Insert rant about every single music video SM has ever had the gull to release.
The phenomenal Brown Eyed Girls have released the Music Video for their lead single ‘Sixth Sense’, and once again these ladies have come out on top with a great song and striking concept. ‘Sixth Sense’ has got to be the most distinctive and soulful lead single from a mainstream group this year. It takes a while to absorb the fact that – oh my god- the instrumental consists of actual instruments, and some might be overwhelmed by the idea of a song’s composition consists of more than one note, but it’s okay, it’s all normal. Brown Eyed Girls are our saviours.
Sixth Sense is harder to listen to than ‘Abracadabra‘ and ‘Sign‘, not because it isn’t a good song, but because the vocals and the dynamics of the instrumentals are so much more complicated, it’s almost an assault to the senses when heard the first time. There’s a lot of things to hear, and a lot of things to admire (that high note, Jea. Oh my god. You’re fantastic).
Now, that Music Video. I’ve never been so on-the-fence over a music video until now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great music video, and it’s shot extremely well and it definitely strays away from the K-Pop MV norm we have going on nowadays. And its attempt to convey a strong message is definitely admirable. The question is however, how well they actually manage to get this message across.
Nega Network have stated “Their title track is an expression of the limitations of experiencing music with only five senses, and it asks people to feel it instead with their sixth sense.”
Of course I don’t expect a literal depicment of this message in the music video, doing so would narrow their artistic flexibility significantly, and I don’t expect the message to be so easily visible on a superficial level either. With music videos like ‘Sixth Sense’, it’s hard to criticize them, purely because of the variety of interpretations derivable. So this isn’t really a critique more than it is an invitation for discussion and open interpretation.
So the topic of this discussion is, was the message conveyed well? Or did you forget the message because, hey, Narsha is a complete sex kitten?
When the teaser for the music video came out I was pumped, and maybe I expected too much of the girls, but I was interested in how they’d take such a sensitive political subject such as oppression and censorship and incorporate it to correlate with the song. Of course, this was probably where I became a bit unrealistic. BEG can’t delve too much into a touchy matter such as politics without stirring up backlash and sparking flames of controversy, but that isn’t really my concern here.
I’m trying to think of a way to word this without coming off as a prude. Firstly, let’s establish that Brown Eyed Girls are all big girls now and in no way do I mean to imply that they’re sluts or trashy. Secondly, I do somewhat understand the clockworks behind having Narsha crawl on all fours like an animal- I’m presuming it has to do with the atmosphere of the song. ‘Abracadabra’ was something of a very clean song with a very clean and classy music video (and by classy I mean, as classy as cheating and hook-ups can go). With ‘Sixth Sense’ the girls seem to be going for a more raw approach, they’re revolutionists after all, and classy isn’t exactly on their to-do lists for the day. So it’s only natural that they’d go with more of a raw, and well, feral sensuality for this music video. But- is it too much?
Somewhere between Ga-In‘s bold proclamations of ‘guilty guilty’ and Narsha’s ever so endearing ‘meow’ I began to forget these girl were fighting against repression of voice and began focusing on ‘oh wow um, Ga-In has nice legs’. Now, I could just be a pervert- but I’m sure a lot of this was intentional. Since it would be a blind and ignorant claim to state all of the displays of sexuality in this music video were in an endeavour to get the message across stronger- because no matter what there’s always going to be that reliance on physical appeal. But in the case of this music video, I felt like it really took away from what it could have been a clear and concise piece of work with a strong message. Instead of having Narsha flex back and rub against the floor, there could have been a cut to a crowd of angry rioters or something. Narsha’s solo scenes could have been a fantastic visual representation of oppression had more thought be put into it- but to me it came off as something Lady Gaga would throw together and then unveil to the general public and call ‘art’ (to a lesser extent of course). And we have no choice but to agree with it because everyone feels stupid since no one can really understand what it’s meant to mean anyway.
During the middle segment of the video it felt like the girl’s solo cuts were on a tangent from what they originally intended to convey- not a completely unrelated tangent- but a tangent nonetheless. It picks up during Miryo’s rap (and I promise this isn’t a biased claim) where we see our favourite female surrounded by mics with an almost indifferent expression played on her face. It’s during this that we’re really struck with the power of imagery. Everything past that ‘meow’ checkpoint is brilliant once again, we have the girls thrashing and breaking free of their bonds, we have an angry riot, and we have some beautiful cinematography to tie it all together.
Another interpretation that seems to be going around is one of ‘female liberation’. A lot like Beyonce‘s ‘Run the World‘, it could be claimed that the MV was an attempt to challenge the typical roles of a female suppressed by man. I’m just going to discuss this briefly because it’s an interesting theory, and because I have a problem with many artists who boast female liberation and respect whilst doing provocative bend n snaps. The only thing I believe this challenges is society’s lingering grasp on traditional culture. Yes donning nothing but underwear goes against what is viewed as socially acceptable, but it does nothing for female empowerment. Especially that against males. Why? Because yes Narsha looks all fierce and feral and furious leering at the camera and wearing next to nothing, but men are going to become turned on by it. They’re going to replay it over and over again, and not ponder on female liberation, but instead ponder on how much they’d tap that.
Another interpretation, and this time one I’m willing to bet my money on, is that BEG are basically giving the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family the middle finger. If this is the case, then well done ladies, because without even trying the music video does exactly that. Ga-In and Narsha are everything the Ministry is trying to ban and censor- and some of those dance moves are the sauciest things to come out of BEG.
Despite my qualms, I’m still a big fan of the girls as performers and artists. Is you have the time be sure to give their whole album a good listen (it’s totally my type). Even though I think the music video falls short of anything revolutionizing, the fact that we’re able to discuss it in such detail means it does its job, and for that I ultimately give the MV a thumbs up.
And check out the girls comeback performance on Music Core (especially ‘Hot Shot‘)! Watch how they instantly turn all other acts into pools of irrelevancy. Narsha is as hot and charismatic as ever, Ga-In exudes flair and attitude, Jea is perfect in what she does and aces those high notes every time, and Miryo remains flawless braces or not.
So what do you think of the music video? Is it everything you wanted? Is it really a call on the Illuminati? Is it a rip-off of ‘Run the World? Share your thoughts!