Infinite – “Tell Me” Review

(Music Video)

Infinite – Tell Me

Reviewed on January 16, 2018

Specifically for what amazes me, it is not just—as many fans are currently praising—the vocals or even how the song itself is structured. What grabs my attention is how the composers purposefully crafted “Tell Me” so that its flow is that of short, choppy bits. Whether vocally or instrumentally, by slicing up the song in brief pauses, this gives the song an impactful effect: “Tell Me” is now able to adopt two contrasting positions. One position is that the song is able to give off a calmer, smooth flow but equally, the song is also able to possess an exciting, energetic and powerful style—all simultaneously as well.

Continue reading “Infinite – “Tell Me” Review”

Infinite – “The Eye” Review

(Music Video) / (Live Performance)

Infinite – The Eye

Reviewed
on October 5, 2016

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This explanation is very much lacking as arguably all pop songs follow this form in one way or another, but the distinction I wish to draw on is that “The Eye” is predominantly interested in the hyping—the “building up”—aspect of the song’s progression. Is that a benefit or detriment? In this review, I argue it is both and hence why many might be flustered over whether “The Eye” is a solid release or not.

Personal Message:
It has been, as of this sentence,
nine or so days since the last review. Furthermore, it is already a new month:
October. Due to the many essays I have been writing, reviews have sadly become
delayed. Nonetheless, I hope readers understand and to that I would like to
thank readers for being patient. For other news, as some might have noticed,
the links have been revised so that they are less redundant; rather than
listing each link on its own separate line and repeating the artist and song
name, it is now simply “(Music Video) / (Dance Practice)” or whatever is
appropriate. Nothing significant, but these minor changes towards helping
improving the blog in any form—content and aesthetics—are always welcomed.  

On topic with Infinite and their
recent comeback, while I do not review choreographies anymore (and rightfully
so; I lack the analytical skills for such), I strongly recommend readers to
watch the linked live performance (or if in the far future, then the dance
practice). Infinite is very much recognized for their dancing and “The Eye” is
no exception. I would even go as far as claiming this is their best
choreography as of yet. Of course, though, for our purposes, let us focus on
the song itself. From my knowledge, current views of “The Eye” are a mix: some
fans greatly praise the song; some fans find it mediocre but that it contains
Infinite’s signature sound; and some fans find the song to lean moreover the
weaker side and is not “Infinite-like.” In other words, there is currently no
main take to the song. In terms of where I will argue where the song stands, I
actually believe that the current mixtures of opinions are rather accurate:
“The Eye” is a convoluted song in the sense that it contains many impressive
points, and yet, it is still lacking at other points. Let us now dive right
into the eye of the song.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 6/10
(6.00/10 raw score) – “Slightly above average”


Vocals: 7/10


Sections: 5/10
(5.17/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse,
Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Conclusion
(Post-Chorus)

1.     Introduction:
4/10

2.     Verse: 6/10

3.     Pre-Chorus: 6/10

4.     Chorus: 6/10

5.     Post-Chorus: 5/10

6.     Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 4/10


Instrumental: 6/10


Lyrics: 6/10

[Instrumental]

It’s all over, I forgot it all
Finally, I’ve erased you
It was so long, it was so hard
But I’m saying goodbye to this break up
It has all ended, it has all stopped
Finally, light is coming down
The stormy rain and wind
Has finally stopped but

Your memories
Wrap around me again
Even when I take one step
I get drenched with you
The place I left you
The place I ran away from
It’s the center of my memories of you
I finally realize

After a break up that hasn’t ended
I’m saying goodbye to this break up
The fate that has remained with me
I try to escape from you
I try to run far away
But I’m swept up by you again

After a break up that hasn’t ended
I’m saying goodbye to this break up
These feelings that I still have
I can’t forget you, I can’t erase you
With eyes filled with sin
I’m trapped in your eyes
Trapped

You were so beautiful
We were so happy
In your memories
In the light of the memories
I think I could live

But I don’t think I can do this again
I don’t think I can pierce through you and leave
In your photo
I’m reflected in those eyes
I still can’t do anything
So I’m crying

Your eyes, your face
They sweep me up again
You fall as rain that are like prison bars
Closing up my heart

After a break up that hasn’t ended
I’m saying goodbye to this break up
The fate that has remained with me
I try to escape from you
I try to run far away
But I’m swept up by you again

After a break up that hasn’t ended
I’m saying goodbye to this break up
These feelings that I still have
I can’t forget you, I can’t erase you
With eyes filled with sin
I’m trapped in your eyes
Trapped

_______________________________________________________

Analysis: To
note, this will most likely be a faster review given how busy I am (and that
there are many songs to catch up on). If possible, I will finish this review in
two paragraphs at most.

Onto
the review, “The Eye” holds at a six which is still a decent score. That said,
though, in comparison to past releases such as the much older ones of “Last
Romeo” and “The Chaser” (which I have reviewed), it is slightly weaker if we
judge from a numerical context. For what we will be focusing on in specific, I
believe the reason for “The Eye” ‘s mixture of opinions would be in how its
main strength is actually its  main
weakness: the structuring of the song—in other words, how the song’s
progression is formed.

Clarifying
what I mean with the term “progression,” I am referring to how the song
essentially flows. In a very rudimentary explanation of “The Eye” ‘s
progression—again, realize there is much
more involved, and of which I hope to cover later—the song heavily focuses on
building up to the climaxes—in this case, the choruses—and from there, it
repeats this cycle. This explanation is very much lacking as arguably all pop
songs follow this form in one way or another, but the distinction I wish to
draw on is that “The Eye” is predominantly interested in the hyping—the “building up”—aspect of the
song’s progression. Is that a benefit or detriment? In this review, I argue it
is both and hence why many might be flustered over whether “The Eye” is a solid
release or not. With all this hopefully clarified and in mind, let us look into
the effects of this emphasized “hyping.”

