Summer’s officially over, and with the beginning of autumn, artists are providing plenty of MV’s to chill out with. K-pop is a bit of misnomer because it’s really a mixture of various genres and the month of September was no exception in showing that variety. We have R&B, hip-hop, rock, and tropical songs which all deserve a shout-out for having great MVs. For the most part, artists kept their chorus and lyrics simple focusing on the music’s beat.
Great Guys, “Illusion”
To start off the list, we have Great Guys who are newbies to the K-Pop scene. The MV for “Illusion” looks likes they’re getting us ready for Halloween with a dark magician-theme. The song and concept itself are similar to that of Monsta X and Vixx, with heavy-synths and a rock beat.
Although I think they’ve missed the chance to really dive into the magician theme, they still make some interesting references to it. There is a repeating scene with different members stuck in what looks like escape boxes, and at one point it’s filling up with water creating a haunting and urgent tone.
The chorus is just catchy enough, but the bits that really make “Illusion” stand out are the choreography and attire. The members wear various black and white suits with gloves covered in black jewels. The dancing is played against various backgrounds; one that is most memorable is a black drop with a gorgeous chandelier over them. They’re also in a couple of inches of water that adds another notch of sexiness to the performance. The dancing itself is intricate with several wide arm and leg movements, while the emphasis on their hands which helps keep the focus on their bedazzled gloves.
NCT Dream, “We Go Up”
Keeping up with all the sub-units in NCT can be a difficult task ,but whatever unit they create they seem to always produce killer tracks. NCT-Dream is the third sub-unit and they put out a rap-based track that has an old-school hip-hop beat. The song builds up to a more pop-based bridge leading us to the repetitive three-word chorus, “we go up.”
The MV is lively with fun scenes showing the boys in enthusiastic dance routines with lots of hopping and bopping. They’re notably wearing a mix of school uniforms with casual clothes like they’re not ready to go back to school. In addition, we see the members in typical MV scenes like riding in car, hanging at the beach, and dancing in an empty car lot. It’s a simple MV showing the boys having a good time which goes well with the song’s peppy beat.
Shinee released the last song to their three-part album, The Story of Light and thus ending the trilogy. The song starts off with tropical beats and leads up to a pop-based chorus. On paper, it’s everything wrong and repetitive in K-pop but they manage to breathe new life into the concept. Right away the song starts off with an addicting beat that the boys sing to quickly and flawlessly. The members of Shinee are the best when it comes to harmonizing, and they showcase that through the soothing chorus as the camera pans around them standing in a circle.
There’s no dancing or plot in this song with the guys mostly just relaxing on 70s-retro geometric furniture. They’re in funky and loose suits with bold colors that matches their equally colorful background. Lyrically, this is the most interesting song on the list with its poetic verses. In going with the title of the song, the lyrics focus on numbers and overthinking a romantic relationship:
When you took a step towards me, I took two steps back
When I gave you three things, I expected four back
I might have been calculating our relationship
And waiting for you to leave
Hoya, “Baby U”
Former member of Infinite, this year Hoya debuted as a solo artist with the album Shower. “Baby U” is a R&B stand-alone digital single that really let’s Hoya’s smooth vocals shine through. The MV films like it’s from a smartphone as it moves around chaotically and is blurry at times. It starts off with what looks like a flirtatious meeting between Hoya and a female protagonist. We then follow the couple through fun and casual date at the park.
The MV takes a turn during Hanhae’s rather quick — and unmemorable — rap segment as the scenery switches to an underground club scene. We then see Hoya do a quick dance routine in deep v-neck shirt with a choker collar. Although the last scene was a little jarring in comparison to the cute date scene, overall the MV had an endearing and romantic feel to it.
Chanyeol, Sehun, “We Young”
Chanyeol and Sehun of Exo join together and rap on the chill hip-hop song, “We Young.” The MV just as cool as the song showing the duo on a revolving stage doing various activities like playing the guitar or having drinks together. The color scheme is soft with saturated pastels creating a calming and even cute concept. Like in NCT Dream’s song, it’s a repetitive chorus that relies on it’s contagious beat.
The funnest scene is when they’re both dancing in a car garage with dancers dressed as mechanics like they’re in a Grease musical. Sehun is shirtless in a racing jacket and Chanyeol is in a sleeveless gray top and blank baggy bottoms going well with the scene. Obviously, they couldn’t do an MV without a little bit of fan service. Overall, it’s a surprisingly cheery beat and MV for a rap-based hip-hop song.
Uni.t, “I mean”
Uni. t is giving us cutesy Momoland and Twice vibes in this fun track with an equally vibrant MV. The girls are dressed in different and colorful outfits with a slight 70’s theme. The members are dancing against bold and pastel colored backgrounds. Their dance routine is silly and, during the chorus, they turn to the side and simulate riding a horse. We even see a cartoon horse pattern show up below the screen during the routine. When they’re not dancing, the ladies are shown goofing around and having fun with bubbles. During other times, their faces are shown against a frame with words like they’re in inspirational posters. The concept is a bit all over the place, but it’s clear they’re having a good time.
Just like in the two songs mentioned before, the girls are mostly just singing the title of the song for the chorus. This may sound boring, but they sing it with plenty of enthusiasm like the chanting of a cheerleading squad. With its easy chorus and dance, it’s definitely the song to choose for karaoke night. I, for one, hope we still get to see more of Uni.t before their contracts are up.
Readers, who are your September unsung artists?