Before I start the review, I have to say that Oh My Girl is my favourite K-pop group currently active. Not only do they have one of the strongest and most consistent discographies of any group ever, but their sheer charisma and willingness to challenge the boundaries of their fairy tail concept has resulted in some excellent projects. They’ve always seemed like a group on the cusp of breaking out, and while new single Nonstop (살짝 설렜어) seems like it’s on its way to being their career defining single, it’s probably the most generic the girls have sounded In a while.
My favourite Oh My girl songs, such as Closer, Secret Garden and Step By Step adhere to a more ethereal template, but they have proved many times before that they’re equally as proficient with buoyant upbeat pop. Such is the case with Nonstop, which utilises a potent tropical, trap-pop instrumental to create an early summer hit. While the bouncy Tropical beat that anchors most of Nonstop might have sounded almost redundant a few years ago, it’s a surprisingly enjoyable melody in an era dominated by hard hitting trap beats. It’s not my preferred direction for the girls and does little to showcase their individual charms, but boy is it catchy. The girls sound great, but they always do, hence elevating Nonstop over some other standard tropical bops. I particularly enjoy the more streamlined structure of the opening verse and especially the pre-chorus, which injects a rising anthemic melody. It hits some of my personal musical soft spots, and feels incredibly satisfying.
Unfortunately, the hook itself, while immediately catchy, feels underdeveloped. The instrumental loop might be one of the stronger examples of a drop chorus, but the lack of a rich vocal led hook doesn’t do Nonstop many favours. Oh My Girl have pretty much built their name on incredibly melodic, and instantly galvanising hooks, and its absence here is quite a shame. This extends to the songs heavy trap influence, something which I wish the group would omit completely for future comebacks. The lurching and grating post chorus hook is probably my least favourite moment of the track, taking what could have been a promising post chorus segment into nothing more than a cloying repetition of the tracks title. The climax improves on this, by combining the repeated tropical loop and post chorus hook into one strong conclusion. And while Nonstop has its moments, it’s far too uneven for me to consider it one of 2020’s musical highlights, let alone one in the girls incredible discography.
Final Rating: 7.5 / 10
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