Sep 11, 2015

Vixx LR's "Beautiful Liar" Is A Work Of Art

[OFFICIAL] LR – Concept Photo For ‘Beautiful Liar’ 1400x2100
When I heard that Vixx was going to get their first sub-unit I didn't think too much of it, and remained fairly neutral up until I actually watched their debut MV. Sub-units for me are pretty much hit or miss, as they either are great to showcase another musical side of a group, or they are present nothing new or special at all.

With Vixx LR, consisting of Leo and Ravi, I wasn't sure what music they would put out and what concept they would do. One of them is a rapper and another a vocalist, but that doesn't really give away anything either. Both of them have however been involved with their group's music, in terms of writing music and lyrics, and this could be a chance for them to showcase their own musical flavor. When I finally watched the MV for "Beautiful Liar" I was initially shocked and surprised, but later grew to fall completely in love with everything about it.

As you probably can tell by this embarrassingly late review I actually didn't come around to watch this MV until quite recently. There's just been so much on my plate this summer, and unfortunately this sub-unit sort of got the short end of the stick. I love Vixx, but I feel like it's been a long time since they they came back (I don't count "Love Equation" because it was essentially a cover song), and for that reason my interest had dipped a little. However, when I finally did watch the video I was beating myself for not watching it earlier. "Beautiful Liar" is nothing like Vixx has ever done before, both musically and video-wise, and I was left completely speechless and breathless afterwards. It's mentally and emotionally exhausting to sit through, but every single second of it is more than worth the angst and pain.

VIXX LR “Beautiful Liar”mini album jacket RAVI. 


The song itself, "Beautiful Liar", sounded nothing like I would have expected. Vixx are known for their upbeat, intense tracks with a high pulse and fast drive, and that was pretty much what I thought this was going to be as well, more or less. I had in mind some quick and powerful rapping and vocals to a strong beat and a catchy hook, but the outcome is pretty much the exact opposite.

"Beautiful Liar" is a piano-based mid-tempo ballad, and falls within a genre of music I've never heard Vixx do before, not even on their b-sides. Ravi takes lead for the rap-driven verses and Leo is in charge of the chorus, and the way their parts work together is quite astonishing. I can see now why they put these two together, because they complement each other perfectly. Ravi's rapping is normally very strong and loud, sometimes a bit too much so, but here it contrasts beautifully against Leo's soft, airy voice.

Contrasts are by the way the lead motive for this video, whose plot is an adaption of the song's lyrics. The song is about a man who's having his heart broken and is lying to his ex-girlfriend and himself that he's fine and that he wants her to be happy, as he tries to disguise his true feelings. He might tell her otherwise, but deep down he's miserable yet wants to put on a brave face. All of this is masterfully portrayed in the MV, which is one of the most dark and haunting videos I've seen in a really long time. Vixx has a history of doing dark concepts, but all of them are also based on stories of the supernatural, fairy-tales or possible dystopian futures. In "Beautiful Liar" they explore the darkness withing the human mind, and that's what makes this video truly terrifying.

VIXX LR “Beautiful Liar”mini album jacket LEO.


The two members play opposite characters in the story, as Leo is the heartbroken man trying to be strong and hide his inner emotions and Ravi portrays the "demon" within Leo's head who's an emotional wreck. One of them represents the outside, the beautiful lie, and the other one the chaotic inside. The viewer gets to see the two sides side by side, responding to situations differently depending on who they're portraying.

Everything from their acting to their clothes and individual sets and props is made to symbolize their state of mind, as Leo is dressed in black, acts passively and almost apathetically and Ravi's wearing color and patterns and rolls and acts out all emotions with his body. It could easily have come off as being very cliché, but their convincing acting as well as the wonderful cinematography turns it into a beautiful portrayal of a the inner conflicts of a man. The first half of the video does seem a bit slow, but once the breaking point occurs when the ex-girlfriend gets up from across the table and decides to leave it starts to get really interesting.

Here we see the three characters in a room together, and it appears as if she's leaving him for good then and there as she gives him back the keys. Leo is reaching for them but Ravi stops him, because taking them back would mean his truly giving up on her, which isn't what his inner self wants to do. From there the two of them start fighting, as Leo's doing everything in his power to hold back Ravi and his true wishes. We see Ravi trying to follow the girl, desperately, but Leo fights with all his might to contain him and in the end he succeeds, allowing his ex to move on.

It also results in a few short scenes where we see the two dance together in a way to represent the struggle, and from the looks of it the choreography is really different as it's modern and contemporary as we see more on shows such as "So You Think You Can Dance" rather than in K-pop. It's a shame it wasn't featured more, because dancing is such a powerful element in portraying emotions and struggles. The two of them have such amazing chemistry, and seeing a contemporary dance piece inspired by the lyrics would have been the icing on the cake that is this emotionally packed video.

VIXX LR mini album jacket LEO. 

As I mentioned earlier the cinematography itself has to be praised, as the video would have felt much different without it. As a whole the MV is shot almost in complete darkness with only a few lights in some of the sets to light up the shot, and in some scenes there appears to be only one or two spotlights directed towards the members. The way that sole source of light is used to create tension and build up emotion is very impressive, and it further emphasizes the depth and darkness of the entire debut. It is a story about the subconscious after all, and it partly takes place in the deepest, darkest corners of the mind.

If you think I am regretting not watching this MV earlier you are 100% correct, and I am awfully ashamed of myself for making such a mistake. "Beautiful Liar" by Vixx LR is a masterpiece, and unlike many other sub-units it also highlights a different side of the group that hasn't been seen before. I think the song is hauntingly gorgeous with thought-provoking lyrics, and the video I am completely blown away by. Well done boys, well done.

Song: 4,25/5
Video: 4,85/5

No comments:

Post a Comment