After the girl power anthem that was “Whatta Man”, K-pop’s ultimate girl group I.O.I released their new song “Very Very Very” on October 16th off of their goodbye mini album entitled Miss Me? asking fans if they will truly miss I.O.I after their one year contract is up. Formed a little less than a year ago from the winners of Mnet’s first multi-company debut survival show, Produce 101, I.O.I has broken ground this year as the first successful girl group with trainees from different companies. With this being the last release from I.O.I as a group, will I.O.I convince fans to miss them “Very Very Very” much?
Produced by JYP, “Very Very Very” marks a U-turn back to I.O.I’s cute origins, but still maintains an air of maturity within all the aegyo and shy smiles to the camera. The song is an electro-pop dance track that comes in at 206 beat per minute, one of the fastest K-pop songs on record, with a infectious sing-song chorus, and adorably easy dance moves. “Very Very Very” is a song about a girl who wants her crush to be absolutely, positively one hundred percent sure that he really really really likes her, because she’s been warned about how men behave, which is a good message for a lot of girls to hear.
Unfortunately for I.O.I, the only distinguishing factor about the song is the tempo, as the musical theme feels like a conceptual let down after the bombastic anthem that was “Whatta Man”, though it is definitely a step-up in music production from “Dream Girls”. Stylistically, the girls are dressed in “athletic chic”, the trend that’s currently popular among young teens, with sweatbands and soccer socks infiltrating everyone’s outfits. JYP’s production standS out significantly within the song itself, as it sounds like a song Twice could potentially sing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as Twice’s songs are extremely catchy, and so are I.O.I’s.
Being such, “Very Very Very” is the definition of an earworm; it’s subconsciously catchy that even though you might only hear it once, you cannot get the hook out of your head. The repetitive pre-chorus and chorus that matches the word repetition to the pulse of the song gives it the feeling of little kids with too much sugar bouncing on the edge of their seat, and manages to convey the insistence of the girls that the guys have to like them and isn’t just playing them. The words “very” and “keep” are repeated 76 times each throughout the song, though the two syllable spelling of both words gives off the impression that the listener is hearing the same word 152 times. Each member gets at least a half a verse or a chorus in the song, with Se-jeong being the only exception getting both a chorus and a part in the bridge due to her main vocal position within the group. Surprisingly, Yoo-jung is no longer Na-young’s partner for the raps within the song, as Yoo-jung takes the pre-chorus with Yeun-jung, and Mina takes the second half of the rap with a deeper and more aggressive tone than she’s previously shown.
The music video itself is a visual playground. Produced by the rising star studio Digipedi (Digital Pedicure), it relies on a primary color palette that is both bold and pastel at the same time. This is a staple of the production company, which has been responsible for many girl group music videos over the past two years, including Oh My Girl’s “Liar Liar”, Orange Caramel’s “My Copycat”, EXID’s “Up and Down”, and all of Lovelyz’s MVs. Digipedi incorporates many of their standard camera angles, backgrounds and editing tricks within the music video. These include jump cuts while a person is moving to create the illusion that they’re vanishing and appearing elsewhere, green screening multiple copies of a person into a room all doing different activities, and brightly colored pastel aesthetics within the background and lighting. All of these techniques come together to create an MV where there appears to be a story without an actual storyline, created through effects and editing. The music video also incorporates props and sets very similar to other K-pop music videos — the tennis balls matching A Pink’s “Mr. Chu” and Red Velvet’s “Russian Roulette”. MVs with bold yet muted color palettes have become the norm for most upbeat K-pop songs, particularly with girl groups who release songs that fall under the “cute without being sugary sweet” genre. The boldness of the color schemes combined with the usually pastel shades used in the MVs match the “earnest yet adorable” concept that has replaced the standard pure aegyo concept of past years.
All in all, I.O.I has definitely left fans something to remember them by with “Very Very Very”. Even though the song itself isn’t as memorable as fans hoped it would be, the pure enthusiasm that the girls bring to the song and the MV will at least entertain us until it is finally time to say goodbye.
MV Rating: 3.9/5
(YouTube, Images via YMC Entertainment)