[Music Video Theory] Sense – UNB

Disclaimer: While I try to keep my posts as short as possible, I must warn that this one is fairly long. 

Welcome back to the Music Video Theory segment of my site. Apologies for my very long pause on the segment. I had to drop it for a while due to my studies. I thought I was able to get through it all but it became a little too much, so I decided the best course of action. But I have kept my promise and returned to finish off what I started. Today’s music video that we will be diving into is UNB’s debut video, Sense.

I have previously touched upon the storyline during my Sense review but I did so in a very brief manner. Today, with the help of visuals and more research, I am able to deliver an in-depth description of what I think is going on. If you have yet to watch the music video, please watch it below before getting stuck into my theory.


The Korean Monologue

The music video starts off with a Korean monologue, taken from this YouTube video. Translation goes:

What we desperately wished for
I will remember this moment forever
Let’s never let go of our hands
Your warmth embraced my hands
Approached me like a warm spring
So we can last together
I’ll run to you and hug you tightly
So you don’t have to wait any longer

There are various interpretations for the above translation. A pledge towards each other, their commitment to their goals and/or a message for their fans who have supported them throughout tough times.  Any of these can be plausible for my interpretation.


Setting

During the Korean voiceover at the start, we are introduced to three different worlds. The first features the dark tree (where most of the choreography were shot). The second is shown via the normal lighted hallway, which represents the original world. Finally, the third world is past all the different doors, which represents the alternative world. Any scene which features over-saturation of one colour, odd colours or a wavy effect is part of this alternative world.

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The Symbolic Tree
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Normal Hallway (Original World)
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Alternative World’s Hallway (over saturated with colour and wavy effect)

Jun is the only member located in the hallway. Everything in this hallway is plain and ‘normal’. Compared to the rest of the video, there is no wavy effects or odd colouring (beside that one scene at the very start). Hence, it shows the original world. Here, each individual member of UNB is in their own groups (i.e. Jun is in U-KISS, Euijin is in BIGFLO etc.).

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Each of the doors along the hallway leads to one of the other worlds. One of the doors Jun opens leads to the outside alternative world (purple skies). There is also another door to a room which is where Euijin and Chan are sitting in, which seems to be transitioning between the original to the alternative (at the beginning, everything is lighted normally but when we get to the end of the video, the painting at the dinner table takes on the wavy effect). The third door leads to the darkness and the lone tree.

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First Door

The first door features Euijin and Chan, sitting around a dining table. A single candlestick is situated in the middle of the table and an abstract painting is hanging on the wall. As mentioned previously, I believe the two are in limbo between the alternative world and the original world. Nothing really happens to the two in the video. However, the room does start to change. The painting on the wall starts to adopt the wavy pattern and Marco (who is freed from the confines of the later discussed circle makes an appearance). I assume the room becomes part of the alternative world.

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Note the painting in this picture
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The painting has become wavy and fluid-like

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I am not too sure but the way Euijin and Chan stare at each other suggest tension. This is just how I am reading the scene, but it may represent competition. They want to compete to the be at the top, hence why they don’t interact too much with each (i.e. due to being in their own teams). However, they realize that the only way they can do so is by working together (as UNB), which may explain why Feeldog is there.


Second Door

In this world, the sky is purple and there are wavy lines, showing how non-linear or unique it is. Throughout this world, we see Kijung, Daewon and Ji Hansol located in the fields. They form a triangle formation, similar to when they are lying asleep in their beds.  My idea is that they entered the alternative world via their dreams. This makes sense to as they want to be at the top, but this is only possible at this time through their dreams.

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Marco and FeelDog are also in this world. At night, they are standing within this circle made from light. And they don’t get to leave that circle for the entire scene. What is interesting are the stars in the background, making me think they are in the alternative world via wishes. They want to be at the top but for the time being, the only way possible is to continually wish and pray. Towards the end of the video, both Marco and Feeldog are freed from the circle and they roam to the alternative world (including areas in which are transitioning) (see First Door section).

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A possible fourth door?

Before we move onto the third door, there might be a fourth door that we didn’t physically see. This door could potentially be the entrance to Hojung’s section of the video.

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Like the first room, this extra room could be part of that transitioning phase. At the start of the video, we see the room unoccupied, which is quite eerie if you ask me. Inside the room, we see a bunch of TV screens showing the grey static ‘no signal’ image and a glass box partially filled with water. Hojung later appears in the room and is seen wearing headphones.

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Based on my understanding of the scene, Hojung is currently stuck in the original world. The static TV screens represent the work they are doing. Very little or not that successful. He puts on the headphone, which is a clear representation of music but his facial expression doesn’t look too enthusiastic about things.

Daewon makes an appearance in this room, connecting this room to the alternative world. We see Hojung remove the headphones and drop them into the water before the screen become over-saturated in the orange colour, showing that it has become part of the alternative world.

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Third Door

This room features Jun. He opens the door from the hallway and enters it. In the middle of the room, a bare tree stands. It looks pretty much dead. It represents unsuccessful achievements and goals, as they were experiencing the original world.

