Yes, the music video was uploaded over a month ago. Yes, promotions for Chained Up ended already. Yes, VIXX isn’t even in Korea anymore and have moved on to their Chinese promotions.
But I never got to review Chained Up and I can’t let this year go without doing so.
This song is definitely a different sound for VIXX. It has one of those catchy pop hooks in the chorus, but surrounded by the typical singing are various soft raps, which are unique and give the song a cool, creepy vibe. The instrumental sounds amazing, especially with the melody of the vocals.
The best part of the song for me is Leo’s high note overlapping the beginning of Ravi’s rap. It is the perfect climax, and I think the rest of the song after that really does go out with a nice bang. I’m glad N was given one chorus at the end, because his voice seems to suit the melody the best out of all of the vocalists. Overall, this isn’t VIXX’s best song, but it’s different from their usual stuff, which is refreshing.
Sidenote: This is one of those songs that sounds infinitely better with headphones. Try it. You won’t regret it.
Can I just have a moment to geek out about the paradox that is Ken’s room? There are flowers all around him, symbolizing the outside and freedom, but he and the flowers are enclosed, in an almost claustrophobic-inducing way to symbolize being trapped. Flowers are supposed to make one feel free, but they actually make the room even more cramped. Ironically, even though his room is the only one with any kind of nature in it, it is the most cage-like. Okay, geek time over.
All of the other rooms are of course beautiful. They are all very different, so nothing about this video seems redundant, but they all hold a similar sense of mystery and elegance. There is no apparent reason given as to why they are trapped in these rooms, in which case a story would have actually made this video much better. When I first saw the teaser, I was hoping this would be a sort of Voodoo Doll Part 2, but alas I guess I was hoping for too much. Since there is no story, unfortunately the outdoor scenes don’t really fit with the rest of the video.
I know Starlights around the world were rendered speechless with VIXX’s more revealing looks for this era, but I honestly just can’t take these shirtless suits seriously. All I think about is how uncomfortable and sweaty is must be underneath and overall it’s too much of a greasy look for me to appreciate. I can see that they are trying to go for classy and mysterious, but I feel this look missed the mark. I absolutely loved some of their stage outfits and wish that those were part of this music video instead. When comparing the two sets of suits, they definitely work the black suits better, but as a look overall it is not that great.
The outdoor and solo shots though are really great, and everyone’s hair is on point in this comeback. For once Ravi has totally normal black hair, and I think he looks amazing.
It hurts me to give them such a low score, but if I’m being totally and objectively honest, the wardrobe in this video is a disappointment.
This dance is choreographed really well. The amount of allusion there is to being chained up without actually having physical chains present is incredible and very creative. My favorite part of the dance is the entire Eenie-Meenie-Minie-Moe sequence and the bridge during Ravi’s final rap where all of the members are on the ground.
The only problem is that they are so out of sync! So many times in this dance, each member does the move slightly differently when it is supposed to be more uniform. I am surprised that of all things, this is my criticism for VIXX, considering their sharpness and synchronization is what drew me to them back in the day. The choreography and practicing could clearly have used more refining and practice.
Overall, I’m torn with this comeback. While there are elements to this that are very creative and innovative for VIXX, they cut corners here and there in ways that were disappointing to me. As a fan, there are definitely parts of this music video that just make me go totally fangirl, but once that subsides, it’s just not up to par with their other comebacks. As I mentioned in my K-Pop Catch-Up post, this comeback was rushed. I know they said over and over again that they worked really hard on this comeback and album, but if they had just slowed down and taken more time, I think this could have truly amazing.
Overall Final Score: 3.6/5
Sidenote: I think Hyuk is officially my second bias now. With this new album, he became my favorite vocalist. His singing has improved so much, and it really shines in the rest of the songs on the album.
Personal Update Time: I finally finished college! *wipes away imaginary sweat in relief* This has been one busy semester, but at least for the next few months I’ll finally be free to dedicate more time to this blog. I plan to get back to my regular posts and hopefully get on more of a schedule – maybe one review a week with other non-review posts sprinkled in there? I’ve really missed writing full reviews these past couple of months.
However, since we are getting close to the end of the year, I have to start putting together my end of the year Top 50 countdown. There are A LOT of videos from this year that I need to go back and watch so that I can compile my list. So with that being said, if you will all bear with me for just a couple more weeks, I’ll have to put off the whole “regular schedule” thing until January. For the rest of this month, I’ll fit mv reviews where I can, but they’ll be sporadic since I’ll be doing more behind the scenes stuff in anticipating for the countdown.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Thoughts on Chained Up? Please feel free to disagree with what I’ve said.
#NowPlaying: 뱁새 (Baepsae) by BTS. Oh my gosh. This song is MY JAM. Hands down my favorite my favorite song on their newest album. V’s and Jin’s parts pierce right through my soul.
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