Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: U-KISS–“Neverland”

U-KISS wants to take you to Neverland in their new music video.

Did you like the song?
I really enjoyed this song right off the bat, and after many repetitions, it still manages to surprise me. It’s got a kind of wistful but powerful quality that sneaks up on you and just sounds mysterious and cool when put to the catchy beat. And the last 20 seconds or so with Soohyun’s vocals give me this swooping feeling like I’m flying—perfect for a Peter Pan theme.

What was your favorite part of the song?
This one is difficult! Should I give it to Eli’s “money, love, fashion, fame” (at :23)? Or AJ’s “Tell the DJ turn it up, up, up” (at :32)? Or the beginning of the chorus and the awesome “never end” (:58) part? Too many good parts.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
No! The English is superb. Great job, boys! I’ve always associated U-KISS with having super catchy songs with English lyrics that are completely gibberish. (Remember Avatar? “Checkin’ yo’ steez, I checkin’ yo’ style.” Yeah. I still don’t know what a steez is or how one would check it.) Which has always been surprising because U-KISS members Kevin, Eli, and (former member) Xander are all fluent in English. The only kind of awkward part is when Dongho says, “Let me stay forever young” (:40-42), and it’s just his pronunciation, not the actual words.

Did you like the video?
I definitely enjoyed it. Like the song, the video has this cold fantasy quality that is great.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Not really a storyline except that the members are stuck outdoors in the snow, then in a freezer, then in an oven (?), then back in the (melting?) snow. Perhaps to signify the changing seasons? I kept wondering how the DJ felt about having his expensive record equipment outside being snowed on.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
Okay, the main “never end” (:58-1:04) part of the dance seemed really more like flailing than dancing to me. Even the hot U-KISS guys were having difficulty making that look smooth. However, they do seem very earnest, and the build-up of the music at that point makes it a powerful moment, despite the arm flailing. And in general I could have done with less lip wiping. (Seriously: there were 5 lip wipes and 3 questionable face touches from Dongho.) But I liked the “up up up” move (:32) and the “Neverland” (1:05-1:13) move ending with them all on the floor very much.

Do the members look good?
Oh, God, yes. No one looks bad in this (as long as you like eyeliner). I’m never sure how Kevin looks so down to earth in interviews but so ethereally sexy on camera. Even Soohyun looks good (as opposed to just sounding good).

U-KISS Neverland members

[Back row standing:] Dongho, AJ, Hoon, Eli (in the front), Kiseop, [front row sitting:] Kevin, and Soohyun.

Which member stood out the most?
I think Eli was given the best lines, and Kiseop as usual does his best to usurp the video with sheer charisma. However, it’s really hard to compete when Kevin and Soohyun are still given the most screentime.

Do you like it enough to buy the song?

Any ending thoughts?
AJ and Hoon might be great singers, but that doesn’t come out in this video. The producers are still giving the most time singing and onscreen to Kevin and Soohyun. Because of that, I would be mad if I were Kibum or Xander and had been replaced with no obvious effect on the band’s lead song (except possibly better background vocals and lowering the average age). Still, I’m not complaining because the quality of this song was great, and I would be a happy fan if they continue to put release tracks like this.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“I don’t think mud dancing will ever replace mud wrestling.”

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  1. I really like your set up for this, like the headline questions. I assume you'll continue using the same headlines for future videos?

    I laughed at "questionable face touches"... oh, kpop.

    I really like that you added "Boyfriend's one-liner". Don't lose that! And don't let him get too into the kpop, comments from a source outside that kpop fandom are always amusing - mostly because they kind of bring the fandom back to reality. Like, oh right, this is how the rest of the world views these boys.

    Some suggestions that you can use or not use at your leisure - consider using pictures in the posts. Make sure you credit them, but I think a lot of passing readers won't be clicking on the links. Screencaps of the video would also work, or gifs if you can find/make them. The headline questions definitely break the post up, which is really good - people don't like reading big paragraphs with no breaks. But I think pictures will make the posts a bit more interesting for fans, since we all know fans love staring at the sexiness ;D

    I'd also maybe consider changing the info under the page title - the "your source..." thing. Since it's pretty obvious you are doing kpop reviews from the title, maybe you can say something else about the blog? I'm not really sure what at this point, but yeah. There's nothing wrong with what it is now, though, if you want to leave it.

    I just noticed the link for this post has the title as did-you-like-song-i-really-enjoyed-this.html... did you see that? I don't know how you would change it though... :/

    ANYWAY, this idea is awesome and I hope you continue with it :D Maybe sometime when you have more of an archive, you'll let me guest-review ;D Though I really have to get my own blog under control first. I am horrible at updating shiz.

    <3 you!!

  2. Oh, I also use to keep track of how many visitors I have and who they are or where they are. It's pretty cool and I think you just have to put some html somewhere in your profile. It usually tells you how to do it for different websites. So yeah, if you're interested in that, statcounter is the one I use.

  3. AAAH, thank you so much for these suggestions!!! I'll try to incorporate as many of them as I can. And I think it would be awesome to have you guest review if you ever wanted! Maybe like on a video you particularly liked or something...we need another "Itawon Freedom"! LOL.