KPOP Tuesdays: VIXX’s “대.다.나.다.너” (G.R.8.U/ You’re Impressive)
By Olivia of WangGuk
Watch before you read 🙂 >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=9vIZT-aIUKc
This week I’m talking about VIXX’s video for “대.다.나.다.너” because it is noteworthy and is a much-overlooked gem in KPOP right now (I know, it was posted a while ago, but it is still over-looked and still noteworthy).
VIXX is a rookie group of rookie groups. If you don’t know who they are, it isn’t surprising to me. But it is disappointing. Because these guys are seriously talented and conceptually, I always feel like their music is very mature and well-thought-out. Recently, VIXX made a comeback with a song called “Hyde” which had a pretty creepy-but-cool video to go with it. It explored the idea of a split personality brought on by a bad relationship with a girl. Its title “Hyde” refers to the story of Jekyll and Hyde, and the concept in the video was that a guy started out really sweet and content and nice at the beginning of his relationship with this girl, but the girl mistreats him and hurts him, so he goes crazy with pain and turns into his own kind of “Hyde.”
This newer video for “대.다.나.다.너” is a continuation of this same concept; it’s actually a kind of response to “Hyde.” But although it came after “Hyde” and is a continuation of the same concept, it is actually the precursor story to “Hyde.” The video is actually what happened before “Hyde.” As you watch it, you’ll notice that the whole thing is backward; the video was shot in reverse and it plays backward for most of the song. (How do their lips still match up perfectly with the forward-moving song, you ask? Talk about impressive— the VIXX guys actually memorized the entire song backwards down to the syllable so that this effect could be achieved…WOW).
Why the backwards motion? If you listen to (or look up) the lyrics, you will find that this is actually quite a sad song, which most people don’t get because they think “Oh, soft pretty colors and smiles and cuties—it’s happy.” It’s actually talking about what the guy felt like at the very start of the relationship: he talks about how he wanted to love her but couldn’t and then he finally let himself go and let himself fall crazy in love with her. The lyrics are beautiful so you should really just look them up. It’s poetic and it’s also lamenting. He keeps saying “Why am I like this?” and that he changed because of her; that she awakened a him he never knew existed. This doubles in meaning because at first, she awakened in him a love that he never knew was possible and it was great and beautiful. But then, she hurts him and drives him crazy and he says “There’s no way something this sweet can be bad for me.” He realizes that she also awakened a horrible, hurting version of him as well (his “Hyde”). The whole thing is basically this guy realizing that this girl is bad for him, that she’s hurting him, but he can’t let her go because he loves her too much and he’s stuck wondering why she doesn’t love him back, wondering how things got so bad.
The backward motion works so well in this song because it is literally the guy looking back on the relationship. Kind of like in that movie 500 Days of Summer where Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes through all the days he spent with her, in this video, the guy is retracing his steps through the relationship. It’s like he’s looking back through the steps it took to get this bad— you’ll also notice that the VIXX guys are making a mess in the room they’re in. There’s chaos everywhere and they’re destroying everything. This symbolizes the mess of the relationship and how chaotic and bad it’s become. Knowing this, the video becomes kind of weird because you’re stuck wondering why all the guys look so happy and cute. But this goes along with the juxtaposition of how happy the relationship started, and how messy it now is all around him. The fact that they are making the mess around each other coincides with the story about the guy. He made the mess himself, he knew he shouldn’t have been with the girl, but he let himself fall anyway. And as the relationship progressed, the mess got worse and more convoluted (the beginning of the video when they’re all lying on the ground, exhausted from making the mess— since it is backward, the start of the video is the end of the relationship).
So since it’s running backward, the end of the music video is the beginning of the relationship— it ends with the guys’ choreo in a clouds-and-blue-sky room where they’re all dancing and looking happy, even as they’re still singing the sad lyrics. So the mess they’re making runs backward until it is the beginning of the mess (the beginning of the relationship; end of video) and everything is happy and new and untouched still.
This video actually is quite genius, in my opinion. Let’s put aside the cold hard facts that these guys have amazing vocals, great choreography, and they memorized the entire song backwards— conceptually, these guys are way ahead of the curve. The fact that they achieved the communication of their concept completely through the structure and imagery of their music video is far more impressive than most popular KPOP rookie groups currently under the radar. It is a little baffling to me why these guys don’t receive more attention. Maybe it’s poorly planned media exposure, maybe it’s always bad timing. I don’t know. All I know is that these guys have more than musical choreographical talent— they think about what they’re putting forth to the public, and it always shows. You’re impressive, VIXX; keep working hard and hopefully more people will start to realize the art you are so capable of producing.
Still photo creds: vimeo.com