20131203_seoulbeats_2amIt’s officially the coldest month of the year and our favorite K-pop group named after the coldest time of the day has returned.

All ridiculously bad puns aside, late November to January are the usual months where we have the barrage of balladeers awaking from their slumber to have comebacks. All fitting since their often times melancholy songs with their dramatic flairs and sometimes hauntingly simple melodies fit these months. Can you imagine a balladeer having a comeback at summer and competing with all the idols ripping their clothes off and trying to one-up the other in showing skin without pissing the MOGEF off?

One of the usual acts to have comebacks this time of the year is 2AM. Managed by BigHit Entertainment, home of groups GLAM and BTS, yet under JYP Nation, 2AM is one of the more known, if not best known, ballad-influenced idol group. In fact, if it weren’t for their shenanigans like taking part in the infamous Dirty Eyed Girls video with their brother group, 2PM, one could hardly call them an idol group.

Having debuted in 2008 with “This Song,” 2AM is certainly not lagging behind 2PM in terms of popularity. The quartet won their first Mutizen in Inkigayo with their early 2010 hit, “Can’t Let You Go Even If I Try.” In addition to this being their first number one song in the weekly shows, it is with this song that the group won a Digital Daesang in the 2010 Golden Disk Awards and Song of the Year in the Melon Music Awards of the same year.  Since then, they have won multiple times in the major weekly shows with songs like “You Wouldn’t Answer My Calls” and “One Spring Day.”

And that brings us to their most recent release, “Regret.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKSeah_vuNI]

The visuals of the MV are quite simple. It is set in the sands of a beach and as the song progresses, the camera focuses on each member as they walk towards something unknown. In terms of the usual dramatics one expects in a ballad MV and a 2AM MV, this is a very simple MV yet it suits the message of the song.

The lyrics talk about the feelings of a man who has realized he will never have his love back. He feels helpless and doesn’t know what to do which leads to him crying in despair-like emotion. The MV capitalizes on the lyrics to show the boys wandering around aimlessly. Their body language also portrays this helplessness. Their shoulders are down and no smiles are seen. Even as the sand is blown into their faces, there is no reaction as they continue on walking. This walking leads Seulong going away from the group and he is seen walking to the ocean. As the waves clash around his body, he goes on and one can assume that this is yet another underlining of how much melancholy the man in the song feels.

To accompany the simple visuals and straightforward lyrics, we get a very simple melody. There are no real dramatic flairs where one’s vocals soar into a high note. Everything is kept tame and tied together by the simple combination of a piano and MIDI beats.

20131203_seoulbeats_2am_jokwonMany people who don’t particularly pay attention to 2AM’s releases usually forget that Jokwon, behind the kkappiness that is he, has a certain tone that really goes well with Changmin’s tone and this is highlighted in the chorus. While Seulong, Changmin and Jokwon got their fair share of lines; I do wish Jinwoon received a little bit more. Though it may be that the MV just did not focus on him and he truly does have more lines.

The last 2AM MV I saw featured some intense crying scenes from the members. I will admit that going into this MV, I thought I would see somewhat the same formula – intense crying to match an equally intense ballad with those soaring vocals not seen (or rather heard) from this release. Be that as it may, in the discography of 2AM, “Regret” can seemingly manage to hold up. Many people, I believe, will be able to relate to the lyrics and the simplicity of the song makes it easier sung in karaoke’s because the embarrassment of hitting that high note wrong is taken away.

Overall, the MV delivered in portraying the lyrics of the song without overpowering the simplicity of the song. A fitting release for the winter, both MV and song gets a 4/5.

(BigHit Entertainment, YouTube [1])