This is probably one of the most well-made music videos to come out of K-pop this year…and it is a U-Kiss music video. K-pop, what is going on???

U-Kiss dropped their second full-length album, Neverland on September 1st, along with the music video for the title track. U-Kiss has undergone a bunch of changes in the past year, most notably a change in the member line-up last February. The result is a U-Kiss that is, in my opinion, a lot more polished and a lot more consistent. The music video for “Neverland” is their latest work evidencing these improvements.

While the aesthetic of “Neverland” is rather similar to some of U-Kiss’ past concepts, the quality of the artistic direction shows an impressive amount of improvement. The color direction is gorgeous, the camera work is really tight, the choreography is killer, and the editing is done really, really well.

And the song, the song! There’s something about the verses that reminds me a little of “Girls on the Dance Floor.” The prechorus is unexpectedly melodious and smooth before diving straight into a dynamic and heavy chorus. The components of the song are all so different from each other, but each part just flows so smoothly into the next. Not gonna lie, I’m kinda in awe.

My one major complaint is with the “Let’s party on” dance bridge. Couldn’t they have picked a four-syllable phrase that was just a little less lame? The word “party” really needs to be permanently retired from K-pop’s arsenal of frequently used English words, but I’ll let it slide one last time simply because the “Money, love, fashion, fame/And all that’s in between” line is just EXCELLENT. (I will bet good money that that line was totally AJ’s doing. Anyone who can integrate the geometric formula for the area of a circle into the lyrics a K-pop song is an automatic genius in my book.)

All complaints aside, there’s a ton of good stuff happening in ‘Neverland’ artistic-wise and I’m glad to see that U-Kiss is continuing to move upwards and onwards. But the thing about U-Kiss is that there’s something about their aesthetic that will probably never appeal 100% to a non-K-pop audience. They’ve been doing the pseudo-punk, guyliner, chains-and-studs look since “Man Man Ha Ni,” and it’s an aesthetic that has come to define the group as a whole, which is why they’ve done similar concepts so many times. Unfortunately, it’s also an aesthetic that can prove a bit intimidating and it isn’t universally appealing. But the artistic staff at NH Media has managed to pull it off in a tasteful and creative way, and I think that should be commended. While I hope that U-Kiss broadens its aesthetic scope in the near future to include different, fresh concepts, I admire the fact that they have a ‘definitional’ look and are constantly finding different ways to refresh it and make it work.

I’ve only given the full album a brief listen and it’s sounding pretty good. I’m definitely excited to write a review for it, so watch out for it in the coming weeks!

(Crossposted from callmepatricia)