Jul 17, 2014

B1A4's "Solo Day"

Seriosuly guys, July is bringing it with the comebacks! Every day it seems another one of my favorite groups announce their return, and even though it's getting a bit crowded I'm really happy about it. My main concern as of now though is about who will win on the music shows, because I want them all to win but the competition is so tough. 

B1A4 is a group whose music I've slowly realized I'm not as attached too as I wish I am. I really, really like the boys and their title tracks are usually great, but in general I find that their music is just not my style. However, it won't stop me from doing this review because if anything, this video is one worth reviewing.

As B1A4's new video dropped on July 13th, I was already really curious as to what they were up to this time. I liked their latest title track and album, but none of it was really my type of music so it didn't leave as big an impact on me as some of their other stuff. However, the many different teasers for this video were really odd and creative, and I'm always happy to see a change in scenery, as the group traveled abroad to shoot the video for "Solo Day". To be honest, I am not a huge fan of the song this time around as I find it a bit too bland and forgettable, but it's still a nice pop song suitable for summer. I am on the other hand, a big fan of this video.

What makes this video so different is that the music is barely incorporated at all in the video. There's not a single dance sequence, and hardly any lip-syncing shots of the members as well. Well, unless your name is Jinyoung that is, and sing the majority of the lines even though you're not the main vocalist. The fact that there's almost no such scenes, the video fails to feel very much like a K-pop video, but that can be a good thing. Since the industry itself relies on recycling, most videos resemble each other in one way or the other. The use of box sets, flashy lights, gimmicky concepts, solo- and dance shots with some possible kind of storyline is nothing we haven't seen before. The video for "Solo Day" on the other hand, feels nothing like that. Maybe calling it a short film would be a slight exaggeration, but it definitely stands out among other videos be K-pop groups. The only problem is though, that since the story of the video captures basically all of your attention the actual song isn't given much room at all, and to be frank I didn't really remember how it went even though I just listened to it.

The plot for this video is really exciting, but also extremely complex. There seems to be two parallel stories to the video, one taking place in the "real" universe and one inside Jinyoung's video game that he plays throughout the entire thing. In the video game the members go on a road trip together, and also encounter some UFO's in the process. In the real world however, each member is assigned a specific character. Jinyoung plays the "couch potato" and is playing the video game while eating snacks, Sandeul the shy "pizza delivery", Gongchan a "flower vagabond" aka homeless person with pretty looks, CNU an "obsession guy" trying to have a date and Baro a "space geek" seeming to be working on building a particular device. Throughout the video, the plot switches between the real world and Jinyoung's video game world. None of their real lives as their characters seem to go very smoothly, and we see all of them struggle in different ways. My heart does go out to Gongchan though, because as hard as it seems trying to flirt with a girl while having OCD, it's nothing compared to being homeless on the streets of L.A. In the video game everyone's completely happy and at peace, and judging by Baro's listening device, it appears they're out to find aliens. What I find especially interesting is the way the two world's connect with each other, and there are several clues pointing at a specific link between the two. First and foremost; hobo Gongchan reads an article about UFO's in the newspaper and walks around with a sign saying "They are coming", then there's the device "real life" Baro is building which seems to be the one he uses while searching for said life from outer space, and at last there's the dog that I assume is the same in both worlds. Upon the boys finally finding what they're looking for, time rewinds and suddenly everything in the real world changes too. The video ends with Jinyoung going outside to the driveway to reveal the exact same car standing there as the one used in the game. This leaves me with the question: did it actually happen in real life or is it about to happen? I'm seriously confused, but I like it because of that.

The plot is tricky, and I think I will have to watch it about 20 times to fully understand what's going on, but what I love most about the video is the beautiful scenery and the overall quality of how it's shot and edited. It's definitely a summer song and video, no doubt about it, but the summer theme is only there to enhance the interesting story and plot. It truly makes a big difference, because the video is bright, fun and absolutely stunning in terms of cinematography. All the guys look great, especially Baro whom I've found really attractive recently although I thought the complete opposite before. Fixing your teeth really does make that much of a difference, as it seems. The individual screen time was terribly uneven though, and it seemed like everyone not named Jinyoung just weren't given a single frame of their own.

All in all, this is a great video. As expected of this group you could say, as most of their video releases have been both unique and original, but I guess being a company's only successful act provides you with a larger budget. And what a big budget video this was, being shot both in L.A and featuring some CG on top of that. Cute boys, road trips and aliens, what more can you ask for?

Song: 3,25/5
MV: 4,5/5

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