Oh My Girl just had the strangest comeback I’ve seen from K-pop in months. I think I jinxed something when I complained that previous release “Secret Garden” was too ordinary for Oh My Girl, because now they’ve swung to the opposite extreme, and it is extreme. The title track, “Banana Allergy Monkey,” is literally about a monkey who is allergic to bananas. Not only that, but it’s manically cute, as if it’s parodying itself. It’s not just the title track that is strange, but the whole comeback. After the explosive success of “Secret Garden,” I cannot figure out why WM Entertainment would split the girls into units and give them this oddball of an album, unless it was to satisfy whiny fans like me who missed OMG’s quirkiness. But you know what? Heck, I love it. Okay, the unit performing the song—referred to as “Banhana” and consisting of members Binnie, Hyojung, and Arin—could have turned the sugary factor on the cutesy vocals, I’ll admit. But between the frenzied video-game instrumental and the ever-well-developed WM composition of the melodies, it’s all pretty catchy, honestly.
While title track “Banana Allergy Monkey” only includes three members, the other four members of Oh My Girl get the next track on the album to themselves. If anything, “It Is Said” is even better than “Banana Allergy Monkey,” though less striking (but is anything more striking than “Banana Allergy Monkey”?) because it focuses more on sweet than cute. The real gem of this album, however, is closing track “I’m Not in Love With You,” a solo by member Seunghee. Even though the solo doesn’t demonstrate her full capabilities (did anybody see her on King of Masked Singer?), it’s a gratifying opportunity to hear the main vocalist’s unique voice deliver a breezy and extremely nicely composed pop track. I’d love to see more of this in the future, but maybe after a good full-group song. It’s only been three months since the release of “Secret Garden,” so I guess this could have been WM’s way of keeping OMG relevant while putting off the pressure of a full-group, full-album comeback. If nothing else, it’s nice to know that the eccentric side of Oh My Girl’s identity isn’t getting left behind.
BANANA ALLERGY MONKEY: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? I can’t lie, it’s a bop.
Take a look at Oh My Girl Banhana’s “Banana Allergy Monkey” MV below: