The ability to progress musically and aesthetically while retaining a style exclusive to one’s idol group can be something that stops good bands from becoming great bands. With a debut as strong as “Warrior,” the expectation weighed on B.A.P could have turned pretty sour if they hadn’t delivered just that. Luckily, B.A.P is doing their best, absolute, perfect to live up to the hype.
If you weren’t a fan of “Warrior,” you probably shouldn’t watch this. Because as the teaser suggested, this is “Warrior” if Ridley Scott directed it for a PG-13 rating. It takes the aggression, the barely controlled anger and the general nastiness of that MV and turns the dial up a notch. We haven’t even got nice blonde hair to distract us this time.
The song itself is exactly what I wanted, although I’ve got to say what everyone else must be thinking: “We’ve got the power, I got the power” does sound a bit like a bass-heavy remix of Snap’s “I Got The Power.” Already there have been those who say the boys have ripped off 2NE1’s “Hate You,” but unfortunately YG can’t actually copyright those words, and “Power” stands very well on its own.
As for the MV, it feels like a continuation of “Warrior,” or perhaps the same idea in an alternative setting. The ideas about freedom from oppression, rebellion against authority and anarchy within their own ranks are still very strong, and the twist where Zelo briefly kills everyone else, perhaps in retaliation for the “Warrior” dance felt like an in-joke for Warriors (I still refuse to accept Baby as the official fanclub name, especially after “Power”).
While the MV is essentially a dance MV, TS Entertainment has clearly been encouraged by the positive response so far and the budget was far higher for this then “Warrior” or “Secret Love”. The various sets and costumes, the fire, the water floor, the smoke…if “Warrior” was a battle anthem then “Power” is a full-scale invasion chant, and the MV only enhances that devil-may-care badassery.
Cinematography: 4 out of 5
The flash-frame camerawork isn’t anything new, but it did fit very well with the pace of the song. The erratic, nightmarish feel was exactly what the MV needed; lingering shots wouldn’t have maintained the tension so well. However the constant angle changes and flashing lights didn’t allow the boys charisma and attitude to dominate as much as they would have. In terms of lighting the green smoke and water was fantastic, it almost felt like a satirical take on the traditional shirts-off water sequences and slow-mo camera was used sparingly to great effect. Also, the dystopian outside scenes looked surprisingly realistic, even with the plumes of fire.
At this stage the MV could definitely become a film about a renegade group of alien super-soldiers who are the planet’s last defense against a superior force of music-hating outer-space invaders. The extreme close ups of the members made the video at parts feel like a documentary or a home-made film, like those dispatches programmes about guerrilla warfare on the television. This worked well with the combat-style outfits, the strange alien technology and the gunshot dance moves.
On another note, the tattoos can stay, as can the faux-hawks. The pink hair however, must be replaced by Zelo’s blonde Oliver Twist curls again before my heart breaks.
Choreography: 3 out of 5
I feel like all the boys are very good dancers, but the choreography might have been better. It’s not necessarily that it was bad at all; it was relevant to the mood of the song, well-executed, passionate and charismatic. But while there were some amazing solo moves the dance on the whole felt lacking, it didn’t tell a story like “Warrior” did. However in fairness if you take it as a dance on its own it is a lot better.
As for the spray-can dance break, while it was a pretty cool idea the energy dropped slightly. This just looked like a particularly over-excited advert for deodorant. In the MV it felt a little pathetic compared to the rest of the video. Notice how in “Warrior” they used finger pistols, and this time they had a rifle or shotgun move? Whether or not that’s another little in-joke or just a coincidence is up to you.
The mouth-wiping though, has crossed the line from sexy to them look like they were nauseous throughout filming. Signature dance moves are great, but holding your mouth and smouldering is way, way below what B.A.P are capable of and quite frankly it got ridiculous towards the end.
Emotional/Intellectual Impact: 5 out of 5
This might seem like an unfairly high mark, but the intensity and the rawness of the boy’s acting is a heck of a lot harder to pull off then the ability to cry prettily. There was so much frustration and so much anger in their movement and facial expressions that it makes you want to take a step back from your computer screen in case you get in the way. In the first 15 seconds they appear to be killing their guards for goodness sake. Special mention to Him Chan, you’d struggle to find anyone who looks as psychotic as he does, and yet looks so good at the same time. Yet all of them deserve a mention for the sheer insanity of the MV, this is nihilism in K-pop form and it’s definitely going to shake everyone up. The lyrics of the song describe rising up and taking power back, starting riots and it’s worked, I’ve rarely felt so riled up after watching an MV. For B.A.P to have mastered that kind of reaction this early on? Somehow I don’t think they are planning on taking prisoners.
What did you think of the song?