Before I get into the topic of how Block B has more than made up for the shame that was “Jackpot,” I need to discuss something quite important. How the Hell did B1A4’s “Flopo Day” actually win a music show award over Girl’s Day’s summer smash “Darling”? Note, I don’t even LIKE Girl’s Day, but considering how well “Darling” is doing on the charts, even now, and how it has double the amount of YouTube views as “Flopo Day,” it makes no sense that B1A4 actually won on Show Champion. I live for B1A4, but I’m really…really…confused, since “Flopo Day” isn’t even in the top 20 on any charts. Gaon has yet to release any sales information for the week of July 13-20, so maybe the Solo Day mini actually performed properly physical sales-wise.
Anyways, despite that I’m still salivating over Hyuna’s teaser for “Red”, Block B dropped their MV for “HER”, and it’s their most colorful MV to date. The teasers were so bright, it actually hurt my eyes to watch them. I was extremely pleasantly surprised to see that the actual video was a bit toned down and less harsh on the eyes, but still featured a colorful palette. In a way, the colors actually reminded me a bit of NU’EST’s B1A4-rip off video for “Sleep Talking” last year, so obviously the video for “HER” is a step outside of Block B’s comfort zone.
My first, and probably only gripe with the entire song is that it’s missing Park Kyung’s iconic “aiight” before each of his raps, so I was not ready for his verse to start off the song. As usual, the rap line; Zico, Park Kyung, and PO get the most lines, but in reality Block B seems more like a vehicle for the rappers than the vocalists so I’m learning I can’t complain too much about it. In a happy twist of events, Jaehyo got more than two seconds of lines – despite that he still had the least in terms of the vocal line, but still, this is probably the most fair line distribution Block B has had in years. Not to mention all of the members look lovely in this video, even Kyung with his too-blonde hair.
The song has a poppy punk-rock vibe to it, something completely unique in K-Pop right now, so I am absolutely living for this comeback. The song sounds like a New Wave tune, almost akin to something I’d hear from DEVO back in the 1980s. Between this song and Dal Shabet’s homage to the Eurythmics with “BBB” earlier this year, I’m praying that the 1980s music revival will happen ASAP in K-Pop.
While I was just waiting for the ostrich to poke out Zico’s eyes as they are quite vicious animals, I realized this is a video I would expect from B1A4, and would have never expected from Block B. Their videos always have a more monochrome feel to them; even when there is color in their videos, such as “Jackpot”, it’s more subdued. This is also the first Block B video in years to not feature gang violence, or any other sort of criminal activity – making it much more commercially friendly than their previous singles.
The biggest, and only, problem with the video is the break in the middle of the song to watch the simulated variety show. For those of us International fans, this segment is subtitled in Korean, but not English (or any other languages), so obviously we don’t know what is being said or how it ties into the song. That’s not as much of a problem for me as much as the fact that the song is being interrupted, so until the mini-album comes out you can’t hear how the song is meant to be heard. If the segment was at the beginning or end of the video, fine – I’d be all for it, but it’s just…dropped in the middle. I’m also curious what the point of the model in the teasers was, as she seems to not make an appearance in the final video.
I think even though I see some resemblance in color to the aforementioned B1A4-rip off NU’EST video, this is a very original video from Block B, as all of their videos turn out to be. I like that it’s a step outside of their comfort zone in terms of both the video, as well as the song. Most of their songs have either a hip-hop or ballad like vibe to them, but this up-beat poppy track is not something I ever thought we’d see from Block B. And I think they did a great job of executing the risk, and hope we see more of these styles in their upcoming releases. I think they took a risk with this comeback, and I really hope it pays off for them with sales and music show wins.