20140926_seoulbeats_fcuz 1After two years of not releasing a Korean EP, F.CUZ has returned with their newest title track, “Cold” (or “Cha-Ga-Wa”). A song about the iciness that’s left after a breakup, and the desire that lingers for a reunion. But F.CUZ’s “Cold” is catchy, yet lacking.

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way.

The guys look pretty great, so yay! Eye candy is good, especially when it’s of the rarely seen variety. The group sounds good too. There are a few instances where the auto-tune pops up, but overall, the vocals are great. I’m especially happy and surprised about Jinon. As the group’s rapper, he’s now taken on vocals (during the chorus) and he’s done well. The bridge by Raehyun is also nice from a musical standpoint.

Now, on to the not-so-nice things.

Deciding whether to like or not to like “Cold” was difficult. Was there anything spectacular? Not really. But it wasn’t particularly bad either. “Cold” is pretty catchy. Even after the first listen, I found myself humming to the chorus. However, being catchy doesn’t make it good. The song is an overly produced electronic song that leaves a lot to be desired.

Initially, I thought the MV was simply subjected to a bad mix, but on a closer listen, there seems to be more to it. In addition to the bad mixing and mastering,  the voices seemed to be drowned out by the music. How could the producers not notice this?

The music is distracting, and the background effects make it worse. It leaves the points that should be climactic limp. To be honest, in context with the lyrics, this song would have been much better if it was anything BUT electronic. Sad songs don’t need to be acoustic or anything; however, this particular music composition drains the song of its meaning.

The one thing that could’ve made it better, the acoustic guitar, was limited to lurking under all the other noise, with just a little place between the verses and chorus. The guitar should’ve been pushed to the forefront. Even the electronic music would’ve been just fine if it weren’t for the effects. This deprives the song and only makes it musically confusing.

Just like the melody, the MV itself gives me pause. “Cold” features rotating shots of the group dancing, solo shots of them emoting and being creepy bystanders, and some random plot involving a girl. This is pretty typical of K-pop videos that leave little to no impression.

Also, there are some components that are irksome. First, Kan gets the bulk of the camera’s attention: the cameraman/woman loves this guy. He’s the visual of the group, which makes this explanatory, but that doesn’t make it any easier to digest. The other members are just as worthy of screen time. Adding to that, there’s the whole inexplicable “fully dressed girl sitting in a bathtub” scene…

What could’ve made the “Cold” MV better? Well, they could’ve reflected a parallel of the iciness in the lyrics — it would’ve been best if they had just avoided the usual clichés (as per the bathtub scene).

20140926_seoulbeats_fcuz cold 1The MV could’ve also used less stereotypical effects. We’ve got lens flare, light projections, and out of place supernatural events. Okay, the last part is not as out of place as it seems. I get it; the female character is a disappearing memory. But, her disappearing seems less “memory-fade” and more “intergalactic explosion caused by special space weapon.”

F.CUZ has been effectively gone from Korea for two years (not counting “One Love“), and this was the best that their company could do? They aren’t introducing themselves as a new group — they debuted over four years ago for crying out loud.

I was left wanting more from F.CUZ. Their previously released single, “One Love” was pretty solid and had a rather interesting MV. It could’ve been a better title track for the EP. Just to put it out there as well, even “Midnight Sun” and “No. 1” (an electronic dance track with a cool MV) would’ve made better choices.

Undeniably, this song will grow on you after a few more listens. But “Cold” simply leaves a lukewarm feeling and impression.

MV/Song Rating: 2.5/5

What are your thoughts on the song? Let us know in the comments section below!

(fcuz0108, YouTube, images via F.CUZ)