Friday, June 16, 2017

K-pop MVs With Dream-like Aesthetic

Concepts are very important in K-pop music videos. The attention that was put in the special effects, lighting and sets give these music videos an ethereal feel. So much so, that it brings the song alive and makes it even more enjoyable. You may even feel as if it was all a dream!

1. Ten - Dream In A Dream

NCT member Ten made his unofficial solo debut through SM's music project "SM Station". 'Dream In A Dream' is an ethereal song that is heavily influenced by Oriental art and tradition. Ten sings about a love that is somewhere in between a dream and reality. While there are very few lyrics, listeners are kept entertained with the sounds of Asian instruments, echoes, and synths.

The music video is an extension to the artistry. Ten, who specializes in dance, showcases his finesse through elegant choreography. He dances in front of a lighted background that switches between warm and cool colors. The visuals of the video are built on simplicity: every scene has one focal point. The veil decorations, smokey background and slow-motion scenes all make up Ten's hazy surroundings and give viewers the feeling that they are not completely awake.
Positives: It's artistic and looks like a theatrical performance.
Negatives: None

2. Heize - Star

Many people expected Heize to make rap or hip-hop music after competing as a contestant on "Unpretty Rapstar 2". Instead she released a string of groovy r&b songs and strayed even further from the rap genre with her single 'Star'. 'Star' is a soothing ballad, much like something IU or Lee Hi would do. It can even be compared to Taeyeon's SM Station track 'Rain' for its theme and sentimentality.

This lullaby-like song is complemented by the dreamy outer-space concept of the video. Heize is in an illuminated room suspended in outer space. In other scenes, she is sitting by self on the moon. Heize is often portrayed looking up into the starlit night sky which conveys the loneliness, longing and wonder expressed in the lyrics. "Even if I can’t see you because of the clouds...Every time I can’t see you I get nervous."
Positives: The color scheme of the music video is one point and the aesthetic (glitter, lights, and Heize's styling) is enchanting. It's also nice to hear Heize sing as she has a nice voice. 
Negatives: Heize's rap in the song is very lacking.

3. Red Velvet - One Of These Nights

Up until recently, Red Velvet have taken on either a "red" or a "velvet" concept for their releases. 'One Of These Nights', being of the later concept, is a soft, smooth r&b ballad. Also called "Seventh Day of the Seventh Month/ July 7th", it is based on the Korean folktale of star-crossed lovers who could only meet on that one day out of the year. Red Velvet sing this mournful song hoping to meet him once again, even if it is in a dream.

There many curious things in this video. For example, the girls of Red velvet are dressed rather brightly for such a sad song and the scenes transition in an imaginary fashion. Also, they all mysteriously face water in someway during the duration. Some fans have come up with the theory that 'One Of These Nights' is a tribute to the victims of the Sewol Ferry tragedy. They support this theory with the fact that Red Velvet appear to be on a boat that fills with water, along with other "proof".
Positives: The symbolism in the music video and soothing sound of the song are both compelling. The transitioning reminds me of Red Velvet's 'Automatic'.
Negatives: The video may be hard to understand at first, but it makes more sense after reading about the Sewol theory.

4. Kim Chungha - Week

Kim Chungha earned a spot in the girl-group I.O.I and has made a name for herself after competing in Mnet's trainee survival program "Produce 101". Now that I.O.I has disbanded, Chungha debuted as a solo artist. 'Week', a pre-release single from her first mini-album, is a slow-rolling r&b ballad that expresses loneliness. 
Chungha sings in a soft, breathy voice and in the same way, the music video has soft colors and delicate visuals. And just the lyrics: "Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. Where am I?... Another day passes and I fall asleep", the theme is the passing of time.
Positives: I love the music video and Chungha's vocals.
Negatives: None

5. Moon Hyuna - Cricket Song

Moon Hyuna started her career as a soloist after leaving the girl-group Nine muses in October 2016. Her style of music proved to be very different from that of her former group. 'Cricket Song' is an electro-pop with a mild beat and light vocals.
This is very much like 'Star' by Heize mentioned above. The songs is like a lullaby or something one would listen to in the middle of the night. The music video also focuses on the night sky and string lights. 
Positives: It's nice to see Hyuna grow as a artist. She's establishing her own sound and even participated in writing the lyrics.
Negatives: The vocals do not sound good to me.

If you liked this post, check out more posts about aesthetic concepts:


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