Focusing
first on the vocals, the hyping-orientated take very much strengthens the
vocals—or more accurately, it diversifies
the vocals. Consider the vocals in an overarching view: from the very
beginning, Infinite’s slower, passive, and lower singing is showcased. However,
“The Eye” begins to pick up much quickly from here and soon, the vocals
progress to a much hastier pacing and likewise notes begin to equally escalate
along with intensity. Eventually, the climaxes occur—which, as said, are the
choruses—and from here a more direct, powerful approach is taken with Infinite’s
vocals. In summary, then, because “The Eye” is structured in a form that cares
less of the end—the climactic choruses—and more on the path to getting there,
listeners are exposed a multitude of vocal styles, intensities, pacing, and so
forth. As a result, the vocals become appealing due to that variety. On top of
that all, though, is that the actual execution holds well. It is more than just
variety at play; the men excellently cover the transitioning points, are
tuneful and harmonious among one another, and appropriately match their vocals
to the song’s state (hyping, climax, etc.). Adding to this, the instrumental
follows a similar route and many of the mentioned points would equally apply to
it.

The
downside to this all, however, is the emphasis towards hyping creates problems
for the sections—but understandably so. Right from the start, listeners might
notice the introduction is potentially dragged; it appears excessive in length
and yet does not necessarily establish the song’s overall tone and style. Even
if the song’s emotional tone is established—a solemn tone—on a musical sense,
one cannot foresee if the song would take the form of a ballad or an upbeat pop
song. Regardless, the main critique to point to is the length; the
establishment of tone and so forth is not as significant as the introduction itself
taking extra seconds despite already setting up the song (and again, of which I
argue is not precise). Other moments for where the emphasized hyping is
problematic would be towards the post-choruses and the conclusion. The
post-choruses in “The Eye” are meant for recycling the song’s progression so
that it can begin anew with a slower, calmer start, but unfortunately the post-choruses
fulfilled that role somewhat poorly. In some aspects, the post-choruses
actually increase the intensity versus just gradually decreasing it—this being
a contradicting flow if considering how “The Eye” needs a proper resetting for
its specific hyping style to work. Nonetheless, given the quick and sharp ends
to them, they are still functional; the issue, then, is that they are not
necessarily efficient at their roles.

“The
Eye” is overall still an impressive song, however. It may reach an impressive,
superb standard, but it nevertheless holds decently. Certainly, the men’s
vocals continue to shine due to the song’s focus on hyping and that, while some
issues occurred with that very focus, I personally appreciate the song’s unique
decision of that. It has been a while since I last heard a song where the
building-up—the hyping—is more focused than on its climactic points. This is
also why the producer(s)’ decision to not include a bridge is wonderful: a
bridge would not have fit the song and would have very much counteracted the
song’s main emphasis. All in all,  “The
Eye” may not be Infinite’s strongest song, but it may be one of Infinite’s more
unique ones and absolutely the dancing involved—even if not musical per se—is
the song’s best asset.

_______________________________________________________

Again,
I apologize to readers for not posting content for a while. On the positive
side, I will have a break soon and plan to catch up during that. As said,
though, university comes first but know that, even if not writing, I am
constantly doing the analytical work of reviews ahead of time. And that I have
recently been binge-watching Apink and now have a huge idol crush on Eunji who
is also very much my “ideal type” along with SPICA’s Boa but this is all irrelevant news. Imagine the last sentence being
said in an accelerated way. Jokes aside, I will work on reviewing Hyuna’s “How’s
This?” soon and with that to finally have a social discussion (it has been months
since the last if correct), and from there to then review Crayon Pop’s “Doo
Doom Chit.”

Until
then, “I can’t forget you, I can’t erase you.” Look forward to whichever review
comes first.

Infinite – “The Chaser” Review

Infinite – The Chaser (Dance Version)

Infinite – The Chaser

Reviewed on June 14, 2015

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Personal Message: Due to a set schedule, there is some pressure to finish this within three days, but even with deadlines, I am glad to begin what many readers have been desiring: male groups/artists. Infinite’s “The Chaser,” an older song by the men, will be reviewed. Although this song is relatively old, it still holds well and can be considered a highly admirable song. In fact, Infinite in general is an impressive group. Many solid songs have been released (“Last Romeo” has been another song I have personally enjoyed), and for the group’s assets, the seven members prove to be phenomenal singers, rappers, and dancers.  

Focusing on “The Chaser,” in terms of reviews, it has been quite a while since I have last reviewed a song that I personally adore. BESTie’s “Excuse Me,” though reviewed for its music video, and partially, Dal Shabet’s “Joker,” have been notable songs for my preferences, but most prominently, March is when I last reviewed a song I utterly loved: Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful” (as stated in a few reviews, “You’re Pitiful” is my favorite song as it perfectly and thoroughly suits my taste of music). On topic, while most songs of the late have been “slightly above average” at most, Infinite’s “The Chaser” will, with high confidence, most likely change that trend; “The Chaser” is a very solid song, both in a systematic, logical layer (as the review will show), and on a personal level.

Considering my review rubric is now relatively strict, the latter statement should be noteworthy. Possessing a rigorous guideline is essential to my reviews since, as seen in archaic reviews, the purpose of a music review is to elicit thoughtful discussions, not endless, exaggerated praises. That said, though there are readers at times who do become upset at my ratings (and this being more than disagreeing with me, which is definitely acceptable and what I wish for; I do occasionally receive comments of being “unfair” for lower ratings), I would like to personally request understanding that reviews are meant to bring thinking and criticism, and both are neither bad, and in fact, are rather crucial. Labeling a song as merely “average,” for example, should not be correlated to insulting a group or belittling their potential, but rather, interpreted as an opinion that is backed up with, hopefully, evidence and logic (of which I hope exist for my reviews). Reiterating it once more, my personal goal with reviews is to bring discussions; whether there are conversations of music or even social topics, I hope my writing is not to force opinions, but instead, to open up different opinions and such.

