In the past week both of 2013’s hottest rookies have returned, first we take a look at the ladies topping last years rookie roster, Ladies’ Code.
Their first release of 2014 comes in the form of So Wonderful.
The lyrics tell of a man who was always so wonderful, but he left her, a break up that leaves her still so sad she cries herself to sleep.
The concept we are presented with is that of a window dresser, preparing the mannequin Ladies’ Code members for window displays.
We quickly learn that the mannequin ladies aren’t all they seem, RiSe’s mannequin self lies in a protective plastic wrap, though we see a tear fall from her eye. They are trapped within their plastic shells.
We see the Ladies look upon their designer with admiration, EunB even reaching out to him.
Despite the song telling of pain in break up the concept shows how wonderful and loving the man was through the designer.
In contrast to many males in kpop concepts of late the one we see hear treats the mannequins with the ultimate care, paying attention to small detail, this reflecting his attitude towards real women. We see him put all his efforts into repairing the badly damaged RiSe mannequin.
It is during this repair that we begin to learn how the mannequins are coming to life. The designer starts to find his work harder, making mistakes, having less care for detail, and eventually not being able to continue.
The end of the music video sees the window dresser the mannequin and RiSe the human.
Putting all of his heart and soul into his work allowed the mannequins to take his life source, switching places with him.
A main talking point concerning female Kpop artists recently has been the lean towards sexier images and sexual concepts. Though not comparable to GaIn’s Fxxk U or Stellar’s Marionette in terms of their sexual image it is undeniable that Ladies’ Code too have decided to show a mature and sexy image.
Images such as the focus on RiSe’s body shape and bare legs as she lies under the plastic wrap; and the choreography styling that includes garters and dresses so short hints of underwear can be seen; show that Ladies’ Code are willing to show a sexier side though are choosing to do so as they implement more elaborate concepts.
One topic of conversation many Kpop groups will never avoid is comparison to their industry seniors. So Wonderful has found itself compared in style and visual to Wonder Girls’ Nobody.
Interestingly So Wonderful was written, composed, arranged and produced partly by Super Changddai, one of JYPEnt’s in house producers who also regularly works for outside artists.
Another comparison is that the mannequin style is reminiscent of the concept in Girls’ Generation’s Gee. Of course Gee was not the first time the world has seen a music video in which the stars portray mannequins that come to life, as one example in 2001 Sophie Ellis-Bextor released Get Over You which sees her do the same.
Though being compared to Kpop’s biggest girl group can’t be too bad.
As winners of the Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards New Artist Of The Year – Female Group, Ladies’ Code are one to watch.