While I don’t incorporate a song’s video into the reviews on this blog, I’m definitely not immune to a striking visual. Music videos are a vital part of the industry, and it’s time to celebrate my favorites of 2022.
ENHYPEN – Blessed-Cursed
Onew – Dice
IVE – After Like
PSY – That That (ft. Suga)
CRAVITY – Adrenaline
NewJeans – Attention
The Rose – Childhood
Stray Kids – Case 143
I wanted to include a music video shot in this casual, SNS-inspired style since it was a huge trend this year. Acid Angel From Asia weren’t omnipresent like NewJeans, but I think they delivered the strongest example of this visual approach with Generation.
9. BIBI – ANIMAL FARM
I didn’t review Animal Farm on the blog, but its video definitely caught my attention. It’s a revenge fantasy (à la Kill Bill) and its violent visuals aren’t for the faint of heart. But, everyone deserves to see Bibi’s climactic guitar solo on top of the dinner table.
Sprawling landscape shots will always get me, especially when paired with anthemic pop rock. Astronaut has a very cinematic style, but the video takes its time moving you through Jin’s journey. It’s captivating in its simplicity.
If you’re going to shoot a video for a guitar-led hype track, you better make it completely over-the-top. I’m talking about pyrotechnics, car races — the whole shabang. VolKno is edited like an action movie, stuffed with ridiculous visuals (the guys walking a semitruck like a dog is my favorite). It’s a visual explosion.
This is just plain ridiculous and I love that energy. The opening voiceover is a hoot, immediately throwing us into Yena’s campy world. The mix of animation and live action is a ton of fun and brings the song’s colorful concept to life. Bibi steals the show as the badass villainess.
Not every moment of these videos is perfect (the CGI can be a bit wack in places), but I’m taken by their consistent storyline and the superhero/supervillain tropes. As a big comic book fan, this will always appeal to me. The trilogy opens with its strongest visual. Villain has some very cool moments, from the crows to the telekinesis to the futuristic cityscape.
Bigbang always deliver when it comes to visuals. Still Life gives each member his own evocative set, from a moonscape to an abandoned city to a bed of flowers. The guys sell each and every shot, bringing the emotion to a constant climax. It’s a shame we never see them perform together.
Panorama feels like some weird arthouse film, perfectly in keeping with Chanhyuk’s quirky sensibilities. The transitions are very creative and the movement of the camera gives the video an off-balance sensation that feels quite dreamlike. When visual effects are used, they leave a mark. That shot of Chanhyuk flying over the cars into the field of flowers is a stunner.
Most K-pop videos — even the great ones — simply follow established trends. Maniac has a perspective of its own. Or rather, it draws from much older touchstones. Built upon references from classic Hitchcock horror films, the video paints an amusing storyline that lets Changmin showcase his acting skills in a brilliant bit of dark comedy. The visuals perfectly match the song’s style.
I couldn’t just pick one of these videos, though if I had to make that choice it would be Rie’s Because. I’m a sucker for ambition, and OnlyOneOf’s interconnected Underground Idol series stands as 2022’s most ambitious visual project. Stretching over the bulk of the year (there’s still another video to come!), this series plays like its own mini drama. The members are empathetic actors and fully embrace the various tones and emotions these different videos evoke. Most importantly, the project feels different from what everyone else is doing. Individuality is an asset.