Returning back to Infinite and before embarking on said social topics, I will leave an obligatory compliment: the gentlemen of Infinite are incredibly pretty. Now for those who feel uncomfortable with me complimenting the group’s appearances due to being a male, I will address this topic in another review, but in short, it is pitiful that current masculinity and homophobia shames males praising other males, physical looks related or not. With this scenario, though I am a heterosexual, my sexual orientation should not inhibit me from saying my earlier claim as, blatantly, there is nothing wrong with complimenting people; as a friend said, in many ways, we should all be held accountable to bring positivity to one another, such as in the form of complimenting whatever is worth complimenting. I will address the topic of homophobia in a later review.

Before this Personal Message becomes as incoherent as the one in EXID’s “Ah Yeah” too many digressions occur, though I am rather guilty of praising solely Infinite’s appearances as I lack familiarity with their personalities, as stated, they are very physically beautiful. In the linked video of “The Chaser,” the members showcase exceptionally chic, stylish clothing that I am highly envious of, but furthermore, another very seducing cosmetic: makeup that I am also jealous for. Their makeup, however, is not one of basic, public airing (every male on TV uses foundation and concealer, those are a given), but slightly extra via eye makeup. Anticipatedly (and for those who wish to focus on the musical side of the review, skip to below), for what is necessary of discussion, males using makeup will be the topic. Such as with Infinite or practically every male K-Pop group, the trend of insulting and degrading male idols, or simply males in general, for using makeup will be something to deconstruct on a social level.

Explaining the hatred many male idols or male makeup users face, the idea of “emasculating” takes place: many derogatory terms are utilized, and overall, the idea of not being “masculine,” but instead, “feminine,” serves as the foundation for degrading. As already addressed in multiple reviews, with femininity being considered worse than masculinity, which, obviously, is a highly unfair scale, males using makeup are following femininity (in a Western perspective that is, as to be explained below), and thus, are downgrading socially in rank, and as a final outcome, are now liable to insults since society has collectively decided that femininity is worth hating. A key, contrasting example further highlights this disparity: a female following masculine norms is “upgrading” in a social rank, and therefore, is accepted, but the moment a male follows feminine norms, many are highly repulsed. If equitable standards were in place, a “feminine” male would be equally accepted as a “masculine” female, but with the latter being more valued, the “feminine” male is rejected.

However, besides the pressing issue of how androcentrism establishes hatred towards femininity, there is a cultural layer to makeup: those foreign to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean culture, for examples (I am certain there are way more), associate makeup with femininity, yet in those cultures, makeup is considered both masculine and feminine. After all, though the following words would potentially undermine a lot of my claims and beliefs of removing gender labels, Infinite are perhaps the most “manly” men I have ever seen; their exquisite eye makeup, and sleek, clean fashion are incredibly “masculine” (another review will discuss the terms of “masculine” and “feminine” in depth and whether they should exist or not). Now of course, from a different perspective and culture, the opposite would hold: many would render the men as “girly,” and sadly, that would be connotated as an insult. But, as depicted, it is based on culture, and thus, as an overall point, males using makeup should never be shunned, even if the current culture they are in deems it unsuitable. Male makeup is considered a norm in certain places, and therefore, being culturally accepting should occur, and as for places where it is not a norm, insults that take place is correlated to how femininity is undervalued to masculinity, and in that context, it is still an issue to shame a male for using makeup in those locations as it degrades femininity.

For a future outcome that is to be yearned for, makeup should simply be considered makeup; there should be no terms of “female makeup” or “male makeup” as makeup is simply cosmetics that enhance physical looks, nothing more or less. Gender, or additionally, even sexual orientation, should not play a role as to whether someone will use makeup. If equitable standards were in place, males utilizing makeup would not create the current disturbance it does. For example, if femininity was equal to masculinity, for places where makeup is socialized as feminine, males would not face consequences as no “downgrading” would exist. In terms of sexual orientation, if equity was in place so that every sexual orientation was valued, makeup would not be automatically associated with homosexual males since, strangely, homosexual males equates to femininity, of which is considered a low status (as explained). Furthermore, however, with the lack of equity for sexual orientations in general, it allows improper stereotypes to thrive in order to devalue those who are not heterosexual; by not being a heterosexual, certain types of behavior, often time displeasing, exaggerated ones, will be automatically assumed when, obviously, heterosexuals do not possess their own exaggerated and offensive stereotypes. A future review will dive into a discussion of sexual orientation.  

That said, focusing back on makeup, similar to EXID’s Hani idea of “no filters,” to be intimate and truthful to readers, as hinted in past reviews, I am familiar with makeup, even if society socializes the norm that heterosexual males should not be. Though I currently do not actively use makeup, I do plan on doing so in the future (or perhaps even sooner). Also, admittedly, I have more knowledge of makeup products than, for example, standard “masculine” tasks; given the task of applying makeup or fixing a car, I would not hesitate to choose the initial option (I sincerely have no idea on how to repair vehicles and hope a future wife will handle that I eventually learn in the future).

Expanding on my personal digression, many have been curious on why I would use makeup, and relating this review, a simple answer exists: to look nice, the same reason as to why Infinite members, or anyone, would use makeup. There is no issue with desiring to look as stunning as the men (their makeup serves as a prime example for mine), but due to attached social layers with makeup, as briefly discussed earlier, the act of using makeup as a male carries repercussions. Nevertheless, though I am highly aware of the given dangers I would face in America (if I lived in, for example, South Korea, this would not be an issue at all), if I must receive public bashing so that femininity is equal to masculinity, and overall, tolerance and understanding occur, those are risks I am willing to accept.

