The past couple of months have been slow for K-pop releases, but that does not mean that there were not any gems. Our list showcases some of the MVs that we missed in reviews but still deserve recognition for their creative choices.

RM – “Wild Flower”

RM analyzes his musical career with “Wild Flower” which is the lead track off his album, Indigo.  The MV incorporates the song’s lyrics with both literal and metaphorical interpretations of the play on words, “flower works.” Fireworks blast in a dynamic scene creating “flowers” in the sky. To contrast this scene, RM is also in a literal field of flowers which displays a more serene tone. The two contrasting settings are the basis for this MV to express the duality of his personality.

RM is noticeably stripped down from his usual attire when it comes to his BTS comebacks. There is no funky hair color and no complicated outfit with straps and sparkles. Instead, he wears his hair dark and long and is in a casual beige outfit. In essence, we see the non-idol version of RM who is sitting in a quiet field. However, RM is later dressed in an all-black suit with a bejeweled microphone as he raps to a roaring crowd. The audience lights up the arena with their lightsticks creating another visual of “fireworks.” All in all, “Wild Flower” is a good use of metaphors to explain RM’s contrasting personas. It is clear that both versions are a part of him despite that they may seem opposite of one another.

Vernon – “Black Eye”

If you were to package up the early 2000’s pop-rock sound, it would be Vernon’s “Black Eye.” While the MV is not a full trip through the early 2000s, it does include dated technology like CRT TVs and handheld camcorders. The lyrics, which are in all English, pretty much exemplify the moody emo songs of the past:

Don’t leave me in the dark
You said you won’t be far
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
I can’t stand the quiet
Is anyone out there?
Is anyone out there?

The MV is shot in dark settings with a spotlight that focuses on Vernon. The rays of light create a foggy and unclear visual which adds to the angsty tone of the MV. Vernon is dressed in black eyeliner and an all-black outfit–which is honestly not too different from a K-pop outfit. However, it is his own delivery of the lyrics of the song as well as his expressions that add to the punk-rock vibe of the MV. With this differing sound, Vernon separates his persona from his group, Seventeen, and creates a new persona as a solo artist.

Mave – “Pandora”

AI has been the latest trend when it comes to artwork so it is no surprise that it is reaching the music industry. While groups like Aespa and K/DA have also ventured with avatar versions of themselves, Mave is the first all-AI girl group. AI does not come without its controversies because it removes humans from the equation. If we can take everything that makes a K-pop group great, then it may become harder for other K-pop groups to compete against them. However, time will only tell if this will just be a fad or if it will continue to grow in music.

Despite being AI created, the members have unique features and designs with different outfits to fit their personas. Even their voices are different which adds to their individuality. The virtual ladies have a choreography where they showcase their impressive dance moves. As realistic as they look, there is no denying that they still look inhuman. It makes sense that the MV is depicted in a futuristic setting with flying cars and automated sunglasses. With this concept for their debut, the agency tells us that the future is now with this AI-created girl group.

With colorful and dynamic MV and the, let’s face it, killer song, Mave might be a group that will continue to surprise us.

Taeyang ft. Jimin – “Vibe” 

On his Youtube talk show, Suga himself recently stated that BigBang was a great inspiration for BTS. Jimin and Taeyang coming together for this song combine together two fanbases from different generations.

Taeyang, who was discharged from his required military service in 2019, has only released one single with his group since then. So it has been a long wait for fans who are eager to hear from BigBang members. Luckily, Taeyang did not disappoint with his first solo comeback.

The MV is simple with a main stage and a variety of lights shining down onto the idols. While this is Taeyang’s track, Jimin gets his moment to shine with a full verse creating a seamless transition between the two. The duo has equally smooth vocals that fit perfectly with the funkiness of the song. Of course, since both of these men are great dancers, this MV would not be complete without a dance routine where they mirror each other’s moves. Overall, the MV was just as smooth as the track. Here is hoping for more collaborations between these two.

Byul – “Afternoon”

“Afternoon” is visual poetry with a variety of metaphors that tell a story between the two personas that star in the MV. The initial snowy scenery creates a sense of loneliness while Byul sits in a monochromatic house with no walls.  Byul’s persona peeks into an empty frame in one scene and sits at tea alone in another further emphasizing her solitude. However, whenever we have night scenes, we see glimpses of a man who hugs her and leans against her indicating that they were in a romantic relationship. The night scenes almost play like a horror movie with deadpan expressions and flicks of light from a burning lamp. These scenes could be a reference to the demise of the relationship because the tone quickly changes to more light-hearted scenes. 

Still in the dark, a montage of happier moments is shown between Byul and the male lead. They are smiling, running around, and overall enjoying their time together. The MV comes to a conclusion with Byul alone again in her wallless house indicating that she was reminiscing. While this is not a happy ending for her persona, overall the MV is a wonderful set of visuals that put together a tragic love story.

(Youtube [1][2][3][4]. Lyrics via Genius. Images via QUAN Entertainment, Metaverse Entertainment, and The Black Label.)