May 2016 in Review

Here we are! My reviews from May. As always, there were way more comebacks this month than what I have covered on this blog. I really struggled this time narrowing my options down to only ten, because there were a lot of really great videos released. While I will only talk about ten music videos here, at the bottom I will include a few names of other music videos from May that I recommend.

AKMU “How People Move

may16akmu

  • Song: 3/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 4.9/5
  • Wardrobe: 4/5
  • Dance: 3.9/5

This feels like a song that would be in a Disney movie. The video is just so much fun. Suhyun and Chanhyuk are imprisoned by the toys in their toy shop and together they try to break free while dancing along to this fun and funky song. Even if parts of it don’t make sense, this video is just a blast from start to finish. The toy world that they find themselves in is so insane, and surprisingly unique. Often toy videos have a creepy or overly acted vibe, but this one has neither. The song can be a little confusing when taken isolated from the video, but as a whole everything goes together pretty well. I just wish they did something different with Suhyun’s look in this. She looks like a mix of Ronald McDonald and the Wendy’s girl.

Overall Final Score: 4/5

R3hab x Amber x Luna “Wave

may16lunber

  • Song: 4.5/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 3.9/5
  • Wardrobe: 4/5

This video reminds me a lot of Psy’s “Right Now.” It takes place in an electronics shop in which the customers and workers are pulled out of their boring life of monotony to dance along with Luna and Amber. As the video progresess, we see the characters become more and more happy and free in their dancing. The song is very impressive. For the first time ever, we have a single from SM in which Amber does not rap at all, and I love it. She is a great rapper, but she finally has a chance with this song to show off her singing voice. She and Luna have really great chemistry. The only real downfall with this video is that the cinematography does not match the upbeat nature of the song. When the beat drops, I would have liked to see more color brought into the monotone shop.

Overall Final Score: 4.1/5

Tiffany “I Just Wanna Dance

may16tiffany

  • Song: 3.5/5
  • Cinematography: 3/5
  • Wardrobe: 3.5/5
  • Dance: 3/5

Tiffany brought us a retro feel with her song and music video. This song reminds me so much of Madonna. She sings it nicely and it has a very easy beat to listen to, though I don’t find the tune to be very memorable. The music video shows Tiffany waking up to a trippy, colorful world and dancing the night away. It would have been nice to see her doing a little more freestyle dance considering the theme of the song. The actual choreography is decent, though I do feel it could have been more interesting. This goes for the entire video in general. It is a fine music video, but nothing about it really wowed me. I had a lot of expectations for Tiffany’s solo debut, considering she is one of the more popular members of Girls’ Generation, and I have to admit that the video we got was a let down.

Overall Final Score: 3.3/5

BTS “Save Me

saveme31

  • Song: 4.5/5
  • Cinematography: 4.5/5
  • Wardrobe: 4.9/5
  • Dance: 4.5/5

This is one beautiful video. They took one single scene, one set of outfits, and one take yet gave us a music video that is captivating and interesting from beginning to end. I am still in awe at how they managed to find such a breathtaking site. The choreography is just as enthralling. Just the part during the instrumental section is reason enough to love this dance, but they keep it fresh and dynamic throughout the entire song. My personal favorite moments aside from the dance break are J-Hope’s verse and Rapmon’s part. I could have possibly given the dance a perfect score if they had actually choreographed the beginning. There was that cheesy panning of the members during the second chorus and a few awkward moments where the only image on the screen is a member’s head in a corner, but other than those few mishaps this is a pretty moving video.

Overall Final Score: 4.6/5

B.I.G “Aphrodite

may16big

  • Song: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 4/5
  • Wardrobe: 3/5
  • Dance: 4/5

For a group that is pretty unknown, they always manage to have really cool videos. It is a concept that has been done a million and a half times before, but it is still a good concept and they pull it off well.  The song has a dramatic and epic sound with the drums and the passionate singing, making it seem like B.I.G are gearing up for some big battle. The drums were such a nice touch and I wish the video would have focused on that concept more. Speaking of concepts, I had a little trouble trying to figure out what exactly the concept of this video was. The outfits look Western European, but they are singing about a Greek god while dancing to tribal drums. More cohesion was needed to tie those themes together. This video is enjoyable, but I do think it is one that is easy to forget due to the lack of innovation.