Too many subtle issues exist in the lens of gender (and with other areas), and though my use of makeup is moreover to enhance physical appearances, the social connotations I would deliver, intended or not, are necessary: the phrase, “be a man,” would be challenged, a toxic concept that definitely needs to be critically analyzed (will discuss this in another review); with being a heterosexual, I would showcase that makeup is not a shameful, pitiful application that homosexual men use, but rather, one that is for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation since all orientations are equally worthy; and all in all, the act of using makeup when I could easily slip by without it since, due to male privilege, bluntly and jocularly put, being physically hideous is acceptable, would be my method to remove my personal privileges of being a heterosexual and a male. And of course, it would be rather amazing for my two future daughters to be able to reply, “Oh, my dad,” to a question of “Who did your makeup?” during special occasions.

Leaving an overall final message, though I am certain many readers are not entirely surprised at my personal news since, quite clearly, this is a K-Pop review blog, and therefore, many should be familiar with male groups using makeup due to Korean (pop) culture, I do hope a slightly deeper understanding on this social phenomenon is gleaned. Sadly, it is not rare to hear exceptionally derogatory remarks made to male idols from those who lack knowledge with cultures that embrace makeup as gender neutral, and thus, I hope, at the very least, I was able to shed light on exactly why that hatred occurs.

Considering this Personal Message has ran its course (I applaud those who do read this, and of course, I hope a personal opinion is created regarding this topic, whether it agrees or disagrees with my opinion), it will now be time to focus on Infinite and “The Chaser” in a musical sense. With Fiestar’s “You’re Pitiful” being the last song I highly enjoyed, I am ecstatic to find another song that meets a high standard. Or at least, it will be hoped it reaches a higher mark in a numerical context, as the review will show.

_______________________________________________________

Song Score: 7/10 (7.4/10 raw score) – “Above average”

– Vocals: 8/10 – Confessedly, I am not utterly familiar with the member’s individual singing talents, but regardless, based on “The Chaser and “Last Romeo,” Infinite definitely possess higher tier vocals. Peering at the rappers, both Dongwoo and Hoya deliver direct, fluent vocals for their parts. Feebleness or hesitant, pausing voices are nonexistent, all of which are generally unwanted traits in raps. Slightly higher-end rapping vocals are granted due to the two.

In focus of the regular vocalists, Sungyeol, L, and Sungjong showcase, overall, average vocals, or most optimistically, slightly above average ones. Their lines, though to be discussed in depth at the Sections, possess an awkward sound: roboticness. The disclosed lower notes may be pleasing in the sense of note range, but the robotic style in which the three sing is not impressive. Vocals are partially hindered by such, and even with the desirable lower notes, this aspect does not become overlooked.

Nevertheless, Infinite’s vocals are still to a high caliber for “The Chaser,” and it is rather doubtful that the rappers’ vocals are the reason. For the two remaining members, the group’s main vocalists, Sunggyu and Woohyun, and in truth, Infinite as a whole, the vocals from the two and the group’s unison singing are outstanding. Focusing on Sunggyu and Woohyun, many respectable aspects occur: high power, and an exceptionally lively melody due to their utilized notes, pacings, and other components. As for the mentioned unison singing, similar traits as in the main vocalists return, but for what remains distinctive, further emphasis towards power exists.

If correct, it has been a while since a high score has been granted for Vocals, but Infinite redresses such via earning an eight. The vocals in “The Chaser” are, simply put, good. Multiple, flourishing traits allow the given vocals to remain musically enchanting and diverse.  

– Sections: 7/10 (7/10 raw score)

Introduction, Verse, Chorus, Rap, Verse, Chorus, Rap, Verse, Chorus, Conclusion (Verse)

1. Introduction: 7/10 – The introduction is solely the instrumental. For a side note, I have officially graduated, and thus, this review is four days behind as I have taken a short break to celebrate (though one day was helping with technology). To describe my feelings, as I have stated to many, for an encapsulating word: bittersweet.

Before completely digressing (I will return to this at the end if I remember to), focusing back on “The Chaser,” for the mechanical component of the introduction, it remains enticing. Diving into its specific aspects, the given beats provide a rhythmic, pleasing flow, and furthermore, the unique electronic-based sounds allow the introduction to thrive with a lively and energetic melody. Tints of electric guitar also aid in refining the instrumental’s melody. For another strong point, though akin to the structural side, the duration of the introduction benefits the section: the introduction remains sufficiently lengthy as to allow the soundtrack to thoroughly develop and unfold, but it is also not excessively long so that the soundtrack becomes overly dragged. Elaborating, if the length was any shorter, it would be highly unlikely for the instrumental to naturally progress and disclose its melody as the instrumental would be compacted, and conversely, if any longer, much of the instrumental’s current charms would fade out and become detrimental as it would be overplayed.   

On the subject of the structure, even under the pessimistic perception of the mechanical layer being slightly basic, this component holds well enough to compensate (but the mechanical side is still solid itself).  In terms of setting the song’s atmosphere, “The Chaser” ‘s introduction easily does so. It becomes blatant that the song is one of upbeatness, and this idea is unveiled via the electronic sounds instantly offering their melody, the beats immediately giving off the song’s general rhythm, and by the traces of electric guitar arriving shortly after the prior two. Furthermore, the overarching tone of an electronic-based song is, clearly, given right from the start. Gauging another crucial trait to the introduction, as is the general role of an introduction, attracting and hooking in listeners is a job to meet, and “The Chaser” manages such. Notably, solely the instrumental is used, and thus, while this may seem minor, it does have a considerable effect as listeners now anticipate the missing layer: vocals. No singing is given, and with an energetic, upbeat instrumental, many would become interested in how the vocals would follow suit. Therefore, in this context, the introduction potently accomplishes its role of luring in listeners.

