Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Seo In-Young–“Anymore”


Seo In-Young has the weirdest house ever.


Did you like the song?
Former Jewelry member Seo In-Young (also known as Elly) is back with her solo song “Anymore.”

Seo In Young review Anymore
Seo In-Young

The original Jewelry (with its four original members) is a bit before my time in Kpop (I only know their insanely catchy song “One More Time”), but I remember Jewelry-S’s “Forget It” and Seo In-Young’s “Oh My Gosh” from last year.

However, for your interest, here are the members, past and present, from “One More Time.”

Jewelry members names
(Top:) Former members Park Jung-Ah and Seo In-Young, (bottom:) current members Baby J and Eunjung.

And to round it out, here are the two newest members, comprising Jewelry-S:

Jewelry S Yewon Semi members
Yewon and Semi

Moving on…Seo In-Young’s “Oh My Gosh” was a bit too electronic and repetitive and a little grating for me; it didn’t allow her to show off her voice enough—though it was a great shoulder workout! I prefer “Into the Rhythm,” which is another electronica-heavy song but more melodic. This year, though, Seo In-Young is no longer under contract with Star Entertainment, instead moving to her own company, IY Entertainment, so perhaps she will have more artistic freedom now.

“Anymore” definitely seems different from her other songs and music videos. It’s very listenable: there’s something intriguing about it that isn’t really apparent until the chorus. It gives me the impression of shifting moods: a sad, wistful feeling coupled with the relief and beginnings of happiness the singer feels after making the decision to move on.

Seo In Young Anymore

What was your favorite part of the song?
The best part for these conflicting moods is most apparent for me at the end of the chorus with the “oh oh oh” part. The way she lingers on that third “oh” is so pretty.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
No, it’s very good. Aside from little phrases like “you know,” “it’s too late,” and “’cause I know that…” the main English is in the chorus: “and I feel like we can’t go on anymore” and “I don’t want to cry anymore.” Moving and meaningful.

Plus there was a French joke! I love French jokes:

Seo In Young Anymore French sign joke
You. Me. Oui. :DDD

Did you like the video?
I did—like the song, it was creative and intriguing. I’m not necessarily sure what it all means, but I like it. There are also allusions to other bands/artists and cultural icons:

Seo In Young Anymore Nirvana poster
A Nirvana poster (on the far right)…

Seo In Young Anymore KISS jacket
…a jacket with the KISS logo…

Seo In Young Anymore Rolling Stones poster t-shirt
…the Rolling Stones on both a poster and a t-shirt…

Seo In Young Anymore 2NE1 CL hat
…and my personal favorite, the “CL” beanie (which I’m hoping is a nod to 2NE1’s CL).

There are probably some others I’m missing. Like the t-shirt of Genie from Aladdin in there somewhere…not sure what’s up with that one. *shrug*

The only thing that kind of irked me was the way the video tried to flash with the music beats in the buildups to the chorus like a strobe light (i.e. starting at 56 seconds in and again at 2-ish minutes in). Ugh, talk about seizure-inducing.

Seo In Young Anymore review meaning layers
Speaking of seizures, this is just mesmerizing...

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
I had to watch this video several times (and get my bf’s opinion, as well), but eventually I came up with a theory as to what it all means.

We see Seo In-Young in this hallway of locked doors, pounding on them, trying to open them, and we see her with different hairstyles inside of the locked rooms. And then there are the ever-present blue feathers. My theory is that each of the rooms represents a relationship with a different guy, and the feathers represent the memories of that person.

The Seo In-Youngs in the rooms are kind of trapped, listless—their relationships are stale and unhappy, but for whatever reason they’re not ending the relationships (leaving the rooms).

Seo In Young Anymore review video meaning
This version, for example, can’t even get off the floor.

Another thing is that each of the rooms is colorful, yes, but very cluttered with all sorts of random things that Seo In-Young doesn’t seem to want or enjoy.

Seo In Young Anymore review video meaning polar bear
Yeah, I wasn’t kidding. Who keeps this in their house?

The hallway, though—completely bare and pristine. Totally white, a literal blank slate. And the Seo In-Youngs in the rooms keep looking out the peepholes as if they’re considering leaving and moving on with their lives but can’t quite do it yet.

Seo In Young Anymore review video meaning peephole

The version of Seo In-Young in the hallway knows that she needs to help open the doors, to kick the guys out so that she can begin to move on and think back fondly of the times she had with them (the blue feathers). She needs to unload all this old clutter and baggage and move on to begin painting her own new life.

Seo In Young Anymore review video meaning

Finally, the doors are slammed open, and the guys are very literally thrown out in a cloud of blue feathers. I’d have liked to see her actually make the decision to throw them out onscreen, but I guess you can’t have everything. Maybe that would have been too obvious or wouldn’t fit with her image.

Seo In Young Anymore review video meaning

All the guys (who turn into a guitar-smashing band) and Seo In-Young in the hallway have a party, and the last image we see is that she has finally left at least one of the rooms.

Seo In Young Anymore review video meaning

So clearly the message is that it’s better for everyone that they end the unhappy relationships: everyone is happier after getting out of the locked rooms. I think this jives nicely with the lyrics, as well.

This is just my theory, though—let me know if you have a better one. :)

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
I don’t think there wasn’t a choreographed dance, per se, just Seo In-Young messing around. And also the tattooed guy covered in lights:

Seo In Young Anymore review video meaning
He was interesting, though I’m not sure where he fits into my theory.

Do the members look good?
Yeah, though it seems like it’s just different versions of Seo In-Young and a bunch of guys whose faces we hardly see.

Which member stood out the most?
Hmm, I think Seo In-Young looks best with her style here, when she’s on the couch:

Seo In Young Anymore review

But she looks most like…herself, I guess, when she’s here wearing the baseball cap:

Seo In Young Anymore review

She looks kind of sassy, and that’s how I picture her.

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
It took me a while, and I think I might eventually get sick of it, but yeah, I do. I like the different musical elements.

Any ending thoughts?
Has anybody noticed Seo In-Young’s…what is it, a brand logo? I think it’s pretty cool and meaningful. At the beginning we see a pretty diamond:

Seo In Young Jewelry diamond

But then the diamond goes supernova and explodes. Her logo emerges, a lightning bolt splitting the diamond in two with a funky new style:

Seo In Young Jewelry logo
Kind of cutesy punk-rock.

I take this to mean Seo-In Young is acknowledging her roots as a member of Jewelry, but she now feels free to break out of that mold and transform into her own new thing. Maybe not particularly subtle, but pretty snazzy.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“Poor drummers. They get no love. That’s like how you treat an ugly piece of furniture—just drape a cloth over it so nobody can see it.”

Seo In Young Anymore drummer
And put a feather headdress on it?

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments below! :)

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What did you think?