Day6 ended their Youth double album series with a twist on retro pop in “Days Gone By.” The recent teaser video for their newest album, The Book of Us: Gravity, promised a heavily symbolic concept, filled with codes to decipher. However, the MV for “Time of Our Life” focuses on the band and their onstage presence. The result is a MV compelling viewers to appreciate their music as a purely aesthetic product, without needing a plot to guide audiences; art as an experience independent of superfluous layers of symbolism.
At first glance, the MV and song are not the most experimental and unlikely to be a jaw-dropping wonder. The melody is enjoyable enough and would definitely be a headbanger at concerts. Yet, it does not live up to the genre challenges of “I Wait,” “Shoot Me,” or “Days Gone By.” The song sounds like an appropriate one for a concert’s final act, going with a safer musical composition.
This might seem like an easy choice for the band, putting out music that appears just good enough with its pop-punk vibes. The MV appears equally unassuming, with its lack of narrative and constant shifts in shots of the band performing or goofing around on mostly the same few sets. But Day6 as a band, has been highly conscious about their artistic choices and it is worth wondering if going with this more laid-back tune and aesthetic is intentional.
The band has done well with MVs without storylines in the past, considering the cinematographic play of “Letting Go” or neon lights and distortion graphics used on the set of “I Wait.” Time of Our Life comes off as lacklustre in passing comparison. However, it is worth paying more attention to the intricacies embedded within the band’s aesthetic choices, musically and visually, this time round. Watching the MV a few more times will open up a door into a different type of connection and encouragement the band hopes to convey.
“Time of Our Life” is reminiscent of Day6’s debut days. The energy of “Freely” or “First Time” comes through in “Time of Our Life,” but with a twist of maturity now. Rather than throwing caution into the wind and partying, “Time of Our Life” feels like an ode to a well-lived youth. Day6 delivers a comforting message of gratitude and reassurance, telling everyone that they have done well in coming so far and it is finally time to take a breather:
I think more than what I had
You had it way harder by many times
To withstand it, I believe
For today, thanks for waiting for it
This message also extends to themselves as a band, having worked hard to come so far. “Time of Our Life” signals a close of a long chapter, one that has taken years to write. As the lyrics go, “A page of beautiful youth / Let’s write it down together,” this song acts as a record of each little milestone they have trudged past together with their fans. The song itself, as expressed by Young K during an interview with Billboard, might become a part of everyone’s book of life:
So when we put out this song, and when we’re all singing it together at the concerts or when you’re listening to this song, I hope that this song can become one of your pages, a moment in your life, your book. The Book of Us. Everyone.
The MV offers up visual tidbits for fans as well by drawing references to their former MVs. The fashion choice of the members brings to mind the vintage wear of Remember Us: Youth Part 2. The jarring neon lights flashing against a dark background is reminiscent of the discordant aesthetics in “I Wait” and “Days Gone By.” The various visual tilts, tracking shots, and overhead shots recall the camera work of “Letting Go,” “Hi Hello,” and a little of “Congratulations.”
Even the multiple microphone-stands surrounding Sungjin in “Time of Our Life” parallels a similar scene within “Letting Go”’s MV. There are probably many more links to be drawn between colour choices and cinematography (contrast of red and black echoing the colour tones of Remember Us: Youth Part 2 photoshoots, the set design mirroring “I Wait,” the back-facing-back back shot of Sungjin and Young K paralleling that of Young K and Jae in “Letting Go,” the vibrant sets recalling the colour pops in “Hi Hello” and “I’m Serious,” so on and so forth), but as a whole the MV itself acts as an archive of the band’s journey thus far.
Ultimately, the music itself draws upon various past releases. The midi synth sounds that go at a rapid pace in the song’s intro builds up a driving melody, one that resembles the upbeat atmosphere of their Japanese releases “Everybody Rock” and “Live Your Life.” Day6 fuses an edgier punk sound with warmth, both of which they have toyed with and masterfully executed in earlier releases. As much as the song fails to be an industry-changing, genre-redefining masterpiece, it secures its own value as a testament of Day6’s own colour.
The vibrancy of the MV, with its rainbow-coloured sets, clothing, and lighting, reflect the iridescence of the band’s music and the diversity of experiences they have offered to their audiences. “Time of Our Life” does not aspire to unreachable greatness, but it reaches out to embrace those willing to give it a little of their precious time.
The song is a comfortable listen, with the vocals widening outwards, creating an experience of an open space. It is an undemanding song, so much so that even the MV demands from audiences nothing more than to enjoy the aesthetic experience. The Easter eggs are far less important than simply appreciating the MV and music as they are, without having to trace narrative plots of any kind. Visually and aurally, the MV offers up vibrant colours, coupled with the adorable goofing around of the members, and music that is easy on the ears.
It is fair judgement to say the band could have chosen to do something more experimental, maximising their full artistic potential. Yet, “Time of Our Life” might just be a little lesson for us about rest and showing appreciation. It is not always necessary to choose arduous paths, so long as the safer choice is a calculated and equally meaningful one.
As one chapter comes to a close, another is bound to open. Before plunging headlong into the darkness and uncertainty once more, it is also equally worthwhile to look back and give ourselves a pat on the back for all the effort put in so far; to commemorate by penning down all the lessons learnt alongside new achievements. I might frown a little at Day6 for not pushing themselves to ground-breaking musical heights, but I also recognise and respect that it is perhaps not what their aim is this time ’round.
“Time of Our Life” stands for itself as a homage to a dazzlingly lived youth, a meaningful journey Day6 has assured listeners they have all been a part of. As the band steps forward into unknown territory once more, they seem to be making a promise that they are walking alongside everyone, keeping dear to their hearts the beautiful memories accumulated with every passing moment.