Feb 22, 2016

Brave Girls Rises From The Ashes With "Deepened"


For the first time in the two years I've been running this blog I'm writing about Brave Girls, a group formed by Brave Entertainment, the company of famous producer (whom I've written all the more about) Brave Brothers. This might come as a surprise to some of you, and it did to me, that he actually has more groups under his belt, such as Electroboyz and Big Star as well as the recently debuted (and disbanded) 1punch. It seems that although Brave Brothers manages to produce hit tracks for other groups the ones he himself has put together are not as successful. Brave Girls is the company's only girl group and debuted all the way back in 2011 as a five-member piece, but they haven't made a comeback since August 2013 and now when they've finally returned only two original members remain. Five new girls have been added to the group instead, and since it's been so long it's basically like a new group debuting under the same name.

To be completely honest I was not planning on reviewing this comeback, or even listening to the song for that matter. I wasn't around when the Brave Girls made their initial debut and for the majority of the time I've been into K-pop they haven't really been around much, so I never really got to know them or their music. Knowing they're from Brave Entertainment means that it's highly likely that Brave Brothers himself was the main producer behind their tracks (although I can't find any solid evidence of this), which makes me unsure whether I would've liked them that much anyway. Not going to lie though, some of his early work was genuinely good so maybe I would have, but it doesn't really matter right now. This practically new group has come back with "Deepened", or "You Have Changed" as the English translation follows, and it sounds like a definite Brave Brothers production.

At first I was a bit skeptical but quite soon afterwards I was in love with the song, which I never would have expected. While most comeback tracks (at least for groups that aren't ballad groups) are more upbeat, dynamic and energetic this one is surprisingly low-key and subdued. In a way it almost reminds me of After School's work with Brave Brothers, like the fantastic "Because of You" and the slow and sensual "First Love".

The tempo is quite low and the instrumental is minimal yet powerful, consisting most prominently of piano and various drum beats. The mood is quite sad and down as it has a chord progression is set in minor, but even the melody and the vocals are more on the emotional side. It's funny because I don't know if I actually think the song is that well made, especially with the harshly mixed vocals in the chorus, but I genuinely really like it nonetheless. I'm also both surprised and impressed with Hyeran's rapping and her ability of emote while still sounding sharp and powerful. I guess the song just has that "it" factor for me, as I've already listened to this song a bunch of times and I certainly think it will continue that way.

The video however is quite boring, but since the song is as good as I think it is I honestly don't care and I've watched it so many times already. The concept for this comeback, or should I say debut, is a fitness concept, or at least I think so. I mean, they did do a lot of workout poses at their showcase and are wearing training gear in the video as they dance. I personally think it's about time a girl group had an image that was about health and fitness, and all the girls have great bodies to boot.

But like I said the video isn't very eventful, and seems as if it was shot on quite a low budget as well. It all takes place in one or two sets, but they do move around a lot and use the props to the best of their abilities, such as Yujin climbing on top of a car and Eunji and Yuna dancing with the help of the huge staircase that they all later dance on top of. The camera smoothly fades from one member to another and the actual camerawork isn't all too bad, but it's just that the sets are very lackluster. There's no real story introduce to help understand the song, that's about wanting things to back to how they used to be, but there are many shots of the members looking sad and defeated as well as one with a silhouette of a man, which probably is the one the song is about.

However there's not much room made out for any kind of plot, because most of the video is focused on the dancing. As the concept is based around fitness some of the moves do seem to be inspired from working out, as there are plenty of squats and positions that require leg strength. Although the overall impression of the choreography is that like with the song, it's both emotional and powerful. It's definitely sexy, but more sensual than raunchy, and there's definitely a sadness to it that I appreciate.

It can be concluded that this video isn't great by any means, and if the song wasn't as good as it is the impression of the MV would've been much, much worse. The scenography is lacking, the workout outfits (although hot) seem a bit cheap and you can tell that not much money was spent on it. However I keep on re-watching the MV, so there's still something there that pulls me in. Of course I like the song, but I also surprisingly like the concept and the choreography, which has that perfect balance between sexy, mature and emotional.

I suppose because they're an older group, with ages ranging from 1990 to 1995, it helps them pull it off without it seeming try-hard or out of place. It also helps that the members are really gorgeous and some of them in particular stand out just with an ability to capture the camera, like Yuna, Eunji and Yujeong for example. Now I don't want to praise them too much because Brave Entertainment's track history isn't all that amazing, but I want to at least give them a chance. I honestly believe that they have potential, but like with everything it depends on how well their company is able to promote them. Hopefully this will be a fresh start for Brave Girls, and personally I think it's a really solid one.

Song: 4,15/5
Video: 2,9/5

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