You know I wasn’t going to let October go without talking about Super Junior! Believe it or not, I was actually really nervous about writing this. I don’t want to do either of these videos injustice.
Because they are kind of combined videos and comebacks, I decided to review This Is Love and Evanesce together. I didn’t make the connection until watching each video a couple of times, but they are both actually part of the same world and story. From the sets to the theme of each video to even the lyrics of the songs, these two videos tell one story.
Both videos begin and end similarly, with Kyuhyun opening the doors and then Donghae closing them. Even the sets are the same. However the mood of each video is very different. This Is Love is the introduction of love into the lives of the members while Evanesce focuses on the loss of love. In the first video, they are experiencing love for the first time and blissfully enjoying the feeling. In Evanesce, their love has ended and they are experiencing the bitterness and pain of the beauty of love being taken away and destroyed.
Now for a quick review of each video on its own:
This Is Love
This is one of those classic generic, feel-good K-pop songs, which isn’t bad, but not anything very special. I really like Heechul’s rap, especially his characteristic care-free arrogant spoken part. I do feel the end of this song drags a bit. We get the bridge and then a final chorus, but then the song keeps going for another thirty seconds without really adding anything very special.
Appearance-wise, this video looks great. I love that it has the illusion of being shot in one take. The circular room is what makes this effect possible, and the set itself is just really unique and interesting to look at.
The colors really enhance the video. The fact that the members are black and white makes them almost one with the set, and the pop of pink everywhere ties in the theme of love to the sophisticated scenes. I really like that they all come into color in the end, adding excitement to the final chorus.
The fact that they include an impromptu EunHae dance just makes this video even more special. It’s like pausing the video and reminding everyone of Super Junior’s real dance skill.
I really like these suits. Everyone looks especially sharp in this video and it suits the classy set perfectly.
However I cannot give the wardrobe a perfect score with Heechul’s hat and hair in there. Whether it is his thing to have unruly hair or not, I just can’t find a way to make it look good.
I am happily surprised at this dance. Super Junior uses the mic stands well and the members are not locked into one space because of them. They incorporate many different kinds of dances into this piece of choreography, from mic stands to sitting in chairs to free-form dancing, which keeps it interesting. I also really like that they begin with just three members dancing and slowly add more. This dance had the potential to be very monotonous and boring, but it definitely exceeded expectations.
Overall Final Score: 4.5/5
Beautiful, passionate, tear-eliciting, and perfect. This is one of Super Junior’s best songs. The composition and vocals are all perfect. I especially appreciate the members alternating lines throughout the song rather than one member singing a long chunk of lines and then moving to the next member.
The English lyrics really add to the desperate, heart-breaking emotions for me. As an English speaker, it’s hard not to be affected by the words, especially when they change the lines from “Don’t know why… tell me why” to “I don’t know… what I know.” Making sense is one accomplishment, but they actually use the English to their advantage and really get across just how lost and confused they are feeling in this song.
Leeteuk, Eunhyuk, and Heechul in particular really impress me in this song. Heechul and Eunhyuk have not been incredibly strong vocalists in the past, but the passion and emotion in their voices in this are outstanding.
Again, the rooms are beautiful in this. They bring across the feeling of brokenness and sadness very well, considering that their elaborate circular room is in a lot of ways physically broken. I like that there is a dark, dim hue to the video. Particularly in Leeteuk’s crying scene, the lighting and set make him look really alone as he looks at himself in the mirror.
Everything about that ending dance is just perfect. Having the story flow right into Eunhyuk taking the dancer’s hand is a flawless intro, and the camerawork of the rest of the scene makes the dance captivating. There is not a whole lot of editing or special effects to that scene, putting all of the focus on the beautiful dance. The location itself, in the center of the circular rooms, is also beautiful in and of itself.
While everything looks beautiful, I find the scenes to move a bit too slowly. In some scenes, like Sungmin’s and Leeteuk’s, the camerawork makes the scene interesting, but in others, like Shindong’s and Kangin’s, there is not enough going on in their scenes, causing those parts to drag. I also think they really could have done something better with the ending. Way too much time was spent on Donghae’s emotionless face.
These are the same suits as This Is Love, which I love. However, in this video, just as the room is falling apart, some of the members are not as put together in their attire as they are in This Is Love. For example, Siwon takes off his jacket and Donghae loosens his tie, showing that even they are falling apart just as the room is.
I really like Eunhyuk’s and the dancer’s simple clothing. It allows all of the focus to be on their movements rather than what they are wearing.
And yay! No more ugly hat and hair for Heechul! He actually looks really good in this video. (Although nothing will beat his classy bartender look from Mamacita.)
I know the dance isn’t part of the whole song, but I have to talk about it. The dance is really what makes this video special. Just as the song hits the climax, Eunhyuk and a female dancer appear and give us a beautiful, passionate, and captivating dance. Their movements are so fluid and graceful. I love that it isn’t about being sensual or sexual, but more about passion, delicateness, and a spiritual connection. It even relates to the lyrics of the song in reflecting that their love is just a dream and they aren’t really together.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I had tears in my eyes when I saw this dance for the first time. I wasn’t expecting it at all and it just took my breath away.
Overall Final Score: 4.8/5
Now looking at both videos together, I think that it can be interpreted in two ways. On one hand, this could be one linear story in which they first experience love (This Is Love) and then lose it (Evanesce). On the other hand, This Is Love could have just been a dream and in Evanesce they are finally waking up and realizing that the love they thought they had in This Is Love was never real. That’s just my theory, and I personally prefer the second interpretation.
Initially I thought it was just the videos that were related, but I then looked up the lyrics and found that even they had direct references to each other. For example:
This is Love:“This is Love. The gentle wind, the plain flowers bloomed on the street”
Evanesce:“The flower petals fell (more and more) and became dirt”
And again later in the song:
This Is Love: “This is Love. The clear sky, the sun over the horizon”
Evanesce: “The sun has set (more and more) and grew black”
If you haven’t seen a live performance of Evanesce, you must! In my opinion, it is one of Super Junior’s best performances ever. The singing is ridiculously good and that dance never loses its effect.
I was pretty sad to see that Shindong didn’t get any lines in either song, and he isn’t even in their performances. It’s like he’s already gone to the military. 😦
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Which music video did you like better? Or do you prefer to think of them as one video?
#NowPlaying: Wild Flower by Park Hyo Shin, covered by VIXX’s Ken. I recently came across this video and fell in love with it. You can really see Ken’s talent as a vocalist in this. His voice is so steady and smooth.