There’s a lot of really great music coming out of Korea nowadays and listening to every chart-topping song, let alone watching every music video, is near impossible. Here at KultScene, we’re going to try something new: Reviews written in the span of the entire music video, inspired by the idea of flash fiction. Once the video stops, the review comes to an end. These reviews aren’t in depth, and are essentially just first reactions, but it’s a good introduction to many of the songs that you’ll want to check out this week.
Mad Clown Fire
First things first, Hani from EXID is blatant media play since it’s actually Jinsil singing and Hani is just lip-synching. I like the lighting and Hani’s eyes really are mesmerizing so I guess it’s okay, but still kind of sad for Jinsil. The big-band beat and Mad Clown’s rap nicely go together to create a dramatic song that describes the craziness of the lyrics. As usual, Mad Clown doesn’t disappoint with his rap, but instead delivers every line in an aggressive, statement-like way.The lyrics of the song don’t really match the music video, other than showing their craziness, but it’s really beautifully filmed. Jinsil’s voice isn’t too cloying in comparison to Mad Clown’s intense raps, but instead her raspy voice sounds exactly like how a confused, lover should sound. The bleeping and blurring out curses is really amazing for mainstream Korean music, as if Mad Clown is protesting the clean-cut rapping that is prominent in Korea. Overall, I’m impressed.
Eddy Kim My Love
We’re behind scene, and Eddy Kim takes a pause to look at a piano, sits down, and tells the person he’s talking to wait a minute. This piano medley is nice, like something you’d hear in a hotel lobby, and then Eddy Kim’s voice starts up to sing a sweet, powerful melody. The song is really interesting because it uses an orchestra rather than any electronic beats, which are popular nowadays. The singing into the phone while his girlfriend rides a bus is a really cute touch, showing how Eddy feels his love even though they’re apart. It doesn’t really sound like it, but Eddy Kim’s songs always makes me think of Michael Buble. Between the song looking good and Eddy Kim appearing as handsome as ever, My Love is a winner.
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Jonghyun Crazy (Guilty Pleasure)
A steady beat mixed with classic piano introduces a song that’s like a pop ballad trying to grow up into a hip-hop track. Jonghyun’s acting and the music video are impressive, but these up-close facial shots are a jarring thanks to these jerky camera movements. He’s singing about being crazy, emphasized by the gas mask and being chained up, but it looks like it’s just an excuse to show off his ripped body. Iron’s speedy rap is a completely different sound from Jonghyun’s breathy falsettos and high notes, which is really a different sound than what I’m used to hear from SHINee, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. The song completely shows off Jonghyun’s best skills, dominating high notes, while the video shows off his body’s best aspects to entice any fan of SHINee to watch. A little bit over the top in general, though, with all of the special effects that aren’t limited to explosions and mechanical giant spiders. But Jonghyun’s a singer first and foremost, and this new style really matches his personality.
GFriend Glass Bead
So here’s the Into The New World similarities, especially the girl that looks like ex-Girls’ Generation member Jessica. The athletic styled outfits, the retro-style sweet pop song is really like something that I’d expect to hear from late 2000’s K-pop girl groups, so I see why everyone’s comparing GFriend to Girls’ Generation. But while the images are similar, the dancing is really impressive. None of the vocalists stand-out particularly, but it’s likely that as GFriend releases more music several of their vocalists will stand out. An all around good song, even though it’s nothing that we’ve never seen before. The concept is cute, sweet, and totally needed in K-pop, which is becoming so overly sexualized that it’s losing the innocence that made songs like Gee and Tell Me viral hits in 2009.
From The Airport Sight
I don’t know if this is supposed to be the response, but when I pressed “play” and heard Sight I wanted to close my eyes. The music video almost demands this, by hiding the two members of From The Airport amid shadows, star-like lights, and occasional bursts of light that essentially blind the camera. The song has a bit of a heavier bass beat than many of From The Airport’s songs, with an occasionally heavy handed rock sound as the backtrack to their heavily synthesized vocals. The profiles of the two members don’t distract from the sound of their song, but aren’t really supposed to be the point of this video. The song climaxes with From The Airport being completely dissolved by light, and then continues with mere music, highlighting not the singers but the sounds themselves.
Jung Yonghwa One Fine Day
Clubbing, two people see each other across the room, and then we wake up in a depressing, green and gray environment. A slightly misleading title? This video is really visually beautiful, I actually feel like it would do well as a magazine spread. Yonghwa’s side profile is really prevalent, and changes his overall style and feel as an actor.The cinematography is really the thing that makes or breaks this video, but it’s a little disappointing as a song overall. This is CNBLUE’s lead singer, who is a popular actor, Yonghwa simply… singing and acting? So what is new to this? Nothing. This could just as easily be a music video for a song from the soundtrack of a drama that Yonghwa is starring in. The song isn’t particularly memorable, although Yonghwa’s voice perfectly depicts the emotion described in the lyrics. It’s a heartfelt song, but if you’re a lead singer with such a distinct voice, just going the ballad route is a little bit boring.