Published on March 4th, 2015 | by ponyforprez2
XIA’s ‘Flower’ is anything but demure and delicate
Kim Junsu, better known as XIA, has returned a little over a year since 2013’s colourful ‘Incredible’ – this time with third studio album ‘Flower’. Trading in the summery vibes of ‘Incredible’, the JYJ member seems set on propelling himself forward by demonstrating a more solemn tone to his music. I’d say the MV for ‘Flower’ can be better linked to ‘Tarantallegra’ – but only in terms of visual extravaganza. K-Pop MVs have always taken the cake for their glitzy and high-budget productions, but this one really tops anything we’ve seen in a while.
Everything in ‘Flower’ screams loud! and! artsy! and there are a ton of different interpretations regarding the storyline/visuals in the MV. While it’s more or less believed that XIA is the king of a post-apocalyptic world, some liken the soldiers creepy gladiator forces who toss a severed robot head at his feet as followers turning against him, while others derive them as a metaphor for XIA being haunted by past memories. Either way, XIA is completely unfazed, and proceeds to melt the shiny head into molten gold tea. Bad idea, because he soon realises it’s completely toxic and starts throwing it back up. Next, he sees a young girl laughing at him, perhaps at the level of naiveness he possesses that far surpasses her own. We then witness rather alarming scenes of XIA with really bad hair looking like he hasn’t had a bath in days, yet nonetheless showing he’s fabulous all the same executing really neat dance moves.
It’s safe to say that XIA is someone who won’t settle for normal anymore. The MV for ‘Flower’ proves he’s open to taking a basic concept (betrayal and revival) and tossing them at art directors/MV directors and other creative personnel involved in the conceptualisation of the video, who then proceed to dramatically go all-out in the theatrics. The reason behind this as an accompaniment to marketing his music? I’m sure XIA’s prior stage experiences have helped a considerable bit in how he chooses his music to be portrayed, with being as unique and stand-out in the market as possible a layering factor too. Yet, these don’t always lead to success. A bit of drama is good, but trying too hard at unique flair leaves a…really odd aftertaste.
Point black: Do I like the MV for ‘Flower’? Not really. The over-the-top and excessively avant-garde elements may serve to appear polished and interpretive, but let’s be real: mashing a whole bunch of fantasy-like elements, wacky costumes and weird hair together doesn’t always equate ‘artsy’ or super cool. It just equates well, a bunch of fantasy-like elements, wacky costumes and hair that just looks weird.
I might also be so miffed about the video because ‘Flower’ is a good song. It’s so, so good. Given his stellar musical repertoire, I wouldn’t expect anything less, but because the boy’s got a voice made for croon-y ballads, I’m wary whenever he does fast performance-heavy tracks in case it’s more a corny spectacle than anything. Thankfully, ‘Flower’ is engaging and good from start to finish, with highs and lows, belt-y bridges and choruses, and Epik High‘s Tablo rapping ups The Personal Touch as always. I’m not going too much into the lyrics, but I appreciate how despite the intended flowery (pun not intended) artistry in the MV, the song remains raw and real so they do as they properly intend, to evoke feelings and reinstate XIA’s growth in the industry.
Looking at it on the whole, I’m incredibly glad that XIA can afford to be this experimental, since the guy’s long established himself. I guess being a little strange won’t put off that many – especially longtime fans who’ve grown with him. Also, I really hope I’m right because it doesn’t look like the innovatory, futuristic concepts will be stopping anytime soon.