Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Huh Gak (feat. BEAST's Junhyung)–“Hello”

Huh Gak says “Hello” with the help of three great actors.

Did you like the song?
Another pretty ballad! Huh Gak became famous after winning on the show Superstar K2, and it's for a good reason. He has a seriously beautiful voice. I like how his vocals are robust but emotional and sexy the whole way through.

What was your favorite part of the song?
My favorite part is Huh Gak’s way of lingering on the many times he says “sarang” (“love”) in the chorus; it’s always very clear and strong.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
“Hello!” Yup, that’s it. Very popular English word to use in Kpop, I’ve found. It's kind of amusing that the title is "Hello" even though it's clearly a breakup song, but I'm pretty sure the dichotomy was intentional.

Did you like the video?
Despite being rather melodramatic (as Kpop ballads seem to be these days), I did enjoy it. It has a lot of emotion packed into five minutes. For example, that moment starting at 3:14 when Sora squeezes her eyes shut and then steels herself to curl her hand around Hyunjin’s is so cute! And his little surprised smile! Aww, it made me so happy. And then there’s a roller coaster of emotion, fight scenes, and actual blood! Actual blood in a video is sort of unusual.

Huh Gak Hello

Hyunjin and Sora: certifiably cute.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Like JYJ’s “In Heaven,” which I reviewed yesterday, this video kicks off with a woman attempting suicide. Two best friends (Hyunjin and Junhyung) have a busy day: first they witness a gang getting ready to go terrorize someone, then they see a girl (Sora) getting ready to jump off of the building that they’re on. (I don’t believe her suicide attempt is ever explained.)

Clearly rescuing someone from suicide and letting her freeload your ice cream is a great way to begin a romantic relationship, because she and Hyunjin have an instant attraction which Junhyung doesn’t seem to get.

Huh Gah Hello

BEAST’s Junhyung, Kang Sora, and Lee Hyunjin

At any rate, while the two lovebirds are busy riding motorcycles dangerously and staring at each other in slow motion, Junhyung is takin’ care of business and stalking the gang alone.

Huh Gak Hello

Everyone in this video is living dangerously...

Then Junhyung decides, lead pipe in hand, to confront the gang in order to punish them for trashing that poor shopkeeper’s outdoor market thing. Maybe the shopkeeper was someone’s dad, and Junhyung wanted to get revenge personally. But the odds, five-to-one, are not good, and he has a phone but uses it to call his friend instead of the cops. I’m beginning to think Korean police officers just sit around and drink soju all day. No one ever seems to call them despite everyone having cellphones.

The MV clearly wants viewers to think Hyunjin has betrayed Junhyung by not answering his phone in Junhyung’s moment of need, but I’m more inclined to think that Junhyung is kind of suicidal himself. It certainly fits with the lyrics at that point (“I think I’ll finish myself because living is too hard”).

Huh Gak Hello gif

Not a happy camper.

Anyway, the story ends (for now) when Hyunjin dumps Sora crying on the street somewhere and goes to confront the gang for beating up his friend (…whom they have kidnapped? Not sure; the first minute of the music video is kind of confusing). Sigh. When will people stop trying to take matters into their own hands and just freakin’ call the police?

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
There isn’t a dance unless being kicked and hitting people with pipes counts…but there was some sexy motorcycle riding.

Do the members look good?
Huh Gak isn’t in the music video, but the three actors here, Junhyung, Hyunjin, and Sora, do look good. Here's Huh Gak's live performance of this song. It's quite lovely.

Huh Gak

Huh Gak

Which member stood out the most?
I’m sure lots of BEAST’s fans were mostly impressed by Junhyung, who was a convincing scorned best friend, but I was especially fond of Hyunjin. I thought everyone acted well, but he really sold his role.

Huh Gak Hello Hyunjin


Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Sigh, no.

Any ending thoughts?
Usually if there is violence in Kpop videos, there isn’t much blood, so I was pretty impressed that Junhyung had blood running down his face and staining his shirt.

Huh Gak Hello Junhyung

That’s a lot of blood.

I do wonder what will happen in the next part of the video, since it is “to be continued…” Maybe we’ll find out more about the shopkeeper dude.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“Bros before hoes, man. Bros before hoes.”

Thanks for reading! Please subscribe and leave your comments below. :)

Go to Part 2, “I Told You I Want To Die” >>


  1. Lol at your ending one-liners. And in general, I adore these reviews. My best reading of the day.

    On to the vid:

    "Maybe the shopkeeper was someone’s dad, and Junhyung wanted to get revenge personally."

    I believe it's Junhyung's (well, his character but forgive me this simple metonymy) dad. They believe in the overexposition of emotion in k-pop vids but not so much in plot points. In the scene from the past, we can see Junghyun when the man's shop gets attacked by these gang. So, they weren't just spying on *some* gang but rather on the gang that destroyed the family business of one of them.

    And I believe this vid has an unlinear structure. The vid begins with Hyunjin's driving into the opposite lane in the traffic, right into the ongoing car (so I think it's death, just implied, not shown), and in the end we can see the beginning of this journey, when he gets on the bike. The rest of the plot is the middle of this story, before the opening frames and the ending ones.

    The song itself has grown on me a lot since the release :)

  2. Yay, I'm so glad you're enjoying the reviews! (My boyfriend will be pleased you like his one-liners, lol.) They're pretty fun to do!

    That definitely makes sense that it's Junhyung's (character's) dad. Which again explains why he's so personally involved--and why he was sad that his friend basically lost interest in giving the gang their come-uppance once he became interested in his girlfriend. Bad Hyunjin! :(

    I really do hope Hyunjin didn't die by driving into traffic, though! And I would like more backstory on how he has blood running down his face, too. Hopefully they will cover that in the "to be continued..." :)

  3. i'm pretty sure the best friend (hyunjin) was in love with jonghyun and the song was expressing his feelings of betrayal and wanting to get closer to the person he loves but the person he loves doesn't even notice him anymore or shows his love to him anymore (as friend) since he met that suicidal girl....but maybe that's just me....shipping it either way.until they both died that is.