You know what’s not in right now? MV teasers. Not in my book anyway; teasers have rarely done anything but confuse or disappoint me, often both. They tend to play songs that are undeniably awesome, and then use completely different concepts and music. Miss A took it one step further by actually including the teasers in the “Touch” MV. Which was great and all, but completely unexpected, like a double-troll.

Anyway, because I live by my heart not my head, I did check out the teaser for After School‘s labelmates NU’EST‘s debut “Face.”


The teaser is set in a ruined classroom: tables and chairs are overturned, the lights are flickering, and the blackboard is covered in their graffiti. There are also feathers floating from the ceiling. Now I’ve never wreaked havoc on a classroom myself, but I’m guessing if I did there would be very little feathers involved. Maybe upstairs is used for homing pigeons, or maybe Jessica’s dove got in somehow (someone needs to tell me to stop including that whenever I can. Please). Whatever the reason, they do look pretty, and no one ever said MVs had to be realistic, so I’ll let it slide. One thing though, what in the name of Yunho’s moobs is the creepy mannequin figure in the background? He doesn’t dance, he just stands there, arm outstretched and wearing a Friday 13th mask. Look at him behind Aaron. What is he?

On closer inspection, he appears to be holding a pointer and wearing a suit, so he is probably a teacher. A comment on the faceless and uncompassionate bureaucracy that is the education system? A middle finger to all societies’ petty and discriminatory establishments? A glimpse of the rebellious tone the boys are seeking, as well as a sly visual pun seeing as the song title is “Face”? Probably all three, in which case my interest has peaked suddenly. Maybe this will be Brown Eyed Girls‘ “Sixth Sense” crossed with Lord of The Flies set in a school. Battle Royale anyone?

One of the main reasons we know the boys are in a school setting is their outfits: school uniforms that have been heavily personalised. They wear matching blazers and trousers, but their own T-shirts underneath; very Shut Up! Flower Boy Band. They also have some very non-regulation jewellery and hair, as well as high-tops and studded fingerless gloves on JR. Never mind that I haven’t seen anyone wear fingerless gloves for years, they look good. Besides, JR is sitting in this classroom he has supposedly just ruined; he doesn’t care what you think.

Their hair is standard fare, although Ren’s reminds me of Sungjong in the “Before The Dawn” days. This seems like a good opportunity to talk about the soon-to-be idols themselves, as Pledis has ever so kindly given each one a close-up shot where they do their best to impregnate you with their smoulders, and added their names to boot.

Baekho is up first, and he was the only member I knew about prior to this teaser. After School’s UEE made up his name, and it means White Tiger in Korean. That name and his faux-hawk tell me he is most likely to be a rapper. Minkhyun is probably going to be the face the group, as his debut picture comes with the comment “Because of his good looks and tall height, he is more than capable of taking on some modelling work.” This sounds like Pledis are saying “okay, he’s not a great talent, but look at his face! Who needs a good voice with cheekbones like that?” But it’s pretty harsh to judge him before I’ve actually heard him, so for now I’ll just agree he’s not half bad looking.
Ren, as I have already mentioned, has something of Sungjong about him. He’s also ridiculously pretty to the point I did the whole boy/girl double-take. I’m not the only one; netizens have been flooding forums with the same question. Pledis has called him the “mischievous mood maker of the group” which must mean he injects NU’EST with aegyo when the bad-boy image gets too much. Aaron was discovered through the USA Auditions, a smart move if they ever consider expanding into the West. He also earned the highest number of points in the audition for his strong, clear vocals, so I’m excited to hear him properly.

JR, or Junior (Battle) Royal, is the leader of the group, and wins my vote for best smoulder. He was Pledis’ first male trainee, so he seems like a good choice for leader. He is also apparently a very good dancer, which makes me wish they had shown a bit of dancing in the teaser, or at least show more than the strange shadowy figures capering around in the foreground. I think that they are fighting — another metaphor — perhaps showing the human capacity for violence when all civilization is rendered useless? This is turning into such a deep teaser.

As for the 16 seconds of song, I like it. I’m always up for some heavy bass and it promises an addictive hook. The vocals are nothing to write home about, but they are steady, slick and whatever autotune there is, if any, it’s subtle. While the teaser may not be 100% fresh and original, the snippet of music and the looks of the boys have convinced me to put my heart on the line and look forward to their official debut

What’s your opinion? Do you think it’s already been done, or do NU’EST have potential? Maybe you just feel, here we go, Nu’tral?

(Soompi, Pledis)