In a contrast with the soft ballad that is “Miracle”, Got7 returns with their latest album, Spinning Top: Between Security and Insecurity. The overall idea of self-doubt is evident in their title track, “Eclipse”, which expresses the members’ lack of confidence in their own abilities. This theme is evident throughout the lyrics and music video for the track, yet it also proves to be underwhelming towards the end of the song.
Visually, there are multiple sets which reflect inner anxiety and doubt, such as the seemingly endless spiral staircase we see Jinyoung climb, or the room full of mirrors for JB. All the sets represent some form of vulnerability that is already present in each of the members, but it is only when the stairs start to crumble and when the furniture in Youngjae’s room starts to slide down that we see their confidence is wavering.
It is very mindful towards the idea of repression, where one pretends something does not exist for the sake of functioning well in society. In a recent interview, JB mentioned that he tried to “overcome [his] dark thoughts by sleeping on it”, only to realise one day that he was simply avoiding the problem rather than confronting it. These thoughts are reflected in the visuals, where the issues the members have been repressing start to surface when the environment around them goes haywire. For this, I commend Got7 for bringing out such a human element in their music video, because repression is a prominent matter in our society, where we feel that we need to hide our anxieties to continue living “normally”.
The music video has an ominous atmosphere to it, in both the choreography and the ending of the video itself. The main focus all Ahgases are raving about is when the members cover each other’s eyes in choreography. This draws back to the idea of a lack of confidence in one’s abilities, and the dance depicts members “outshining” each other due to one’s self-imposed shortcomings. In the same interview, the members agreed that they want to showcase each individual member’s uniqueness, and this dance alludes to the thought that each member feels that they are nobody as compared to the rest. With this idea, “Eclipse” brings out the vulnerability and insecurity within Got7, making the track feel more genuine and raw.
The ending of the music video also leaves no room for hope — the light is completely covered, juxtaposing the lyrics “I’m gonna win this fight”. This represents the idea that while one may be determined to fight their inner struggles, sometimes their fear and apprehension is stronger than their determination, especially when the burden they feel is exceptionally heavy. This also highlights the idea that sometimes one cannot win their own battles if the environment around them is not supportive — an idea that is easily overlooked by many when discussing the issue of self-help.
Lyrically, it matches with the topic as well, depicting one who doubts his abilities to love his lover properly. The lyrics send out a desperate cry for help, with the persona questioning himself and expressing his fears. Together, with the visuals, this creates a bigger impact for the audience, as it evokes a feeling of dread and nervousness.
Sometimes I’m scared of myself
The feeling of responsibility is rushing
And I’m worried I will hurt you
Musically, “Eclipse”’s sound is very much like Got7, particularly in the use of synths and dubstep. Most Got7 songs have a dubstep breakdown, and it is a repetition of the same melodies. However, this can be monotonous and underwhelming when an artiste produces similar songs. For “Eclipse”, the final chorus becomes more disappointing as the intensity of the melody does not match up with the desperation portrayed in the lyrics and the music video. This proceeds to downplay the emotions and inner frustration that the members are attempting to convey to the listeners.
Throughout 2016 and 2017, Got7 was known to release a variety of music, ranging from happy pop music like “Just Right”, and hard-hitting songs such as “Never Ever”. Despite this, recent comebacks have shown that they are leaning towards dubstep and synths— don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a group finding their sound, but it is important for an artiste to change up their sound every once in awhile.
Most groups manage to maintain their sound but continue to progress by combining different genres. For example, N. Flying mainly does rock music, but they typically switch up their sound by adding new elements into it. “Hot Potato” is an example of rap-rock music, while “Rooftop” would be an example of alternative-rock. These new elements keep their songs fresh and non-repetitive, allowing them to grow as a band.
Overall, Got7’s “Eclipse” has done a great job in conveying the raw emotions and expressing the members’ vulnerability through the lyrics and music video. In the current direction that they are going, Got7 will surely flourish, and we hope to see more from them.
(YouTube, The Korea Herald; Images via JYP Entertainment, FNC Entertainment)