker drummer Brad Moore round out the exciting MV, the trio taking on the role as members of the home audience, viewing this on their analog televisions, going completely nuts for the catchy tune.

20140807_seoulbeats_eric_nam_ooh_oohThere’s a bit of choreography that’s both easy to learn and repetitive without being at all redundant. It’s simple and, as with the overall video, matches in style and flavor to the song itself. The camera work gets a bit overkill after the first dozen frames, zooming in and out to highlight the fast-paced energy indicative of an idol lifestyle. It’s particularly bothersome during the actual dance shots. If it were just Eric executing choreography it’d be one thing; however, there’s an entire team of dapper gentlemen going through the steps, all of which are only effective when seen head on because of the layering effect the choreographer integrated into the dance. There are also moments when the lighting gets in the way of what we’re supposed to be focused on in certain scenes—when the focal point is Eric himself or perhaps one of the neon signs declaring “Love,” “Passion,” and “Need.” The brightness of the surrounding light causes a flare effect that essentially tampers the importance of the main object in the scene.

A bit of questionable camera and lighting calls aside, “Ooh Ooh” is an adorable, smart, and exciting video. The song is perfect for shaking off the blues from the unnecessarily long and harsh winter. There’s nothing better than a little boogie to get you in the mood for spring and summer. A definite jam if I ever heard one!

Song: 4.5/5
MV: 4/5

(YouTube, B2M Entertainment)