Never one to disappoint, Chungha returns triumphantly with “Snapping,” fresh off her appropriately titled 4th mini album, Flourishing. Complementing her charismatic presence, the MV for the title track is visually stunning and definitely fit for this queen.

Unlike her bubbly summer tracks of last year, “Snapping” is fiercer and more intense, perfectly captured by the dark tones that underlie each frame. This lighting also keeps the focus of the MV solely on Chungha, especially with her bleached hair and bright fashion. Rather than remaining static, lighting is used creatively to enhance the different sets of the MV. It is particularly effective in the ocean-like scenes — the soft purple glow reflecting off gorgeous royal blue drapes — and everything works so well together, it is such a treat for the eyes.

This MV shows a deep understanding of both Chungha as a performer and “Snapping” as a song in itself. Her powerful dance moves stand out no matter whether she is dancing alone or with a posse, and are shot in various angles to keep the video dynamic. The different moods of the song are also brought out well through the changing sets and colour tones of the video. From intense fencing scenes to match the escalating tension of the track to ponds and flowing water to reflect the (relatively) mild verses, each shot is properly planned and executed. The clear direction behind this video is evident and really is a job well-done.

To her credit, Chungha maintains a fascinating balance between strength and vulnerability, both in dance and voice. While she is in full-on boss mode whenever she dances with a group, her solo shots and close-ups tell a different story as they are packed with more emotion and personality. The scene of Chungha falling without any semblance of control is so striking because it stands in stark contrast to the powerful image she builds throughout the rest of the video. It is this variety within the MV that manages to effectively capture and illustrate the shifting melodies of “Snapping.”

Of course, Chungha’s dance cannot be left out of this review, given that it is the highlight of the MV. Her facial expressions definitely make her dance moves come alive, and her experience shows in the way she works her body to achieve certain effects. The perfectly angled neck and hand movements, the synchronicity and chemistry she shares with her back-up dancers, all of these come together to elevate her performance and “Snapping” as a release. Without the skillful cheorography and the stunning cinematography, the MV would honestly have just been another generic, if edgy, pop release.

In what is quickly becoming her trademark, Chungha’s moves are powerful but slow and restrained, which adds a lot of significance to each small action that she makes. In this case, the gesture of snapping is thrust into the limelight and features prominently in the whole choreography.

Snapping represents a loss of physical contact, a decisive break, an instant release. This subtle motion conveys so much in the context of this track, which speaks of the courage to move on from a non-reciprocating lover. The protagonist loves her partner deeply, but her frustration with his indecisiveness and her desire to remain in control of herself steels her to a point of nonchalance.

Interestingly, Chungha’s costumes are also used to flesh out this whole narrative. In her red outfit, she is passionately in love and therefore more vulnerable. However, this devotion disappears as the video progresses. When she faces off in a battle with her colder, more rational self who is adorned in white, her emotional side eventually loses, culminating in the aforementioned falling scene. Rationality triumphs and she finally decides that she is better off without him.

Even without looking at or understanding the lyrics of the song, the MV does a great job of explaining the overall tone and narrative of “Snapping.” The captivating allure of this video can be attributed to the seamless changes in the frame sizes (portrait and landscape), flowing well with the song. The artistic decisions made throughout this MV are charged with purpose and this is indeed a very successful comeback for the flourishing Chungha.

( Youtube. Images via Stone Music Entertainment.)