After a busy late 2011 with an interesting cover, a compilation of banned lyrics, and their extended teaser for debut, “Hole in Your Face,” among other music appearances, Phantom has finally debuted with their first mini-album, Phantom City. The trio is made up of leader/rapper/producer Kiggen, main vocalist Sanchez, and rapper/vocalist Hanhae. Headlining the act’s mini-album is “Burning,” which you should check out below if you haven’t already:
The lyrics speak of the devastation wreaked by a break-up mostly likely unexpected and tinged with some sort of betrayal. The pain turns all previous happy memories into more instigators of agony. The music video plays with those feelings of being consumed whole by the pain through literal burning. The setting is of a campfire hangout filled with arrogant men (that need to remove their sunglasses), pretty girls, and lots of alcohol. The location seems to be near some run-down and abandoned building, good for staying out of sight and mind. Phantom is the band for the night, providing music to add the the party atmosphere.
Sanchez seems to be the embodiment feeling the lyrics as when the emotions become too much to handle, he is able to produce fire in an ethereal manner. As the feelings intensify, the amount of fire he generates and spews around the campground similarly increases. The (stupid) girls, fearing the flames, add alcohol to the fire, making the expression “adding fuel to the fire” a reality. Relating back to the lyrics, I take this to be how this girl or significant other managed to cause such pain with her actions. When the men gear up in firefighter suits to put out this now-dangerous fire, the choice of location makes much more sense. After all, the lyrics ask for someone to save the individual from the burning that is happening. Where better to go than to a group of firefighters? The firefighters work to put the fire out, thoroughly dousing all of Phantom. It seems as if they would be successful judging by the expressions on the firefighters’ faces. But then the water runs out of all the hoses, showing just how much was spent on the attempt. And Sanchez’s hand? Still burning, showing that the pain is indeed that deep and difficult to remove. It’s not something that can be masked so easily.
There’s a hint of a love triangle present because of the slight focus on a particular girl, a firefighter, but it isn’t as overt as it could have been, which I find to suit the music video well. Rather than have specific characters playing out each part of a single story, there are distinct group playing out roles that allow for greater comprehension by the viewer. The focuses on these particular individuals help convey the emotion appropriate for each group.
The presence of fire was expected in this music video considering the title. But what wasn’t expected was the entire glow of orange that permeated the scene. It made the fire burn brighter and harder for the eyes and really improved the whole video, giving it a sense that it was burning throughout. when the group was getting hosed down, the water appeared both as water droplets, but if you weren’t paying the closest attention, they could have given the impression that they were sparks. The camera work became appropriately chaotic with fire or water according to the structure of the music. Each move of the actors seemed calculated to give off a certain impression, leaving little room for misinterpretation. Also, certain actions, such as all the girls standing up in a line and the firefighters doing something similar, made it clear that there were sides at play in the plot. As for the acting itself, all significant participants did well. The overall party scene was believable as were the attitudes of the people present. While most of the emotions that drive the music video come from the vocal expression present in the song, the acting was a good supplement. Particular mentions go to Sanchez for his piercing stare at the end of the music video–see above–and the firefighter for his amusing expression while using the hose in some of the snippets in slow motion.
This music video earns an appreciative 4.5/5. It reflects the song well, though it does have a minor negative because of the obvious literal interpretation taken in the video. But the manner in which it is executed makes it a music video worth multiple watches.