Giriboy released the contemplative single “It Was Love” along with a complimentary MV that is chock full of symbolism. The artist is no stranger to symbolic MVs, last year he released the song “What’s Wrong” which depicted his head on a platter.

While other K-pop MVs are based on aesthetics, elaborate costumes, and dance routines, Giriboy’s MV is more focused on conveying a message based on the lyrics of the song.  His MV for “It Was Love” is a metaphorical representation of a couple who are constantly fighting for the sake of fighting. The MV uses different forms of symbols to express the message of the song without being too convoluted thus bringing the song’s lyrics to life.

The characters in the MV are shown physically and dramatically fighting with weapons creating havoc in their household to show the extent of their anger and pain. Instead of simply showing them arguing, the physical fight conveys that this is not a mere disagreement but an effort to hurt each other. The fighting is not used to resolve any issues and just breaks down their relationship. This is shown in one scene where we see that each person has cuts on their faces and anger in their eyes. Neither is backing down or gaining anything from the fight.

This is further evidenced by the scene showing the female character standing gleefully on the tri-podium showing she won a trophy. While she is ecstatic, her partner looks upset and defeated implying that their relationship is suffering. This is an impactful scene because it shows that she did not want to resolve anything but rather “win” the fight. This is a constant theme throughout the MV that is nicely depicted through other metaphors.

At times the MV may seem to place the blame on the female partner, but they both take part in destroying their relationship. In one scene, there is a rose in the sand which symbolizes a deteriorating relationship with an unstable foundation. Additionally, the sand does not provide any nutrients or water for the rose causing it to die. Each person removes sand creating more instability until the flower eventually topples over. Although she may have started some of the fights, the male persona also takes part in the toxicity of the relationship. This also ties back to the lyrics as the voice of the song is reflective on their own part of it.

The voice of the song is looking back at a past relationship and realizing that he did love his partner despite their fights. The MV helps adds to the song by showing scenes of them in their everyday life proving that it was not all negative. Via a top view, we see a montage of the couple in their living room. While some days are mundane and uneventful, it also shows their highs and lows. This conveys that the relationship was not always constantly a bitter memory for the voice of the song. There were other parts to the relationship, but ultimately they allowed their toxic habits to end the relationship:

I guess it was love
Though I didn’t know back then
After it was all over
Only then I realized
If only one person between the two of us
Would have gave in to the other
What would’ve happened to us?

Giriboy’s music tends to focus heavily on the lyrics. You generally should not expect catchy choruses or explosive dance beats with his music. He is similar to the artist Heize, someone he has collaborated with, in that aspect. In this song, his singing is drawled out and set mostly to a low tone. The melody is simple and there are never any difficult vocals. He also raps briefly, and brings more strength to his voice, while creating a small peak to the song. This may make the song sound unexciting, but the simplicity of the song places the emphasis on the lyrics. The listener is not too focused on the beat and instead is able to take in the message about the voice’s regrets from a previous relationship. That is not to say the melody does not add to the song because it does help set a melancholy tone.

The MV brings the lyrics to life using symbolism but also takes literal points from the song. For instance, in one part, the voice of the song looks back on a fight surrounding a missed call. In the MV we see this depicted by the male character running to a phonebooth while arrows fly down towards him. The director of the MV did an amazing job at bringing these lyrics into live-action while also grasping the emotional meaning behind it. Instead of just showing the male character holding his phone, and arguing with someone. The director enhances the moment with the use of the arrows showing the amount of anger the male character is about to endure.

The MV for “It Was Love” beautifully depicts the toxicity of a relationship where a couple fights with no effort to resolve their issues. The voice of the song is reflecting back on the relationship considering how different the relationship would have been if one of them would have backed down. The MV using metaphorical scenes to capture the pain behind having toxic habits in a relationship. Ultimately, the MV was well-done and is a great example of enhancing the lyrics of the song by bringing in visuals to further expand on the topic.

(Youtube, lyrics via Klyrics, images via Just Music.)