Winner came back on April 4th with their second full album Everyd4y, four years after their first one. Last year’s “Really Really” was definitely a game changer for Winner. After two long hiatuses and a line-up change, the song was a breath of fresh air for the group. Not only did “Really Really” revamp their career, but it was also one of the most listened songs of the year on digital streaming portals. After coming up with such an impactful song, releasing something too similar or too different would have ended up being a risky move.
So far Winner have explored different genres — from indie pop to tropical house — throughout their career, and this time is no exception. The album’s lead single “Everyday” is a trap song. After debuting with ballads and very limited dancing, Winner switched to a brighter dance sound, and “Everyday” continues towards this direction. But, are they playing it too safe?
“Everyday” is yet another upbeat summer song with a repetitive hook. The only new element Winner implemented in the song to make it stand out from their previous releases, is the use — or rather abuse — of reverb. While reverb is widely used in the trap genre, in “Everyday” the excessive distortion of Winner’s voices sounds displeasing. It also strips away their individual voical colours. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is singing what, which wouldn’t normally happen since all the four members have very distinct voices.
Trap is a wildly popular genre in the west — Post Malone and Cardi B topping charts are the living proof of that — but the Korean audience is still rather unfamiliar with it. Going for a trap song as title track is a bold choice, but it feels like Winner aren’t going too far from what it previously granted them good results and are playing it safe. Basically, “Everyday” is not a step forward in their career, and with Winner being one of the most acclaimed k-pop groups for their artistry, expectations on them are definitely higher than this.
Similarly, the music video doesn’t go too far from what we’ve previously seen from Winner. Once again, behind the camera there is Dave Meyers — famous for directing music videos of superstars like Pink, Katy Perry, and Kendrick Lamar. Meyers previously worked with Winner for the “Really Really” video, where he kept everything simple and minimalistic, using only black and white. With “Everyday” he played a lot more with colours and took advantage of the beautiful shores of California, where the video is set.
There are two scenes that are particularly visually pleasant. The first one is the opening shot, where the framing gradually zooms on the Winner members, surrounded by models and dancers. The setting is a white room, which adds further brightness to the scene, and all the details, from the room’s furniture to the models’ and dancers’ clothing, are in the tones of blue. Something else that really stands out in the music video is the diversity of the female dancers in it. Not only are several ethnicities represented, but also different body shapes and skin tones. While this might be a personal choice of the director, it’s nice to see some diversity in K-pop music videos.
The other outstanding scene is the one where Seungyoon and Jinwoo are seen on a beach laying down on black and white striped deck chairs, again among female dancers and models. Even if the two vocalists are technically in the heart of the scene, the viewer’s attention gets stolen by what surrounds them, as the camera zooms out. While in this scene Seungyoon and Jinwoo are seen wearing formal suits, the other clothes in this music video are generally baggy and casual. Mino and Seunghoon have previously took part in various Burberry events before and both are seen wearing the brand. Seunghoon is seen once again with braids: an avoidable stylistic choice, especially in light of international fans’ complaints about him wearing cornrows having been expressed in the past.
In conclusion “Everyday” brings nothing new to the table, but it is still an enjoyable catchy song. “Everyday”‘s music video has an interesting photography, is colourful, fun and goes well with the song. While the post-production on the song’s vocals might sound off-putting to some, it’s a coherent choice among the genre of trap.
Winner have tried different genres throughout their career, but in the past year it feels like they are sticking to a kind of sound wildly influenced by western tendencies — first tropical house and now trap. Following trends is a safe choice, but in the long run it might end up jeopardising their unique and “atypical for a YG group” sound. Given their constant positive results on the charts, Winner are at a point in their career where they can risk and experiment without being too influenced by trends, or at least more than they did in “Everyday”.
(YouTube, Images via YG Entertainment)