March marks the beginning of spring as well as the school year in Korea, and Cravity seems to channel both with their newest title track “Adrenaline”. After having their comeback delayed from February to March due to the members testing positive for COVID-19, after everybody’s full recovery, they returned with Liberty: In Our Cosmos, which comprises the second part of their full studio album. In “Adrenaline”, Cravity establish their ability to master different concepts while having fun.
Musically, “Adrenaline” is upbeat and energetic and nothing out of the ordinary for the group. The song conveys the rush of energy that accompanies a crush, and in the MV, that adrenaline rush that comes with working up the courage to confess to said person. The MV for “Adrenaline” retains some of the same characteristics of their previous releases, such as a focus on its choreography. However, it also incorporates many welcome changes that better showcase Cravity’s strengths.
In contrast to their past two releases, “My Turn” and “Gas Pedal”, Cravity ditch the cars and biker attire for a teenage, school vibe. It is not their first time doing a student concept, that would be “Cloud 9”, but “Cloud 9” evokes images of young, innocent school boys while “Adrenaline” has more in common with a Netflix teen rom-com. Now coming up on two years since their debut, it seems fitting to channel an adolescent atmosphere and it suits the group well.
Another difference with past MVs is the obvious narrative element. There are three main acts to the MV, which are all elements of textbook teen movies. The first is the classroom and school hallway, establishing their roles as lovelorn high schoolers. The second is the quintessential sports event, complete with cheerleaders and big crowds. And of course, what teen movie would be complete without the fancy school event where the two protagonists get their happy ending? Perhaps it’s a prom, perhaps it’s a school festival, Cravity seems to incorporate elements of both into their third and final act.
Far from putting a twist on the familiar, the MV for “Adrenaline” fully commits to its concept and while each act has its own theme, they flow well together to create a short and easy-to-understand plot. In the first act, they play lovesick but likeable teenage boys, on a mission to deliver a love letter to their crush. Cartoonish graphics accentuate the members’ expressions and emotions; we see the glint in Minhee’s eyes indicating he is determined to communicate his feelings. Woobin holds out the love letter to the camera, but the next time we see it the heart flies off the envelope and breaks in front of Taeyoung’s face suggesting that their mission has failed.
Next up is the rally for the unnamed sports event, where Allen and Serim deliver their raps from the bleachers. It’s not clear whether they are the actual athletes, but their red letterman jackets set them apart from the rest and it’s hard to miss that they are the main characters. This time, Wonjin takes one for the team as he reaches out to tap the mysterious crush on her shoulder. However, Minhee quickly pushes him out of frame, and Hyeongjun does the same to Minhee. Such exchanges are common in “Adrenaline”, and they further emphasize the friendly, somewhat goofy teenage atmosphere Cravity are channeling in “Adrenaline”.
Leading up to the third and final act, the lighting dims, hinting at the performance to follow. In the last act, which takes place at some sort of school event, Cravity play teenage heartthrobs performing for an enthusiastic audience. But, they are not there for the fans. Jungmo and then Taeyoung weave through the crowd, looking for their special someone.
While the ending is a tad ambiguous, the MV closes off with shots of each member individually as they gaze into the camera with starry-eyed looks. It’s reminiscent of movie scenes in romance movies where a protagonist makes eye contact with their longtime best friend and realizes that their friend is very much in love with them.
Confetti rains down as they close off their performance on their stage, echoing the previous two acts where showers of confetti and flower petals signalled the conclusion of each segment. As a group who has not yet quite found their niche, “Adrenaline” is a step in the right creative direction as they explore different concepts and the art of not taking themselves too seriously.
(YouTube, images via Starship Entertainment)