Above average would be fitting for a score. The mechanical layer remains melodic and, if correctly stated, dramatic, and the structural layer holds impressively due to excellent delivery of style, and more importantly, how well it attracts listeners.

2. Verse: 7/10 – For the verses, before listing who remains in charge of the them, to clarify, while there could technically be a pre-chorus section (“could” is more likely “is”), for simplicity sake and consistency, I will consider it all as verses. The current pre-choruses adopt the verses’ style for the most part, and overall, simply labeling it all as verses would be more coherent. Finally listing the members responsible for the verses, specifically with the first, Sunggyu, L, Sungjong, and Hoya are the ones. For the second verse, Sungyeol and Woohyun, and lastly, for the final verse (not including the conclusion), Sunggyu handles it alone.  

Addressing the sonic component to the verses, though practically all three variate, a general aspect holds: lower, rhythmic singing. This proves effective as a soothing quality is attached, and furthermore, with the rest of the song being in higher pitches, the verses allow “The Chaser” as a whole to possess variety in terms of the song’s pitch ranges. Now, though hearing the lower notes is pleasing, the vocals’ style and delivery are a bit weaker: a nasally, robotic-like demeanor is showcased during the verses. While the pitch of the singing remains unchanged from this style, it does hinder the verses as a monotonous tune becomes established, and thus, a dynamic melody is absent. Nevertheless, it is not entirely impairing, and towards the end of verses, standard, lively singing does occur to redress the earlier monotone vocals.

For the structural side, similar to the introduction, even if the first layer is underwhelming, this component can be considered solid. Progression, for example, is one promising feature. Verses begin with lower notes, but gradually, the notes becomes higher, and in addition, quickening paces of lyrics and even instrumental occur. Furthermore, the final line provided a finishing touch via a crisp, clean and prominent line. Due to this setup, the verses remain versatile; as the usual verse, it allows the song to progress, but in terms of the missing sections, the pre-choruses, though transparent pre-choruses lack, the role of transitioning to the chorus is still met in credit to the verses becoming invigorated in a gradual manner. As for another significant point, the verses are highly diverse. Though this may be due to overly generalizing sections as all verses, all of them variate from the other; no verses are the same. The second one, as an example, remains more higher pitched and fast paced, and for an opposite case, the final verse takes the route of being exceptionally passive. Once accounting for each verse’s uniqueness, high appeal is garnered from such.

Above average once more returns. Although the vocals are moreover average, the structural side of having individuality per verse and flawless progression allows the sections to flourish overall.

3. Chorus: 8/10 – Arguably the most captivating part of “The Chaser.” Infinite as a whole sings for them, though for a few choruses Sunggyu and Woohyun both have solo spotlight.

Mechanically, many factors are worth praising: the power, melody, flow, pacing, for a few. Overall, the choruses in “The Chaser” are fantastic. Deconstructing the attributes, the men display a highly dynamic and flowing melody. In contrast to the verses, the utilized pitches are higher, but additionally, with the constant use of note stretches, extra emphasis and accentuation occurs for the melody; the sung lines are seemingly even more harmonious since a longer duration exists, and with the pacing being more complex than standard, linear words, the melody also has more flow. As for the mentioned trait of power, with all seven members contributing, vastly impactful vocals are gleaned. Combined with the melodic note stretches, the added layer of power simply refines the vocals to an even higher merit. Summarized, the mechanical layer unveils impressive vocal skills that are exceptionally seducing.

Miraculously, the choruses are also captivating in the realm of its structure. Meeting the traditional role of a chorus is seen via the section serving as a climactic point in the song, as distinguished by its intensity of high notes and power, and of course, the unison singing. Ignoring this characteristic, for the more pressing points, homogeneous to the verses, multiple versions of the chorus exist: unison ones, a mixture of solo and unison, and even more in depth, each chorus maintains its own exclusiveness in terms of intensity, pacing, and other musical aspects. As a result, appeal endlessly cycles as every chorus possesses its own charms.

With splendid singing and an equally impressive structural side, this score will be on the higher side. The choruses in “The Chaser” are solid.

4. Rap: 7/10 – Rap sections are conducted by, as hinted in the Vocals section, both Dongwoo and Hoya.

Before elaborating on the duo’s vocals, peering at the structural layer to the rapping sections, the raps perfectly blend in with “The Chaser.” Considering the placement of the raps is after the choruses, a section that is rather intensive and energetic, the raps are able to easily continue the trend; raps are generally faster paced, and overall, relatively energetic, and thus, in the scenario of “The Chaser” ‘s choruses, the rapping sections can be rendered equal to the choruses in terms of intensity. The outcome from the raps’ placement is a proper, smooth and seamless transition from chorus and eventually back into a verse. Therefore, the rapping sections deserve much credit for this subtle detail. Glancing at the raps themselves, Dongwoo and Hoya’s raps maintain variety through fluctuation of pacing and power; the two’s rapping alter in speed so that lines are not linear, and for power, different portions carry different levels of emphasis and presence.

And with pacing and power stated, those traits carry their benefits for the mechanical layer. Multiple pacings and adapting surges of power allow the raps to constantly remain enticing musically as there are no moments of staleness. Also, for another gained positive side, the melody is able to thrive due to the rap being malleable. If the raps were straightforward, the melody would have to replicate such, but with the rap adopting an adapting concept, the melody would have to be equally dynamic to follow suit. Lastly, the rappers’ vocals deserve highlight for stability; despite the constant fluctuations and changes, the vocals consistently prevail with quick, melodic rapping.

