Shinhwa’s Lee Minwoo, also known by his stage name M, has released his mini album Ten + M. Not his tenth release in the industry as a solo artist but a celebration of his tenth anniversary as a solo artist in the Kpop Industry, this coming March will mark the sixteenth anniversary of Shinhwa.
Ten + M comes with the title track Taxi, which features fellow Shinhwa member Eric.
The lyrics and mv centre around Minwoo’s activities after a drunken night out.
The song has him put in a taxi alone as he’s too drunk to negotiate the task alone, though the mv expands the scene a little.
We see Minwoo carried out of the club and left in the backstreet, seconds later having the contents of his wallet stolen.
It is after these events he picks himself up from the floor and finds himself in the taxi.
As he is drunk, and subsequently hungover in the morning, Minwoo is unsure if his taxi girl is even real, in the same vein, so are we.
One woman becomes four women.
The taxi girl turns into fellow Shinhwa member Jun Jin.
Both hugging the waist of his taxi girl and holding her hand turn into scenes of Minwoo lead in a pile of trash bags, hugging them, and holding an abandoned mannequin hand.
As Minwoo is singing of being, and acting, drunk, we see many other nods to this that don’t surround the taxi girl.
The toilet cubicle he is in changes sizes, from a single cubicle, to a double cubicle, to shrinking to be too small for him.
He even imagines things on the taxi meter. As the lyrics say Minwoo is travelling from Rodeo to Cheongdam, we see this on the satnav screen.
The taxi meter then coincidentally displays a horse, an animal that you may see during the competitive sport of rodeo. Initially a normal image of a horse galloping, it soon sprouts extra legs, and then is running atop a rocket.
Interestingly we’ve seen many Kpop acts embracing their international fans with the inclusion of Caucasian females in their mvs. Here is something we can see as another way of doing such a thing. Rodeo is a name of a street full of bars and shops often frequented by the foreign visitors to the city.
The taxi that Minwoo occupies is driven by Australian comedian, and Real Men cast member Sam Hammington. It is Sam that lip syncs the absent Eric’s rap section.
The visual markers of Minwoo being drunk, such as his confusion, behaviour and hallucinations added with the filming techniques of flicking quickly between scenes allow Minwoo’s disorientation to be reflected upon us as viewers.
We too are confused, see what he sees, and can become disoriented by the flicking of the scenes, almost inducing a drunken state in the viewer.
One of the other most striking visual elements of the mv is the bold colouring.
From the taxi, to the toilet cubicles, to the trash bags, to Minwoo’s clothes, there is a very distinct colour theme.
Any Shinhwa fan will know that their official colour is orange, the same colour sticking with all of the members as their solo activities colour also.
Throughout their career they have been known to often wear and use blue in their visuals consistently. Blue is opposite orange on the colour wheel, thus the colour that compliments orange the most, making for the most striking of settings for Taxi.
The five track EP Ten + M is available for a bargain price on iTunes now and is one we’d highly recommend.