A big part of pop music are the visual aspects. Actually, one could argue that pop music is more about aesthetics than it is about the music itself. It’s all part of a huge puzzle and in Kpop, music videos, also known as MVs for short, are probably the most crucial pieces in selling content.
They take great songs and embellish them to new heights, and, in some interesting cases, take crap songs and make them tolerable and/or likable. The slicker the quality, the quicker the masses will gobble it up. Here are 5 of my favorite Korean pop music videos of 2010.
Narsha (Brown Eyed Girls) – “Bbi Ri Bba Bba”
This video is dark, creepy and jammed to the ceiling with symbolism. What I like about it, though, is the art and direction of the video. The shots transition perfectly with the song, especially going from the quick phrasing to that ethereal chorus where the shots start swooping through the air. Another thing to point out is the use of color, which I think looks striking against the high points of the song (i.e. Narsha’s red hair against the monochromatic backdrops)
Big Bang – “Beautiful Hangover”
This is a Japanese single, but I haven’t set up rules or anything for this segment, so whatever. Big Bang’s a Kpop group, so that’s enough grounds to cover them in my book. Anyway, I really like this video because of its (Mr.) clean and smooth style. Everything is top-notch and I’d be quite frightened to step on a set this tidy in fear of accidentally ruffling the sheets. I love all of the shots of the lead female, especially when she’s at the window. They made her look gorgeous and irresistible, and the guys more stylish than ever.
2NE1 – “Go Away”
This music video is my favorite of the three singles 2NE1 promoted back in September. The “Can’t Nobody” MV was fun and it all looked fine until the last quarter of the song where the girls are sliding down that lame tube and ‘flying’ through space in that poorly constructed shuttle-thing, and “Clap Your Hands” was pretty much a re hashed version of previous MVs and wardrobe. This one, however, had an interesting story line and it was filmed pretty damn well. I’ve also forgiven them for the LQ CGI. The song does more than make up for it.
Nine (Dear Cloud) – “Beginning Of An End”
In this song, Nine (lead vocalist of Dear Cloud) really captured those indie vibes I like hearing and did a nice job of translating the mellow style and smoothness of this song on to film. The color pallet is pleasant, and, sure, this may feel like it’s dragging out when you first watch it, but there’s something about it that keeps you hooked. My favorite shot is when we get to see her actually singing in real time (around the 3:11 mark, wearing the hat with the horns). It’s like saying, “Hey, we’ve made it.”
Ga-In (Brown Eyed Girls) – “Irreversible”
This is by far my favorite Kpop music video of the year. It’s artistic, BEAUTIFULLY shot and the way it’s set up for the audience to pick apart and re-tell the story to figure out what is going on is brilliance. I knew it was genius when I didn’t even notice that 11 minutes had flown by. Everything works perfectly and I’m totally pissed off this isn’t winning ‘best MV’ across the boards this year. Ga-In deserves some recognition for this number.