SHINee's back! Again! Like with any full-length album released by SM Entertainment a repackaged version is bound to happen, and while I love me some more SHINee I generally don't support these kind of releases. There's no actual reason for releasing the exact same album with a few new songs except for financial gain, and I seriously don't think SM needs any more money. Still I'm not complaining too much about it because after all it's another couple of weeks of promotions from the boys, and knowing they'll be gone for a while afterwards it's definitely a treat for the fans.
They've come back once again with "Married To The Music", and it wouldn't be SHINee if they didn't try out a new, exciting and unique concept. This group is kind of SM's experimental guinea pig, even more so than their female counterparts f(x), and this isn't the first time we've seen them do something out of the ordinary. While I think this comeback would have been more suited later this year, like in time for Halloween, it's still a pretty awesome idea.
Let me just get this off my chest: this MV is amazing. While I praised "View" in all its glory for the stunning visuals, gorgeous scenery and maturity, there's nothing about it that embodies the group that is SHINee like the way this video does. If I were to show a newcomer a SHINee video that I thought represented the group the best I would probably go with this, at least nowadays with the image the group currently has and has had for the last few years. SHINee for me is fun, quirky and original, and their ever-changing concepts and content are what makes the group so special and interesting. Despite them doing concepts so vastly different it never once doesn't suit them, and that shows the huge versatility this group possesses. They aren't afraid to dress up in ridiculous clothes and devote themselves to whatever concept they're doing, and always seem to be enjoying and putting their own spin on it.
I have to say that although they are an SM group it has always seemed to me that the personality and energy the members themselves bring makes me forget that they're still very much a manufactured product. I love that the members are all so clearly separate individuals with different charms and talents, but when they come together magic happens. The members themselves own their brand and make up their image just as much as the company does, and that's not something you see a lot in K-pop.
With "Married To The Music" SHINee puts on one hell of a show, and I am continually thanking the higher powers for allowing this group to shoot videos outside of a box-set in a studio. This video is entertaining, exciting and most certainly one of a kind, and I have a hard time seeing any other group pull of this kind of concept because it's quite the opposite of safe. Safe isn't however a word this group has ever been associated with. They always try new things and aren't afraid to give up the pretty from time to time, and that's definitely what they've done here. Like I said earlier this MV would have been perfect for Halloween, because there are definitely elements of both spookiness and the supernatural penetrating all the corners of the video.
In the beginning we see the members arriving at a party, dressed to the nines of course, and initially they're having a good time. They dance, drink fluorescent drinks and hang out with the ladies, but soon strange things start to happen. One by one the members encounter a bride, whose face is never shown, and she starts stealing body parts from them. First she cuts of Key's head and then she knocks out Taemin's eyeballs with a baseball bat, and shortly after both Onew's nose and Jonghyun's mouth are missing too. Poor Minho gets his entire head burned off, leaving only his body intact. At the end she sits with all the collected body parts and puts them together to create her perfect groom.
The premise itself is something that we've definitely never seen before, and I love how creative it is that she's a bride and they're married to the music, which then must be her. Although she doesn't seem to be the best wife as she's only interested in parts of them, which she crashes their party to gather. Everything about the story is hilarious and funny, and watching the members acting out their parts is genuinely entertaining as well. There just seems to be so much randomness thrown in it, and there are so many funny scenes and hidden details in the background that once you see them you can't help but laugh.
Apart from the story-line and plot there are so many more things that make this video such a joy to watch. The sets and props used for the MV as well as all the extras in the background makes it quite a believable party, and the theme is crystal clear and wonderfully incorporated. Everyone's styling, both in terms of clothes, hair and accessories, are spot on and perfect for the concept that is obviously inspired by "The Rocky Horror Show", which was a musical with influences by both horror, comedy and science-fiction. They aren't even trying to deny the inspiration, as the font used for "Married To The Music" (as seen in the photos above) is almost exactly the same as used for the original production. You can also see the similarities in the sets used for the video, which are probably supposed to mimic the various rooms of a mysterious mansion, as well as the old-fashioned furniture.
Additionally I also have to praise the camerawork, as it is nothing but splendid. The variation of angles is refreshing, as it's not only shot front-on but from the sides, up and down as well as spinning movements to follow the members. The scene where a seemingly drunk Onew is fumbling his way forward the camera also moves rapidly from side to side, most likely to portray that dizziness he's obviously feeling. The camerawork makes the viewer feel like they're actually at the party in the same room as the members, and although I know it's a set like any other it feels very real and dimensional.
However I do have one complaint, and it's honestly not even a real complaint but it has to be mentioned. The video is amazing, we can all agree on that, but it's amazing to the point that it completely overshadows the song. When I first saw the MV I didn't even hear what the song sounded like because the video was so overwhelming and captivating. It wasn't until long afterwards when I realized that the song was actually pretty good too, but it definitely fell short because of the video. The same goes for the choreography, which is actually great as well, as even the few parts that were included seemed to fade next to the rest of the video. It's a shame because if you've seen the live performances you'd know that it's a fun and energetic routine that the members seem to love executing.