20140520_seoulbeats_mrmrMR.MR has had a bit of a rough first half of the 2014, but that hasn’t stopped them from coming back. Ditching their subtle and straightforward image, the guys have unleashed a strong, masculine image with “Big Man,” including some strange makeup and hairstyles. Although we saw hints of a stronger side with previous releases, like “Waiting for You,” MR.MR makes the switch in a rather impressive fashion and shows that they can transform.

Lyrically, MR.MR has taken an aggressive approach with “Big Man.” They are not going to sit idly by when it comes to the woman they love. The song is a classic tale of the white knight in shining armor, there to guard the damsel from all sorts of dangers. The woman who rescued the guy during a dark period now has a strong protector. This protector will face down enemies and always be the “big man” that the woman needs. The man is now forever trapped and destined to a life of servitude and changing of character.

After a slew of smoothness with their previous title tracks, MR.MR has also chosen to be more aggressive with the music. Forget the smooth R&B of “Do You Feel Me,” “Big Man” is rough rock, with a little pop added to the mix. The track directly starts with a strong electric guitar riff and heavy bass line. With the inclusion of various keyboard instruments, such as a piano and organ, there is even more impact portions. However, this is clearly pop, so there are random –and a bit out of place — synthesized sound effects in the back. Overall, the instrumentation is deeply heavy and forceful. You could almost imagine MR.MR performing with a live band on stage.

Once again, as in pretty much every title song before now, the line distribution for “Big Man” is incredibly uneven. Jin, Tey, and Ryu have the most lines, by far. To be honest, Changjae and Doyeon’s parts are basically inconsequential and take up all of 15 seconds. You wouldn’t even know they had lines if it weren’t for the MV and live performances showing their parts. This is especially regrettable since all the members have solid vocal skills. Given that there are only five members, a much better line distribution should be easy to accomplish.

The MV for “Big Man” is a hodgepodge of images, which leads one to ask “What the heck just happened?” The Pinocchio doll’s face pretty much epitomizes the reaction and feeling after watching the MV. Each member is shown participating in various activities: listening to music, baking, studying, kick-boxing, fixing a bicycle, handiwork, etc. Amongst all this, we see a girl vandalizing the doll, and then suddenly, gaining consciousness in a shallow pool of water. Coupling these scenes with the random cartoon inserts, it would almost seem as if the girl was in a dream-like state.20140520_seoulbeats_mrmr big man2

Not to leave anybody wishing for a theory on what the MV means, here’s a hypothesis. All the actions we see of the boys are examples of what girls would typically consider ideal in a man: hardworking, strong, smart, cute, and handsome. As we (probably) all know, Pinocchio is a marionette. In the MV, the doll represents the group and the girl is the manipulator. This is alluded to in the lyric portions where the boys sing of being trapped and always going back. The girl now has control and can manipulate them into being her ideal. The ending shot of a manipulator manipulating the boys would solidify this hypothesis. Also, the idea of marionettes is mimicked in the dance, where the guys dance woodenly with their arms extended, just like a marionette would.

Speaking of the dance, this is another sticking point with the MV. The dance scenes were so dark and fuzzy, you weren’t able to really see the dance (or the members) clearly. While the fuzzy camera work was fine in the model-like shots, it should have not been used during the dance. However, at least we did get enough of a look to know there are a plethora of hip swirls and thrusts going on. How manly. (If you want clearer shots, and a brief glimpse of the cross shaved into the back of Tey’s head, then watch the close-up version.)

If the MV had been a little clearer, both in concept and camera work, it would have been more enjoyable. With so much going on, it’s hard to find a concept to firmly grasp. Notwithstanding the confusing MV (and unequal line distribution), “Big Man” is a pretty great track. While their vocals are still as strong as ever, this “new” MR.MR is interesting and is a good step for the group.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

(Winning Insight M, YouTube [1], images via Winning Insight M)