Another high score will anticipatedly be given. Above average returns. The sonic piece along with the structural are both respectable. Solid rapping is in place.

5. Conclusion (Verse): 6/10 – If correct, this may be the shortest Sections I have yet to write (though not complaining as this review is multiple days behind and I am forcing myself to finish it in one session). On topic, with the conclusion, Infinite as a group concludes the song.

Unfortunately, the streak of higher scores does come to an end. In terms of the conclusion’s sonic side, though the vocals emulate the first verse’s singing, there is a significant change: the instrumental is ramped up as if it were at the chorus, and similarly, the vocals are also more hyped. An absurd contrast spawns from this pairing as the singing takes the form of lower noted, tedious and robotic-like vocals, but the overall tone creates expectancy of standard, intenser singing, such as the one at the choruses. Thus, with this, the mechanical layer does falter from the created contrast.

Positively, however, concluding the song is still accomplished. Duration plays a critical role as the conclusion allows “The Chaser” to naturally fade slowly rather than forcing an abrupt, harsh ending. Rather than entirely stripping the song’s intensity, playing it out in a very slightly calmer fashion, and ultimately, using a distinctive closing mark, as given by the final, consecutive beats, allows the song to end properly and smoothly.

Unlike the prior scores, this one does partially fall. Slightly above average will hold. Accounting for the difficult task of ending “The Chaser” properly, the song does do so, though it could have been more musically pleasing.

– Line Distribution: 9/10 – Seven members are in Infinite, and since the group’s quantity does not live up to its name is nothing unusual, ignoring questionable attempts at humor, I foresee a decent score.

Beginning with the group’s leader, Sunggyu, his lines are at the first verse, the second chorus, and the third verse. Three sections is his count, and with his role of being one of the main vocalists, this number is welcoming. No issues should exist on his part.

For the next member, Dongwoo, his spotlight appears at solely his rap, and thus, one will be his numerical count. Assuming the rest of the members provide a bridge between him and Sunggyu, no severe problem will be in place, though admittedly one for a count is rather low.

Continuing with the rapping members, for Hoya, his lines are at his rap sections, as expected, but also at the first verse due to his single contributed line. Two will be his count, and thus, assuming the remaining members balance out, current disparities should be minor.

Woohyun, Infinite’s other main vocalist, has his sections at the second verse and the final chorus. Two, like Hoya, will be his numerical value. As of now, there will be no problems.

Sungyeol’s lines consist of the second verse. Strangely, that is all, though considering Dongwoo also had one section, this should not be a pressing matter. Nevertheless, a final check will confirm.

For L, one section is also his value as the first verse was his spotlight. If the remaining member also contributes a one, the current disparity may prove menacing.

Sungjong does, sadly, contribute to the disparity as the first verse is his sole section. Since a few members are in the higher range and many are in the lower range, the discrepancy may cost the Line Distribution score.

Delivering an overall score for their distribution, even with the unison singing occurring, there is a notable imbalance: one member possesses three sections; four members possess one section; two members possess two sections. With the average, perfect distribution being one or two lines, against my personal concerns, the current distribution is not overly split. If Sunggyu lost one line, the group would be perfect as four members would have two sections and the remaining three members with one. In this perspective, a higher score will be granted. Nine will hold well as the group nearly meets a perfect share of sections.

– Instrumental: 8/10 – Focusing on the instrumental in “The Chaser,” many genres would be viable: pop, electronic, and rock. Though the accurate label would be pop since, obviously, “The Chaser” carries a prominent K-Pop tone, in terms of how those descriptions translate into the song’s instrumental, for the mechanical layer, the instrumental is quite diverse. Focusing on the three main qualities, the electronic sounds grant “The Chaser” its overarching atmosphere and melody; the “pop” in “The Chaser” derives from such, and the electronic sounds provides the main melody in which the song follows. Furthermore, despite being electronic-based, it retains a rather melodic trait versus being that of catchiness. As for the electric guitar, it provides an irreplaceable role to the instrumental’s mechanical layer: transitions are granted from such (will be more addressed in the structural side), and for moments of intensity, the electric guitar utterly suits those times along with simply providing its own delightful, rigorous tune.

For the structural layer, returning to the mentioned topic of transitions, for “The Chaser” in its entirety, the instrumental provides the usual foundation of creating clear transitions between sections. Other roles are also met, such as properly syncing to the vocals. Sections with calmer, slower singing, such as the verses, for example, are met with a soundtrack that is also promoting an identical trend. With that, variety is also gleaned for the soundtrack as it alternates between more passive segments and more active ones.

Surprisingly, a higher score will be in place. The instrumental fulfills its standard roles, but for what is most extraordinary, the mechanical layer is exceptional. Diversity appears, and overall, the instrumental is extremely mechanically enchanting with its unique traits and excellent meshing with vocals.

– Meaning: 5/10 – It is midnight as of the time I am writing this sentence, and thus, I do hope my writing does not progressively worsen to the point of incoherence. Focusing on “The Chaser,” and humorously, exactly on “The Chaser” in terms of the title, the song does spark questions: what will the plot be, and who, or what, is “the chaser.” Ending hopeless inquiries, to deliver an answer to the song’s meaning, the following Korean-to-English translations will provide such. As repeated in all reviews, the given lyrics are certainly not 100% accurate. In fact, a few lines are technically untranslatable; after asking a friend, she clarified that a few lines at the verses are, simply put, cheers versus that of actual words and meaning. Therefore, rough translations of those cheers will be given:

Don’t be sorry, you can abandon me spitefully and leave
If that’s what you want, yeah, goodbye
But that doesn’t mean I have given up too
My love wins
Let’s go, go first, carry on
Be strong, I will win her back
Even if you’re ahead for a bit, I will catch up

