Hong Jin-young released the tango-inspired song, “Love is Like a Petal” for her first 2020 comeback. This is also her first single since she left her previous label, Music K Entertainment. Now under her own independent label, Hong Jin-young does not try to reinvent herself and sticks to the typical trot music that she is known for. The MV itself is theatrical but fails to deliver a conclusive ending to a dramatic storyline.
With such a theatrical song about a love lost, Hong Jin-young stars as a lover in her MV for her latest single. Jin-young is shown with a handsome gentleman as they dance romantically together in a huge ballroom. In the beginning, Jin-young looks at the suitor affectionately as if she is in love. She suddenly looks upset and dramatically runs away. Her dance partner looks down at a drop of blood on his finger. The male character is later seen lighting a rose on fire. Jin-young is seen running rather dramatically throughout the rest of the MV but it is unclear what she is fleeing from.
The MV carries a flower motif that symbolizes both the life span of her relationship and the pain that came with it. Jin-young is often seen surrounded by both petals and flowers which represents a blooming love. When she flees from her dance-partner, he is noticeably bleeding as if he were poked by a flower’s thorn. This suggests that Jin-young’s character in the MV hurt him emotionally and likely ended their relationship. When the same male character lights a rose on fire, it is symbolic of letting her go as a lover.
Ultimately, these flowery scenes contrast with the winter scene that Jin-young is briefly in that concludes the MV. She sits in a snow-covered scenery with dead trees completely devoid of any plant life. While everything is dying around her, Jin-young wears a flowery dress suggesting that she will recover from this pained ending of her relationship.
The concept of the MV fits well with Jin-young’s style of music but ultimately feels unfinished. The ending scene of her in a winter background, while symbolic, does not tell us enough about the story within the MV. It is unclear why the relationship ended and why Jin-young looks afraid throughout the MV as she runs away. Was there toxicity in the relationship or did it just run its course?
The MV does not have a consistent color scheme which could have been used to create more drama for the story. The MV is has a yellow tint for the majority of the time which does little to bring out the bright colors with the flowers and other scenes. At times, it washes out Jin-young’s outfits and make-up including her main red, silk dress. The MV does eventually remove the yellow tint for certain scenes that gives a clearer view of both Jin-young’s fresh make-up and bold outfits.
Considering Jin-young is the one running away from her male suitor, the lyrics tend not to connect with the story of the song. Both the MV and lyrics share in common the symbolism behind flowers. However, in the MV flowers are presented as a painful interaction due to the thorns. For reasons unknown, Jin-young turns away from her relationship leaving her partner injured. However, the song’s lyrics, in contrast, lament the end of the relationship while also begging for their lover to return to them. It also compares the longevity of their relationship with that of a petal that withers away:
If love blooms like petals, it will soon wither again
I miss you, I miss you
I want to see you
Although Jin-young has beautiful aesthetics and a melodic song, the MV’s color scheme and plot could have been better produced. It is clear that Jin-young is not looking to takes risks with her concepts with her new label but still wanted a theatrical comeback. The MV could have added a couple of notches to the drama in the story to create a more conclusive ending along with better lighting and outfits to allow Jin-young’s beauty to shine through.