Fromis 9 are on the rise. Following their well-received summer comeback “We Go”, they are back with a new and colourful single, “Talk & Talk”.
The MV starts with a meta reference to their last comeback. Gyuri, the on-screen editor in “We Go”’ declines a call from Flover, Fromis 9’s fanclub. While the last time this scene was shown in “We Go”, it was a regular phone ringtone, this time we hear an instrumental version of “Talk & Talk”. Upon taking a break after exporting the video, she reaches for a green vintage rotary phone while the camera pans out to reveal Gyuri residing in Flover Apartment, along with the eight other members.
At the heart of “Talk & Talk” lies the excitement of a girl who wants to talk to their lover over the phone all night. She ignores everything else as she dedicates her attention to knowing “every little thing about [my lover]”. Accordingly, the MV takes place within the span of a day, documenting the sheer amount of time they spend on their phone.
We stay up all night, talk and talk
Can you hear me?
I want to know еvery little thing about you
Tell mе everything, talk and talk
While “Talk & Talk” isn’t a track that is overly repetitive, it is also not one that is memorable, unlike “We Go” or “Fun!”. The song highly relies on its colourful visuals while the actual track remains in the background. That is to say, though the song is easily forgettable, its visual aspects make up for it. Yet, this is not to suggest that the track is subpar. It is simply just not Fromis 9’s best.
Right off the bat, the MV is evidently eye-catching. At a glance, two elements stand out: the vibrant colours and retro phones. Colours play a very important role here, possibly giving a slight nod to Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel. “Talk & Talk” particularly draws similarities to Anderson’s hotel in the full frame shots of Flover Apartment. Like the hotel, Flover Apartment’s neat yet monotonous exterior is unlike its interior, where when zooming into each of their individual rooms a different story is told.
Each member lives an unique room embellished with items in colours that complement their outfits and retro phones. For example, Jiwon holds a blue phone while in purple, Hayoung leans towards orange and yellow, Jisun goes for a pink phone while in orange, and Jiheon wears a red dress and has a pastel orange phone. As a whole, the well chosen colours really pop. Not only do these colour combinations make Fromis 9 appear doll-like and adorable, they also allow each member to shine.
Unfortunately, Fromis 9’s dance sequences in front of a white backdrop are not on par with the otherwise flashy sets. With such a striking difference, it makes Fromis 9 look amateur. They appear as if they blew their budget with their elaborate individual sets and therefore had to neglect their dance scenes. Though it cheapens the MV, thankfully it is not all that bad. The saving grace is the group’s charming expressions and pastel coloured outfits, the sole elements reminiscent of the MV’s overall colour scheme.
For a song about love and conversations, phones play a huge role in the MV. In fact, it is so important that their phones never leave their hands, even in their choreography. Coupled with their onomatopoeic lyrics imitating the sound of a waiting tone, Fromis 9 have also included a choreography mirroring this part of their lyrics.
Du-du-ru, du-du-du-ru, du-ru-du-ru, du-du-du-du
Just a little bit, just a little bit, just a little bit more
Du-du-ru, du-du-du-ru, du-ru-du-ru, du-du-du-du
You and I only, talk and talk all night long
Even yesterday, today, and tomorrow too, hey
Likewise, the members are so preoccupied with talking on the phone that they are unable to multitask nor sense the dangers of their other actions. For one, Chaeyoung jumps to ease her tension while on the phone. Having a one-track mind, she fails to realise that she is exerting too much strength, causing her to fall through the ceiling that divides her and Jisun who lives one floor below. However, Jisun is too distracted by her call to give Chaeyoung more than a split-second look. At other times, Seoyeon fails to realise that her food is burning and Jiheon doesn’t care about the ping pong ball that is bouncing off her wall. It is only in the bridge that they are forced to step away from their phones due to an electrical blackout.
While the MV is visually pleasing, there is one minor gripe. On the surface, one can say that Chaeyoung’s scene where she breaks through the ceiling exists for comic relief. Yet upon closer look, not only is it awkwardly placed, it is also quite unnecessary.
On one hand, she appears to be the only member exercising. On the other hand, is this a commentary on how thin the walls are? Or is this an unconscious subtle jab at a girl’s weight, saying she weighs so much that with just a few jumps, she can pierce through concrete? Her outfit is also a major mismatch. While the rest of the members are clad in classy outfits, Chaeyoung is the only one in activewear. Her concept simply screams unfitting. Oddly enough, she is not even exercising despite having a yoga mat laid out. A misjudgment in the name of humor or not, who knows. Though this small part can be excused as comedic and cute, it is ill-fitting to say the least.
Overall, knowing that Fromis 9 have produced highly addictive tracks like “We Go”, “Feel Good”, and “Love Bomb”, “Talk & Talk” falls short by just a bit. One can call it a slight misstep. Still, “Talk & Talk” manages to have merit as a simple bubblegum-pop track, albeit one that appeals more to the eyes than the ears.
(Naver News, YouTube. Lyrics via Genius. Images via HYBE Labels, Pledis Entertainment.)