While the K-pop scene is quite busy right now as we make the transition from spring to summer with the comebacks of strong idols like Infinite, G.NA, and Dalmation, as well as the debut of JYP‘s JJ Project, Juniel, a talented soloist has managed to steal my attention with her first Korean mini-album, My First June. On May 21st, she released a music video for her duet, “Stupid,” with C.N. Blue‘s leader and main vocalist, Yonghwa. While the track is nothing flashy, the flawless harmonization of Juniel and Yonghwa’s vocals as well as the suitability of the song for the beginning of summer had me completely charmed.
The music video begins with a shot of Yonghwa driving a red jeep with a silver trailer attached to the back on a highway, wearing aviators and looking very relaxed. His vocals sound pretty much perfect, and the acoustic guitar chords in the background gave the song a very upbeat feel, almost like something you would hear on the beach. Juniel, on the other hand, seems to be stranded on the side of the road with a bike and a guitar case. She consults a map before trying to hitchhike, but is disappointed when a few cars bypass her without paying her any attention. I’m not sure why she is trying to hitchhike when she seems to have a perfectly good bike next to her, but perhaps she got tired or something. Yonghwa eventually stops beside Juniel and being the gentleman he is, invites her into his red jeep, looking very yummy the whole time. Shots of the two of them traveling together are then shown with clips of guitar-playing and singing in the silver trailer placed artfully between each scene. Eventually, Yonghwa and Juniel stop for the night and proceed to capture the audience’s hearts with a cute water bottle fight, songwriting session, and more gentlemanly actions from Yonghwa.
“Stupid” is a very lighthearted track, so it only makes sense for it to be paired with a soft, mellow music video. With almost no other instrumentals besides the acoustic guitars, the simplicity of the song is emphasized through clean shots and a neutral color palette. “Stupid” features your typical K-pop lyrics about a girl in love and sings about how much of a fool she is and how she is willing to do anything for the object of her affections, so I actually expected to see more bright colors and ridiculous amounts of aegyo (think IU‘s style when it comes to music videos). I was pleasantly surprised when the video turned out to be much more laid back and less in-your-face.
One of the best things about this music video was that it was filmed through a neutral filter, which made each and every shot very vintage-looking. This allowed me to focus on the song at hand instead of being caught up in the music video, but at the same time, conveyed the message of the song without complicated frills. The choice of fashion for both Juniel and Yonghwa in the music video was also tastefully chosen — the dress, boots, and hat Juniel donned while attempting to hitchhike gave her a touch of cuteness and innocence without overwhelming the video watchers. Yonghwa, while sticking mostly to his normal style of plain t-shirts and jeans, sported a sexy hairstyle in a subtle way.
Although it’s pretty clear that while Yonghwa carries quite a few lines in the song, he’s mostly there in the music video for aesthetic purposes. One problem I had with that was that I felt like he didn’t have any chemistry whatsoever with Juniel — during their scenes together, with the exceptions of the water fight and the placing blanket over her shoulders scenes, they barely even looked at each other. And when they did, it wasn’t very convincing at all. The two of them basically strummed on their respective guitars and sang to each other expressionlessly, which disappointed me. More chemistry during those scenes instead of brief eye contact and no hint of a smile whatsoever would have made the song lyrics a little more convincing.
Overall, Juniel’s music video for “Stupid” was like a breath of fresh air in terms of typical K-pop music videos. Her fresh take on a summery song was enjoyable and while perhaps not very original or creative, adorable. Of course, having Yonghwa in the music video didn’t hurt either (he certainly is easy on the eyes). Perhaps the best thing about the music video for “Stupid” is that it was so lightly and simply shot that it allowed viewers to focus on Juniel’s talent and the song itself, which I certainly fell in love with.
I give “Stupid” by Juniel ft. Yonghwa a 4.7/5.
(FNC Music, OfficialJUNIEL)