Noir is a 9-member boy group that is still fairly new, having only debuted in 2018. For the most part, they have flown under the radar without anything unique helping them to really stand out in today’s competitive K-pop industry. With the boldly titled single, “Lucifer,” you would think they take the opportunity to release a more striking MV to match the title. However, the song makes a weak comparison of the infamous “fallen angel” to a romantic conquest. The MV itself tries to expand on that idea through symbolism but lacks consistency.
Although the MV has no plot, it largely carries a “fallen angel” motif. In the Judeo-Christian Bible, Lucifer rebelled against God and was expelled from Heaven to earth. Thus earning the title of the “fallen angel.” However, in relation to the song, the “fallen angel” is used to refer to the persona of the song who is willing to give up everything for the sake of a lover. While dark and angsty concepts are a dime a dozen in K-pop, Noir chose probably one of the edgiest concepts out there. While the MV starts off promising, it ultimately fails to truly epitomize the story of Lucifer.
The MV uses several “fallen angel” symbols throughout the MV to tell the story of Lucifer. One of the most used props is a pair of wings that look like they belong to a literal fallen angel. They are cemented to a block and look like they have been burned off. Feathers are used abundantly throughout the MV as well. The members will sometimes have their outfits adorned with feathers or feathers cover the ground as the members lay on top of them. If the MV would have expanded more on this concept, and possibly have provided a plot, it could have better explained the symbolism behind the “fallen angel.”
Instead, they venture into other symbolism that only has a vague connection to the main theme of the song. Although a striking scene, the members sit around a long table with clear silverware and clear chairs. This alludes to another Judeo-Christian scene from the Bible in which Jesus has his last supper before he is betrayed by Judas. There is not much to do with Lucifer in this scene unless they were running with the idea of betrayal. The scene is interesting in that generally images of Judeo-Christian scenes can sometimes look heavily adorned with more golds, blues, and reds. However, the lack of color and the simple use of props create a more modern version of the scene.
Continuing with their vague connections, there is a scene between two members playing with clear and matte chess pieces. This quick scene alludes to the battle between good and evil and God and Lucifer. However, it is a short scene that is followed by your basic broken television sets that are largely used in K-pop MVs.
While it does stray from its main concept at times, the MV still does try to stick with its “fallen angel” concept. The shots in this MV are clean and bare with only the members and a few pieces of colorless or neutral-colored props. The MV uses the lack of color to bring out colorful lighting that ranges from red, blue, and green. Red is mostly used to light up scenes where the members are in dark outfits and the other colors are used to light up their more heavenly scenes. During certain sections, the scenes will sometimes switch back and forth from both outfits implying the duality of Lucifer’s character. While primarily known as “Satan,” Lucifer was still once an angel.
Noir MV’s tend to lack plot and focus on their dance performance and “Lucifer” is no exception. The dance is filled with dramatic movements that work well with the beat of the song. The most intriguing part of the dance performance happens during the latter part of the song when the members chant the chorus. They lift up one member and then bring him down which relates to the “fallen angel” concept. Their dance performances varied between white and black outfits that are both embellished and layered. However, what feels most out of place is their last dance performance scene that is done in hip-hop inspired outfits against a fog machine. Unfortunately, it does nothing for the main concept of the MV.
The trap heavy song starts off well but follows through with your basic K-pop recipe for songs. It begins with breathy vocals and ventures into a rap break in the second part of the song. It does come to a climax but the chorus never captures your attention. The lyrics can sometimes be intriguing with bold statements but other times it is repetitive. The persona of the song speaks of a lover that they are willing to give up everything for and relating this sacrifice to Lucifer who was willing to give up heaven despite the consequences:
Even if there is a cliff at the end of your kiss
I’ll still go
If you want, take me away
To the road that even God can’t block…
The MV for “Lucifer” has a compelling concept but tries too hard to go in different directions. More consistent use of the “fallen angel” concept and an expansion of its use of modernizing religious scenes could have given the MV the push it needed. Regardless, the MV still contained several beautiful scenes, a decent dance performance, and has some obviously talented members.
(Youtube. Lyrics via LyricsKpop. Images via Luk Factory.)