The Korea Herald


NewJeans' new title track "OMG" follows success of "Ditto" while MV draws controversy

By Hong Yoo

Published : Jan. 4, 2023 - 14:58

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NewJeans dropped their titular new single NewJeans dropped their titular new single "OMG" from their new album on Monday. (Ador)

NewJeans is at it again, taking over local and international music charts with their tracks “Ditto” and “OMG” from their new album “OMG” unveiled on Monday.

Following the success of the prerelease track “Ditto" is the title track “OMG,” trending in both South Korea and abroad. It reached No. 1 on the iTunes Top Song chart in nine countries including Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“OMG” is a hip-hop R&B with a mix of trap rhythms based on hip-hop drum sounds and percussions.

“Following the previous work, this track also focuses on the narrative of relationship. It deals with the strange sense of distance, caution and unfamiliarity that coexist while wanting to get close to each other,” explained the group’s agency Ador, a label under K-pop powerhouse Hybe.

In the “OMG” music video, NewJeans members appear wearing patient gowns at a psychiatric ward participating in a group therapy session.

NewJeans’ Hanni starts by introducing herself as Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant.

Danielle follows next, claiming that they are the popular K-pop idol group NewJeans.

Other members think of themselves as a doctor, Cinderella, Snow White, the Little Match Girl and a cat.

The fanciful music video evoked controversy among critics and fans due to a bonus clip at the end of the video.

After the credit, the clip shows a patient typing out a tweet that goes: “Am I the only one feeling uncomfortable with the material of the music video? Idol music videos would do good just by showing their faces and choreography.”

Then, Minji appears wearing a doctor's gown and tells the patient, "Let's go."

Some say this was directly targeted at NewJeans’ fandom for producing various interpretations of the girl group's former hit "Cookie." Some criticized the music video for portraying the band’s anti-fans as psychiatric patients.

NewJeans’ debut lead single “Cookie,” had sparked heated controversy for its provocative references and sexual objectification of the underage bandmates.

Many online comments slammed for its use of the word “cookie,” which has an overtly sexual nuance in American English depending on the context. According to Urban Dictionary, “cookie” can refer to female genitalia.

Yet the group’s agency Ador refuted such comments, saying that it is a song for fans “made with a sincerity as that of baking a cookie.”

“The ‘OMG’ music video bonus clip portraying all opinions coming from a certain platform as mental illness is not pleasant at all. Are all claims different from the producer's intentions malicious comments? Are they reacting sensitively to the criticism that NewJeans received? Does this mean that (the Ador CEO Min Hee-jin) won't allow any doubts about (herself)?” music critic Kim Do-heon wrote on his blog.

“The message behind the last scene is not bad, but it leaves me wondering why we have to see this in a NewJeans’ music video. I think the director projected too much of his perspective on art into it,” said music critic Jung Min-jae.

Amid diverse interpretations of this last part of the “OMG” music video, the act's member Hye-in shared her thoughts during an interview on a local radio show on Tuesday.

“We knew the meaning of the clip before shooting the music video because the producer and our agency’s CEO told us about it. But I would prefer to keep it a secret, as I think it would be more fun to leave the meaning of the music video up to the viewers' interpretations,” said Hye-in.

Meanwhile, more than 580,000 copies of the single “OMG” were sold by the second day of release.

Preorders of the album amounted to over 800,000, greater than the total number of sales for NewJeans’ debut album “New Jeans,” according to the album’s distributor YG Plus.

NewJeans came out with its namesake debut EP on Aug. 1 and took the music world by storm as “Attention” and “Hype Boy” conquered local music charts.

“Ditto,” a winter-themed subtle pop song released last month, also helped the girls take the throne in local music charts including Flo, Bugs, Genie and Melon.

It also made it to the Billboard Global Excl. US chart, landing on No. 17 and reached No. 36 on the Billboard Global 200.

The band was brought together by Ador’s CEO and head producer Min Hee-jin, who was the creative director for entertainment giant SM Entertainment.

The five-piece act hopes to become a musical icon across all generations with timeless music.