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Over this scene, Jun has a French monologue, which is quoted from a book (Les Nourritures Terrestres (The Fruits of the Earth)), which is about leaving a strictly ruled society and going onto a new adventure.

All knowledge that does not precede a sensation I do not need.
Looking in the evening as if the day were to die and, in the morning, as if everything was born there.
May your vision be at each near new moment.
The wise man is who wonders afresh.

The quote above simply can be interpreted about starting each day as a brand-new person and not to worry about the past. Take each new day as something new, regardless if you do everything the same as the previous day. The last line is probably the most impactful for the members. They will redebut as UNB (wonders afresh) and once they wrap up the UNB promotions, they will return to their original groups as ‘the wise man’. There, they will be able to bring their experiences and ideas to make their own groups better.

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Once Jun touches the bare tree, it lights up. At the start of the video, the tree was not lit up. However, from the French monologue onwards, the tree was bright, showcasing regrowth and hope. The members were also wearing white in front of the tree during some of the choreography shots. White is known to represent innocence and youth.

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I think this part of the video represents their belief. Jun believes that he (along with the others) are able to rise to the top. They just have to put in the hard work (i.e. their redebut) in order to be able to where they want to be.


Ending

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At the very end of the video, we see all the members return from the alternative world. They enter, via the doors, all happy and thrilled. This represents the group finishing their time as UNB and their excitement of returning to their original groups. But this is not the very end, as the members appear to be partying and arm-in-arm with each other, showing that while on their journey in the alternative world, they formed bonds and friendship that they will live with forever.

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And that wraps up my theory on UNB’s music video for Sense. If you have yet to check out my other music video theories, do so by clicking on Part 1 of each of the theories below, where you should be able to find the links to the following parts.

GOT7 Flight Log Triology Part 1
Monsta X The Clan Part 1
Dream Catcher Horror Series Part 1

Next up will be LOONA’s music video theory. I don’t know how many parts this one will be as there are many videos I need to re-watch. I also do not have a confirmed date for the theory, though I am looking at the next few weeks! Until then, thank you very much!

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[Review] Black Heart – UNB

Right after wrapping up their Sense/Only One promotions, UNB announced that they will be going straight into preparations for a new album. And they didn’t mess around with that announcement, as the newly debut group has officially dropped their second mini-album, which shares the same title as their title track, Black Heart. This comeback also features 4 special guests: Jungha (BEATWIN), Hangyul (IM), Jueun (DIA) and Anne (SIS).

From my understanding, none of the special guests participated in the recording of the song. Black Heart is a great dance song that is fast beoming another highly addictive song. I really liked the showtune-like piano introduction at the start of the song, which built up the suspense for what was to come. The song then progresses into a synth based dance track, which somehow felt unexpecting at first. There is this energy buildup within the verses, which allows the entrance into the chorus sound so much good. On top of that, I thought the chorus was really well done, especially with how all the members singing together. It gives the song a punch in its melody and makes it memorable. I really liked the post-chorus instrumental break as well. To keep the song from becoming repetitive, the song returns to that showtune piano introduction during the bridge, which also works wells within the song. The only thing I think the song is missing is a rap sequence, which could have added some interesting textures to the song. But othet r than that, it was a really good song.

Out of the 4 guests, the music video only features the male guest (that is, Jungha and Hangyul). To why it is only them, I am not too sure. But I have to admit, they fitted in pretty well. It did cause some friction within the screentime department, however, which is quite sad to hear. All the members (and the male guests) had good chemistry with the camera, which makes this video even better. I really liked the edgy vibe that was coming from their outfits. I thought the dance-off concept was rather interesting and well executed.

All 4 special guests feature in the performances. And I think it help boosts the number of people of stage, which contributes to the livelihood of the performance. I really liked the start of the performance, when some of the members are doing acrobatic-like jumps. The performance also features awesome footwork, seen most prominently during the post-chorus instrumental break. Also, the ending looked quite good.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9/10

 

[Album Review] Boyhood (1st Mini Album) – UNB

UNB is the male unit formed from the survival show The Unit: Idol Rebooting Project. They recently made their debut a few weeks back with double title tracks, which you can find down below. I have also made a series of special posts dedicated to The Unit, which you can find here by clicking any of the links (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Below are my thoughts on their new album. The female unit (UNI.T) will make their debut sometime in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for their title track and album review!

