Comeback: U-KISS’ “Standing Still”

U-KISS tries to be as ubiquitous as ever with their latest single “Standing Still”.  But were they successful?

U Kiss Standing Still

I’m going to say right off the bat that this song doesn’t do it for me.  As much as I root for U-KISS (they still haven’t gotten a No. 1 hit yet, which is a god damn shame), they really need to stay away from this uninspired generic dreck they keep falling back on.  THIS SONG HAS SO MUCH POTENTIAL, but it just DOESN’T GO ANYWHERE.

There are some good parts to this song; I like the beginning build up, which features a nice clear sound with a little guitar mixed in, and then we hit the bridge which is pretty rocking (na-na-blah-blah Kerosene yeaaah), but then we get to the chorus and it’s like we hit a brick wall.  It’s so boring and predictable, and just throws the same exact melodic line first introduced in the verses back at us.  Really?  You couldn’t have come up with anything else??  My ears YEARN for some new and captivating hook to give this song that climactic punch!  Because of this enormous let down, “Standing Still” is not something that I would ever just start bursting out into song with, and frankly, the repetitive droning gets really annoying after just a couple listens.

But the imagery placed in this video is so powerful, it really invokes a deep sense of burning passion and desolation:

U Kiss Standing Still Rose

See, the rose represents the blooming love of each U-KISS member, and acts as a symbol for the societal pressures and rituals associated with the artificial construct of monogamous relationships that have come to define our very existences.  The fire enveloping the rose represents the main woman’s scorn for U-KISS’ adoration and absolute rejection of these social norms.  The dark oil smothering the rose represents the influence of OPEC and the rising prices of gasoline that is slowly consuming the fabric of society and controlling the way we interact with each other….no, on second thought, I’m not quite sure why this is included in this music video.

I also feel the distinct need to complain about the unjust distribution of lines in this comeback.  I don’t want U-KISS to become Hoon, Soohyun, and Kevin with a couple of back-up dancers/interjections of auto-tune thrown in.  We’ve seen an on-going trend of this with “Doradora”, “Believe” and now “Standing Still”.  Dongho gets 2 heavily layered auto-tuned lines at the end of the bridge, AJ and Eli get like 2 lines of rap each (seriously, I’ve already memorized Eli’s rap), and Kiseop…well it’s Kiseop he never gets any lines anyway.  But what’s frustrating is that we KNOW AJ has a pretty amazing voice so is it really necessary for him to be a rapper when there are already 3 other people who literally can’t do anything else?  Come on U-KISS, don’t pull a Teen Top on me.

The video itself does a pretty good job of reflecting the tediousness of the song, with a concept so banal and overdone it’s almost comical.  We’ve got the abandoned parking lot set for the main dance sequence, an extraordinary overuse of lens flares, and some random girl thrown in every so often to give U-KISS’ heart-wrenching belting just a little bit of direction.  And I mean like, literally, thrown in; she pops up for like 3 seconds at a time, no plot, no back story, just…really green..contacts…

It's not quite as exotic when you buy it from your local optometrist

It’s not quite as exotic when you buy it from your local optometrist

The shifting between bright illumination and dark silhouette is a cool effect, but only if you’re really paying attention to the dancing; otherwise it goes by so quickly that it easily escapes your attention.  It’s a nice subtle touch that helps redeem the video a little.

U Kiss Standing Still dance dark  U Kiss Standing Still dance light

But just a little, because the manipulation of light is no new concept when it comes to k-pop.

Otherwise, the rest of the lighting in this video is just an epileptic nightmare.

Just imagine this flashing a million times a second

Just imagine this flashing a million times a second

Overall there’s not much more to say, except that “Standing Still” is very classic “U-KISS” from the video to the dancing.  They just fall flat of delivering something spectacular and memorable.  Despite all of their hard work and cute personalities, I have to say that U-KISS always seems to lack just that little bit of something extra to push them over the top into super-stardom.

SONG: D+

VIDEO: D

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