Three Strikes, are they out?
From the production team promising that it was better than One Shot to the stylistic similarities to BigBang's Fanastic Baby, it could have been incredible. I went into it hoping that it would be, and I came out utterly convinced it wasn't. The good news is that it's not as bad as I first thought it to be, that was mainly just acute disappointment. That's not to say it's very good, but it's at least not bad.
I like how it managed to expand their vocal-styles. The intro is actually quite fantasic, that smoothe and low-tone R&B. YongGuk's rap is spectacular as always, and the double tracking on certain lines is great. Harmonically this son is quite lovely, and melodically the verses are fantastic. The raps, as fun and good as they are, just feel unnecessary. The chorus has a nice feeling to it, the harmonic swirl there is lovely, and some of the background vocals were great in all the ways I was hoping for, but the main vocals are lifted so high above the bass that it's just hollow. The typical, overwhelming, breathtaking drop of the B.A.P chorus is entirely lacking. And the song has some of the same genre hashup issues that Hurricane had. Some of the musical transitions are just . . . rough is a kind word for some of them.
The dance break felt entirely unnecessary as the choreography in it was meh in terms of eyegrabbing uniqueness and downright blah in terms of drama. One Shot's choreographic climax played into the song and the action of the story, the climax here is . . . just a bit more of the same choreo they've been running. There were a few powerful moves and more than a few that dripped with sex appeal, but the video really didn't showcase them well.
And as for the video . . . the styling was weird. The stripes seemed to be some sort of cartoon-ish allusion to prison clothes, the face paint didn't have any thematic relevance, the individual outfits were all over the place linked only by the repetition of black and white. The settings were all gorgeous and I'd love to see more videos shot there.
But the MV really had no story. B.A.P was not involved with any of the events that led up to the all out war. The gangsters were ridiculously stereotypical, they had no obvious motivations, there was no thread of continuity to follow. It was a disaster. The cuts and video timings were really well done, but they didn't do enough to generate a story. There was nothing in it and all in all I feel that it was almost as much of a video failure as Hurricane.
There really just isn't a good story. Sure, there's social commentary, but really, if you're making music without social commentary, you're not really making music . . . it's part of the human condition. And while this MV does have some social commentary, it's very generalized. The lyrics are just as vague as the visual, there's no acute pain, no intrinsic anguish. There's a show of the fact that the world is dark and chaotic (in both lyrics and visuals), there's a guided assumption that it's bad that the world is dark and chaotic and unkind, but there's no display of why it HURTS. Chaos, bad guys, blah blah blah, there's nothing that stabs at your very soul, that makes you question right and wrong. They've done it before with One Shot, and YongGuk did it even earlier with I Remember, they could have done it again, but they just didn't . . . and that's sad.
Factoring in the song, I'd give this release an upper-middling score, probably a 6, the song alone a high 7. But the MV on it's own? It's not scoring very high.
I Give it a 3/10: I've seen Worse.
Also, I was convinced to film an MV reaction for this one: