Saturday, July 21, 2012

Quick Take: B2ST's "Beautiful Night"



This may not be coherent, because I am feeling way too many things right now. But I'll give a quick first impression:

OMG THIS IS SO AWESOME AND CANDY TO MY EARS AND WHY DIDN'T I GO TO NEW YORK AND STALK THEM IN PERSON?!!

lol. Now that I've gotten that out of my system:

This is brilliant. It's upbeat, catchy, and perfect for summer. It's a great melding of pop and electronic influences, in a way that doesn't seem trite, and stomps all over the attempts at the same by other boybands (JLS comes to mind). It's a considerable feat considering this is basically all that pop artists do these days - that is, try and use electronic music to update their sounds. Considering B2ST has majorly upgraded their vocal game recently, I'm surprised they put so much processing on them here. But it's with a light hand, and they come out sounding amazing, so I'm fine with it.

I'll probably get bricked for what I'm going to say next, but I'll say it anyway. The song and video remind me a lot of Big Bang. [hides behind computer] BUT! I don't particularly find it to be a strike against B2ST here. Let me explain:

B2ST came up around the time when boybands were in their emo phase. Since their upbeat [and wonderfully bad] debut single "Bad Girl" didn't get them where they wanted to be, they took up the angst and ran with it, only shedding that image once, when they released "Beautiful" in 2010. Now that they're famous and ish, and they have money to fly out to NYC to shoot a video, it makes sense to do a bright, colorful party anthem with matching video. Heck, 2PM did the same thing with "Hands Up". I can't hate - make that money, flaunt what you got.

However, because 2PM made this move before, and the visuals (and location and sound) are heavily influenced by Big Bang, this release doesn't feel very B2ST-like. I feel like "Soom" and "Fiction" felt more true to the group, whereas this release feels a little "been there, done that". I'll admit though, that this could simply be because of their tendency toward moody singles as opposed to upbeat ones.

That being said, the execution is stellar, and that's what makes this a winner for me. B2ST exudes so much confidence and the whole thing is so clean and well put together, that by the second round of watching/listening I'd forgotten all about their influences. They're like "Psssh, forget Big Bang, we can do it better." They own the song and the visuals - something that's so sorely lacking in so many pop groups these days. And I don't even want to say I give them props or kudos for that because this is what I expect from them at this point. B2ST has established themselves as a group that releases high-quality stuff, and this keeps up that legacy, and once again puts them a step up above other boy-bands looking to compete with or surpass them.* I'm just happy they delivered.

I am in LOVE with the warm color treatment on the video - this seems to be the new trend seeing as Super Junior (and Justin Bieber) have used it recently, but I'm not complaining at all. I am complaining about the predominance of white people in the video, but that's for a later post taking on broader topics. They all look great though, and the outfits are great too. Still crying that I decided not to go to New York when they were filming this. *sigh*. Oh well, hopefully they'll have a world tour soon.

*Not only that, but I think it also shows just how influential Big Bang still are. While I wasn't crazy about their last two albums initially, looking back on them now I can see what they were trying to do with it, and this release confirms that Big Bang are still the trend-setters, still running things. And that B2ST is only a step or two away from becoming trendsetters themselves.

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