Sep 12, 2015

Day6 Makes One Of This Year's Best Debuts With "Congratulations" And I Am Head Over Heels In Love

I literally have about 10 other posts and reviews I need to write but Day6 just recently dropped their new MV and I'm freaking out. I haven't had this feeling in a really long time, you know the one when you feel like jumping up and down in your chair and your heart is beating out of your chest because you can't contain all your feelings. Yeah, that's how I'm feeling after watching "Congratulations", and I can tell you right now that this group is going to stick with me for a long time.

Truth be told; I have been waiting for and anticipating this group for what feels like years. Ever since they appeared on "YG's Win" in the YG vs. JYP episode I've been wanting for them to debut, and that must've been over one and a half years ago. Instead Got7 debuted, which I'm also thankful for because those boys rock my world, but Day6 is the group I've been waiting for. I love the fact that these "idol bands" are becoming more and more an established thing, mostly thanks to FNC who paved the way with FT Island and CNBlue, but there's been a long time since I was this excited about one.

FT Island's music has never really appealed to me although I recognize that they are great musicians, and God knows I love CNBlue but their latest releases have been underwhelming. FNC's newest band N.Flying did debut earlier this year but didn't impress me very much at all, and AOA seems to have ditched their instruments completely. It's fair to say that I've been longing for a great pop-rock release from an idol band, and here comes Day6 and provides just that.

Leaving out the Wonder Girls, who did come back with a band concept and performed while playing their instruments, this is JYP's first actual band and they're debuting under Studio J which makes it even more legit. It seems like they've been together for quite some time too, and while they initially were called 5Live the name changed when the sixth and final member, drummer Dowoon, was added.

Now they have two guitarists, one bassist , a drummer, a keyboardist and a synth-player. And the best part is that almost all of them sing as well. Usually with bands there are one or two vocalists (as can be seen with both FT Island, CNBlue and AOA Black) but in Day6 there are five capable vocalists. The only one with no lines is Dowoon, but maybe that will change in the future as well. In conclusion; they seem like a very talented bunch of guys.

I have to say before anything else that I love the song. I've always been a sucker for good pop-rock, with focus on the rockier side, and this song is just that. "Congratulations" is instantly captivating, and the chorus is one of those that really gets stuck on your brain. The vocals are great, the melody is beautiful and emotional and the lyrics come with a perfect amount of angst and passive-aggressiveness. It is one of those songs that draws you in and takes over your entire body and mind, as every word and every note fills you up from head to toe. Much of its impact is thanks to the song's structure and chord-progression, and the chorus especially is nothing short but epic.

This video is about a man suddenly finding himself face to face with a girl he thought he still had a connection with, and realizing she's moved on and left him behind. The lyrics are perfectly displayed in the MV, as they speak of the frustration, sadness and anger that comes with discovering you've been dumped by seeing the other person with another instead of them directly telling you.

Judging from the lyrics it appears as if they were "on a break" (I really can't think of anything else but Friends here, where we all learned that taking a break isn't a good idea), and he obviously thought that they would get back together but it turned out not to be the case. In the video he's riding the subway when the girl in question enters the same cart with her new boyfriend, and the two share awkward looks as we see his memories of their happier days flash before us.

I think the video overall is really well done, and it features actor Choi Woo Shik as the main male protagonist which is unusual as it's usually one of the group's members that star in the plot. At least for idol groups that's the case, but not here. I think it was a good decision to leave the acting to actual actors because it further distances the group from a typical "idol" status, which I think is what they intended to do because Day6 isn't your typical idol group.

It allows the focus on the members to be on their performing abilities and musicians, and rightfully so. Furthermore; the built of the song matches beautifully with the dynamics of the video and the different scenes, and although I would have liked a visual filter that wasn't so cold and pale I do see why they went that way. I also think the flower petals falling on both the actors in the subway cart as well as the band as they perform is very cheesy, but I love it anyway because it adds to the dramatic, grand feeling of the song.

Although much of the video's attention is on the story of the two past lovers and their sudden encounter on the subway, I will have to put in some praise for the members of Day6. Their performances in the video could have easily faded next to the dramatic plot, but all of them are truly giving their all and it's noticeable that this song (and probably their entire debut) is a work that has originated from a personal place. They pour their hearts out into both the vocals, which by the are amazing in every sense, and playing their instruments, and you can feel their passion and engagement through the screen.

Conveying those type of emotions in such a genuine, heartfelt way isn't easy but they pull it off flawlessly. While all of the members are very attractive and great at what they do I have to say that the ones that stood out to the the most were definitely Young K (or Brian/Younghyun, the boy has a lot of names) and Sungjin as they sang with most conviction and completely captivated me with their performances. Junhyeok also caught my attention by looking very similar to 2PM's Junho, who himself received attention for resembling former JYP solo artist Rain. I think I sense a pattern forming here. However the most important thing is that they're all older than me, which is such a nice change considering basically all of the groups debuting this year have had members much younger than me. Now I can finally stan a rookie group where I don't have to feel predatory finding some of the members cute.

To conclude this review I must confess that I genuinely have nothing bad to say about this debut, and I know that naming them one of this year's best debuts with five more months to go might seem a bit bold, but I can't imagine anything being more impressive than this. The song is spectacular, and I don't mean just for K-pop but this is honestly a song I would listen to no matter the context it was released in, and the video contemplates it perfectly. All the members are incredibly talented by the looks of it, and if they continue down this path I'm sure we can expect great things in the future.

In the meantime, let us all enjoy the live version of the song from their debut showcase. I think I even prefer this one, because all the instruments and vocals sound clearer and more powerful, and it's obvious that they know what they're doing. Idols or not, these boys are a true band.

Song: 5/5
Video: 4,35/5

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