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Bieber uses “oh” wisely. In his whiny, pleading, COLDPLAY Viva la Vida” adolescent voice, he gets the girls all wound Coldplay blends arena-rock pulse and orchestral up by using the classic “baby, baby, baby” baroque pop bliss into a majestic, grandiose line. Immediately afterwards, he exudes arrangement on “Viva la Vida.” On the closing lines, an orgasmic crescendo (“Ohhhhh”) as frontman Chris Martin encourages listeners to join him in a if it was losing his virginity. Now you Celtic hymn-like chant using never-ending “ohhs.” No other know why he’s simply adored by band has exercised the power the ladies. of the “oh” so beautifully.


“California Gurls”

On “California Gurls,” Katy Perry belts an adlibbed “oh” at the tail end of the spirited sing“Oh” seems to have the same kind of cathartic power as a-long chorus. The song probably wouldn’t “hallelujah” in gospel music. Franklin has used “oh” multiple times have felt complete if it was omitted throughout his career (“Something About That Name Jesus,” “Now Befrom the final mix. hold the Lamb”). His latest “oh” incarnation tries to incorporate traits KE$HA from the other ‘Hova (Jay-Z) into Franklin’s street gospel (“Things look “Tik Tok” better when you oh-oh-oh”). Ke$ha uses all the tricks in the MAJOR LAZER book to organize this hit. AutoLADY GAGA Well, except for Oprah. “Pon De Floor” tune, rap, video game beats, a “Bad Romance” This dancehall anthem, a But she’s not a musician. Using a bit of Madonna’s elegance Diddy cameo and her Valley Girl collaborative effort designed Well, is she? atop ‘90’s synthpop, Gaga begins accents: It’s all there. But the by Switch and Diplo, is her open letter to her best friend KE$HA song, surrounded by a sparkly mostly an instrumental “Blow” Luc Carl with a fragment of the party production, builds its enerdancefloor workout covered Ke$ha’s sleaze pop is a perchorus: “Ohhh/Caught in a bad gies off of the dance-pop chorus. with robotic “ohs” and “ahs” fect fit for the urban clubromance”). She repeats the phrase The lines are perfectly placed that bend back and forth with world. She brings an throughout the tune, usually as a and rhyme like Dr. Suezz. When a synth EQ switch. Two attractive playfulness to her transition from chorus to verse, or the chorus reaches its end, the years later, Beyonce uses the anarchy that gels well with into her “rah-rah-ah-ah-ah, Romacrowd gets a double portion of same electro house beats on ordinary people looking to roma-mah, Gaga-ooh-la-la” hook. “ohs” and crying for the repeat her women’s lib anthem “Run dump their week-long stress Her opening line encourages the button. the World (Girls).” It’s obvious on the dancefloor. “Blow” is fans to sing with her, but the “rah, KATY PERRY that Major Lazer’s song the modern equivalent to “the rah” gibberish is the kind of stuff “Firework” works. Beyonce’s doesn’t. roof, the roof, the roof is on that makes you wonder if she was Her most recent attempt at the fire.” BRITNEY SPEARS inspired after listening to The “oh” can be found on “Firework.” “Till The World Ends” USHER Trashmen’s hook on “Surfin’ Bird.” When the chorus enters the It’s partially Ke$ha’s fault. “OMG” picture, Perry installs pop magic, ENRIQUE IGLEASIS She co-wrote the song. But It sounds accidental, but “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)” igniting a friendly chorus worthy you have to hand it to her; Usher’s beat-boxing attempt – After working up a hard-on on his of memorization (“‘Cause baby, she gives Britney the dancethanks to Black Eyed Peas’ latest techno-sizzled hit “Tonight you’re a firework/Come on, show a-holic facelift she’s been chief engineer – (I’m Lovin’ You),” the “Dirty Dancer” ‘em what you’re worth/Make ‘em vying for since “Slave.” When sounds more like a dusty singer goes into a thumping go ‘Oh, oh, oh”/As you shoot BEYONCE’ “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It” she leaps into the sing-along record with the needle stuck bass-driven chorus echoing his Beyonce may have snatched her “oh” from a gospel quartet. If you break across the sky-y-y”). The end “oh-oh’oh” chant, the tipsy on the groove. big plans for the after party (“…that down her 2009 hit piece by piece, including her gay-friendly jayset syllables of the chorus’ final lines clubheads morph into a tonight I’m lovin’ you, oh-oh, you know.” choreography and club-crunk chorus, you’ll quickly discover her “oh” chorus sways like poetry. You really can holy congregation. The “oh’s” prove to be the icing on the cake. has the same glow of a celestial Mahalia Jackson song. Luckily, the driving feel the motion. tempo proves to be the perfect disguise from its “possible” gospel origins.


“I Smile”



ome people might call it “perfect timing.” Oprah Winfrey’s leaving her daytime post after 25 years and now the world is singing her praises. Literally or figuratively, you ask? Well, it seems like the pop world is squeezing in enough room to insert the last-minute “O” (or “oh” chants) into their radio hits. Ever since Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” landed on our iPods, the usage of the “oh” has been quite detectable in today’s pop music. We believe Oprah had something to do with all of this.





HiFi Magazine #2 (Aug/Sept 2011)  

HIFI Magazine is the new, official resource for the avid music lover. From rock to pop, R&B to hip-hop, HIFI Magazine strives to incorporate...

HiFi Magazine #2 (Aug/Sept 2011)  

HIFI Magazine is the new, official resource for the avid music lover. From rock to pop, R&B to hip-hop, HIFI Magazine strives to incorporate...