Yes, I know it’s been a while. But in real life, I am a pretentious academic, and pretentious academics have shit to do. Well, lucky for you, I’m on a break, which means I have time to post an academic analysis of VIXX’s latest opus, Shangri-La.
I’m only recapping the Korean version because one viewing was enough for me.
Let me share my history with a fandom near and dear to my heart, Star Trek. (Yes, I like weird nerdy shit, I run a fucking K-pop blog, what did you expect?) I have been boldly going ever since I first started watching O.G. reruns as a kid, right through the ‘90s renaissance and up till the 2009 reboot. For the most part, Star Trek in all its forms has been a pleasant enough diversion for me. I even found something to like about Enterprise. After all, Trek is like pizza, right? Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Continue reading “VIXX take a homoerotic journey through the underworld in “Fantasy,” a.k.a “Praise Hades, Finally a Fucking Good Song Again.””
ETA: Since apparently you assholes are angrier that I neglected to realize this is supposed to be the most poorly-executed vampire concept since Twilight than you are over anything else in this MV, I’ma get this shit over with: I don’t care. A theoretical vampire concept does not negate the criticism of this MV any more than Twilight being a vampire series does not negate the criticism of Edward and Bella’s relationship. Edward doesn’t stalk Bella because he’s a vampire, he stalks her because he’s a creep. I mean, I could’ve made the same boring Twilight jokes people have been making since 2005, but I went with 50 Shades of Grey as it is less old meme and, being a Twilight fanfic, has preserved the most problematic aspects of the Edward/Bella romance, which is the whole issue with this MV and song to start with. Oh, and by the way–none of those elements have anything to do with vampirism. I would think that the ability of an all-human AU like 50SoG to preserve those elements would make that clear, but that’s clearly too much critical thinking to expect out of stans. So you can keep making excuses or you can shut the fuck up, but if you’re going to do the former, do it somewhere other than my blog.
So now that that bullshit is out of the way, let’s talk about why this MV is getting backlash from iFans. The romanticizing of violence against women is a disturbing trend in K-pop music videos, and it’s in stark relief here. I’m kind of pissed U-KISS delivered this shit after being gone over a year, because kissmes, all 3 or so of us, have been starved for material to mock/bop/fap to, as there isn’t much else out there for us now that the few boy groups still doing this sort of sound and aesthetic are either done and dusted or making shitty ass music like the rest of these neon clown puke assholes. So now I gotta make with the cognitive dissonance and acknowledge that “Stalker” is a ~*problematic fave*~, because as long as you overlook the lyrics and concept, it’s a bop. Musically and aesthetically, U-KISS are back and in fine form.
A while back I was a huge stan of this cult TV show called Veronica Mars. I praised the show to high heavens, eagerly jumped into online discussions after each episode, and pimped it to anyone who would listen. After a stellar first season, the show returned for a markedly less-stellar second season, but I kept watching anyway, rationalizing, “Eh, it’s just a sophomore slump. It’ll get back to form eventually.” But then season three happened and you know, or if not can surely guess, how that ended up. Yet I still kept watching, because I’d stanned the show for two years and wasn’t ready to let go yet, and I was still invested enough to complain about it every week on livejournal.
This is kind of where I am with VIXX right now.
FNC recently debuted subunit AoA Cream to supposedly highlight the less popular members. Since AoA Black has the band concept, fans were wondering what AoA Cream was going to do. Teasers indicated a cute concept along the lines of Orange Caramel or Rainbow Pixie, though the former leans toward satirical while the latter, in their one release “Hoi Hoi,” played it straight. Turns out AoA Cream went with the latter approach, which is actually a smart move on their part given that copycat accusations are the last thing they need (not that that stops netizens). A conventional cute music video directs more attention to the song rather than the MV (unlike Stellar, whose controversial MVs detract from their songs, which is unfortunate since their songs are so good). Given that AoA relies on its members more than its sound/image to set itself apart—Jimin’s chipmunk voice (as much as fans like to complain about it, you can’t say it isn’t unique), Choa’s vocals, Seolhyun’s media play—without the standout members, going with a stylistically different non-Brave Bros track was AoA Cream’s best bet.
I’ve been gone for a while, I know. It is really time I dusted off this blog, and wouldn’t you know that the thing to root me out of my seclusion would be a VIXX comeback?
Sadly, it isn’t the one I was hoping for.
This is not to say “Chained Up” is bad. But it doesn’t live up to the extremely high bar that VIXX have set for themselves. If anything, “Chained Up” reminds me of the kind of a song a rookie group would put out and get moderate amounts of attention for as it demonstrates basic competence in not sucking, but VIXX are past this by now. “Error” was just so flawless on every possible level that my wig is being retroactively snatched by it as I type. As you can see by my recaps of “Hyde” and “Voodoo Doll,” I’ve got nothing but lavish praise
and perversion for VIXX. “Chained Up” just feels like a giant step backwards.
But I’ll get to that later. First, let’s recap this MV.