Saying “B.A.P is back!” is getting a little old, since they never really left since debuting. Let’s just say that B.A.P has a new release, in yet another different musical style than their earlier singles. “Rain Sound” is a powerful, emotional ballad with equal parts melodic singing and rapping in the compositional vein we’ve begun to expect from B.A.P. Although their ballads have long been popular among bigger fans that listen to their full mini albums, and not just their singles, this is the first ballad release the group is going to promote with a music video. The MV gets in touch with the member’s deeper emotional side (following the common winter K-pop trend) and has a big emphasis on close-ups of the member’s faces (lots of crying, in other words).[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ghpiNIKGIo]
The first thing you are going to notice in this MV is probably the green rain. The color green plays an important part in this MV, from being in a vase, to in a blood bag, to raining from the sky; it is clear that the color green is meant to have some symbolism — but what kind? In the US, the most common emotion associated with an intense green is envy or jealousy; however, in Korea the traditional meaning of the color green is prosperity and new beginnings. Considering the lyrics, the song is a about a relationship, but without a tone of jealousy to it; more than that, it seems that the break-up has already happened and the rain reminds the boy of his past lover, not a current conflict.
There are several ideas that may work with this message and the color green, one being that giving the water and rain a color gives it more of a physical, a noticeable presence. When it rains green on the members we are able to tell how it affects them (how they get wet) as opposed to clear water which wouldn’t show up as well. The rain represents the girl in the lyrics; so the green rain represents the girl still having an emotional effect on the boys. Along with this, because the break-up has already happened, the boy has to start from a new beginning, alone, and so the green represents life without the girl, which although it is a fresh start it is very painful.
The second thing you may notice is the prevalence of mannequins as set pieces. If the mannequins are meant to represent the past lover, then it is in a figurative way and not a physical way, because that would make the members seem like psychopaths. The mannequins are on medical tables, in pieces, thrown, and burned, which when taken as figurative meanings about breaking up and new beginnings makes sense because the members are essentially finding ways to get rid of their past, be it burning or breaking. The relationship wasn’t able to be saved, not even by emotional doctoring or surgically removing the bad parts, and likewise fell to pieces despite their best intentions. This interpretation makes the most sense, because otherwise Youngjae standing over a mannequin on a gurney with medical scissors just looks like a scary serial killer.
The video was edited in a unique way that involved lots of short cuts and overlaid lighting and effects, most of which look like imperfections on an old film reel. Honestly, it was headache inducing, and they would have been better off keeping shots steady for longer. When the white scenes happened it was a relief to have a break from the choppy editing and flashing lights, which is never a good sign for the quality of the editing choices overall. The close-ups required a lot of convincing facial expression acting from the members of B.A.P, and they pulled it off, there were no glaring moments of terrible, fake facial expression, and considering all the acting was internal and not directed at a specific person that is impressive. Even though Zelo may need to work on his acting a little, I’m still pretty sure the director broke a bunch of fans’ hearts when they had him cry (that last scene with a tear on his cheek, effective editing right there).
Although B.A.P is known for their questionable styling, this MV was more of a success than failure in that department. That said, Jongup’s outfit was bad, just bad, with the patterned baggy pants, the gloves, and awkward hat it did him absolutely no justice. It would be nice to see the sexy dancer in a sexy outfit for once instead of a cheesy interpretation of b-boy clothing. Likewise, Yong-guk’s jacket was something this MV could have done without. The front was covered in ruffles that gave off a floral feel which would have suited an old woman better than a manly rapper, and really would have suited anyone else better than it did him.
On the bright side, in the white scenes Zelo was dressed in a long coat, like he was for the recent Melon Music Awards, which is an excellent stylistic choice for someone as long and lanky as he is. Otherwise, the outfits fit the MV well and were standard K-pop boy group serious concept clothing; and that is probably a good thing considering how B.A.P’s “unique” styling normally turns out.
As a music video, this MV was a refreshing change from boy groups dancing in rooms, but it wasn’t particularly unique in the K-pop world, either. Of course, if I were expecting originality I would have given up on K-pop long ago, but this MV was more interesting visually than many other MVs and the emotional story was expressed well in an unconventional way, what with the colored dye and simulating shooting to death. The MV isn’t clichéd, there aren’t empty rooms, and although the camera work was grating it was also stylistically interesting. The song itself is appealing with its subtle acoustic Latin guitar in the background at the beginning and smooth beats through-out. Each of the vocal parts is very different but they all flow well together, proving once again that B.A.P handles their rap-heavy line-up in a graceful way as opposed to letting the rapping over-power the musicality.
I give the “Rain Sound” MV an overall rating of 4 out of 5, because although there were a few issues and it was confusing symbolically, that same symbolism was what made the MV unique and interesting to watch. I would watch this MV over any stereotypical drama MV or dance-in-a-box MV any day.
(TS Entertainment, TSENT2008 YouTube)