SEUNGRI - 1, 2, 3!
SEUNGRI shouldn't need much of an introduction, but in case you somehow don't know him already, he's one of the members of the boy group BIGBANG. I haven't gotten to review any of the group's releases, sadly, and this is actually my first time reviewing even a single member's release. I had mixed expectations going into this one. On one hand, I really love BIGBANG and their music, but on the other hand SEUNGRI's previous solo releases really didn't do much for me. Still, I was excited because it's been a bit since we'd seen him, so I just went in expecting something hype.
Well, I'll just state this right off the bat - this song really didn't do much to change my mind on SEUNGRI's solo music. The song itself isn't bad, and I actually really like the vibes of it all and the general atmosphere that it generated was very entertaining and lively. I think my biggest issue is that the instrumental for the song is easily the most interesting and compelling component, and while the shouting certainly added some flair and that extra bit of oomph, I didn't find it particularly catchy. The hook just felt like a standard fare run through repeating "1 2 3" with a pseudo chorus of people chanting along and then doing the "whoa" nonsense that's always around. As has always been my personal stance on that sort of effect, it just feels like a lazy attempt at making people think the song is catchier than it really is. If you like it, though, more power to you.
That isn't to say that this song isn't catchy, though. It most definitely is. It's just that for me the extra effect always comes off negatively. Past that, as I mentioned, I really loved the instrumentals for this track. They captured that 1950's style of a more simplistic approach during the verses, which I personally did feel like were a lot more striking than the chorus. This song is really delightfully upbeat and unique, though I am starting to get the feeling that this type of music is on the verge of becoming the new trend. All in all, I feel like this song really worked out more with the music video than it would have as a standalone product.
Speaking of the video, what an absolute blast. This is exactly the type of fun video that I love to see, and yet you can tell that there was so much effort put into this on SEUNGRI's end, as well as the director's and the backup dancers. There's a clear passion on display in this video and it's absolutely electrifying. Not to mention that solo artist Anda (AKA Andamiro) was pulled into this music video as well, adding a bit of extra flavor into this cocktail and really just pushing this video to the very peak of excellence.
The way that this video flows as a single take throughout all of it is disgustingly entertaining, but really what pulls the video along even more than that is the astounding performance that SEUNGRI puts on. He manages to switch between being playful and catty to carefree and fun, to serious performer.. all in within an instant of needing to do so, and on top of that, he maintains those touches of personality without cracking even for a moment. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
Seriously this is easily one of the most intelligently directed and charming videos that K-pop has to offer. I don't mean just from this year, I mean in all of my years of watching K-pop. This is the definition of creativity and the embodiment of a passion that I jealously adore. If you haven't watched the video and/or are on the fence about doing so, don't be. Go watch it. I guarantee it to be worth your while.
(Random note: This is the second reference to the dance scene in Pulp Fiction that we've seen this year. Weird.)
SEUNGRI's "1, 2, 3!" is a comeback that delivers in such a way that I can't help but feel like the wait was well worth the while. Even though I don't particularly think that the song itself is all that catchy, there's an undeniable atmosphere of inspirational, whimsical delight that is so compelling and engaging that I find myself having to recommend this music video anyway. If you haven't done so already, seriously, go give this one a watch. No ifs, ands, or buts. Do it!