I live in the year 2021. My name is Aaron. I’m 25 years old. I believe in taking care of myself, a balanced diet, and a rigorous musical routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I’ll put on Twice while doing my morning dance routines. I can dance to “Likey” without the MV now. After I finish, I put on a little EXO-SC while I interview myself in the mirror. In the shower, I play Jay Park since I only dance to R&B while washing, “you gon think I’m Aquaman”. Then comes G-Dragon while I have breakfast. I miss no songs, but if you do, this is the list for you here in 2021.

There is an idea of 2020, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real 2020 only a concept, something illusory. And though you may have horrible memories of that year, and these songs existed in a time called November and December of 2020, it simply did not exist:

CL, ‘+5 STAR+’

The most romantic moments of 2NE1 have been distilled here. The starring role is that of DPR Ian forming the romantic attachment of CL on this MV. It is a gorgeous moment with one of Korea’s biggest indie groups falling for America’s newest idol turned pop star. Each moment of this MV is gorgeous and in love, a dreamwork of what idealistic love looks like.

Filled with wanderlust and frustrations brought to you about how crazy love may turn you. The MV serves as a scrapbook or a highlight reel of lovers lost in one another. The track’s instrumentation has a large horn section and a sleek drum pattern yet leaves a lot of space for CL’s intimate vocals and the MV to breathe.

The DPR crew show their faces shyly in this piece, right at the end of the MV, rightfully so, CL deserves spotlight here for her stunning performance. Its a piece of music deeply held by its MV. A gorgeous declaration of love that would likely drive you crazy in love if you allowed it to!

Rad Museum, ‘Wet Umbrella / This Night’

The return of Rad Museum is as dreamy an affair as you would expect, but this time it is not all in your head! He is finally back with an MV for two singles, gosh how lucky, are we?

Well, the tracks themselves aren’t all that impressive — yes, they have Rad Museum vocals, but the tone of the tracks are so downturned it is hard to enjoy unless you are lost to a sleepless night. To be fair though, these singles were released in a world called 2020. The tracks also sound like they are part of a whole and will likely make a lot more sense when heard within a full body of work.

You have to hold on
to a stranger’s hand tightly
And hide between these raining streets

The MV on the other hand is gorgeously shot and seems lost within a dream-state all its own. Each shot transitions with Rad seemingly on the verge of a depression nap. It is an imagery reminiscent of Miso’s MV “Alone” as its visual world is divided into two parts with a dream-sequence in its centre.

Dynamic Duo, ‘SOON (Feat. BewhY)’

Likely in preparation of or simply a precursor to their pairing on SMTM9, BewhY and Dynamic Duo meet up in a gorgeous hip-hop precision show. The two highly respected hip hop figures join together so easily here. It is Korea’s version of Kendrick meeting RTJ. A beautiful MV piece which holds its most interesting moments in its vocal performance during the chorus section.

Overall, it is a harmonic meeting of Korean hip hop’s most praised popular figures, where again vocals dominate over verses. A rarity in both their catalogues, but a gorgeous complement to the track’s instrumentation. A truce of bars, come to hold a vibe instead. It is the love of hip hop and R&B and the analogous manner in which its artists have grown.

The MV, much like the instrumentation of this track wanders leisurely from room to room of an abandoned building outlooking the sea. The MV looks like how the track sounds, with wind chimes going off while rap verses cut through the scene like concrete. A gorgeous little MV, enjoy.

BtoB 4U, Show Your Love

BtoB are currently without three of their members due to military service, or is it two members? Jung Ilhoon seems unlikely to return to the group while he is under criminal investigation for marijuana usage. With all of this Eunkwang, Peniel, Minhyuk, and Changsub have endeavoured to come together and form the sub-unit BtoB 4U. Their message on their latest MV is to “Show Your Love”, a fitting statement for a group trying to find their feet once more.

The MV plays out with diverging storylines strung together by film references. The most compelling imagery of which being a Romeo + Juliet romance. The MV also makes clear reference to films such as Kill Your Darlings and Trainspotting with Peniel‘s buzzcut especially mimicking Ewan McGregor‘s iconic look in the film.

2 is better than 1
Cuz we’ll be stronger together
We need love
Yeah we need each other

Visually it is hard to mess up when you are referencing such stylized films. However, the Frankenstein manner in which these shots are stuck together leaves the MV without any real connectivity. It is a vocally strong performance but an MV that without its starcrossed references feels a bit empty.

MONSTA X, “Love Killa”

Speaking of MVs making reference to popular films, Monsta X’s “Love Killa” is quite an example. Arriving on November 2nd, the MV makes reference to famous film villain’s or “Killa’s”. From Heath Ledger’s Joker to Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman (the same character I stole this articles opening monologue from!).

The MV far better matches the actual song in both tone and storyline when compared to “Show Your Love”. With each member donning the persona of a film killer, matching the tracks abrasive vocal delivery and opening distorted horns. The Hannibal Lector reference could have done with the mask, but we can’t be messing up those gorgeous visuals now, can we? The overall production package here is undeniable.

There also seems to be a reference to Fight Club but the overarching red theme just makes you think of Akira instead. Not to mention there is no real scene that the fight club imagery seems to borrow, just an outfit and snippet of a cage fight, a bit of a miss there. Speaking of misses, the final reference, I don’t seem to get, is it John Wick? or? Whatever the case, Monsta X still manage to deliver a well-executed title track MV.

Dahee, ‘Focus’

To end off, The sound of music, yes another film reference, this time it’s in the background. It is a short MV and track using 1965 stylized backgrounds to enhance the tracks aesthetic. Dahee is vocally stunning while being visually adorable and deserving of more attention. It’s a track that just puts you in a happy mood and honestly, I wanted to leave you with a happy little hello from 2021 enjoy!

(S.C Morning Post, YouTube [1][2][3][4][5]. Images via Very Cherry, Starship Entertainment)