This is a 4am ramble on JYJ’s “Get Out” video. You have been warned.
JYJ – “Get Out”:
This was an interesting video for several reasons. The first things that caught my eye were the striking camera and editing techniques featured in the video, but I don’t want to comment too extensively on the artistry of the video before a true high-definition version is released. (Seriously, C-JeS, I know you’re trying so hard to maintain your reputation as the shadiest management company in the K-pop industry…but could you at least spare a few ounces of energy to make an official Youtube channel or something?)
From what I can see, though, everything looks really, really nice. The camera jerks and editing could’ve been toned down a bit as it became a bit exhausting on the eyes after a while (although this could’ve been attributed to the subpar video quality), but I do admire the fact that the camera work captures the nature of the song really well. The lighting and color design was balanced and smooth, but nonetheless striking. The comparisons between “Get Out” and “Ayyy Girl” are unavoidable, and it goes without saying that “Get Out” is a far less embarrassing video than “Ayyy Girl.” But even amidst all its ridiculousness, “Ayyy Girl” featured some pretty impressive artistic direction that carried over to “Get Out” and manifested itself in a set of visuals that were a lot less, er, lame. All in all, I’m relieved that the creative visuals staff at C-JeS knows what they’re doing.
But aside from that, the thing that struck me the most about “Get Out” was the fact that JYJ didn’t really look like a boyband. Granted, these guys are already in their mid-twenties and their spiky-haired and matching outfit days are far behind them – but if Leeteuk can still prance around the stage with 12 other guys at the feeble age of 28, then it’s probably fair to say that physical age isn’t necessarily a fair assessment of one’s perceived artistic and professional maturity within the K-pop biz. It’s all about how you present yourself.
So I don’t know whether it was the suits or the cars or the neatly groomed hair, but there was something about JYJ in this video that seemed very un-boyband-y and I just can’t seem to put my finger on it. I’ve written about JYJ’s musical evolution outside of the confines of K-pop to the point of exhaustion, but I didn’t expect JYJ’s aesthetic to evolve beyond the traditional K-pop mold as well. Initially, I thought that it was just the appearance of a three member group – the five-member pop group mold has long been attached to the likes of BSB and N’Sync, so most similarly-structured K-pop groups today will forever be associated with the likes of 90s teenage boybandism. But then I remembered HoMin, and I remembered these outfits:
So much for that theory.
JYJ is in a rather unique position in relation to the K-pop industry right now, and it’s perhaps fair to say that the three are paving an entirely new road for themselves within the K-pop scene. To my understanding, there has never been another K-pop group that has effectively ‘de-manufactured’ their image in the same scale as JYJ has. As evidenced by their music (and now, their visual image) JYJ’s direction as a group is becoming increasingly defined: it’s less about the money, more about the art. Less about pleasing the fans, more about expressing themselves. Less about building a name and reputation, and more about maintaining artistic integrity.
It’s no secret that I’ve had my share of doubts about JYJ and their mission as a K-pop group gone rogue, but with the release of In Heaven and the “Get Out” video, I’m actually excited about this group and its plans for the future. It’s becoming easier and easier to view JYJ as a separate entity from the original five-membered DBSK, and honestly speaking, I don’t see JYJ as idols anymore and I don’t think JYJ sees themselves as idols either. I’m not yet sure what that means for their future, but that’s the nature of artistry, I suppose: Make music now and think later…’cause you don’t need a “damn explain” for your actions anyway . Right, Yoochun? Right.