Apr 8, 2015

Crayon Pop Redeem Themselves With "FM" a.k.a Comeback Of The Year

Everyone should know about Crayon Pop after their 2013 national hit "Bar Bar Bar", and if you don't then you have some work to do for sure. Coming from a relatively small company with little impact over the industry, this group remained in the shadows until one day when they were everywhere. I mean, they even did a collaboration stage with Ylvis for God's sake!

In 2014 however, they kept it pretty low in 2014 and failed to make big headlines with both their group comeback and twin sub-unit Strawberry Milk. I was at least severely unimpressed by their efforts so I wasn't really anticipating anything at all this time around. Let me just tell you one thing about this comeback: it's AMAZING.

What really sucks is that they've decided to come back at the same time as both Miss A and EXO, which means they have little to no chance of winning on a music show. If there's any song that should be winning all the awards right now it's "FM", because it beats in my opinion any other track that's being promoted right now. It is, hands down, one of my absolute favorite songs that have been released so far in 2015, and I never would have expected it to be by Crayon Pop. Not that I dislike their music, in fact I find it enjoyable most of the time, but it's not music I would want to listen in my regular life. This track however, is most certainly on that level of brilliance.

If you compare it to many of their other songs it has more of a subtle kind of force and energy, and not as "in your face" as, per say, "Bar Bar Bar". It's also not as cute or happy-go-lucky, which I think is great because those kind of themes can get quite annoying if overworked. "FM" is like the older, more serious sibling that possess both an inner and outer power and isn't afraid to stand up for themselves. The high-pitched voices are drastically toned down, the melody is strong and confident and the result is a song that I wish my favorite groups would have put out.

However, I do think that the video is a huge contributing factor to the song's level of greatness, even if it works perfectly on its own as well. Crayon Pop are the masters of concepts, and the masters of creating new, unique concepts that at least the K-Pop world haven't encountered before. Only look at how long they wore their helmets while promoting only so that people would recognize them! They made a thing out of something that shouldn't be a thing, and that's impressive.

For "FM", they've gathered inspiration from many different genres and fields, but most of them have a feature in common: animated characters. This video includes inspiration from famous animes such as Sailor Moon and Super Sentai as well as American tv-show Power Rangers and video game Halo. There's a lot of inside knowledge that flies past me since I don't know any of these particularly well, but the overall idea of the video is understandable despite those personal faults of mine.

The members of Crayon Pop - Geummi, Ellin, Choa, Way and Soyul, are superheroes on a mission to defeat the villain of the plot (a man-wolf hybrid of some sort) and his masked followers. We see them transform from ordinary girls to heroes dressed in leather suits with glowing fighting-sticks. There are plenty of scenes involving fights, such the final fight at the end were two characters from halo come in and provide help to defeat the monster, as well as transformation sequences taking place in front of retro-inspired backgrounds with  similar graphics.

I appreciate that they've tried to mimic some of the various sources' original features, and that they truly went all the way with the geekiness of this video which I'm sure fans of the series enjoy. At parts it even feels like you've traveled back in time to where tv- or animated shows had less CGI to work with and where the color saturation looked a bit different from today. It doesn't completely stick with the retro themes all the way through however, as there are indicators of it taking place in present time, but I don't really mind too much. Though I can't deny that it would be really cool if it actually stuck to the theme wholeheartedly and not just almost.

Crayon Pop’s “FM”: The Lyrics, The Title, the MV… What Does It All Mean?
At the end of the day, this is a fantastic comeback. It's definitely one of this year's better ones, along with 4Minute and Xia Junsu who also blew my socks off. "FM" is literally perfect. The song is spot on, the video is creative, fun and exciting in its unique genre and although the dance routine is a bit lacking it isn't anything that drags down the overall score. I truly, honestly did not even in my wildest dreams think that Crayon Pop would come back this strong, but I guess that is what makes it even more amazing. Those great, unexpected surprises are usually the best ones too.

Song: 4,75/5
Video: 4,5/5

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