HISTORY are a group consisting of 5 members that debuted last year under LOEN Tree (part of LOEN Entertainment). After quite a bit of teasing, the group have now come back with their 3rd mini album ‘Desire’ and the very cool and slick main single ‘Psycho’!
For this single, HISTORY are seemingly going for a very different vibe to what they have previously given. Their MVs have always featured some cool and suave elements, but have also usually shown a more soft and sweet side to the members. However, the entire imagery and feel of ‘Psycho’, as you might expect given the title, is quite dark and mysterious. The teaser of this song was actually featured in one of our recent ‘[Teaser Tuesdays]’.
Given the title and content of the song, you would be forgiven for expecting a very messed up video, full of Hitchcock-esque voyeurism, stabbing and a lot of blood. However, the one we are given is very subtle in its theme. This is probably mostly to avoid it being slammed with age-restrictions or bans, but it also gives it a slightly more creepy aura. The video awards the idea of ‘becoming psycho’ a much less tangible feel, associating it more within the confines of the mind rather than with overt psychotic actions. Of course, psychosis IS a part of the mind, but in the media, we are often shown a caricatured interpretation of the condition is which the psycho becomes dangerous to society. In keeping the theme of a more individual and inner battle, the turmoil that a loved on can inflict on another (what the song essentially covers) is much more solid. In a way, it also makes the concept a lot more unsettling as the audience is not sure of what the psychotic individual is capable of because it is not plainly spelled out for us.
The general design of this MV is beautifully artistic, the clothing is stylish yet, fairly understated when compared to your standard K-Pop MV. The mixing of black-and-white with colour shots emphasises the experience of separation anxiety the individual suffering from when he is apart from the girl he loves. The members become suddenly aggressive with each other at random points, showcasing the unpredictability of their actions. They each engage in some quite disturbing behaviour as they attempt to get closer to this woman – keeping multiple photographs and even moving to wrap their hands around the woman’s throat as if to strangle her to death.
The choreography is very sharp and snappy. It’s full of aggression and the members move into different positions as if they are ready to harm one another. This is, again, playing on the frustration they are feeling inside as part of this concept and the dangerous capability of hurting others one can have when pushed to the edge. These moments are scattered throughout some impressive synchronised moves, which is something we are much more accustomed to in K-Pop MVs. The moves aren’t exactly easy to mimic or remember though, which means that you probably won’t be trying them out with your friends. However, even though the dance is nowhere near as infectious as ‘Gangnam Style’ or many others, there is a really unique creative flair within it that really carries the concept through. There are also some pretty sexy moves with rotating hips and touching of stomachs. These moves will not only get fans screaming, but show the strong connection between passion and anger (and what can be said to be a very thin line between them) really well.
Much like the interpretation of the concept, the song itself does not go over the top. This could be said to be a good thing, as the ‘psycho’ concept could potentially be over-exaggerated and become quite cheesy and far too theatrical to be taken seriously. The content of the song itself is quite harrowing as the members sing of not being able to let go of the one they have broken up with. There are parts of the song in which the other half is told (by the members) that they are alone and that no one would believe them if they told anyone what was going to happen. They pledge themselves to their ex as they propose to come and find them again. “Our sad little thriller”, they call it.
This scary message, of course, plays right into that stereotypical ‘psycho’ theme too, but could also be seen as an amplification of the emotional pain and obsession one can feel over another. Letting someone go after the end of a relationship can be incredibly hard, and frustration and anger can be prominent emotions during these times.
I kind of like the part at the end when each member moves to clasp the woman’s throat, only to then snap out of it, realise what they are doing and be found in a mental health institute. No, hear me out, I’m not a violent/twisted person! It’s just that, when you consider how well the concept is played out throughout the video, this ending is just very fitting.
– Be sure to check out our overall rating of the single below this article! –
Do you agree/disagree with this review?
A rather obvious concept taken in a slightly less obvious way. Even though this is true, the theme remains strong throughout the video. This song and look is very cool and suave in its feel, though it is perhaps not the catchiest or most memorable of K-Pop's pieces, it certainly shows a great creativity and loyalty to the message it is communicating.