[YS] Battle of the Music Videos: Darling U vs. Whatcha Doin’ vs. Carpet


Welcome again to another version of Battle of the Music Videos! This time, we will be comparing three songs by Yesung which were featured in three music videos.

While Yesung’s voice stands out regardless, his collaboration with three artists and singers was a good choice for him. His voice shines alone, more so when he sings in a duet.

As mentioned, we will be comparing Darling U, an SM Station song in collaboration with Seulgi of Red Velvet, Whatcha Doin’, a two-month old music video featuring Chungha, and Carpet, Yesung’s latest collaboration for SM Station with Bumkey.

As per usual, I will be using three criteria to judge the music video –
 technicalities, interpretation, and appeal and I will score the music video out of 5 per category.

Darling U

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyxPfDzSnmE

SM Station has been releasing quite good songs in their stations and three seasons have also proven its success. Each SM Station has a corresponding music video which also creates attention from music enthusiast that are not only into idol groups from SM Entertainment.

Darling U was released a year ago, and I would admit I was late enough to witness this music video. And I confess that I haven’t even watched this music video until three days ago when I started writing this review. I heard the song before but it did not grow on me despite having Yesung and Seulgi sing it. However, just as when I watched the music video, I thought that it was a good song. It was just perfect for the holidays and I am sorry for being late for that.

Let’s go with the music video. SM Entertainment has indeed improved a lot in terms of music videos. As always, I looked into the music video and found a lot of improvement in terms of lighting and themes. They played with pastel colors, which were a trend, by the way. However, it made me really almost sleep because I found the transparency very odd. It made my eyes bawl out, not because of the music but because of the overall color of the video. I disliked it because it was a little bit like dull despite the splashes of pastel (which I thought would be good for winter, initially). Despite these, the lighting and the cinematography, as well as the production was of high-quality.

But what’s off-putting about this music video was that it continued the same pattern of other music videos performed by duets. It only revolved in two things – one for a feel good song, which was a boy and a girl, acting cutely while creating a dilemma of just staying in his or her room or of meeting up; the other one for a dramatic ballad, which the artists would act like they also had breakups. I disliked how it’s always the theme for these videos. I hope it would be a bit metaphorical compared to the theme being spoon-fed to the audience. I understand the song, apparently was saying those message but it was too cheesy for my liking. Both Yesung and Seulgi did a good job in acting though, although I was a bit concerned with their age difference. I know that it shouldn’t be an issue because Yesung looked really younger compared to his actual age, but it still bothered me a little bit.

The appeal was somehow in the middle. For me who hated repetitive cheesy romance (I only love cheesy romance), I did not like it over all. And it would surely appear to those who loved such concept.

Again, I could understand that it was the theme of most videos. I completely get it. However, I could not see the potential.

RATING:

Technicalities: 3.8 out of 5
Interpretation: 3.9 out of 5
Appeal: 3.3 out of 5
TOTAL: 11 out of 15

Whatcha Doin’

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZv2hO70tmM

It was another version of Darling U’s music video, except that Yesung was with Chungha this time. Compared to Darling U, I liked this song better. It was somewhat a feel good romantic song. This genre was actually popular these days, but I am still concerned the reason why it doesn’t blow up in the Korean community despite of its melodic similarity to most number one digital hits. Lack of promotion and exposure? Probably. Or maybe they had something with the artists? But, no offense, but every time a Super Junior member has a duet with a digital artist (Chungha is actually doing very good in the charts right now with her solo single, which is very, very unusual because it did not get a lot of promotion either), it does not blow up – except of course if it is Heechul (with Kyunghoon). Come on, people. Wake up! This is a good song!

Anyway, let’s go back to the music video. Compared to Darling U, this music video was obviously more transparent, and the color contrast was on point. The funny thing is that SM Entertainment videos for such songs are usually revolving around one theme which is also reflected in the color scheme, the visuals, the aesthetics, et cetera. I am no director nor producer and I am not really knowledgeable in video making. But then if I were to produce any video if I were able to, then I don’t think I would just throw the concept in and just recycle. It is like, “give them more props”, or “give them a bit more than that”, or “splash some colors”, just to make it seem different compared to the previous music videos. Come on, guys. This isn’t a music video for kids – no offense to talented kids who could interpret music videos – people can use more thrill in it. Can someone do more brainstorming about their music videos? Really.

The visuals were better compared to Darling U , quality-wise. Everything actually was. But again, I hope there was something more about the concept.

Again, it was cute and nice, and I liked that. However, I still hope that there was something more that would excite me. It’s okay to be a cheesy romantic. But do something else. Your minds are better than that.

Rating:

Technicalities: 4 out of 5
Interpretation: 3.6 out of 5
Appeal: 3.4 out of 5
TOTAL: 11 out of 15

Carpet

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbWmcoXT9Yc

Thank heavens for this music video that saved my review. I might be getting a lot of hate because of what I wrote above. But before we talk about the music video, let’s talk about the song. Three words – I loved it!

You can actually guess which songs make me happy. I usually love songs that have classical feels in it. This song is a bit weird because the background was all over the place but it was its greatest power as well. Also, the duet between Bumkey and Yesung was really very nice. I could listen to this every single day. I hope that this would blow up but I guess not. Why is the digital song market so competitive in Korea?

And the music video. Again, thank heavens for the not-so-obvious obvious story. It made me almost cry. These music videos always get me – throwbacks, childhood, sentiments, attachments. It’s just so amazing. Visuals, concept, themes, aesthetics, props – basically all technicalities – are very good. Above average, actually. Superior, maybe. It is not as perfect as my favorite music video but it would still get a high score in this aspect.

In terms of interpretation, I just loved it also. The carpet represented the person or the thing that the woman grew her attachment to. And I loved how the carpet was personified here. It’s just brilliant and well-thought. Thank you to the person who conceptualized this.

At first, I really thought SM Entertainment would just throw everything in, again, without considering the possible story that would (or might) create or destroy the whole concept of it. But then again – I was wrong. It had a very strong and powerful message.

Overall, it appealed to me the most among the three. I could see some people not liking it because hey, not everyone would like something, and it might be too puzzling but well, I like to be puzzled… so… obviously, I’d love it.

Rating:

Technicalities: 4.5 out of 5
Interpretation: 4.5 out of 5
Appeal: 4.5 out of 5
TOTAL: 13.5 out of 15


Despite my reviews, I still congratulate Yesung and the collaborating artists Seulgi, Chungha and Bumkey. I hope there are still next project for them!

I’d love to know your thoughts as well.

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