Block B - Don't Leave
Block B is a seven-member boy group under KQ Entertainment (formerly known as Seven Seasons). Having been around since 2011, Block B has proven themselves time and time again to be competent and talented, and the group does very little else than exactly what they want to do. With multiple members that are more than capable of producing high-quality music, there are very few things that stand in the way artistically for Block B. That being said, the type of sound that they decide on when they have their comebacks is always a surprise for me. "Don't Leave" is the title track for Re:MONTAGE, a repackage of the group's latest mini-album from November that I absolutely loved.
The song begins with a simple subdued drumbeat that fades in to full clarity and back out just as quickly. A soft piano materializes somber chords behind Park Kyung's emotional vocals. There's the faintest hint of a guitar just before we shift into the pre-chorus where a beautiful cascade of piano notes compounded with U-Kwon's voice dramatically propel the song forward. The chorus features the guitar and drums without transparency, the latter of which remain present for the rest of the song.
Zico's rap for the second verse progresses along with the beat impeccably, really adding a masterful touch to that section. P.O's deep voice handling the very end was a tactile and delightful choice, reminded me a lot of T.O.P ending BIG BANG's "Last Dance."
I can't say that the song was what I was expecting, but I don't mean that in a negative way whatsoever. Block B always manages to leave me with an entirely new impression of them and their capacity to excel in whatever style of music they choose to do. "Don't Leave" is no exception in this regard, and I think that this is a perfect song to fit in with the winter season. It's beautifully orchestrated, well-produced, and while it packs an emotional punch, it doesn't overdo it.
The beginning of the video is a shot of the tide coming and going on a beach, and it instantly matches the shifting of the drumbeat that I mentioned earlier. Up until the first pre-chorus, everything is in black and white, and we're shown two locations: a beach and a museum. The pre-chorus blasts us with a combination of both dull and vibrant colors, causing a few select items to be more eye-catching than others. A club, a bus terminal, some kind of outdoor patio, and docks are thrown at us as new locations rapidly and we catch a glimpse of a woman during the first chorus.
Zico's rap portion is when we get a majority of the story, with a clear depiction of him looking into a room that the woman we saw previously is in. Each shot of the room changes, from a blooming garden all the way until it's a torn, unrecognizable mess. This is obviously symbolic of what happened to their relationship. Next we see the woman playing on a television screen and the question "Delete?" is posed. This is representative of the conflict that many people feel after the end to a relationship, where they debate whether they would rather have the entire memory erased or move on with it as an experience to learn from.
There's a shot of a member (my guess is Park Kyung from his location at the beginning) and the woman on the beach, with a large distance between them. Again, this is fairly straightforward imagery of the gap that's grown between them over the course of ending their relationship. The final piece of imagery that I wanted to mention was the the shot where it's a mirror image of the beach, with the upside down portion showing Park Kyung running over to the woman, and the normal one is simply him walking alone. In my mind this shot has two possibilities. One is that it's meant to be a visual representation of how your world can be turned upside down from a relationship, and the other is that it's meant to show the two paths that his heart wishes to walk down: one alone, and one where he's still with this woman.
Overall there's a ton of gorgeous shots and imagery in this video and I had a lot of fun picking them apart for as long as I could. I think that the plot, while not very original, is something that everyone can relate to in one way or another, and that the portrayal of it through metaphoric imagery is executed very well.
I don't really know when the last time Block B disappointed me was, honestly. I have nothing but great things to say about them and "Don't Leave" only has me with more positive comments. If you haven't already given it a listen, go do so. It's a beautiful piece of art both on the music side and the video side, and I definitely think it's worth your while.