Overall Final Score: 3.8/5

Monsta X “All In

may16monsta

  • Song: 3.5/5
  • Story: 4/5
  • Cinematography: 2/5
  • Wardrobe: 5/5

Wow, my head hurts trying to piece together what exactly is happening in this. From what I see, Monsta X is part of this clan that worships a flower with healing abilities. One of the members is attacked, so the blonde member gathers the crew and they burn the attacker’s building down and take his money. Then the blonde does some ritual with the flower and the money, possibly calling that floating alien thing seen at the end of the video. When he gets back to base and sees his friend dying, he pours the healing juice in the bathtub and lies with his friend, trying to bring him out of whatever hurt the bad guys did to him. It is an interesting story, but this is way too much for just one video. They should have focused on the story of the two friends and cut down the number of scenes. This honestly feels more like the trailer of a movie than one music video. I am definitely intrigued, but all in all it is too much for an average viewer to try to piece together.

On a personal note, I think I now have a bias in Monsta X. And I think his name is Minhyuk.

Overall Final Score: 3.6/5

Jessica “Love Me The Same

may16jessica.JPG

  • Song: 4.5/5
  • Story: 4.5/5
  • Cinematography: 4/5
  • Wardrobe: 3.5/5
  • Dance: 4/5

Wow. I was not expecting such an elegant and symbolic video. The song is so pretty and delicate, and the video matches that feel very well. In the story, Jessica is raising a cactus, eventually uses it as a pseudo-companion, and then the cactus grows into an entire garden just for her. I love the symbolism of the cactus. I see the symbolism as two fold: (1) The plant teaches Jessica to be patient and wait for real flowers to grow, and (2) she sees herself in the cactus, as something others avoid because of the thorns but also something that needs just as much caring and love as anyone else. It’s a beautiful story and video, though some of it could be seen as a little monotone. The dance scene in particular is very void of any color at all.

Overall Final Score: 4.1/5

Baek A Yeon “So-So

may16ayeon

  • Song: 4.5/5
  • Story: 5/5
  • Cinematography: 4.9/5
  • Wardrobe: 4/5

Backed by the quintessential spring song, Baek A Yeon tells a story that I actually have yet to see in K-pop. She is examined by doctors because for some reason, she cannot feel any emotions. They try a bunch of different methods to trigger love or excitement from her, but nothing seems to work. From romantic movies to puppies to a dream guy, she remains “so-so” for everything. What finally snaps her out of her stupor is seeing the guy play with the dog. I find this to be so cutely realistic, as well as with an interesting meaning. When she sees the guy try to woo her, it doesn’t trigger anything because all he is doing is superficial flirtation. It is when she sees the genuine joy of him playing with the dog that her love is triggered again. The sets in which this story takes place are outstanding. It is such an aesthetically pleasing video, and they include just enough for the viewer to understand what is wrong with her while still keeping it dynamic and interesting.

Overall Final Score: 4.6/5

CLC “No Oh Oh

may16clc

  • Song: 4.5/5
  • Cinematography: 4/5
  • Wardrobe: 2/5
  • Dance: 3.9/5

I was originally thinking of passing up this video for my May review, but then I heard the song and knew I had to share it. It is so damn catchy. I love the whole “ani-ani-aniya” bit that they repeat throughout the song. I didn’t find any real story in here, simply them dancing and enjoying life. It is generally a pretty fun and innocent video. All of the colors and lights complement the light-hearted song nicely. The dance is your typical aegyo dance, which I really think could have been better, though I was happy to find some parts that are genuinely cute. It does have that aegyo cheesiness, but it is on the lighter side which I appreciate. The wardrobe could have used some more direction though.

