Apologies for the late review! Kpwop has been busy doing boring non-kpop things, which is no excuse at all.
That being said, I … don’t understand… this video.
Upon the nth time viewing this, I can still only recall overpowering bear imagery interspersed with Big Bang references. The point is that the giant teddy bear is a stand-in for an ex-boyfriend right? Because gross, bestiality. I mean, sure, he seems cuddly and adorable, but he also has a troubling fashion sense (his shirts. Are so. LONG.) and seems to be pretty petulant and mean.
Lending to the sinister quality of the bear is its cold, dead eyes. The rest of it is cuddly but its eyes reveal a dark and blank abyss. As it sways “comically” to the beat of the music, staring straight into the camera lens, you can sense that the bear is plotting ways to destroy you. Suddenly his adorable gestures and slapstick comedy turn into robotic machinations of a malicious intent. What kind of jerk is hiding underneath that cuddly blue exterior?
Okay, seriously, though, who’s inside there? My money’s on Taeyang. THE BUTT-SHAKES! It’s gotta be him. I know there’s a “One of a Kind” reference, but Taeyang was in that video too, and for whatever reason I’m feeling like Taeyang really wants a chance to shine and show his comedic side.
Also, don’t you guys feel like they didn’t go far enough with all the bears? I mean, sure, they have giant inflatable bear, big bear, regular-sized teddy bears, gummy bears, bear ears, G-dragon bear, Taeyang bear, bear magazines… but there are so many other bear things in pop culture and merchandising that they could have added to this music video to make it all the better. So. Many:
Music video aside, people (read: Youtube commenters, my sole source of knowledge and opinion) seem to have had a positive reaction to this song because it doesn’t sound like any other K-Pop songs out there. Well, guess what? It sounds exactly like this one other Korean song: LEE HI’S 126.96.36.199. It’s one thing to develop a clear “sound” for a burgeoning artist; it’s another to pigeonhole them with two singles that have basically the same key register and instrumental composition. Sure, the melody might differ, but compositionally, I don’t think there’s much of a difference. The exaggerated retro feel of the music also makes the similarities that much more apparent.
This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad song. I find this retro, bluesy style pretty boring, but I know that there are plenty of people who enjoy it, and I can’t fault them for that. I’ll just crush their speakers if they ever try to play music around me. Plus, Lee Hi actually does have a unique texture to her voice that isn’t very common in K-Pop, and that alone should allow her to stand out from the pack. But if her music is going to be 188.8.131.52 after 184.108.40.206, then it’s not something I want to buy. It’s still very early in her career so there’s vast room for her to grow and develop even in this first album alone. I was just disappointed that I saw no contrast musically between the two singles she’s released so far. (She also released another ballady song after 220.127.116.11, but K-Pop ballads are about as rare and creative as hay in a haystack.)
I still contend that Lee Hi has a lot of potential. It’s kind of interesting – in my review of 18.104.22.168, I wished for something less flashy and more down to earth. But A.) it’s YG and B.) it’s K-Pop. What was I thinking? This is like the K-Pop version of a soul singer for the 21st century. Cutesy, flashy, talented, and no depth. I’m not complaining, but I’m not particularly interested either.