Thursday, November 24, 2011

Review: UV–“Tralala”

UV decides that the show must go on—even if one of them is shot in the back of the head.

Did you like the song?
UV is back with a song that’s nearly seven minutes long, wow. It’s an interesting mix of blues, rock, and trot ballad—but somehow they all somehow come together, and it really works.

UV members Tralala 트랄라 screenshot

Yoo Seyoon and Muzie.

What was your favorite part of the song?
I like the chorus a lot, but also the big crescendo leading up to the last chorus. “TralalaLAAAA!”

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
There’s quite a bit of heavily accented English in the video, but other than “tralala,” which is gibberish anyway, I don’t think there are any English lyrics.

Did you like the video?
This is one of the weirdest videos I’ve seen in a long time. But it’s UV—what did I expect, right? So by this point UV is becoming renowned for their mix of parodies and tributes to styles of music from different eras. They did it masterfully with the ’80s foreigner district in “Itaewon Freedom” and again with the Beatles in “Who Am I.” And this time they’re taking on the blues/hard rock scene of the late ’60s and ’70s. It’s even filmed in that cheesy way live concerts sometimes are, focusing on random people and things in the crowd with long, overlapping scene transitions.

UV members Tralala 트랄라 screenshot transition

This was a cool transition scene between the two UV members, for example.

Although there are characters impersonating guitar legends Jimi Hendrix and Slash, this music video seems in particular to focus on blues rock guitarist Gary Moore, who is mentioned in the first line of the song as being heard in the South Korean city Sinchon, which is known for its nightlife. Moore died earlier this year, so this song is a nod to his legacy and musical trademarks. (If you’re interested in more about the blues in Korea, this article was an interesting read.)

UV Tralala Blues Legends

Jimi Hendrix, Slash, and Gary Moore.

Also, with all the contact with Westerners UV appears to have, shouldn’t they already know that putting on paint to pretend to be a black person—blackface—is controversial and usually considered racist and offensive in America? I know they’re using it to both satirize and pay tribute to Jimi Hendrix, but they should be prepared for misunderstandings if they want to promote this song internationally.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
The premise is that UV is putting on a close and personal concert for fans, who are all indoors but doing amusingly outdoorsy sorts of things (one bikini-clad lady is even sunbathing). They’re just trying to have their show with all these shifty and strange characters in attendance. We have:
  • The pianist who would rather be eating bar-be-que
  • The construction workers who make a bunch of noise during the performance
  • A few people who are actually asleep
  • A member of the army who is actively pointing his rifle at audience members
  • Three belly dancers who are sexy as hell
  • A sunbathing woman
  • A…gas station worker?
  • A guy in blackface and an actual black guy (thankfully not in blackface)
  • A guy who seems to be dating two girls at once
  • People who seem unnaturally affected by the performance
  • A guy who fails at holding balloons
  • A bunch of people in traditional Korean dress
  • A waiter and a person dressed as a fish*
  • Assorted other strange characters
Plus the UV members, who are dressed like a hippie and a cowboy with a whip, and their backup band, including Slash, Jimi Hendrix, and a...clown:

UV Members Tralala 트랄라

Muzie (top left) and Yoo Seyoon (bottom right) with their backup musicians.

There’s even this flash of a ghostly apparition:

UV Members Tralala a ghost appeared 트랄라


Meanwhile, Seyoon reveals a photo of himself with his ex-girlfriend, whom he has recently broken up with. He’s visibly upset, and Muzie sees the photo and hollowly comforts him. Then later he stands behind Seyoon and freakin’ shoots him in the back of the head.

UV Members Tralala 트랄라

The literally smoking gun.

Turns out—yup, they were unknowingly dating the same girl. Or Muzie was jealous of Seyoon’s relationship with her.

UV Members Tralala photograph 트랄라

They even hired the same photographer!

But Seyoon won’t let a little thing like a massive head wound stop the music! You can’t stop the rock! No, the show must go on! Even if it is literally over his dying body, which keeps being stepped on.

UV Tralala Seyoon shot 트랄라

I pass the baton on to you, Slash. Go forth and make Guitar Hero.

*Funny story about the waiter and the fish: when I was studying abroad in China, I personally discovered that in nicer restaurants, it is often the management’s practice to prove the freshness of their food to guests by bringing the fish out still alive and flopping around before taking it to be prepared. Not sure if it’s the same in Korea as in China, but that was one of the most amusing restaurant experiences in my life, and the waiter/fish thing in the MV reminded me of it.

All in all, I’d say that while this music video was interesting and surprising the first time around, it doesn’t really hold up on multiple viewings, and it’s certainly not as entertaining as UV’s other recent works. My main issue is the surprise ending, which…kind of sucks. It ruined the whole video for me, breaking up the song and the tone of mild humor (complete with fart jokes).

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
There are three belly dancers who are awesome! I love their hip-swaying dance.

A dance I can totally do off the bat. Maybe not as elegantly, though.

Sexy times.

Do the members look good?
Well, they look UV-ish, which is to say: amusing. I kept trying to think of particular characters they might be parodying, but I couldn’t figure it out. I thought maybe John Lennon again, but that’s a bit crass with the head wound. If you have any theories, please do let me know.

UV members Tralala Seyoon Muzie panorama 트랄라

Seyoon and Muzie

Which member stood out the most?
Heh, I really liked the belly dancers. But I guess I’ll give it to Muzie. Although we didn’t see his eyes, his character came out pretty clearly, even if he was a murderous asshole.

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
I love the fact that UV is trying out this style, but I don’t like the song enough to buy it.

Any ending thoughts?
I’m so curious as to which time period UV will tackle next. I hope they haven’t exhausted their supply of ideas this year alone.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“How do you have Hendrix in a music video and not set his guitar on fire?”

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for all my readers. :) Please comment, subscribe and request a review if you’d like. :)


  1. Thank you! You review was amusing as usual, especially as you came to the listing of the characters in the audience.

  2. Haha, no problem. UV always releases interesting music videos with good songs! :D