It’s jarring when a bunch of teenage boys open up a music video in prison. I mean, let’s be real. They’re not exactly bad boys, much less felons. If anything, a few of them are just a bit douchey (AHEM C.A.P.), like those guys everyone has met who are maybe a liiiittle too confident, have a liiiittle too much gel in their hair, and still like to wear aviators and plunging V-necks. (Some people may argue that the latter should be a jailable offense.) But anyways, they’ve chosen to mature from implicated douchiness into full-on criminal for their comeback, promoting their new album No. 1 with the single “Miss Right”.
As the video begins, we’re immediately treated to the image of the boys trying to look hard in a glamorized prison cell. In fact, they even have a special prison nickname for each member, which both annoys me and intrigues me immensely. I am dying to know what all their crimes were, and where they are in the prison society totem pole. (If I spend an hour of thinking of their various transgressions and criminal personas and writing them down, does that count as fanfiction? Hypothetically of course.)
This is literally the most banal, straightforward, and transparent method that you can employ to try to toughen up the image of an artist or group. What’s the very baddest thing you can have guys do while still looking sexy? Brood in jail cells while wearing prison uniforms, of course. I don’t know much about the South Korean criminal justice system, but somehow I really don’t think this music video is about to enlighten me any further. Also, the work they do is just sloppy; let Ricky and L. Joe demonstrate for you.
Most of all, this concept in no way, shape, or form fits with the tone and mood of the song. Or the dance. I mean, they’re bouncing around and smiling and stuff while wearing orange jumpsuits or trapped behind bars! If prison is like this, then brb off to stick up a convenience store. If you’re going to have a concept, you have to commit to it for it to have any traction. Are all prisoners this happy? Where in the world can a female and a male share a jail cell? Does everyone in juvenile hall have an intense attraction to wearing studs? These are questions that we will never be able to reconcile, and for that we are all worse off.
Besides the concept of the music video, however, I don’t find much else particularly offensive to my senses. Thank god the members of Teen Top are all unique in their own right and they seem like they’re having fun in the music video, or else there would be no salvaging the half-hearted ‘script’ of this video. The dance is nothing special, but it does contain some interesting feminine and Michael Jackson elements – not in a bad way, mind you, just in a way that injects more flavor into the choreography overall. Also, on an unrelated note, does Niel not look like Dongwoo from Infinite to anyone else?
As for the song, my heart is tearing into pieces about it (probably a dramatization). I’m incredibly conflicted by how I feel. On one hand, there’s no denying that the song is catchy, although quite generic. The “La-la-la-la-LA-la” has a fun attitude that shows in its members, and is the one part that is still ringing around between my ears right now. However, the track itself sounds cheap and really low-rate. If I were to subtract the singing, I feel like it would be similar to listening to Game Boy Color music. Is this an intentional choice on the producers’ part? If so, I may appreciate it more, but I still believe it’s a poor choice. Nothing is to be gained by having your track be in MIDI format. With a little punchier production, this song could be elevated into something with a lot more impact.