August 2016 in Review

An explanation of where I have been is at the bottom of this post. For now, let’s not waste any time and get to the videos.

For once… I admit myself not impressed with this month’s comebacks. Maybe it’s because June and July were both just amazing that this month seemed pale in comparison, or that we had VIXX’s Fantasy released this month that raised my standards for everything.

There were some good moments though! Interestingly, a lot of the music videos I found noteworthy from August are from the lesser known groups. The following are my top ten music videos from August.

Y Teen “Do Better

aug16yteen

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

This was the collaboration between Monsta X and WJSN, which in and of itself is a pretty exciting thing to have happened, and the song matches that energy. The music videos featured both groups kicking it on the dance floor. Rather than battling each other, the members of each group are cheering each other on. It shows the teamwork between each group really well. I am so happy WSJN’s parts weren’t reduced to them simply waving their bodies around. As a collaboration, it is fun and great, but as a general music video in comparison to what is already out there, I didn’t find this one very memorable. The two different sounds that Monsta X and WJSN bring to the song don’t mesh together as well as they should in one song. There also isn’t enough going on in the video to keep my interest for the whole thing.

Overall Final Score: 3.5/5

BLACKPINK “Boombayah

aug16blackpink

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

What a music video. There is a lot that makes this a pretty solid debut video, but then there are these small things that just don’t sit well with me. Let’s start with the good. The song is pretty darn catchy. The lyrics are really fun with all of the onomatopoeias. It’s one of those “wild” songs with a colorful, energetic video and dance to match. Each member has her own unique set, which does a nice job at introducing each girl and personality. Where the video falls is unfortunately something that seems to be a very characteristic of YG music videos. It just seems a little bit like cultural appropriation – and I’m never keen on using that term. However this video just had too many moments for me to ignore. The Arab whistling thing. The girls marching in a circle on an island looking like some kind of tribe. Lisa’s blonde hair and blue contacts making her look too unnaturally White. It’s a nice concept and the girls are clearly, clearly, very talented, but this video just took too much from other cultures without giving any credit or offering a whole lot of anything original. So I like the song and video… but at the same time it makes me uncomfortable and leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Take that for what it’s worth.

Overall Final Score: 4/5

24K “Still 24K

aug1624k

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

This is the K-pop I love. This is a song that simply demands attention. The instrumental does switch things up, but in a fresh and intriguing way. The wardrobe and dance are so classically K-pop, in every good way. The simple color scheme in the dance scenes works really well for them. The story is unfortunately where the video loses some of it’s star quality. The members are robbing a jewelry store against the wishes of one of the member’s girlfriend. When they find out that she has been kidnapped, they go back to rob the store more? Everything comes together in the end, but some parts of this story were just weird, like the scene in the first robbery where two of the members randomly start aiming their guns at each other. All in all, this video is probably one of my favorites on this list, but it definitely did confuse me.

Overall Final Score: 4.2/5

Luizy ft. BTOB’s Hyunsik “Baby Ride

aug16luizy

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

Why can’t all music videos be this pretty? The colors and sets in this are simply gorgeous. The story is just as refreshing as the cinematography. We watch Luizy and Hyunsik, two besties, enjoy the summer together and dream about going to the beach. Eventually Hyunsik creates an artificial beach in their living room, so Luizy packs their bags and they finally take the trip off to a real beach. Bromances like this are always so fun, and surprisingly hard to find in music videos nowadays. It’s rare to see two guys in a music video not fighting over a girl. They are simply having fun and rapping about the beach.

Overall Final Score: 4/5

EXO “Lotto

lotto23

  • Song: 4.5/5
  • Story: 2.5/5
  • Cinematography: 3/5
  • Wardrobe: 3.9/5
  • Dance: 2.9/5

Now that I got my fangirling out of my system, I can honestly give you all my opinion of this video. The song is catchy, as in extremely catchy, but I have to name this as the most cringe-worthy moment of EXO’s career. It’s so hard for me to comprehend just how they went from the glory of Monster and Lucky One to this. The song has amazing composition and the English lyrics are so addicting, but the autotune completely ruins it. They sound like tools. They sound like those rappers who only talk about how much money they have and how many girls they can bang in one night. The concept seems so unnatural for them, which is no fault to the EXO members but rather the directors who put together this concept.

A few good moments that did beat the cringe: That beautiful scene when Sehun took center stage and slayed everyone. Baekhyun being the only member who surprisingly worked this concept perfectly. The cool dance break that was easily the highlight of the video.

I’m sorry to those who liked this video. If you want something more positive, check out my Fangirl post. I love them and fangirled like crazy for this music video (I still do in fact), but overall it just wasn’t a good video in terms of objective quality.

Overall Final Score: 3.4/5

NELL “Dream Catcher

aug16nell

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

This video completely took me by surprise. I don’t really follow NELL, but I decided to go out on a limb and check this video out, and I was thoroughly impressed. The song reminds me a lot of Seo Tae Ji’s Quiet Night album, which was the highlight of 2014 for me. The song is both exciting and mellow, which is hard to pull off but they do it pretty well. While singing about how things don’t seem real, we watch their entire music video being artificially created like a movie set behind the main singer, which is so poetic and ironic. The entire video is so aesthetically pleasing despite being on the simpler side. The colors, the superimposing of images… this is what Triple T’s Born to Be Wild should have looked like, which I’ll talk about a couple of videos below.

