[Review] (G)I-DLE’s retro hip-hop vibe on “Uh-Oh” is better than the song

(G)I-DLE have quickly jumped to the forefront of this generation’s girl group landscape, but that kind of meteoric rise is not without its growing pains. February’s “Senorita” wasn’t as universally admired as their 2018 work, raising the stakes for its follow-up. New single “Uh-Oh” rights the ship to some extent, even if its retro hip-hop vibe is more enjoyable than the actual song.

Like EXID’s “Lady,” “Uh-Oh” heads right back to the 90’s. It bumps on an addictive beat filled with turntable scratches, canned strings samples, and smartly utilized keys. We even get a funky injection of bass guitar during the second verse, adding to the instrumental’s considerable appeal. A groove like this tends to sit in one place rather than build to any momentous climax, and that’s okay. “Uh-Oh” doesn’t need a standout endpoint, making its last-minute, halfhearted chant feel kind of extraneous. You come to this kind of track for the beat, and “Uh-Oh” definitely satisfies in this regard. (G)I-DLE have always delivered their material with undeniable attitude, but now they’ve got the fierce instrumental to match.

Melodically, the track mostly just circles around the same theme. The opening minute grows tiresome quickly, as the pre-chorus essentially repeats the structure of the verses. Luckily, the charismatic chorus changes things up, even if its magnetic performance outweighs the actual hook. The second verse feels more free-form, incorporating rap to create a melodically and rhythmically diverse segment. Added all elements together, “Uh-Oh” isn’t quite up there with “Latata” or “Hann,” but it’s a definite improvement over the underwhelming “Senorita.”

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