In a State of Emergency with Dalmatian’s “E.R.”
It’s a state of emergency…as a result of the excessive hotness that the group is exuding. It’s hard to calm down after experiencing Dalmatian’s hot transformation; they went from adorable puppy dogs in “That Man Opposed” to the beasts they are now in “E.R.” And no, I do not have pictures of shirtless Dalmatian in a remote folder on my desktop
I totally do and I’m drowning in an ocean of shame. But enough about my first world K-pop problems.
Dalmatian is truly an underrated group. Most might not know that they even had a part in writing the lyrics, composing, and producing their latest mini album. The members are chock full of talent with strong vocals and rappers — but they debuted in 2011, which was saturated with a seemingly endless supply of groups, and they didn’t make a notable impression. It’s no surprise that they took 15 months to comeback–a fairly long hiatus in the K-pop world– with Day Day leaving the group, Dari heading off to his mandatory two year military service, and adding a new member Simon to the group. Dalmatian experienced some serious member changes and along with it an image upheaval. To be honest, their previous releases did nothing for me. “That Man Opposed” was the first song I saw from them and the cutesy image melded with an attempt at sexy was a bizarre combination and turned me off…until now.
Like many of the other boy bands this year, Dalmatian took the dark and angsty route with “E.R.” The song reminds me of Beast‘s “Fiction“ with the haunting chorus, delicate piano, and heavy beats. Dalmatian is fortunate to have members who have the ability to deliver the vocal lines and rap well, and able to convey the dark ambiance of the song. Even though Day Day is no longer with the group, Simon is a positive addition to the band and I enjoy his rapping style.
Visual and Aesthetic Technique: 4.5 out of 5
One of my biggest pet peeves in K-pop is when the sound of the song and the video don’t match. “Lover Cop” was like that, a dark aggressive music video coupled with an upbeat song. It drove me insane. If you’re going to have a concept, please be consistent with it. Is the song a dark, haunting melody? Well, make sure the boys don’t look like a rainbow threw up on them.
However, with this release Dalmatian managed to learn from their past and the music video gave off a very haunting and enigmatic ambiance to go with the song. The red hues contrasted nicely with the blue, much like the colors of ambulance lights. The beginning shot was well done with a police officer mindlessly waving the light-stick as the members are strewn about behind him on the scene of a car accident. Smoke is rising from the vehicles as the boys are carted away and into a morgue. The morgue scene is shot well with cold blue light giving the feeling of death and emptiness, going with the song. The video itself is standard K-pop fare; scene, dance shot one, dance shot two, members make angsty faces. Rinse, lather, repeat. However, the image is consistent and the dance shots aren’t boring. The first scene is one with a textured red and black background with Dalmatian donning dark garb and lights flashing sporadically. The second dance scene is shot in what seems to be an empty parking garage with the flashing blue and red lights again. Both scenes use the same color scheme of reds, blues, and blacks to give off the dark atmosphere. It was well done and I had no qualms about it, so 4.5 out of 5.
Execution/Choreography: 4 out of 5
The choreography for this song is nothing incredible for K-pop. It employs the basic V dance formations, but sometimes goes into a chaotic formation. The choreography isn’t particularly intense since the song isn’t; the moves are a bit more fluid and not too focused on precision. Dalmatian manages to perform the dance well and a particular favorite of mine is when Jisu spins out from the front to the back. There is something about this that is done elegantly and makes my hear flutter a bit. However, the choreography as a whole seemed a little all over the place and not as cohesive as it could have been.
The overall execution of the song is very well done, the emotions delivered fantastically by the members. Since the song talks of a broken heart, the members give the song that haunting feel of desperation and heartache. It’s a song that is angsty to the core and the high range of the chorus doesn’t sound grating and manages to be done beautifully, so 4 out of 5.
Intellectual and Emotional Value: 4 out of 5
This song speaks of a man waiting for his departed love and he promises that he will wait for her even if his heart is breaking. It’s angst to the max and there is a sense of urgency to the song, highlighted by the video itself. The woman who this man is waiting for is not gone for a little spring break in Cancun with the girls, but rather she’s been carted away by death. These particular lines are evident of that.
The oxygen mask has been taken away from my one and only love
I’ll be waiting for you at that street where you smiled for the last time
Though the song does not have a story line, I feel like the group captured an emotional value with the scenes in the morgue and at the site of the accident. In the last part of the song, a mysterious beauty appears checking the members for what I assumed to be an autopsy report. At first it seems that she was the doctor in the beginning, but as I analyzed the lyrics even further and paid attention to other aspects of the MV other than the abs, I realized that was not the case. The doctor was just a doctor, this other woman in the end is the one the lyrics speak of, the one who had died. She has an extremely pale pallor, even paler than that of the boys and her lips are blood red. Methinks she is not of the mortal world. The kiss she gave Simon can also be symbolic of the kiss of death and well, they are in a morgue. Now the men can return to their love in the afterworld.
But that is just my interpretation of the MV, taking the lyrics into consideration. I appreciate the depth of the music video and I’d give it 4 out of 5.
Overall, Dalmatian has done a good job in this comeback. They are much rougher and any remnants of cute have been chucked out the window. The tattoos drawn on the bodies of the members just added to their aggressive image. I found “E.R.”to be refreshing and the song highlighted the talents of the members. The acapella version is pure love, and I suggest you check it out.
Overall Rating: 4.2/5
“E.R”. gets an overall score of 4.2 and it’s well deserved. If the visual aspect of the members dancing shirtless was factored in, this would have gotten a 6 out of 5, but I digress.
What are your thoughts? Do we need to send you to an “E.R.” or are you unaffected? Leave your comments below!