Overall Final Score: 3.6/5

FIESTAR “Apple Pie

may16fiestar

  • Song: 5/5
  • Story: 3.9/5
  • Cinematography: 4/5
  • Wardrobe: 3/5
  • Dance: 4/5

Here we go. My favorite song of the month (after BTS’s “Fire). The soft almost lullaby feel of the chorus followed by the haunting laugh makes for a very interesting and intriguing song. I am honestly so impressed with this song. As for the story, it looks like the members of FIESTAR are collectively trying to recreate Snow White’s poisonous apple so as to attract the prince to come save her. It does get a bit confusing as to who is on the “good” and “bad” side in this story, and the ending with the prince does not help clarify exactly what the end goal or result was.  However the cinematography is nice with the different colors and rooms. The dance has an unexpected classy feel and subtlety. I absolutely love that main move with the twinkling fingers as well as the choreography during the laughing part. Alright FIESTAR, you’re on my radar now.

Overall Final Score: 4/5

Finally, if you’re a Kpopper who watched mainstream YouTube, you’ve probably heard of BgA. This was a collaboration between NigaHiga and Wong Fu Productions. It is essentially a parody of K-pop videos, but the producers at Wong Fu stated that they really tried to make this as legit as possible: as in teaser videos, member profiles, a “Making” video, dance version, and a dance practice. Since they said they wanted this to be a video that could actually exist in the K-pop world, I am going to review it as such. Let’s see how they did:

BgA “Dong Saya Dae

may16bga2

  • Song: 3/5
  • Cinematography: 3.5/5
  • Wardrobe: 4/5
  • Dance: 3.5/5

Okay, I can’t lie. This is a pretty catchy song. The chorus is fun and the beat drop is amazing, but the vocal inserts here and there and the effect they put over Ryan’s voice makes the song a little too greasy. The video is edited really nicely with pretty incredible transitions. I find the club scene to be the most fitting of the different sets, though my personal favorite scenes are those with Justin sitting on the throne. Justin is such a scene-stealer in this, and I love it. The wardrobe is decent in all of the scenes. The makeup is way too overdone though on David and Ryan. I get that they are trying to emphasize the use of eyeliner in K-pop MVs, but they could have done it without looking so ridiculous. When it comes to the dance, I admit myself impressed. For a group that has only one and a half dancers, they do a pretty decent job. Of course, there are some dull parts, but that “we are Boys Generally Asian” part is legitimately good. I can’t figure out how exactly they move around in that circle so fluidly, but that is the kind of complicated choreography that makes a dance so intriguing. Don’t even get me started on the amazing dance break. The whole idea of dance doubles is actually pretty cute. All in all, sure it was a low budget and a little too grimy, but a lot of this was pretty decent and definitely memorable.

Overall Final Score: 3.5/5

Wow, for the first time ever I reviewed more female comebacks than male comebacks! I’m proud of these ladies. More artists are finally breaking out of that overly seductive concept and I am loving it.

Other videos worth checking out: Beenzino’s “Life in Color,” iKON’s “#WYD,” AKMU’s “Re-Bye,” and MAP6’s “Swagger Time.”


Question of the Day:

How did Ryan and Wong Fu do? Do you think Dong Saya Dae could pass as an actual K-pop video?


Wanna talk K-pop? Follow me on Twitter @mystification86!

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5 thoughts on “May 2016 in Review

  1. I also love all these new concepts, and I’m curious about what Tiffany’s next comeback is going to look like. Luna’s new album is also pretty amazing haha.
    And as to how Ryan and Wong Fu did, I think that they actually did pretty well, considering that they didn’t have a trainee period and all haha. I think that how the video was shot was pretty KPOP quality though, so I’d say that they pass 🙂

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  2. Haha, Dong Saya Dae was released on my birthday, and I must say it was quite a gift! 😆 I was actually waiting for the day Ryan would make a k-pop song. It was hilarious and cool at the same time. I’d say it passes as a normal k-pop song, but I enjoy it more as a parody. 😂
    Regarding Save Me, it’s a beautiful song with an elegant MV. I too found a few moments a little awkward, like the transition from V to Jin in first part of the MV, as well as the transition from Jungkook to RapMon in the second part of the MV. But overall, yes, it’s a pretty video, and the members look equally pretty. 😙
    Finally, coming to All in, you’re right that it’s too much for an average viewer to take in, not to mention the slightly complex plot. But I don’t think you’ve understood the story. 😅 You’ll have to read the comments for that, I found a commenter who’s explained the MV perfectly. I can send you her comment, if you like. But hey, you like Minhyuk! He’s my bias too, alongside Hyungwon. (I have two biases from Monsta X. 😉) The MinWon moments in the MV are really my favourites! ☺️

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    1. I’d love for you to send me the comment about All In. I was not at all confident with the plot I came up with haha. Even if they had just added a minute or two to the video, it would have made a huge difference in slowing the plot down and making it more understandable.

