Kpop is all about the visuals, that we know, and the videos released by Korean artists are often (at least in my opinion) way more stimulating than their Western pop counterparts. But that does not infer that every single kpop video is a masterpiece. We’ve all suffered through boring videos, cringeworthy videos and videos that had nothing whatsoever to do with the song. Today I will be highlighting twenty kpop videos, all released in the last four years, that really hit the nail on the head. For some reason, they all made me say “Wooooow”. I tried ranking them from most to least wowing, but it turned out to be much too hard so instead they’re in the order of the video’s release.
1. Song Ji Eun’s “Going Crazy”
This is what first made me a fan of Song Ji Eun and I still think it’s an amazing song and video. There’s no way you can listen to this song and watch this video without feeling the panic of Jieun and the desperation of Yongguk. It comes through in the way they sing/rap, in their facial expressions and is heightened through styling and sets. The plot is one of those classic “if I can’t have you, no one can” with the added twist that she BURNS HIM. I love the fact that they made the girl the crazy stalker, it added yet another layer to it. It’s nicely shot and everything just looks pretty, even though it’s all kind of super creepy.
2. Brown Eyed Girls’ “Sixth Sense”
This is the kind of video that an awesome group like Brown Eyed Girls really deserve. It’s sexy, badass, interesting, thought-provoking and artsy all at once. This is one of the times where I’m happy that the video doesn’t match the song’s lyrics. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome song, but the lyrics really aren’t that interesting. There are such awesome details here, like how Gain is all prettified but she’s also bruised and her makeup is smudged. And I absolutely adore the shot of Miryo in front of the microphones. Such a cool video.
3. SPICA’s “Russian Roulette”
This video doesn’t have an elaborate plot or advanced sets and might seem very stereotypical and simple on first glance, but to me, it is not. Maybe it’s because I’ve always harbored a fascination for Russian roulette in itself but to me this video is really cool. I love the color scheme and the way the whole thing looks, it’s so eerie for some reason. All the shots of them actually playing Russian roulette are awesome, and I’m a big fan of the shots of their siluetts in front of the bright light. Take note, kpop industry, this is how you make a simple video cool.
4. BIGBANG’s “Fantastic Baby”
Yeah, I know; this song and video have been talked about into absurdum. And yes, I too am growing sick of it. But this video is a great testament to that a video can be cool and somewhat elaborate without it in any way feeling heavy or subtracting from the fun. From styling to sets, this is just really visually appealing. Every scene has something cool and interesting in it (yes, even Seungri and his cats) and I promise you that you’ll never be bored.
5. EXO-K’s “Mama”
SM really went all out when it came to the debut of their new super group and made a video with an enormous production value. Nonsensical intro aside (maybe the written Korean makes more sense?), it all looks really cool. The intro is beautifully animated and the rest of the video is super awesome. And super powers! How could you not love a video this full of cool-looking super powers?
6. T-ARA’s “Day By Day”
That these are the same girls that brought us the mess that is “Yayaya” is fairly amazing. You know it’s a good music video when it makes you think “I wish this was a movie”, and that’s what this video does for me. To be honest, I could love this for the fact that Jiyeon and her evil squad drive around in a pink convertible with flames and spikes on the windshield alone. All the girls look amazing and they all pulled off their roles. From a cinematography standpoint I think this is really cool as well. Everything is so muted in color that it almost looks black and white. Jiyeon’s platinum blonde hair and Dani’s black hair adds to this, while Hyomin’s bright red hair is the one thing that really sticks out. This is the first part of two, and they’re both just mind-boggling.
7. Block B’s “Nillili Mambo”
Such a cool-looking video! It has a grittiness to it that we almost never see in the hyper-polished world of kpop. It’s also a video that manages to be both cool and sort of badass, while still being really fun. And the amount of cock-blocking that goes on here is just fabulous! Jaehyo doesn’t get to kiss his hottie, and Kyung gets literally cock-blocked! (heh) I don’t know how he managed, but Zico actually made his ridiculous fake pink dreads look cool. They are fake, aren’t they..?
8. Jaejoong’s “Mine”
Amazingly dramatic, and full to the brim with symbolism. This was Jaejoong’s first solo effort, and it is (or at least I like to think so) a major “fuck you” to his former management. This is Jaejoong literally going against the stream, throwing off his golden mask and his shackles and violently murdering the cold serpent that left him unable to move. More or less. There is something massively visual kei about this video, and I’m eating it up. If only he’d worn a corset.
9. B.A.P’s “One Shot”
Who doesn’t love to see their favorite idols get slaughtered on screen? I know I do. And I also love a plot that holds together from start to end, at least more or less. This is one dramatic plot and I remember being on the very edge of my seat when I watched it the first time. And let’s never talk about the second ending, okay? (Youngjae, you traitorous bastard!)
10. VIXX’s “Hyde”
This was my first introduction to VIXX, and I have to say I was amazed. I had never seen anything like it. VIXX’s (dark) concepts never seize to amaze me, and this is one of my favorites. I do feel myself becoming less and less impressed with their darkness though, as I’m getting used to it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep it up! The wings stil feel a little “Ring Ding Dong” to me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it!
I realized as I was writing that this was already at average post length. So I’m finishing it off now, and will return next week with the second half of the music videos that make me go “Woooooow”. Hope you enjoyed!