Aug 6, 2015

Infinite's "Bad" Is Quite The Opposite Of That

Infinite - Reality

My babies have come back to slay the scene, finally! How I have waited. After a couple of underwhelming releases ("Man In Love", "Destinty" and "Bad Romeo" in particular) I thought that maybe Infinite was loosing their spark and that their 2012 success with my all-time favorite "The Chaser" was in fact their peak. That might still be true, but when they came back with "Back" last year I saw a new side of this group that gave me hope. Producer Rphabet is once again the genius behind their new title track "Bad", and I have to say that these two acts working together seems to result only in awesomeness.

Dark concepts have always been Infinite's thing in a way, but this is by far their darkest release to date. "Bad" also challenges Infinite's usual theme of songs by revolving around a bad woman, and my personal opinion is that the song is one of the most excellent tracks produced this year. I honestly would have been fine without a video or a performance because the song itself is that magical. I've already talked about it more deeply in my album review, but let's just say this song never fails to send shivers not only down my spine but through every cell in my body.

Infinite - RealityAs for the video; I like it, but I could have done without it. I know it sounds strange but hear me out. With many songs (both in K-pop and around the world), the correspondent videos usually have a way of making the song better, as a great video can make up for a mediocre song. With "Bad" however, it's rather the opposite. Of course it could be because I heard the song by itself before I watched the video, but the song is absolutely better without a video. I think that is because while the video for "Bad" is a genuinely nice watch, it's nowhere as good as it could have been in order to get on the same level as the track. I wouldn't say it's an underwhelming video because it's one of the better ones this summer, but the song is just much, much better.

If you take a look at the lyrics for the video it'll help you understand what's going on in the video much better. Infinite are known for their desperate yet passionate lyrics, and the lyrics for "Bad" are pretty typical for the group. Unlike many of their songs though they're not singing about desperately wanting someone back, but they're still very dramatic. "Bad" is essentially about being trapped under the spell of a dangerous lover, and knowing that they're harmful and bad for them but still not being able to let them go. I personally enjoy the lyrics despite them not being anything out of the ordinary for this group, but I'm not too fond of how they're reflected in the video.

Infinite - RealityWith quite an exciting premise that the lyrics set up, one would have expected the video to take them on in at least somewhat of a literal manner. The song itself is really dark, probably darker than anything we've seen Infinite do before, but the video is not nearly as dark as the song. There are however, some parts that are absolutely great about. First and foremost they've nailed the mysterious, thrilling aspect of the bad woman, who's only shown in short glimpses and appears almost as a ghost or someone who's not actually real.

I also like how they've managed to play with mirrors in quite a spooky way, especially when the reflection starts living its own life or there appears to be someone on the other side of the mirror. Another enjoyable sub-plot is also what opens and closes the video, which is Sunggyu running for his life only to discover his actually running from himself. It asks the question of what is real and what is imagination, which makes everything more interesting as well. There are details here and there throughout the video that are perfectly incorporated and suitable for the theme of the song, and it times it actually feels pretty creepy to boot which is what I would have liked the whole video to feel like.

Infinite - Reality
What I'm most annoyed about is definitely the sets, because some of them aren't very good at all, to be honest. I like the dirty bathrooms with the broken mirrors, the purple room with the smoke and the one Sunggyu's in where everything's rocking back and forth while he's sitting still because I found that those scenes had a deeper meaning. However the rest of them are not as creepy or deep as they could have been. They make use of a lot of colorful hallways with various mirrors, but if anything it only reminds me of those fun-houses you'd find at an amusement park, which are not very scary.

The main issue however is how they use them, as there is so much footage included into the video of them singing awkwardly in those hallways when it could have been shots of scary incidents, more plot or some goddamn choreography. I mean seriously, there are literally about five shots of them doing choreo in the entire video which is not nearly enough. On top of that the set in which those shots are filmed is hideous, so I can't even fully enjoy the little dancing that is actually included. I will say though that I do know the reason for the issues that I'm having, and it is their "360 VR" version of the MV.

Watching this you realize why parts of the video had to be the way they are, but it's a shame the main MV had to suffer because of this one. Not that this one isn't cool, because it is and I love that something like this exists (it's the future of music videos, I can guarantee you), but yeah. Now if only the members could reduce their level of awkwardness in their solo shots as well it would have been much better, because some of them are actually difficult to watch due to the awful second hand-embarrassment (especially those who can't dance). Still, it's a nice thing that Woollim did for the fans, but I hope the sets can be better next time.

Overall I would have to say that I still truly have enjoyed Infinite's return to the scene. Although it may appear as if I have lots of complaints about the video (which is true), it's by no means a bad video. I'm just very picky with my favorite groups, because well, they are my favorites. The styling for this comeback isn't optimal but not terrible either and they all look great individually, and while the choreography isn't their best work it's still pretty solid (again I have high standards for that with this group). While I still prefer hearing the song on its own or with a energetic live performance, the MV is another solid production from a group that consists only of those.

Song: 4,75/5
Video: 3,8/5

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