20140506_seoulbeats_joseunghyun3In many ways, this would have been the perfect music video formula. There is flair for the dramatic, touching moments of intimacy, and a great rock ballad song behind it. The MV for “Goodbye My Ray,” which is sung by Jo Seung-hyun of the rookie band Jace, plays out like a miniature drama. Unfortunately, this drama stumbles with some clichés  and varied acting delivery which at times pulls the viewer out of the reality.

The song is a rock ballad of epic proportions. The leader of Jace was truly able to flex his vocal chops on this track which featured pianos, a string section, and an electric guitar. Like a ray of light illuminating the landscape, Jo Seung-hyun’s voice is impeccably sharp and clear. Unlike Jace’s debut song “Come Up” where their bassist Sang-eun takes vocal lead, Jo Seung-hyun’s “Goodbye My Ray” solely features the leader’s voice. The song plays like standard ballad fair until Jo Seung-hyun’s voice reaches impeccable heights during the climactic and uplifting last quarter of the song. His range is staggering. His vocal delivery escalates to a desperate plea at the summit of the emotive track. The electric guitar breakdown eventually adds to the crescendo of the track carrying the emotion on its last legs to the tender end.

The introduction to the MV starts off with a beating heart and a resounding thunderous explosion. This black and white scene does well in setting up an exposition of the MV. Jo Seung-hyun’s character is haunted by something, and the beach scene suggests it is this girl from his past. The rest of the MV is slow moving. Disparate scenes are pieced together with varying emotional reactions that function as the makeup of their relationship. The acting is a mixed affair with moments of awkward interaction between the two leads.

The cinematic elements of the MV were wonderful. The camera follows Jo Seung-hyun and his girlfriend through their day to day interactions. The scenes where they play guitars together, run along the beach, and share moments together riding bikes help build this sense of closeness between the two. The intimate moments where they bare their clothes and kiss were attempts to showcase just how deeply the felt for one another. The shots used are extreme close ups showcasing the camera’s penchant for capturing their human emotion at the right moments. However, my suspension of belief got snapped by their awkward kiss. Juxtaposed against the scene where they were intimately bare, the awkward pause where their lips hover at a point where they barely touched took away some of the investment that I had for their relationship.

20140506_seoulbeats_joseunghyun2There were some great details in the MV. The guitars, use of lens flares, and lyrics are some driving elements that add to the functionality of the characters’ relationship. The guitars seemed to symbolically link both characters and at times serves to separate them. Sunlight plays a part with the flares adding a wistful and nostalgic tint to their moments. Lyrically, the MV matched the song as Jo Seung-hyun asks if she is still listening to him somewhere. The lyrics seem like a call to an ex-lover, but the last few scenes of the video reveal that it may be a call to a departed lover. As he pleads to her that waiting is difficult, he laments that forgetting her may be even more difficult.

Overall, even though the video follows a perfect drama formula, its delivery was uneven for me. Its final takeaway scene was one of remorse for the female character, who presumably dies at the end of the MV. She lies collapsed at the ground after their bike ride together turns amiss. Although portions of the video, such as the awkward kiss and stale acting, took away from my full immersion, it was still a nice accompanying video. The song is extremely well done and in conjunction with the MV shines during the key emotional moments.

Song Rating: 3.8/5

MV Rating: 3.3/5

(Right Achievement Group, YouTube [1])