K.A.R.D just released their second single and music video, Don’t Recall, and the two month old co-ed rookie group is gaining overwhelming attention. The music video alone got over 1 million views in just twelve hours of being uploaded.
I had never watched K.A.R.D until writing this review, so I had to learn who each of the members are who make up K♠RD.
B.M – the King.
J.Seph – the Ace.
Somin – the black Joker.
Jiwoo – the colored Joker.
Lastly, the elusive and changing Hidden.
Plenty of people are analyzing this video and its intense symbolic imagery, but let’s take a look at it together, shall we?
It starts off with a few quick clips from their first video, Oh NaNa – hinting at a correlation between the two videos – maybe even a progressive storyline. Then we see them together for a second in a dark, decorated room and again for a small dance break before the symbolism pours in.
There’s a recurring theme of chess pieces, clocks, and of course, cards. Each member has a distinctive color from the start of the video to set the themes in motion: B.M is blue, J.Seph is red, Jiwoo is multicolored, and Somin is black & white.
Between dance breaks, we can see the members sitting close but obviously separated. The shaking chandelier and feeling of isolation although they are very near to each other gives off a feeling of consensual but unwanted distance.
Reflection, Yin-Yang, duality, etc, are all strong themes in Don’t Recall. We see Somin and Jiwoo reflecting each other shortly before B.M is in his solitary watery chamber. Each member is given their own isolation box of sorts, with their respective color(s).
B.M and J.Seph’s theme is competition, with B.M’s body language being calm, relaxed, and knowing – that of a king; his legs are crossed and his hands are placed gently on his knees as he contemplates his movements. Whereas J.Seph’s body language is a mix between aggressiveness – leaning forward, making his chess moves with intent decisiveness, and leaning back, with his legs slightly parted and his back nonchalantly leaned against his chair, showing an “I don’t care” attitude in an attempt to display dominancy while he’s hoping to win B.M’s “kingdom” to call his own. It stood out to me that when they’re playing chess, the background color is B.M’s cool blue color, showing his collected ruling over the game, except for a millisecond flash later in the video when, just before B.M knocks over J.Seph’s king, the board flashes red, J.Seph’s color. To me this showed an almost regret in B.M’s decisions, he then gazes at his king piece alone, showing me again, that he wished he hadn’t needed to win but instead kept J.Seph there with him and given up his title as king if it meant peace.
Somin and Jiwoo’s theme is reflection, they spend the majority of the video in mirrors. Their parts are more sporadic through the video than B.M’s and J.Seph’s. You see them in black and white, looking at each other for a split second before they are then ruthlessly, painfully gazing at only themselves. With the symbolism of them laying on the ground, Somin, the black joker, wearing a vibrant multi-colored dress, and Jiwoo, the colored joker, wearing a black and white outfit expressed the struggle of our human conditioning to constantly want what we don’t have, or be who we aren’t, because society has taught us that who we are isn’t enough. They see their reflections as something they don’t want to be trapped in, and when they are on the ground, they release one another – the completion of finding themselves in another person and thereby figuring out who they are on their own – and that is when Somin and Jiwoo are finally able to stand up facing each other near the end of the video.
At the end of the video, we finally see the hands of the clock flowing forward at certain points as the members start to see/face each other. You see the elements that were fighting earlier on (water and fire) start to mix, along with the black and white and color. This had me thinking: who is Hidden/D in this video? Now, we won’t know until someone says otherwise, so my speculation is that Hidden could actually be an invisible force that is softly guiding the dissonant members towards resolution.
The ending of the video isn’t exactly harmonious, with a flash of J.Seph by himself on the couch in his red tinted room before seeing all the members together again, but with the girls finally facing each other, the contemplative B.M, and the lost/dejected looking J.Seph, it feels like a resolution is far closer at hand than it was at the beginning of the video, and it makes my conspiracy theory bunnies hop around thinking that this might be Hidden’s silent work.
There are plenty of goodies that go along with the new video, including:
The making of the music video!
An incredibly detailed theory video by YouTuber “Dream Teller” that K.A.R.D uploaded to their own official YouTube page.
And lastly, a short “key point of dance” video to help you learn the main parts of the Don’t Recall choreography!
Do you have your own theories about the video? Or maybe just want to express your opinions about it? Leave a comment below!