After revealing pre-release tracks ‘Will You Be Alright?’ and ‘I’m Sorry’, 6 member boy group from CUBE Entertainment, BEAST, have finally made their complete return to the music scene with the release of their 2nd full length studio album, ‘Hard to Love, How To Love’. The album consists of 8 tracks, of which the title track is ‘Shadow’.
First of all, teasing fans with ‘Will You Be Alright?’ and ‘I’m Sorry’ made it difficult to guess what kind of concept the group would have for their comeback, as both are ballads but ‘I’m Sorry’ had more of a dance tempo to it. Releasing a ballad before the actual comeback seems like a regular move for BEAST, given their releasing of single ‘On Rainy Days’ before moving onto the phenomenon that was ‘Fiction’. And it seems like a good move, because the group is then able to showcase their talent in both the vocal department and the dance department.
Now onto the music video! As much as I am a fan of the music video, in comparison to how excited I was for its revealing, I was left somewhat disappointed. However, this is probably only because I was following the members’ individual activities since their last comeback as a group. I was expecting the music video to be a huge reunion on the members, but was instead met with the members standing solo for the most part. Even the choreography switches between the members individually, and before the group actually do get together for the chorus 2 minutes into the video, the closest thing to a reunion is the ‘duet’ formed between Yoseob and Doojoon.
On the other hand, I also liked the individuality of the members in the video because of the opportunity it proposed for each member to be ‘known’. Generally speaking, for the fandom of a group it’s easier than breathing to recognise each member. For the general public however, they only recognise the ‘face(s)’ of the group. For BEAST, it started off being Kikwang. Since then, however, the other members of BEAST have gained much more individual fame – Doojoon for his acting, Junhyung for his composition skills, Hyunseung for Troublemaker, Yoseob for his solo debut and Immortal Song 2, but Dongwoon has never been thrown into the spotlight outside of the fans’ eyes. This comeback seems to be his time to shine, however, with the members also putting much emphasis on his improved performance since last year. Junhyung also said at an interview for a concert that he wanted to give Dongwoon Yoseob’s part, showing that Dongwoon is now rivalling Yoseob’s vocals.
Moving on! The music video overall holds a creepy, medieval feeling, as it seems to be completely monochrome with any splashes of possible colour being washed out by smoke. The generous use of fire and liquid smoke also adds to the feel of the music video, and this helps it pair with the track perfectly as the video builds as the track does. The smoke becomes thicker and thicker building up to the chorus, but is thin again come the verse.
In terms of choreography, the switching between members individually is nothing new as they did the same for ‘The Fact’. All of the members are able to showcase their individual ability and stand out perfectly when it comes to their part, whilst being able to maintain the complexity seen in their previous dances. The choreography used for the chorus also utilises the new masculine arms the entire group seems to be sporting as they swing their arms around.
The track itself is incredibly catchy, but the only line that definitely stuck in my head at first was the most obvious hook, “Because I’m shadow, shadow, shadow”. The structure of the song seems somewhat messy because it’s nearly impossible to tell where the chorus begins or ends, especially as the lyrics are repeated for the majority of the song, with the only obvious changes occurring in Junhyung’s rapping, Kikwang’s ‘verse’, and Yoseob’s what-I-think is a bridge. Also, despite the switching between members to sing the same lyrics, Yoseob’s voice is a staple, acting as a backing vocal and main vocal throughout. I would have preferred it if the backing vocal position also switched between members.
All in all, however, I really enjoyed BEAST’s comeback as the group seems to show only improvement and ‘Shadow’ is a track which is just as catchy as their previous songs if not more so. This comeback also seems to be a turning point for BEAST as they all have their individuality, but are still able to maintain their teamwork as a group.