Protect her, so she won’t forget me
I will go till the end to the place where my person is

Forget it, I knelt down and beat my heart
that paused in front of the words of separation
Go away, I drag myself, who is burnt with sadness
that is like rotten firewood
Why is your cooled heart making my heart race
and wander every day?
I’m calling you, making myself stronger with love

Let’s go, go first, carry on
Be strong, I will win her back
Even if I’ll hurt for a bit, I will smile once again

Protect her, so she won’t forget me
I will go till the end to the place where my person is
Narrow the streets so I can catch you
I will risk everything to find my person

Yes, I tried to cast you out with a spiteful heart
As I trampled on my instincts,
my obsession toward you became faint
And I’m calling it all love once again
Again today, I can’t let you go or cut you out
As if I’m possessed, I chase after you, who is filled in my eyes

I’m sorry girl, I don’t ever want to let go of the line that is you
But it’s okay because I will turn back your heart
It’s not a big deal even if my heart is ripped apart

Protect her, so she won’t forget me
I will go till the end to the place where my person is
My heart is like that, I only know one thing
So even though it is bent and in pain, it will love you

Don’t be sorry, you can abandon me spitefully and leave
If that’s what you want, yeah, goodbye
But that doesn’t mean I have given up too

Returning to the lyrics after pitifully sleeping after all, “The Chaser” depicts a main character who, based on one of Infinite’s interviews, is in despair over love (for a side note, I find it interesting that, from the group’s interpretation, the same main character is used for all of their songs; essentially, all of their songs are of this fictional character and thus, a somewhat thorough story does exist). Offering an overarching summary, the main character had their love-interest “abandon” him, and now, in response, he is unable to find peace as his heart continually chases her, hence the title of “The Chaser.”

Providing a deeper perspective to the lyrics, the main character accepts his love-interest’s abandonment; after all, he claims: “Don’t be sorry, you can abandon me spitefully and leave. If that’s what you want, yeah, goodbye.” Nevertheless, despite a more mature outward appearance, on the inside, he “has not given up,” and after cheering himself on, vows to “win her back,” from supposedly, another person who is “ahead” of the main character (the Critical Corner will discuss this idea, and the upcoming one, in much depth). As such, the boy begs his love-interest’s current partner to “protect her, so she won’t forget [him]” and that he will “go till the end to the place where my person is,” even if she is already with someone else. Other details are included, especially the raps of thoroughly describing his feelings, but overall, simplistically, “The Chaser” merely sheds a story of a boy losing his love-interest, and as a result, is now figuratively “chasing” her to win her love back since his affection for her is relentless.

Though I do adore the raps for being compact yet incredibly detailed, the remaining lyrics are overly basic, and for the story as a whole, the same applies. Thus, average will sadly be the score. The musical component to  “The Chaser” may be phenomenal, but the lyrics do not equally hold to the previous standards.

– “Critical Corner”: Now to have fun with the lyrics, while this section will not influence the score, it would be ignorant and pitiful to ignore the deeper, critical messages of the song. First, the concept of “winning her back” (or “him,” though it is usually “her,” as will be explained later) is one that needs to be challenged and analyzed closely. Harshly stated, for the more blatant layer, if someone fails to reciprocate equal feelings, rather than attempting to “win” them back as if they were trophies, moving on and proceeding with life would be the more realistic route. Jocularly, even the men of Infinite have stated a similar idea to this recurring main character: “[The main character] is really desperate.”

Diving into the more serious subject, the lyrics in “The Chaser” are not foreign; the concept of “winning” love-interests, most prominently done by males, is one that is rather rife. This is not a mistake; males have been socialized to view themselves as superior, and these acts of “flirting” merely perpetuate that standard, even if unintended or unrecognized. Explaining, too often males view dating as not an intimate bond and connection, but instead, a game: dating is about “owning” and “winning” a lady, not having genuine love and compassion. This is seen in “The Chaser” via the male character attempting to win her back from her current partner, almost as if she were a trophy or toy to be tossed around. Instead of viewing and respecting her and her current relationship, the male character views her as, stated earlier, a game of “winning” her love, not a human. Furthemore, if not explicit yet on how a poor standard exists, the “protecting” piece will showcase the current issue blatantly.

While many would argue it is romantic to feel “safe” because of a partner, I would argue that the “safe” in this context should not be of physical protection, but rather, one of emotional and financial stability. Manipulating an example, to use myself in a hypothetical situation, I will conjure up the idea that I have a girlfriend. She, however, is rather protective, and of course, utilizing society’s standards, it will be considered that she is romantic by doing so. After all, if any females happen to touch me, or in fact, speaks with me, she would exclaim “hands off, he’s mine,” and from there, proceed with physically harming those females who interacted with me. Quite sweet. If my sarcasm has yet to be picked up, this scenario will sound familiar. Even from the female’s perspective, the same concept applies: a boy is protective and harms every other male that interacts with said female. 

This, sadly, once deconstructed, is far from romance. I would not desire my hypothetical girlfriend to harm other females. (Now, in the very rare incidents of needing actual protection from a partner, that falls within a standard category of safety, and thus, to clarify, this scenario I am discussing is one where a partner feels the constant need to protect.) Furthermore, besides the issue of safety of others, there is a very clear, pressing issue from this behavior: ownership. If I had a partner who acted aggressively in attempts to “protect” me, in truth, it would not be her displaying care and affection and therefore protection, but sadly, ownership of me. Therefore, the protection concept, as seen in the song, is not one of romance, it is of dominance and possession, and with how society socializes genders, males are often time the ones performing said “protecting.” Clarifying once more, if a situation arises for genuine protection, that is a different context, and of course, it is not harmful to have a partner feel even  more romantic for giving a protecting vibe as long as it does not extend to the point of control and ownership, and that genuine love, respect, and care are established as the primary, largest romantic aspects.  

