Being a rookie group, UNIQ have been experimenting with a range of different concepts to gauge what gets the best response from the audience. They began with a sweet, flower boy image in their debut “Falling in Love”, but recently amped up the volume for “Eo Eo”, gaining a lot of attention in the public’s eye.
Surprisingly, for their next MV “Luv Again”, UNIQ have gone back to a soft and delicate look and sound, which seems to be working quite well.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW151v_K2es]
Breezy acoustic guitar begins the song, with the beautiful and bustling scenery of Thailand being the setting of the whole MV. The location is perfect for this concept, as everything is vibrant and carefree. Going outdoors was absolutely necessary for this MV to be effective at all, as a studio or classic box set would clash with the free, open feeling of the song.
The scenery itself is so beautiful that it makes the MV worth watching, and also allows the group to actually act on the things that they are singing about. The focus is on the members, and getting the audience to fall in love with their youthful smiles and relaxed attitude, as we are made to feel like we are getting an intimate look into their getaway to paradise.
This is the first of their MVs to have a storyline, allowing the members to try their hand at acting, and pull at their fans’ heart strings. This song does not particularly suit choreography, so the MV has more going on in terms of story line and visual vibrancy in order to compensate.
Initially, the story line seems pretty standard, as the members encourage Wenhan to pursue a beautiful girl he spots in a cafe (who appears to be Thai, which is a nice move away from typical Caucasian or Korean love interests in K-pop MVs.)
Unfortunately, he never gets the chance to grab her attention; and the story then progresses to be one of brotherly affection and mateship. While the lyrics profess wanting another chance with the girl of their dreams, the rest of the MV tells a very different story. The members cruise around town to help their lovelorn friend get over his missed opportunity. The MV ends with a classic and cliched scene of the boys finally dragging Wenhan into the pristine water of a Thai beach, with him finally seeming to let go of what has been on his mind.
One of the key strengths of this song is that everything is stripped back, and we really get to hear the vocals, unlike the heavily autotuned “Falling in Love.” Sungjoo in particular, excels with his rich tone and carries many parts of the song. As usual, UNIQ’s raps are fairly accomplished compared to others in the K-pop world, with Yixuan’s in particular helping to create some light and shade in the song.
The lyrics flit between addressing the anxiety of confessing to someone, with Sungjoo giddily asking “Should I come and start a conversation? Or should I pretend as if it was an accident?” However, the lyrics also take on a more serious note as Seungyeon admits to his previous wrongs.
He raps about the fact that he needs to prove his worthiness in order to win back the girl he loves, which is a sweet sentiment that ditches any bravado. Some lyrics relate particularly well to the setting, with Seungyeon rapping “I leave my footprints on your heart,” as they run across the pearly beach.
The MV and song take the viewer on a relaxed tropical journey, with the MV being pleasant to watch and the song being lovely to unwind with. UNIQ have returned to the soft and sweet side that they first showed in their debut, but have pulled off the concept far better this time.
Their future challenge lies in integrating their different concepts, as the contrast between “Eo Eo” and “Luv Again” can be jarring and confusing for new fans, thereby not creating a unique niche for themselves (which is exactly what their name suggests that they can do.)
Almost a year since their debut, UNIQ are going from strength to strength, with “Luv Again” being a simple summer song to relax to that also showcases their vocal and rapping abilities.
(YouTube. Images via YG Entertainment, Yue Hua Entertainment)