B1A4 is back for the first time this year with”Rollin” and they’ve taken a run at the tropical house trend that seems to be everywhere nowadays. Fans have been waiting for this comeback for ten months since “A Lie” so expectations were high.
Thankfully, Jinyoung and Baro were able to keep the group’s individuality while crafting a singalong earworm with a killer hook. Jinyoung explained the change in style in a VLive broadcast,”We either went with ‘I’m so happy’ when falling in love or ‘I”m so sad’ when breaking up but this time we went for the strong feelings of falling in love. I think our style has changed a bit.”
The concept of falling in love was carried stylistically through different symbolic elements of the song and MV. The video was shot in Australia and the image of the sea is a prominent point. This is perhaps metaphorical for the protagonist’s feelings of love overwhelming them like the rolling sea.
Other than the bookended images of a figure falling from the sky the MV is light on plot with the scenes alternating between individual members and group shots. The falling figure at the beginning and end of the MV is discovered to be Jinyoung and could represent a person falling into their feelings with the scenes symbolising the progression of those emotions.
Just as the instrumentation of the song builds in momentum so does the visual energy. The song progresses from snaps and layered synth to the introduction of the first chorus which injects the track with an exuberant energy that swells with its development. The simple repetition of the chorus between Baro’s groovy verse and the bridge sweetly delivered by Gongchan feels anthemic rather than monotonous. The use of the ocean as the visual accompaniment to the song as it moves like the sea, building in ripples of intensity from low to high tide. The drums and use of the cymbals bring to mind the crashing of waves which make the seaside video particularly appropriate. setting and structure of the MV feel like they’ve lifted from the description in Baro’s rap.
The setting and structure of the MV feel like they’ve been lifted from the lyrics and that’s not the only visual to content reference in the song.
oh god plz tell me
she loves me
On top of the blue sea
Like the dazzling sunlight
When I look at you, I want you
Even if you’re taken to the opposite end of the earth
I’ll run to you
The use of motion and camera angles is important as the movement of the camera and members match up with the lyrical progression of the song. CNU and Sandeul begin the first verse at rest, contemplating the boredom and pain of living without their love but once the first chorus hits the camera and the members never stop moving. The feeling of constant mobility is created by showing the members running and dancing as well as the way they are shot.
The camera takes on a dynamic role, switching between low, high, and canted angles and swirling around the members when they are standing static in a group. Quick cuts between the individual scenes, the inversion of the perspective, and the eventual visual distortions in the final instrumental breakdown are a graphic representation of the song’s mood. The colour and lighting change from being sunlit and natural to urban surroundings where the members are illuminated with neon spotlights shrouded in smoke.
The tone of the visuals also changes according to the progression of the song. The colour and lighting change from being sunlit and natural to urban surroundings where the members are illuminated with neon spotlights shrouded in smoke. The colour and camera change’s impact is intensified by the booming club electronic breakdown.
The MV is an example of how a simple concept can be creatively interpreted by all the members of a team to present an artistically cohesive product. All the elements: visuals, instrumentation, lyrical content, and performance were executed in a way that incorporated trends without becoming lost in the sensation. The song and MV were handled with a deft touch that courts popularity without compromising on quality which makes “Rollin” a solid addition to B1A4’s already impressive pop catalogue.