I will link my review on “Channel Fiestar” for those curious on related topics. Sexism (and other oppressions), disturbingly, does appear even in the realm of dating, and thus, I urge readers to constantly bear a critical, open mind. The “romantic” lyrics in “The Chaser,” once stripped to its core, are not full of love and affection, but instead, ones that are filled with the identical, inequitable standards of society: males are to dominant females and are to act superior. Thus, this is why the “Critical Corner” exists, to showcase to readers why being wary and critical is vital. Rather than having listeners continue to perpetuate the scenario in “The Chaser,” being critical allows the truth to be seen, and as a result, to cease the endless cycle of female objectification, and overall, to begin a more humane route. After all, if males were taught gender equitable ideas and ushered such, “winning” females would halt, and instead, sincere affection would take place. It is frustrating to witness boys become enraged and obsessive at females for “leading them on” when, once critically deciphered, gender inequities are to blame for this type of behavior (a “win” relationship causes this reaction; after “investing” so much into a female as if she were a machine, the output would be a relationship, but with females being humans and thus not following through, males negatively react as they are taught they would receive a “win,” a date).

Before finally closing this section, on the subject of “leading on,” for readers who have had this incident, male or female (though as stated, it generally falls towards females as males are the ones socialized as the “better” gender), guilt should never occur. There is no obligation to play a shameful game of dating, and therefore, “repaying” their kindness, and more accurately, exaggerated kindness of subtle sexism, is not ever necessary (and the topic of “friendzone” does come to mind, though I will redirect readers to the linked review of “Channel Fiestar” for more depth).

As an overall point, human decency should always be in place. Never should a person be “owned” in a relationship. Equitable standards need to be pushed for as, without it, constant harassment in the specific scenario of flirting and dating will forever occur.

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Choreography Score: 8/10 – Leaving a comical comment, I do wish the writing that takes place when I am digressing on social topics occurs for when I am writing in a musical lens. Ignoring this, for a lens that is not of musical but rather visual, the choreography of “The Chaser” is splendid.

Every movement in “The Chaser” syncs to a musical component via the beats or even flow. For examples, the verses’ dance connect to the slower, heavier beats with similar paced motions, but for the choruses, a more hyped and powerful dance occurs to reciprocate the song’s intensity. With high precision apparent for the group’s syncing, the choreography becomes stunning and visually alluring.

As for the key points, the choreography remains properly complex; it is neither too simple or too perplexing. Every section utilizes a different formation from the other, and even on the inner levels of the same section (chorus, verse), each one still differs. Like the choruses in the song utilizing different versions per chorus, the dance is also unique per each one, and thus, high appeal is in place as many dances are new. Adding on, though related to the category of syncing, every key point proves fitting for its accommodating sonic component. Utilizing a visible example, for the second chorus with the members kneeling down, in addition to providing new, diverse key points, it also renders as perfectly suiting considering the song did indeed possess a pause.

With a very powerful, beautiful, energetic and reflective dance, a higher score will be gained. “The Chaser” manages to contain a dance is as equally charming as the song, if not even more.

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Overall Score: 8/10 (7.5/10 raw score) – With the average being rounded up to an eight, it signifies “The Chaser” is a solid song, one worthy of praise. Personally, I do agree to it, and in fact, the Song Score would have been even more than “above average” if the lyrics were slightly better. Nevertheless, as stated much earlier, “The Chaser” is a highly admirable song, and one I have personally very much enjoyed.

With the end being here, I will leave an apology of a delayed review. This time, however, it is not due to freely slacking off, but as mentioned, I did graduate from high school, and thus, had to spend a day doing so and afterwards I did decide to relax a bit. Eight reviews is still in mind, and with six left, I will optimistically claim it is still possible to do so, though admittedly shortcuts will be taken in the form of album reviews if need be. I have received two requests, and I will hurriedly begin and publish them quite soon. There are readers who do genuinely desire to read my writing, and thus, with that, thank you for reading this review, and for the requesters, thank you for sending in requests. Huge motivation exists from such, and of course, knowing people are willing to spend time to read my reviews is a high honor I am exceptionally grateful for.

Before forgetting, to address a bit on how I do feel about graduating, I am excited for university, and for those curious, I may track my experience with it via posts (or at least for those who are anxious for their own year, I will be able to offer my upcoming experience in a question-and-answer). It is a new experience that I am welcoming, and knowing it is the start to beginning a future career path that I do feel passionately for, I am excited. However, for what I do feel sorrowful about, I will miss teachers, professor and classmates, but of course, visits will occur (and the factor of student teaching), and overall, though I may not see those I miss often, it is better to cherish the positives of the growth and maturity they helped me gain. I cannot express enough thanking for my teachers and professor.

As for one final side note, a few more subtitled videos are coming. Particularly those fans of Fiestar, I have two videos for uploading (one left in fact), and therefore, I do hope they are enjoyable. Also, before entirely finishing, I will leave another apology: the writing and analysis in this review was poor. Infinite’s “The Chaser” is an excellent song, and while I gave proper enlightenment of such through the ratings, explaining so is not as solid. The two upcoming requested reviews will redress this.

Thank you once more for reading this review. SEVENTEEN’s “Adore U” will be released between two to four days, and after that review, KARA’s “Cupid” will follow suit with a similar timeline as well. Once those are finished, assuming no other requests are sent, I will perhaps add multiple album reviews for the sake of time, and if dedication is truly with me, a show review may also be done. “I will go till the end to the place where my person is,” of whom are readers, and though “my heart is like that, I only know one thing”: “it will love you.” Stay tuned for the upcoming review of “Adore U,” and for, hopefully, less cringe-inducing conclusions.