I.O.I has been rather hit-or-miss since their debut. Unlike their ‘Produce 101‘ songs, their debut song “Dream Girls” was lacking in almost every way possible, and while “Whatta Man” was a massive step forward, it was a remake and only for the sub-unit members. I, as a follower of ‘Produce 101’ and all things Somi/Sohye, was hoping that “Very Very Very” could be the dynamic bop that “Dream Girls” was not. The inclusion of JYP (and my desperate desire to hear his trademark whisper) only exacerbated that hype. Sadly, “Very Very Very” was a less than stellar execution of an amusing concept.
“Very Very Very”, as both a song and music video, does a lot of things right. The rap breaks are solid with Mina’s bars hitting particularly hard, while the dance is adorable and a bit twerky. The bouncy, slightly computerized beat is catchy, and even the styling is on point.
However, much of what makes “Very Very Very” successful as a music video is a blatant amalgamation of Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb” and “Russian Roulette”. This is not too shocking because “Very Very Very” and the aforementioned Red Velvet releases have the same MV producer, but it does set the tone for the feeling of familiarity and derivativeness in “Very Very Very”.
The most glaring issue with “Very Very Very” is its overuse of repetition, though it felt different from how the easy comparison in SNSD‘s “Gee” did. Repeated words/phrases can provide a catchy anchor for a chorus, but the issue with “Very Very Very” is that so much of the song is repeated. The repetition is so overdone that the desired effect is lost since it verges more on earsore than earworm. The whole thing reminds me of how I attempt to sing in Korean, knowing like one word of a song, and just repeating said word ad nauseam thinking that I’m gonna be the next HyunA. “Very Very Very”, much like my attempts at K-pop stardom, just doesn’t work.
Quite simply, “Very Very Very” has been done before and done far better. Not everything has to be original, but if they’re gonna essentially remake a bunch of different previous releases, preferably they’d be built upon or improved upon, and this did neither. Yes, the song is cute, the girls are cute, and the whole presentation is ‘quirky’, but that did not add up to quality end package for me.
On a more positive note, I.O.I did a cover of Orange Caramel’s “Catallena”. It’s better than “Very Very Very” and even features penguin goddess Sohye as the center for a bit.
“Very Very Very”