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Boyhood Album Cover

1..Sense (감각) (Title Track)Click here to read full review for Sense. (8.7/10) 

2. Only One (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Only One. (9.5/10)

3. Ride With Me – The hip-hop styled song was incredibly catchy. It did sound underwhelming at first, however with multiple listens, the song becomes quite addictive. The song had a really cool melody, shining the most during the chorus. My favourite bit was the second half of the chorus, with the catchy line “Left, Right…“. The song had great vocals and the rapping was quite decent. While it does lack impact in some ways, the song does become addictive. It could potentially have been a contender for the title track if it had somehow had a little more energy inserted into it. (9/10)

4. Rebooting (믿어줘) – Rebooting falls on the standard side of the spectrum. It is the most passable track on this album as it does feel quite plain. The pop sound was still pleasant, however and its features a modern instrumental. The rapping was good and the vocals were nice. The chorus was by the far the most interesting part due to its upbeat nature but it made the verses seem empty and plain. The bridge was also commendable but it too felt like it was going towards the ‘standard zone’. (6.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

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UNB/Boyhood Teaser Images

[Review] Only One – UNB

UNB made their debut last week with hopes of rebooting the careers of each member who made it through The Unit: Idol Rebooting Project survival TV show. Their debut consisted of two title tracks, Sense (which I reviewed last week) and Only One (which its music video was released during the week). For those who are unaware, I will be doing a special post for the music video of Sense later in the year. Unfortunately, I won’t be doing the same for this music video.

Only One is my type of song. Very easy on the ears yet still impactful in many ways. The particularly like the song because it uses a melodic piece as its backing, which is something that isn’t unheard of but definitely something that can be heard more of. The vocals and raps for the song quite heavy on the emotional side, which you can’t deny it makes the song so much more heartfelt and impactful. I really liked the soft piano start and the buildup, which allowed the chorus to be some much more epic and grander. Like Sense, I also liked how they brought the start of the song back to the end (yeah, it is a little confusing, but makes sense once you listen to the song) to finish the song, which also felt like a full circle this time around.

The music video is a 7 minute long, which gave each member ample time to appear on screen, which is a well-played move by their managing company. The music video essentially tells how each person is struggling (as shown by the many ropes bound around them, the thorns, the locked doors, the emptiness around them). But it shows that hope is always there (through the rays of sunshine that appear for each of them). Slowly, they make their way out of their confines and walk towards the light (i.e. the end of the tunnel), which says that there is always hope. That was my quick take on the video. It, once again, is rather artistic and quite aesthetic. Another great video to watch with a powerful message.

The performance was amazing. It took my breath away watching their very fluid and artistic moves. I like it how they don’t always stay together on stage, with a small group breaking away. The choreography was very fitting for the song and it is definitely something you shouldn’t miss out on.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10

Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

 

[Review] Sense – UNB

UNB has made their long-awaited debut last night with their Boyhood mini-album. For those who are not aware of UNB, they are the male group formed from the survival TV show, The Unit: Idol Rebooting Project. The main aim of the show was to give lesser known acts in the KPOP industry a second chance. UNB comprises of 9 members: Feeldog (BIGSTAR), Euijin (BIGFLO), Daewon (Madtown), Marco (HBY), Hojung (HOTSHOT), Hansol (NewKidd), Jun (UKISS), Chan (A.C.E) & Kijoong (IM). Boyhood consists of two title tracks, Sense (the focus of today’s review) and Only One.

Opening the song is a really nice piano piece, which felt calming and added a dramatic effect to the song. Like most songs nowadays, the piano piece soon becomes lost in the EDM instrumental. And with the EDM kicking in, it takes on an intense vibe. I really like the drop into the chorus, which provided a burst of energy, which I thought was really cool when I listened to the song. The song’s chorus was quite catchy, especially in the latter half of the chorus. Also catchy was the ‘Na Na Na‘ during the bridge. I personally would have liked to hear more of that ‘Na Na Na‘ because of the rough vocals of whoever is singing that part really fits in well with the EDM style of the song. Speaking about vocals, there were some people concerned that the group would be lacking due to the lack of ‘strong vocals’ (i.e. a main vocalist). However, listening to the song, there was no lack of ‘strong vocals’, with the vocalists all doing a great job on the vocal front. The raps were nice and I thought the way they brought back the piano piece (from the start) at the end made the song feel like a completed circle. Overall, it was another amazing song that hopefully puts them back into the spotlight.

[Updated] From the information I was given (through the comments and Twitter), I think I got a brief understanding of what the video is about. Then again, this is my interpretation of the video. Essentially, the video is about new beginnings. Their ‘rebooting’ was shown as a new adventure into a new dimension (i.e. from their old group to their new group). There is a reference to the member’s return to their old groups, however, with the lighting of the bare tree different in the middle of the video (with Jun’s solo shot) and the choreography shots throughout the video. NOW before you start jumping at me with other theories, I have decided to do a whole new analysis of this music video at a later stage (see some of my previous tweets). So keep your eyes open for that!

Visually, the video looks stunning. Everything looked really good. The sets all looked really good and the members looked even better. The visual effects were amazing and the storyline seems interesting (despite not knowing what is going on).

The choreography of Sense was definitely breathtaking. Particularly, the opening (and ending) sequence with the piano piece. It looked elegant and contrasted nicely with the fast-paced choreography for the EDM chorus. I also thought the complicated formation and moves around the memorable ‘Na Na Na‘ was really cool. This is was at the bridge of the song.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10 [Old rating still stands]
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10 [Old rating still stands]