What to do about Purplay. Normally when a group debuts, they try to draw attention to the positive qualities and what really differentiates them from the who-knows-how-many other groups around. And yes, boasting a lineup of four girls with excellent vocal ability and similarly top-notch skills in choreography, using both factors to create raps for their debut single, and choreograph some of the more complicated steps of their dance break, it’s apparent that Purplay’s company did try to do that. But where it all falls apart is when a music video teaser for the group’s single, “Love and Remember,” drops, displaying this complicated choreography that looks all too familar.

The dance break shows a mix of choreography by dance crew i.aM.mE, shown on America’s Best Dance Crew Season 6 (from two different performances). It’s particularly curious that an idol group’s company would let such a thing happen, especially since most groups, at some point, attempt to break outside of South Korea and gain attention worldwide. To expect none of the viewers to recognize such choreography is a little ridiculous. While America’s Best Dance Crew seems to be a favorite to pull from for dance battles, it’s not so for individual tracks where groups usually have a dance crew creating choreography for them. Having one part taken from elsewhere can make the viewer think, what else from this dance is from someone else and not properly credited? Admittedly, through the first watch, that was what went through this writer’s mind.

The issue delayed the music video drop for a week but was eventually reconciled with permission from i.aM.mE and credits to the crew in the description. It’s a whole lot of stink for a group just debuting, but can bad news still be better than no news, like what happens for many other groups that debut? Let’s check out the music video.

As a debut music video, the intent is clearly to showcase looks, vocal ability, and choreography. After all, there isn’t anything else to the video. As it was filmed prior to any controversy, the music video highlights the dance, which is actually pretty interesting. It plays with setting the four members up in lines and creating a dynamic stage through the passage of movements. The dance break, which grabs the choreography from i.aM.mE has the most interesting parts, which is unsurprising, and the girls pull it off well.

Aside from the dance portions, there are extended shots of the members doing nothing but staring into the camera. While surely meant to convey the emotions of the song — remembering a past relationship, feeling sorrow, and attempting to move on — the members aren’t very good at emoting, turning those moments into awkward ones. Those individual scenes seem to take place in a similar — if not the same — room as the choreography, which is dark, a little gritty, and in a way fitting for the unhappy theme of the song. The style seems to be a modified marching band type outfit and looks nice as a whole, but doesn’t add anything to the video’s concept.

For the whole music video, as closeups are done when a member is singing, it becomes clear just how much of the song is sung by Jiyo, the group’s main vocalist. It doesn’t help that Eeple, the other vocalist, has a tone and pitch range similar to Jiyo, which can make it difficult to differentiate the two. Seolha‘s rapping does the song good by providing a break from the similar vocals. The group’s leader, Woomi, seems to have little other parts, in the beginning words and just before the dance break, which leaves me curious as to her abilities vocally, especially since that laugh at the beginning was rather, let’s just say, unexpected.

As a debut song, “Love and Remember” is another one of the electronic pop variety that has become fairly common in K-pop. The most interesting vocal parts come after the dance break, with the catchy “ariari arirariyo” that lasts until the end. The other parts of the song are more average, with some sections dragging on the tune. It’s an okay debut, if we cut out the controversy. The takeaway from this music video and single is, however, that the group is capable of a strong sound and strong choreography. This song and video just don’t show it well at all, and their controversy, though resolved, doesn’t leave much faith in their company.

Overall Score: 2.9/5

(YouTube [1][2][3], eToday, Star N News, Sports Seoul, Facebook: Purplay)