YG Entertainment‘s OG group, Jinusean, has finally made a comeback after 11 years. Uncles Jinu and Sean found themselves the center attention after performing on Infinity Challenge, and decided that, well, it was time for them to release something new. That new release came in the form of “Tell Me One More Time,” featuring still-not-yet-debuted-because-YGE Jang Han-na.
“Tell Me One More Time” is a blast to the past, musically, lyrically, and visually.
Musically, “Tell Me One More Time” is neo-disco mixed with hip-hop. Created by Tablo, P.K, and Fraktal, the song uses a traditional beat pattern to produce an overall groove that is associated with the disco genre. A talkbox is also used, which is important since the device came to popularity in the ’60s and ’70s – the disco era. The song includes more modern sounds, using the synth and electronic effects, which add the “neo” to the disco.
Seeing as how Jinusean is in essence a hip-hop group, the song also has their classic sing-song rap style. When not rapping, the duo has the tendency to actually sing the choruses — though it could be marginally called singing. They continue this trend in all the singing parts not covered by Jang Han-na. And, although she’s no Uhm Jung-hwa, Jang Han-na’s vocals fit quite nicely into the song. She seems to have been a good pick.
The title of the track is, of course, an allusion to one of –if not the— biggest hit the group had: “Tell Me” featuring Uhm Jung-hwa (which also opens the MV). Buried within the story about never-ending love, the song itself contains allusions to earlier Jinusean releases.
First, there’s the reminder of their debut: “We back to hit you with the Jinusean bomb.” “Jinusean Bomb” was a track from the duo’s 1997 debut album, Gasoline. They make the allusion a further joke by a play on words with “Jinusean 밤”. The Korean word for “night,” “밤,” sounds a lot like “bomb.” While more subtle, the throwback is still there.
Second, although unsure of it being intentional, there’s a brief mention of having their “phone number.” Some may, or may not, remember their final title track (2004), “Phone Number” with its cameo-saturated MV. It’s allusions like these that make “Tell Me One More Time” like one big inside joke: if you are familiar with the group, you recognize these titles.
The inside joke continues with Sean poking a bit of fun at his reputation of being highly philanthropic (“giving angel”) and having an amazing shoe collection (“I may be an old boy but like the new kicks on my feet…”). As for Jinu, he omits anything significant that alludes to his off-stage persona: which mimics reality because most – even fans – have no idea what he’s been doing the past 11 years. He’s still a bit of a mystery.
MV-wise, there’s not a whole lot to talk about. It’s just fun. If there is a plot to “Tell Me One More Time,” it would be an elevator time machine that transports Jinusean to different eras of music.
The duo rolls up into the carwash with a 2004 BMW. Initially, Jinu can’t seem to get the elevtaor to work – the button he’s trying to push is an unmarked 15, which could possibly symbolize them trying to come back this year, but having a few difficulties over the years they travel. But as he starts pressing buttons, they travel through time.
The decades they travel to start with the one in which they were born, the 70s, and go through the present day. The 70s (disco); the 80s (Run DMC-style); 90s (“Mo Money, Mo Problems” anyone?), and the 2000s are all represented through fashion and symbolic MV scenes. The evolution of phones and music players are also included. Eventually, after they travel through these eras, they come out in 2015 looking better than ever, in a sweet 2015 BMW i8.
The MV, like their last one back in 2004, is also a game of cameo ‘I Spy.’ Said cameos include: Epik High, DJ DOC, Shoo, iKon’s Bobby, Yoo Jae-suk, and HaHa. The star power is throughout the MV, and offers some rather hilarious disguises and outfits. Epik High’s wigs cannot be unseen.
Also, while the dancer appearances may seem random, it’s not uncommon, as girl dancers popping up in their MVs has happened before – just see “Phone Number.”
If nothing else, “Tell Me One More Time” gives newer K-pop fans and younger generations a history of the group (and fashion) and a guide to looking up Jinusean’s past music. The duo didn’t deviate much from their standard of combining hip-hop with funk and groovier tunes. Whether or not a full album will be released is still up in the air, but we can only hope that the duo can show that age means nothing when you’re as cool as Jinusean. “Tell Me One More Time” is another song to be added to their list of tracks that are fun and make you want to dance.
Song/MV Rating: 4.5/5