As it is the first week of January MV Monday is taking a look back over some of the best MVs 2014 had to offer.

2014 has been a roller coaster for all aspects of the industry. With dating scandals, tragic losses of life, and contract issues overshadowing most musical activities of any significance this years list of noteworthy mvs isn’t anywhere near as impressive as its predecessor, though weighty all the same.

Here are some of our favourites:

GROUPS
TVXQ – SomethingSMTown kicked off the year in style on New Years Day with an elaborated Art Deco style mv, for TVXQ’s Something, interestingly juxtaposed with interesting tattoo art. Depending on your view of the mv and stance on the group and 2+3 or 5, determines your acceptance of TVXQ possibly celebrating their origins, and missing members in this mv.
Ladies Code – So Wonderful: Before tragedy hit Ladies Code this year the groups release record was exceptional, gaining them desirable Rookie of the Year titles. With a concept showing the girls as lifelike dolls created with care tracks such as So Wonderful are a beautiful example of the group’s work, and a permanent reminder of the lost talent of 2014.
Girls’ Generation – Mr.Mr: If you can forgive SMTown’s poor quality footage in Mr.Mr, apparently due to accidental loss of video, you may be able to appreciate this release as one of the strongest Girls’ Generation mvs. With a narrative alluding to sexual awakening there is more to Mr.Mr than meets the eye.
2NE1 – Come Back Home: YG’s strongest narrative led mv of the year came from 2NE1. Set in an alternate technologically advanced universe the girls struggle with the morality of plugging in to a utopian life. 
U-KISS – Quit Playing: Quit Playing certainly accelerated U-KISS into a more grown up status. As Kpop ventured further into the realm of sexy concepts during 2014 U-KISS were the first male group to make such an overtly sexual mv. The downside? They apologised. 
Boyfriend – Obsession & Witch: Boyfriend have thankfully been moving away from their young, cute, ideal boyfriend image. 2014 see them take on popular folk tales in more modern ways, with Obsession’s concept being Peter Pan & his lost boys, and Witch being Little Red Riding Hood.
g.o.d – Saturday Night: First generation group g.o.d returned to show the rest of Kpop how to dominate the charts. Saturday Night, follow in track for hit Friday Night, saw the group in everyday situations, some with a throwback edge, all with a comical twist. Breaking from all current concept conventions to laugh at themselves makes this 2014 mv stand out from the crowd. 
Super Junior – MAMACITA: Super Junior finally did what ELF have been waiting for as Leeteuk returned and released a narrative heavy mv. There may be a little geographical confusion, and the odd historical inaccuracy in their Western themed mv, but all in all Mamacita is fun, and an overdue improvement to their releases.
2PM – Go Crazy: 2PM’s Go Crazy is exactly what it says on the tin – crazy. It even comes with a second Party Version mv. It certainly has some of the most unique choreography and left of field graphics of the year, which alone can set it apart from most mvs. 

 

SOLO ARTISTS
Sunmi – Full Moon: Sunmi’s mv for Full Moon brought the popular darker themes to the female solo artist theatre. The Vampire concept in Full Moon fits the musical styling well, and is teamed with unique choreography to make for a memorable mv.
GaIn – Fxxk U: GaIn’s Fxxk U is daring, and tackles subjects rarely approached by Kpop, it is for that reason this mv stands out amongst the solo releases of 2014.
Lee Michelle – Without You: A story mainly only given voice by Yoon Mirae & Tiger JK, Lee Michelle’s debut is a beautiful telling of the struggles involved in being mixed race in a society lacking cultural diversity for so long.
Eddy Kim – Darling: Amongst his many excellent releases this year Eddy Kim delivered Darling, a track accompanied by a visually clever and funny mv. Amongst the funny visual puns his female companion is anonymous, employing the use of a media trick that allows the viewer to reflect themselves into the scene if they so wish.
SEOTAIJI x IU – Sogyeokdong: Legend of Korean music SEOTAIJI returned this year, his first release being a project track with IU. Sogyeokdong tells of a time of military regime in Korea which took the lives of many young opposers. Its rich and deep history has this mv stand out as one of the best of the year.
John Park – U: U saw John Park’s vocals take an interesting turn, and following the light, fun styling of Baby, John playing conscience to the sinister thoughts of the male focus in the mv certainly felt like a unique take on the trend for darker concepts. 
SEOTAIJI – Christmalo.win: Following on from Sogyeokdong and marking his Halloween concert SEOTAIJI released his Christmalo.win mv. With much reminiscence of the towns of Halloween and Christmas in Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, this mv sees a sinister Christmas regime plot claim the souls of all children, enslaving them to continue selling the Christmas Spirit. It is down to witches of the Halloween town to stop the regime.
Behind the visual style, befitting of SEOTAIJI’s personality, is clever commentary on the rich and opulent governments reigning over the poor with tacts such as propaganda, forced labour, and censorship.
Shannon – Daybreak Rain: A definite highlight for UnitedKpop was the debut of Shannon with Daybreak Rain. Though a simple concept the talent and emotion is clear in Shannon’s break into Kpop.

 

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ALTERNATE ACTS
San E – Body Language: San E didn’t hide his use of a sexual concept behind a convoluted concept, simply created a song appropriate narrative to include it in. Body Language takes the idea of sexual fantasises and sees San E able to play them out, via a video game. The comedy in his gaming failures, and his disappointment make the sexual concept far more acceptable than they might have been.
So Jisub – 18 Years & Boy Go: Returning to his hip hop career to mark 18 years in the entertainment industry, much loved actor So Jisub released a mini album this year. Track 18 years is interesting commentary on the masks of an entertainer. Boy Go takes a more fun approach, as So plays a retro style video game which sees him level up with fans’ love, run from paparazzi and gain super speed and strength with music. As he plays So’s inner child emerges.
Epik High – Born Hater: In an unusual vertical mv, created for a smart phone screen, Epik High’s return saw them collaborated with label juniors, and genre contemporaries to represent the seven sins and attempted cleansing in a musical acceptance of being hated and embracing their fate. 
Loco – Thinking About You: Jay Park’s AOMG has had a great first year, and towards its ending Loco collaborated with his CEO to release Thinking About You. The subject of the track has Loco thinking of her all the time, his own personal sin – thus her visual representation alongside the snake and apple, biblical symbols of the original sin. 

What were your 2014 mv highlights?

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Graphic Designer. Perfectionist. Gothy weirdo. Korean Indie Guru. Supreme witch of UnitedKpop and BritROK covens.