Dec 12, 2015

Nine Muses Come Back With A New Style For "Sleepless Night" MV

When I found out that my darlings Nine Muses were going to work with Brave Brothers for their upcoming November comeback I was anxious, to say the least. One of my favorite aspects about this group is their solid sound and incredible discography, and although they've worked with many different producers before (Sweetune being the most prominent one) all of their singles have had a cohesive sound and musical complexity. Brave Brothers is known for recycling the same beats over and over again for his songs, and I was afraid Nine Muses would become victims to his inability to produce unique tracks suitable for the specific artist he's working with. "Sleepless Night" dropped on the 24th, and so far I'm not sure what I think about it.

As expected the song itself sounds awfully familiar, and not in a good Nine Muses kind of way but in a generic Brave Brothers kind of way. Let me just be clear; I despise the man for what he has done to K-pop, and him working with one of my bias groups is genuinely upsetting. Yes, he has produced some great tracks in the past but in recent years I've found his work to be extremely disappointing for the majority of time. He uses the same beats and samples over and over again and is quite bad at mixing the instrumental and vocal layers (as seen in AOA's "Heart Attack", for example), and this is definitely a problem with "Sleepless Night" as well. However the fact that he still gets work and has produced for so many groups is a problem not only because of the decrease in music quality but because several groups have the exact same sound.

Speaking of AOA I can't help but feel as I'm listening to the song that this could have easily been their next title track instead of Nine Muses'. It's reminiscent to their Brave Brothers' produced tracks as it has almost the same tempo and vibe as their breakout hit "Mini Skirt", but I actually think this song is quite a lot better and I guess that's the problem. I hate that Nine Muses are working with Brave Brothers and are coming back in such a non-typical way, but I genuinely like the song despite its many flaws. So in a way I can't feel as disappointed with this comeback as I want to considering everything else, but I suppose that's ultimately a good thing.

The video to accompany this song is also awfully familiar, and not in a Nine Muses kind of way either. Maybe it's just because I'm not used to them promoting sad, low-tempo tracks like this one but the MV isn't exactly what I would have expected from them. The sets, props styling and even choreography are all factors that could have easily belonged to any struggling other girl group, and although it all fits together it just isn't very appealing if you're a long-time fan of group like me. It's decent enough, but it's not what I want from them.

The premise of the video is related to the lyrics, which are about not being able to make it through the night due to the severe longing after that one special person that's no longer there. Their hearts can't seem to rest as this ex-lover is constantly on their minds, and they cannot sleep as a result of it. Instead they spend the night thinking of and reflecting about the past and wondering what to do next. Although the lyrics are a bit generic they're still pretty good, and I can definitely see a lot of people relating to this kind of heartbreak.

The main star of this particular MV is Minha and she plays the role of the protagonist, as the song seems to be coming from her perspective. She is seen swallowing multiple pills, sitting by herself on her bed and wandering around her department which is filled with gifts and presents. As she's opening them and the items inside are revealed it's apparent how they're connected to the other members individual scenes in the video.

There's a ring, which is seen in Kyungri's possession, a white watch that also has a place on Sungah's wrist and a perfume bottle which is linked Hyuna as she's seen with a collection of her own. Other items that stand out are Sojin's high heels that clearly hold some sentimental value for her, Keumjo's lipstick and Hyemi's particular dress that no matter how many clothes she tries on always comes back to.

Now, there are two possible explanations for this video; either the members and their individual items are representations of Minha's past relationship as they're all holding onto something special and can't seem to let go of it, or the other members are her past relationships. At first I'm inclined to believe the former but the twist at the end certainly makes me question it. What happens is that Sojin is seen sleeping naked in Minha's bed, and if that doesn't answer the question I don't know what does, or at least that's how I chose to interpret it because, well, I don't think I have to explain myself on that point. Of course it's possible that she's a metaphor as well, but to think she is actually Minha's lover is much more exciting so I'm going to go with that.

Apart from the plot, which although understandable is a bit confusing as you can tell from my brief description, the MV doesn't much deeper on this sensitive topic. I do think the video is pretty and the colorless filters as well as the faded finish are helpful in setting the sentimental mood, but sometimes the frames are a bit too washed out.

The scene with all of them together in a white setting is difficult to look at both because of all the white as well as the fade and the excessive added brightness. Other parts stand out as being a bit too fuzzy as well, and because most of the video is quite dark the outcome isn't very photographically correct, if I may say so. Let's just say some things could have been better on that front. I also find the few insertions of choreography a bit odd, as there are only one or two dancing shots edited in, and because there's literally nothing else of it it stands out in a bad way. If they wanted to show of the choreography they could have had more sequences in the video to have it least become half and half (which I would've preferred as some of the acting scenes do feel a bit unnecessary), but this current distribution only confuses me.

To counter with some positive feedback I have to say the girls are looking better than ever, and finally my most hated hairstyles of the last comeback are gone. I'm in love with Sojin's dark, long hair and Sungah's blonde, as well as Keumjo's pink tones and Kyungri's shorter cut. All of them are just really well styled and the clothes they're wearing are both sexy and classy in a subtle, beautiful way. Considering the outfits they wore for many of their "Hurt Locker" performances these gowns and dresses are much welcomed, and of course it's no surprise that these eight ladies master the form of carrying sexy garments and pulling them off in a mature, lady-like way.

When come to think about it there aren't only bad things about this comeback, as I really like the song although I can understand why some won't, and I think the MV is pretty and the members are gorgeous as usual. Additionally if the lesbian twist of the plot is actually intended then I'm liking it even more, but there is one major problem that I've mentioned earlier and still can't escape from.

"Sleepless Night" would've been great had it come from another group, but this isn't Nine Muses, and I don't want this to be their new thing. The reason I got into this group was because of their original sound and style, and if they're going to adapt this generic and unoriginal sound and continue working with Brave Brothers I'm not sure what I will do. Hopefully the mini album will be more promising, but either way this is the title track they're promoting and unfortunately this isn't them at their best.

Song: 3,5/5
Video: 3,2/5

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