I.O.I is a group that’s easy to like even though their music has been fairly forgettable so far.

“Dream Girls” and the random Salt-N-Pepa cover “Whatta Man” were both passable pop singles, but hardly worthy of a group that has become one of the most popular forces in K-pop this year.

Their new single, “Very Very Very,” is the long-awaited bop that I.O.I have so desperately needed since debut. (It was produced by J.Y. Park, so of course it’s good.)

Taking serious inspiration from K-pop’s greatest earworm “Gee,” “Very Very Very” drenches a very very very familiar bouncy beat with short, addictive refrains – much like the Girls’ Generation classic.

It’s the kind of copy-and-paste jam that flawless flops like Gugudan and DIA could easily release, but it’s also perfectly worthy of being recorded by bigger names like Red Velvet and Lovelyz too.

“Very Very Very” is far from being the only girl group track to beg, borrow, and steal from the almighty “Gee.”

About four years ago, K-pop underdogs Rainbow virtually re-recorded “Gee” in its entirety for their playful Japanese single “Candy Girls.” The only real change was adding a different chorus.

P.S. R.I.P. Rainbow’s J-pop career.

A few months ago, the plastic surgery pop princesses of G-Friend closed their first album LOL with what is arguably their best song to date, “Gone With The Wind.”

There’s some “Gee” influence on the beat and tempo, but producer e.one (KARA, WJSN, Wonder Girls) brings some real drama to the production.

There’s strings everywhere, and an incredibly urgent chorus swiftly followed up by a magnificent bubblegum dubstep break that makes the whole song feel quite monumental instead of just like good innocent fun.

Thank Yunho (a.k.a. God) that G-Friend actually promoted it during their last comeback.

  • Johann

    Welcome back, Jacques !!!

  • Pez

    Wait, we’re ignoring the abandonment?
    Alright cool, I’m used to it…

    • Don’t call it a comeback, I never left honey!

      (I decided my time at work could be better spent updating arcadey when possible instead of watching Bravo reality shows in downsized windows in the corner of the screen)

  • I liked that Gfriend song before, but now I know why, lol.

    Also, welcome back. I randomly decided today if your hiatus was over. What level of elctromagnetic waves interacting randomly on my brain comeback impact?

  • culchan

    I wish Produce 101’s “24 Hours” had gotten a full-blown MV and promotion treatment. It’s a total banger.

  • Reddy

    OMG i’m so happy ur back. Also the fact u mentioned Rainbow’s Japanese career, i’m crying.

  • felipe

    i don’t see the resemblance.

  • Pauler

    Oh my god Jacques I love you, but gotta “Whatta Man” isn’t a Salt’n’Pepper cover. They borrowed the main hook from the original “What A Man” by Linda Lyndell and sang it with the harmony arrangement of Salt’n’Pepper. Besides that, I think “Whatta Man” by i.o.i is one of the finest singles of the year. The production sounds phenomenal on speaker, extremely well-balanced and those electric guitars are delicious.

    The downside to it is of course, none of them can carry a tune and it sounds like a choir of robots singing it.