20140930_seoulbeats_junielIt has been quite a good year for FNC Entertainment artists. AOA notched their two biggest hits to date, and CN Blue continues to be one of the top selling acts with “Can’t Stop” promotions.

Fellow FNC artist Juniel has finally made her own return with the digital single “I Think I’m in Love.” It is the first release of the year for the singer-songwriter, who preceded her MV’s release with some reaction videos from her label mates. The MV for “I Think I’m in Love” features a cute story revolving around Juniel and her romantic interest as they share some fun times together. It’s not just sunshine and rainbows, as the video adds a fun twist at the end.

The song itself isn’t a spectacular, stand out number but plays like any guitar-centered song that fits any season. The lyrics are where things get more interesting as there are some unexpected analogies thrown around. At the start, Juniel compares her feelings to a mojito and the tang of a lemon. These food textures add a crispness to a very melodic song. My favorite line though is the reflective question during the chorus:

“Did I fall in love because I’m pretty

or did I get pretty because I fell in love?”

It’s that sense of self-doubt about the true intentions of the chase of young love that makes this song different from the typical pop song. Although “I Think I’m in Love” expresses the same sentiments of a young, excitable love present in traditional pop songs, there is some deeper reflection and insecurity that makes it more relatable and not trapped in an unrealistically idealistic fairytale.

The music video follows a similar pattern to the song. It starts off with the type of relationship seen on dramas. The male actor and Juniel are going on a series of dates that are seemingly perfect for romance, especially in terms of their settings. They have a picnic with perfectly crafted foods on a bright sunny day. Another date ends with them rained out, but — have no fear — they laugh it off and share a jacket as a makeshift umbrella from the rain. Of course, their private escape from the rain leads them to an empty green house where they share a kiss. Their last moment is when they are emphatically happy playing with fireworks under the stars. The tone of the video up to this point is bright — akin to a fantastic bubble of a world where things are almost always ideal for romance, and even if they aren’t exactly impeccable, it’s okay as long as the couple has each other.

20140930_seoulbeats_juniel2Well, that all changes with a rewind/play button twist. During some TV shows and movies, the elements can at times have no effect whatsoever on the appearances of the people in those moments — their hair will be perfect, their style intact, and their makeup pristine even in the middle of the night. With the rewind, we can see that the moments they shared earlier in the day were not as flawless as we were led to believe at first sight. Juniel is shown with café foam around her mouth at the picnic, her makeup is smudging after their escape from the rain, and she has some residue remaining after playing with fireworks. Throughout it all, the guy still enjoys his time with her.

It all ties up with the central question of the song, questioning whether love grew because of her looks or did she gain this idea of beauty after love was harvested between the pair. Juniel confidently comes to the conclusion that “you become pretty when you’re in love.” That idea of finding the beauty in someone after building romance is a sweet message. It’s good to see an artist try to frame the idea of a relationship and love as something that is not just superficial, and it’s great to listen to someone question the semantics of words often thrown around in relationships. The video is a smart companion to the song – adding a playful twist to the quirky love song. Overall, I found the MV and song to be very complementary, and I would give it a rating of 4.25/5.

(FNC Entertainment, YouTube, Lyrics via Pop!gasa)