Words cannot describe how excited I was for this comeback. B.A.P has proven again and again that they are one of the most versatile groups out there, consistently throwing out some of the most intricate choreography and chilling vocals I have ever experienced. Each member has so much talent, from Bang and Zelo’s powerful rapping, Youngjae and Daehyun’s amazing voices, Himchan’s charisma and instrumental background, and Jongup’s incredible dancing; they just bring such a vibrant energy to everything they do (and they do A LOT). More importantly though, the members are also extremely involved in the creative process for many of their songs and lyrics, something that is so rare in the k-pop industry and really deserves to be respected. And I mean COME ON, I have never seen beauty so highly concentrated in one area before. B.A.P IS JUST ON FIREEEE.
That being said, did “One Shot” live up to these high expectations?
Let’s start with the concept. After the impressive torrent of work they already came out with in the past year, everyone wanted to know, which direction was B.A.P going to go now? Super-sugary-cute-aegyo like in “Crash” and “Stop It“, powerful-hardcore-intense like in “Warrior” or “Power“, charged-punk-attitude like in “No Mercy“, or depressive-introspective-emo like in “Rain Sound“?
ANSWER: they went with the bad ass-sophisticated-gangster/troubled-youths-masquerading-as-a-dangerous-band-of-criminals-but-are-actually-really-rich-and-don’t-know-what-the-fuck-they’re-doing concept. Now, some of you may be wondering how I arrived at this conclusion, but let’s examine the evidence. First off, if you were going to show up to kill someone, would you go dressed like this:
This also kind of tips you off:
And I mean, how do you explain these scenes where they’re dancing in a completely irrelevant airplane hangar?
Or these gratuitous grape-eating yacht shots??
And don’t even get me started on the little heist they pulled. They spend a whole minute of the MV planning this robbery with toy cars, and then they literally just pull up next to an armored car containing at least ten million dollars (without guns by the way) and strong-arm the security guards to the ground. Seriously if that money hadn’t been guarded by the most INCOMPETENT security guards in the world (I mean…they got distracted and confused just because a second car pulled up), B.A.P’s endeavors would not have been met with a lot of success. Easiest 10 million dollars ever??
Don’t question. Just accept.
Personally, I was hoping B.A.P would go back to their bombastic “bad-boy” roots because I felt like this was when their charisma really shone through. And honestly it was a great niche for them. It established an image that really appealed to the masses because it was something that k-pop has been sorely lacking. I think the general consensus after “Stop It” was that B.A.P’s experimentation with aegyo was cute, but that it was time to go back to the statement-making manly car-smashing B.A.P we were first introduced to, something I wholehearted agree with. This whole concept of “One Shot” is very chill, very cool, but I want B.A.P in my FACE getting my blood pumping through my veins like a hornet on steroids. And honestly, some B.A.P members just don’t make good gangsters. I’m sorry Jongup, but you just don’t seem to pull it off quite right:
And I mean, he just gets bashed in the back of the head by an overweight latino gangster:
Then again, I feel bad singling poor Jongup out when all of the members take part in one of the worst shootouts I have ever seen (not quite as bad as the fight scene at the end of DMTN’s Safety Zone though). They all get up one at a time and step forth into an open space without cover, guns a-blazing as if to say, “SHOOT ME I’M COMPLETELY UNPROTECTED RIGHT NOW!” It literally broke my heart to see all of them die in such a stupid fashion.
Granted though, this video overall is stellar and super HPV (High production value, not human papillomavirus), and I’m so happy to see a cinematic music video from B.A.P. There were a lot of good shots in this MV too, exciting action shots…intriguing Manila scenery….and uh, stuff like this:
And oh, this dance is going to be amazing when they perform it live. So crisp, so creative, and the dance for the hook in the chorus (during the “ooh ooh ooh”s) is fantastic. Plus I absolutely love whenever B.A.P incorporates fancy ground-work:
The actual song itself was a good mix of the old B.A.P intensity with a new chill edge, a good compromise between a total regression and a complete reinvention. It’s not a song that gets easily stuck in your head, but it’s definitely one that I could listen to at any time of the day and I suspect one I would never get sick of. In fact, so far it’s only gotten better with every listen. I’m a huge fan of the cinematic violins (reminds me a little of the ending mix in Step Up), and as always, the rapping is amazing. Bang’s terrible English in the beginning however, was a little off-putting:
“One shot, Let me tell you something that you already know.
You just get the rock to me.
You na mean?”
No Bang, I don’t “na mean”. It was almost comforting that I could not understand his pronunciation.
Really though, I have to mention the awesome alternative ending TS Entertainment included at the end of the MV. It basically shows that Youngjae befriended a group of gangsters, got himself beat up and held as a hostage just to back stab everyone in the end and arrest them all as a police officer. You have to be just a little deranged to go that far just for the sake of your job. And Youngjae pulled off the whole deranged crazy person persona pretty damn well:
All in all, B.A.P is so solid it hurts. I love that they’ve been doing SO MUCH but I really wouldn’t mind if they took a break too! They definitely deserve one, and I would hate for people to start becoming desensitized to their work.