With a group as big as NCT, it may be nearly impossible to stand out among so many talented individuals. However, by participating in various projects, Ten has managed to create his own identity. On top of NCT, Ten is also part of WayV and SuperM. While it may seem that being in three boy groups already keeps him busy, Ten still makes time for his solo career.
If you thought “Paint Me Naked” was going to be a sensual love song, then you could not have been more wrong. Both the MV and song are cheerful, and at times even comical. In an interview with the podcast, GET REAL, Ten reveals that this MV shows his true self. While previous songs showed a more serious Ten, he admits that he considers himself more a silly person. While the MV’s concept in itself relies on typical tropes, Ten’s own charisma and creative outfits will hopefully still reel you in.
The MV has no central concept other than Ten dancing in various locations with fun outfits. Ten pretty much hits every MV trope setting with elevators, long dining tables, and standing between semi-trucks. With a song about art, it is a shame they did not incorporate more of that into the MV versus these overused scenes.
However, they do lead up to the final setting, an art room with abstract paintings, that gives a glimpse into Ten’s artistic side. He gets the chance to experiment here with a drip paint machine. His dance crew joins him for a rainy dance routine on puddles of paint. Ten being allowed to create a mess in an artroom symbolizes his artistic freedom with this song. It would have been nice to see more of this instead of the other banal concepts.
Although the MV’s theme was bland, Ten certainly does not play it safe when it comes to clothing choices. Ten dresses in brightly colored and unique outfits with cheetah prints, pearl jewelry, bucket hats, and a checkered suit. One outfit that stands out is a see-through shirt made of chains that were paired with light-colored jeans. While on the sensual side, it shows he is secure enough to take risks. The last outfit in the MV is of Ten’s own creation featuring his artwork painted on the clothes. This references Ten’s limited edition line with the clothing company, Represent. The clothes from Represent also featured his own artwork for fans to wear. It is nice to see Ten referencing his own venture into clothing design which is another aspect of his personality.
The song is a mid-tempo pop melody that initially would make you think he is talking to a lover. “Paint Me Naked” might remind everyone of the quote, “draw me like one of your french girls” from the romantic 90’s movie, Titanic.
However, in his interview with GET REAL, Ten assures everyone that the lyrics were meant symbolically. “Naked” refers to his actual identity versus the persona he created for the media. The song makes quite a few references to a romantic partner suggesting these were added to make the song more marketable and mainstream. It was important to Ten for everyone to dig deeper for the actual meaning because it represents more of who he is both musically and as a person:
So tell me where you wanna take it?
I’m your figure.
You could paint me naked,
Like a picture.
I can see our love running wild
Baby be my weekend.
Dance-wise, the choreography is enthusiastic fitting well with the uplifting theme of the song. The dance-routine is not overall structured and sometimes looks like everyone is just dancing to their own beat. There are several hops, kicks, and fist pumps to show that Ten and his dance crew are having a fun time. Overall, there was not anything too complicated about it, but it does add more flavor to the MV.
Ten’s “Paint Me Naked” is a fun song and a great introduction to the “new and real” Ten. If this is him with a little bit of freedom, then hopefully they allow him to take more control of his own musical projects. Including allowing him to express himself more artistically. However, it is a unfortunate that the MV did not allow more paint-themed projects to show off more of Ten’s art. Hopefully, we get to see more of Ten’s artistic and silly side with his upcoming musical projects.