July 2014 in Review Pt. 2

Here is Part 2 of my quick summary of July comebacks! Click here to read part one.

Today’s list covers the comebacks of Henry Lau, B1A4, INFINITE, Block B, and J-Min’s Korean debut (apparently she’s been around since 2007, but only just now released a song in Korea).

(Click on the picture to watch the official music video.)

Henry “Fantastic”

fantastic2

 Song: 4.9/5

Video – Story: 3.5/5

Video – Cinematography: 3.5/5

Wardrobe: 4/5

Dance: 4.5/5

My poor fangirling heart could not take this video. Henry Lau, member of Super Junior M, introduced to the world as Super Junior’s guest violinist has now come out with his own solo song featuring him playing violin. It is just too perfect for this ELF to handle.

Personal biases aside, this is an amazing song and dance. I am addicted to the instrumental (listen to it with headphones – you hear so much more). It gives the song a unique edge. The melody of the lyrics fit the sound perfectly, making one epic song. The only reason I didn’t rate this as perfect is that I don’t think Henry’s spoken “Fantastic” quite fits the sound of the song. The video does have a small story of Henry searching for a girl, and then playing the violin to unlock her. The symbolic metaphor of the violin as the girl Henry loves is creative, especially for an SM video. Similar to “Trap,” Henry brought us as incredible dance – one that uses his backup dancers particularly well. All in all, I love this, mostly because of the incorporation of the violin in every aspect of this video.

Overall Final Score: 4.1/5

B1A4 “Solo Day”

solo day

Song: 3.5/5

Video – Story: 4.9/5

Video – Cinematography: 3/5

Wardrobe: 5/5

I’m usually not a fan of the lighter B1A4, but I really like this comeback. They do a lot of things right with this video. This song is one of their better ones. Their voices fit this melody very well, especially Jinyoung who has such a particularly unique voice. The video is one of those where you get something new out of it each time you watch it. At first, it tells a fun story of five misfit friends who go on an adventure together. At the second watch, it gives off the motivational message of going out of our comfort zones and being rewarded for being ourselves. I love that while each member tells the story of a different character, together they tell one story. Even though there are many different scenes, it still feels like one video. The scenes however could have been arranged in a better way to convey what exactly happened chronologically. Other than that aspect of the editing, I think the rest of the video and song are done really well. I particularly appreciate how the wardrobe gives each member a different character while still maintaining a similar style.

Overall Final Score: 4.1/5

J-Min “Shine”

shine

Song: 4.5/5

Video – Story: 3.5/5

Video – Cinematography: 3/5

Wardrobe: 4/5

Rock is finally coming back into K-pop! It was sort of there when TRAX was around, but now together with Jung Joon Young, J-Min is bringing that sound back into the monotonous world of K-pop. J-Min has a beautiful voice, and it fits the style of this song perfectly. In addition to a unique song, we are given a unique homage to Gravity with a story following J-Min lost in space and SMRookie Hansol searching for her. Through flashbacks, we see how their relationship grew and witness him giving her the shining gem that leads Hansol to finally find her in the end. All together, this video is different from others, and while the graphics may seem a bit cheesy, it is a nice idea with a killer song. I look forward to hearing more from J-Min. SM had better not let a voice like that go to waste.

Overall Final Score: 3.8/5

INFINITE “Back”

back3

Song: 5/5

Video – Story: 3/5

Video – Cinematography: 4.5/5

Wardrobe: 4.5/5

Dance: 4.9/5

This is quite possibly INFINITE’s best song ever. It’s definitely one of my favorites (if not my #1 favorite) of the year. The composition of this song is a work of art. It’s dynamic, beautiful at some points, and intense at others without feeling like two different songs. The dance matches the different paces of the song perfectly. It begins delicate and poetic, and then INFINITE breaks out into an incredibly fast-paced, amazing dance. I have never seen INFINITE as a particularly amazing dance group before (I’m probably the only one, I know), but “Back” definitely showcased their dancing skills beautifully. Props to the choreographer. As for the video, it looks amazing with some really cool fight scenes and a wardrobe that makes me want to kiss the stylist, but the story itself seems a bit lacking in my opinion. Sunggyu and the boys are trying to save his sister – and that’s it. It begins in the middle and ends at a climax. I appreciate the little flashback in the middle, establishing the relationship between the girl and the members, but the video could have used a couple more scenes setting up the before and after and emphasizing the relationships a bit more.

However, the story aside, I love this video. It’s one of my favorite INFINITE comebacks.

Overall Final Score: 4.4/5

Block B “Her”

her

Song: 3.5/5

Video – Cinematography: 4/5

Wardrobe: 4/5

Dance: 4/5

Before you read the rest of my thoughts, remember this: If the video made sense, it wouldn’t be Block B.

I didn’t include a score for the story because to be honest, I couldn’t even tell you if there was one solid storyline in this video. Yet, I love this video. I love this video for the same reason why I find “Gangnam Style” so entertaining and why I am a fan of B1A4: It is fun to watch! I love all of the colors and chaos. Even if I don’t necessarily know what is going on most of the time, there is just so much to look at that I don’t really care why they are doing the things that they are. The wardrobe only enhances the entertainment. Every member fits their individual looks flawlessly. This video proves to me that Zico really can pull off anything; he can make blonde braids accompanied by an ostrich make sense.

As for the song, I’m not too crazy about it. The dance is one of the most fun and entertaining ones I have ever seen (and I really hope to see a dance version of this), but the highlight of this comeback really is the video.

(And can I just say that I am SO relieved that they did not include the girl from the teaser video? I appreciate crazy Block B acting crazy and singing about a girl much more than seeing the members falling over each other like idiots in front of a girl.)

Overall Final Score: 3.9/5

That’s it for July! I know, there were a lot more videos that came out this past month, but I can only review so many. I will still be taking those videos into account when I do my end of the year review in December, but I just don’t have the time to write full reviews for all of them.

Yay! I’m finally liking INFINITE! I was actually really excited to see “Back” in my subscription box. For those of you who were with me in April, you know how conflicted I have been about INFINITE, but now I finally like them way more than I dislike them! They have had a really good past couple of years.

So now I should be back to my regular schedule of 1-2 MV reviews a week starting with Lyn and Leo’s “Blossom Tears” which I’ll try to post this weekend. I am also working on a couple of other non-review posts. Hope everyone is having a good last few weeks of summer! The new school year is already starting for some of us!

Sidenote: I’m just bubbling with excitement for the rest of August and September. Super Junior filmed their music video a couple of days ago! Prepare yourself for a lot of SuJu talk in the next couple of months. My kings are coming back!

Question of the Day:

What were YOUR favorite videos of July? Anything that I didn’t cover?

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