Overall Final Score: 4.2/5

Yuri x Seohyun “Secret

aug16yuriseohyun

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

FINALLY. Finally SM gave Girls’ Generation’s Yuri some damn attention. I apologize for the language. This video was just something I had been waiting for since 2010 when I first laid eyes on Kwon Yuri in Gee. Sure, the video is actually a Pantene commercial, but they do a pretty good job at making it look like a legitimate music video. The song isn’t spectacular or memorable, but it is definitely enjoyable from start to finish. Seohyun and Yuri look unbelievably classy as they sing and dance in monotone rooms and elegantly whip their hair around. Each woman has her own unique style that come together very nicely into one concept. From what we see of the dance, it looks great. I wish they had performed this song so that we could see the whole thing.

Overall Final Score: 3.9/5

Triple T “Born to Be Wild

aug16triplet

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

This video is a hot mess, using both the positive and negative connotations of the word. The song is just a party from start to finish. Jo Kwon, Min, and Hyoyoen sound so perfect together, and JYP proved once again how he is just the coolest CEO ever. I do with Jo Kwon had more parts in this song, because his parts were definitely my favorite. The video is just as full of life. There are some genuinely cool effects shown in this video, although I do feel overstimulated at times. I couldn’t help but notice at times that they really just took an extremely simple music video and put effect after effect over it to hide the simplicity. I definitely expected more, in both quality of the video and most surprisingly the dance, but I did and still do enjoy this video and hope that collaborations like this continue to happen in the future.

Overall Final Score: 3.6/5

NU’EST “Love Paint

aug16nuest

  • Song: 2/5
  • Cinematography: 3/5
  • Wardrobe: 2.9/5
  • Dance: 5/5

This is another really aesthetically pleasing video, despite being slightly hard to follow. The colors and set props are gorgeous. The song is… unconventional to say the least. Honestly, it feels like a bunch of different existing songs mixed into one, and I hate to say that it just doesn’t sound that great to me. The dance on the other hand is incredible. Every movement is in such harmony with another, producing one artistic and beautiful dance that I think may be one of the best dances of the year. All of the movements are so precise, but also delicate. I am so impressed with this dance and I wish it had been coupled with a better video and song. NU’EST seems to be struggling to find their style, but I have hope that they will figure everything out. They are all clearly talented enough.

Overall Final Score: 3.2/5

HOMME “Dilemma

aug16homme

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

Wow. This is one beautiful and emotional song. The video shows the trajectory of a couple’s relationship, starting with them so in love, then eventually taking each other for granted, and then finally reflecting on their past relationship with sorrow. I love that the flashback scenes focused not on the typical hand-holding and shoe-tying, but rather the small, ordinary moments between the couple that end up being the most meaningful looknig back. The video does a really good job at contrasting the life of being in love with the utter emptiness that is left when the love ends.

Overall Final Score: 4.4/5

So… the explanation for why I am a month late with this post. Long story short, I started graduate school. I am now working to get my masters, so that I can hopefully join the other adults in the real adult world, and let me tell you: they really don’t joke around when they say grad school is all reading. I have a ton of homework, more than I ever had in high school or college. I am not abandoning this blog, but these next few weeks will definitely be a good test on how I can incorporate keeping up with both this blog and my school work. I may have to go down to a “Month in Review” post at the end of each month with maybe one additional full music video review each month. We’ll see how everything goes. The moment I post this I am immediately going to start on my post for September MVs.

I apologize for being so absent these past several weeks. I haven’t really gotten back into a regular schedule since April what with the change in schools, and I am still adjusting. Thank you for always bearing with me. ❤


Question of the Day:

What do you think was the best comeback from August and why? Thoughts about EXO’s Lotto?


#NowPlaying: Cant Bring Me Down by EXO. Their music has gotten freakishly good lately, and I am absolutely loving it. I happened upon this song by accident, and I am so glad I did because it is a prime example of how EXO is just getting better and better in their music.


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

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One thought on “August 2016 in Review

  1. Oh my God, Safiyyah! You’re back~ 😃 Man, I missed you.
    I completely agree with your views on Lotto. 100%. They have never used auto tune for AN ENTIRE SONG, so I was really disappointed when I first heard it. They have such lovely voices, but auto tune has wrecked all of it. Of course they look visually perfect in the video, especially Baekhyun. And Sehun’s unexpected body rolls moment was quite memorable. The few moments of the dance that they show in the MV looked cool too (I love the tiny shrugging move they do but he end of the MV). Apart from that, the concept of the video doesn’t suit EXO, in my opinion. All the gambling and jails and random fighting roosters (?). So yeah, I’m not really addicted to the song as compared to Monster and Lucky Ones. I hope the MV directors and song producers do not repeat this ever again.
    Also, all the best for grad school! 😄 Don’t stress yours,ef out, okay?

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