[K-Pop MV]: JJCC – “At First”

I know I’ve been away from blogging for far too long. I’m sure anyone out there that’s a student can relate and sympathize. As I browsed through my tumblr this morning, I noticed something interesting. Jackie Chan has just recently debuted a boy group, WHAAAAT?! Okay, this shock may have been old news to you guys, but since it’s the first time I heard of it, it’s still a little fresh for me so how could I NOT blog about it?

I grew up watching Jackie Chan, just like any other American kid. On Saturday mornings I would wake up on my own at 6AM to watch cartoons (even though on weekdays I couldn’t even wake up at 8AM for school). One of my favorite cartoons was Jackie Chan Adventures…You guys remember those?

Then after my noon nap (since you know, 6AM can take a toll on an elementary school child), I’d turn on the TV to watch whatever movie they’d be airing. Often it would consist of martial arts action movies, and sometimes they’d be Jackie Chan action movies. I’d also play Jackie Chan video games with my cousins and we’d even play martial arts fight games (you know those make-believe games that always result in someone crying). What I’m trying to say here is that in some way, this dude’s my childhood hero. I’m also trying to say that this dude’s an entertainer. It’s shocking to hear that he’s producing a boy group (Korean at that), but it’s also…not IMPOSSIBLE.

Okay, back to the K-Pop:

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JJCC (Jackie, Jackie Chan, Chan? haha j/k it’s pronounced Double JC) consists of 5 beautiful boys: the leader Simba (huh?), E.Co (HAH), Eddy (cute), San Cheong ( <.< *shifty eyes* >.>) and Prince Mak (uh….). In the MV, I only counted 4 but apparently Prince Mak, their Chinese-Australian member, was injured so he wasn’t able to be featured in their debut with the rest. TT_TT

I’m sorry, it had to be done.

I don’t know what it is these days, but people have these really strange expectations about rookie debuts. They must be powerful and flashy. Starting off strong is great, but we’ve seen many times in the past where groups come out with average songs, then a few months (or years) later they have an awesome comeback and their popularity unexpectedly skyrockets! It’s just too early to conclude a K-Pop group’s career success. Must I remind everyone of those groups such as Big Bang, Vixx and Girl’s Day?

I didn’t have much expectation for JJCC. Since it’s Jackie Chan’s group, I’d give them all the chances they would ever need so even if they sucked, I’d be okay with that *SPECIAL TREATMENT*. Surprisingly, I’m actually quite taken by them. Although Eddy is the prevalent singer in this group, I really liked how they harmonized the smooth vocals and were able to show off everyone’s rapping skills in one song. My favorite rapping voices are deep voices such as Big Bang’s TOP or B.A.P’s Bang Yongguk, but you can add another dude into the ‘sexy-as-hell-voices’ list. Simba’s rapping tone is just mmmm SUPER! L.O.V.E ❤ I still feel weird saying ‘Simba’…like….why not Mufasa? I’d want to have some kind of distant connection with James Earl Jones if I was a deep-tone rapper 😉

The song was pretty good, in my opinion. Not ‘strong’ like some had hoped, but it was lovely and catchy. This is one of those songs that you either love or hate. If you prefer listening to something you can party to, then this song may not appeal to you very easily because the beat doesn’t pick up at all. As for me, I do love the upbeat music, but I prefer ballad-y music. This isn’t exactly a ballad and it doesn’t leave a particular impact, but it is in that careful r&b/soul genre that’s good to chill with when you feel like listening to something pleasant and cool.

The melody fits the lyrics really well. If you’ve read the lyrics to this song, you have to admit, those are some charming words. It’s sentimental poetry that is a bit borderline cheesy, but luckily it didn’t seem too lame to me. I’m not sure how well Korean people swallow these types of lyrics, but they’re much better than the garbage I’ve ran across as I browse for a good radio station in my car.

If I can’t turn your heart that’s stiff like a stone around, it’s okay
(Even if it’s a lie, tell me you love me again
Please, even if it’s not true)

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Perhaps the least impressive thing about this debut to me, was the MV. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t much. I don’t find a particular story plot behind this and I don’t think there’s any deep symbolism behind what the boys are doing in the MV. They are simply singing and posing in an abandoned warehouse. Although they dance a little, they don’t really get to show off any real skills. It wouldn’t have been impossible to create a interesting choreography for this slow song but the producers just had the boys sway-posing.

I noticed that a few times when the group would gather to do their ‘sway’ dancing together, since Simba was directly behind Eddy, he was blocked so that all you could see were his shoes or the tip of his jacket.

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The camera did move a little to allow a quick shot of Simba behind there, but at first I was under the impression that Simba was a bad dancer and was being purposefully excluded from the shot. That is, until I watched their practice video where even Prince Mak participated in (must have been before his injury). I think it’s safe to say that this group is not a dancing group. Their main focus is their vocals and the dancing is extra.

Despite the simplicity, the MV is a nice production – It has a soft, cold feel to it that visually illustrates their loneliness. The filming and the editing don’t feel cheap, so while I can’t really picture Jackie Chan being too involved in their music lessons or even a music mentor, as a producer and businessman, I do think his intentions are aiming for quality.

I’m really excited about this new group, I hope to see them in their own variety show soon with all 5 members. I have too many questions surrounding this group such as: How long have they been trainees for Jackie Chan’s agency? What is the meaning or inspiration behind everyone’s names? And is there even a small chance that E.Co is related to G-Dragon?

 

 

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