If the last week is any indication, 2015 is the year that K-pop girl groups brought the 1960s electric blues sound back.
First, there were the rock-infused guitar riffs of the miss A song ” I Caught Ya ” off of the album “Colors,” released on Monday.
Now, to end off the workweek, K-pop quirkmeisters Mamamoo drop “AAH OOP!,” their collaboration with singer-songwriter eSNa, with a soulful rawness that sounds like it could be right out of a roadhouse.
But the beauty of this track, released on Thursday, is that the influences don’t just stop with Western dance music.
While there is a guitar sound on “AAH OOP!” that is straight Chicago-style blues and the vocal style of all four members of Mamamoo and eSNa all points to the British soul diva of the 2000s Amy Winehouse, there is also a rhythm and attitude to the track reminiscent of some of the jazzier material by South Korea’s own dance divas like Lee Hyori or NS Yoon-G, not afraid to sprinkle more rootsy musical idioms into the mix.
There’s even some exemplary rapping reminiscent of artists like Beenzino or Epik High that came up through South Korea’s burgeoning underground hip-hop scene.
Bringing together a retro soul sound and rhythm that would make Brooklyn’s own Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, who once provided Winehouse her horn section, snap a finger or two with more K-pop related vocals, Mamamoo and eSNa make it work.
The diverse collection of sounds and styles fit together flawlessly.
For anyone perceiving Mamamoo, who debuted in July with the single “Mr.
Ambiguous, as a throwback novelty act, the innovative musicality of “AAH OOP!” paints a very different picture.
Like bands like Orange Caramel or even Girls’ Generation before them, whatever eSNa did to light a fire under them, on “AAH OOP!” Mamamoo shows that their quirkiness is just one color in their ever-expanding artistic palette.
Watch the inventive music video for the Mamamoo and eSNa Collaboration ‘AAH OOP!’ RIGHT HERE