      Hyungwon… is he the one Minhyuk found all beaten up? I’m still learning all of their names.

      Thanks for your comment!

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      1. Yeah, they should’ve been slower and shouldn’t have mixed up so many scenes together, because they all happen at different times chronologically. Many scenes shown are actually from Part 2 of The Clan series, this was just Part1: Lost.
        And yes, the white haired one in the photo you’ve used is Minhyuk, and his friend who gets beaten up is Hyungwon. I really like both of them. You should check out more of Monsta X, they’re a really cool and cute group. 😊 (Especially Minhyuk, he’s the happy virus and mood maker; and his smile is so precious. 😄) What’s awesome is that Monsta X debuted last year on my birthday. 😆
        Anyway, here’s a link to a theory explanation of the MV: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-PxTCe_LTXY

        And here’s that comment I told you about (you’ll have to know the members’ names first to understand):

        Monsta X : The Clan Part 1 – Lost
        ‘All in’ MV Theory

        In the beginning, Hyungwon is sick or hurt. Hence why Minhyuk is feeding Hyungwon the flower. Blue flower represents peace and serenity, so the boys are on the side of peace, and they’re trying to protect something (not sure what that is yet, but in the teaser I.M said its their Clan). But the flower itself is said to be the Delphinium, which is poisonous.

        Hyungwon’s father with the other ahjussis doesn’t approve of him being with his friends and being rebellious to the officers (the men carrying guns).

        Hyungwon’s dad hit him, and Minhyuk is clearly shocked. He checks up on him later, to find that Hyungwon has been abused by his Dad (but tries to hide it with the white mask). In the behind the scenes video, Hyungwon said that in the MV, he has a father who has been abusive to him throughout his childhood.

        Meanwhile, Shownu is sitting next to his grandpa, who looks severely ill. Shownu holds up a white mask (the same mask that Hyungwon had). It is a symbol of the X-Clan. I believe the mask represents rebellion. Shownu is deciding whether he should join the X-Clan.

        Back to Hyungwon, Minhyuk takes revenge for his friend, with Wonho and I.M, and they have a bottle of gasoline. They burn down the house of Hyungwon’s dad. There is a specific scene where you see an X on the house and it looks like a cross, leaving their mark. All three of them, as well as Hyungwon, are part of the X-clan.

        The officers rescue Hyungwon’s dad. The three boys are watching from the side. Later we find Hyungwon in a tub, still. He’s most likely dead or dying, in an attempt to kill himself. Minhyuk uses the potion they created earlier and this will either revive Hyungwon, or kill him. It ends up reviving Hyungwon. They used the poisonous flower to create a cure for a specific illness.

        Meanwhile, Jooheon stole a bag and gives it to Shownu, they ransack a place and get money (weapons too). He goes back to the room where his grandpa was, but all there is, is a pile of clothes. His grandpa passed away. Shownu burns the money they just stole, releasing it was futile for him to steal. He was trying to get money to cure his grandpa of whatever illness he had, but it was all in vain because he passed away, hence the reason why he cries and drinks the potion. Shownu could’ve just used the potion to cure his grandpa, but was unsure of its properties.

        It seems like all members have their own bottle. So far those who have come in contact with the bottle Shownu, Minhyuk and Hyungwon, and they have their eyes closed near the end.

        But the scene where they are all in white must be part 3 of the story, and part 2 is the story of how the other four members drink the bottle and join the X-Clan.

        Kihyun seems to have his own story that’s not shown yet, he was limping and then he threw away his crutches, so either he too drank the potion and it cured him because later at then end he is seen running with the others just fine. Most likely part two will explain the other four members’ story (Kihyun I.M, Wonho, and Jooheon). Everyone gathers. They are dressed in white, they are now a clan. They seem to be either rebelling against the government. They all drank the potion (joining the X-Clan) and they entered a new dimension where there is a purple beating heart in the sky, hence why they are lost.

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