Jan 26, 2015
Apparently I'm Crazy For Rookies Now: Legend's "Trace"
If someone could tell who these boys actually are, I would be eternally grateful. Up until this point in time, I had never even heard of Legend. Not like with most rookies whose names I've seen in a haze but don't know anything about, I literally have no recollection that this group even debuted in the first place. I know now that they haven't promoted much and since they hail from such a small company, they managed to fly past my radar.
Let me start off by saying how much I love their other title tracks, and how upset I am that I didn't hear them when the were released because they would have been played a lot if that was the case. Their debut song "Left Out" was a great piece of contemporary pop music, and showed great potential as the members seemed talented and easy to like. The video was low-budget, and although I have seen far worse it didn't do the song any justice at all. Their second single was "Lost", and this is the song that I have been crazy about ever since I heard it a few days ago. I love the pop-rock vibes, passionate vocals and the infectious melody, and this video was also a bit better than the previous. It wasn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but at least it showed some improvement. I entirely blame their company because it's obvious they're cutting back on money.
Still with no exceptional success (I mean, they were still unknown to me up until very recently) they are giving it another shot, this time with a ballad. The group does have some good vocalists, especially Listen (what kind of name is that, seriously?) and Jaehyuk, so I was assured that it wouldn't sound terrible.
Firstly, the song. It most certainly is a ballad indeed, and I don't know how many times I've had to say this in various circumstances, but I'm not a ballad-type girl. I like it when there's something happening in the song I'm listening to, and ballads usually don't have that particular element. Of course there are exceptions, and I'm kind of inclined to believe that "Trace" is one of them. This song is actually quite beautiful, and unlike a lot of ballads in K-pop that tend to sound way too much like generic OST's, this one is interesting to listen to.
The vocals are good, the melody is dynamic and empowering and the instrumental is simple but stunning. It's not quite mid-tempo, but it definitely has a lot more punch in it than the regular K-pop ballad. My only problem with it would be the production quality, because the actual sound of the vocals is a bit gritty and unpolished. Now this is not the members' fault at all, it is once again, the result of being with a small company with limited resources. It's a shame because it does make the song is bit hard to swallow, even though it's truly gorgeous in itself.
It sucks that I can't understand the lyrics because I can't find a translation anywhere and I would love to know what it is they're singing about. The video in itself gives a hint, but the themes found in it are quite broad so to make out the precise meaning is nearly impossible if you're not a native Korean speaker. My best guess is that there's some breakage of the heart involved. More clues are revealed as the video progresses, as you see Changsun taking off his (engagement?) ring, Jaehyuk staring longingly at a photo frame and Listen being unable to pick up the phone no matter how hard he tries. In fact, a lot of the scenes acted out by the members indicate that there was a break-up, and quite a serious one. Lito, for example, is packing stuff into a box that he later intends to set fire to, assuming that the items inside belonged to the person they're no longer with.
From a plot-wise perspective, it's quite a decent video. The acting isn't amazing but then again they aren't actors so I forgive them, and I think the message does get across quite clear. It's uncertain whether they're trying to move on or not, but my guess is that they are in fact doing just so, but it's harder than imagined. Break-ups are hard, and the overwhelming feeling of lost love penetrates every frame of the video.
However, the other aspects of the video aren't that great. Again, it was quite poorly shot and edited, and at some points it felt like I was watching a home-made video which isn't quite what you want to achieve as a K-pop group. Especially the scenes shot outdoors in black and white felt terribly cheap, and I'm bummed that a song as stunning as this couldn't get the chance to truly come to life in motion.
As a conclusion, I like this video and I really like the song, but the low production value makes it hard to sit through. What I'm most afraid of though, is that this group will disband in the near future, and it makes me really sad to think about it because I've literally just discovered them. There's so much talent and potential and they're all great-looking (seriously though, Lito is gorgeous), but unless their company promotes them better it's just not going to work. However, I'm being optimistic because miracles have happened before (Exid, Crayon Pop etc.) and I believe that with hard work, dedication and the correct marketing this group can become bigger and better.