I’m not going to be shy in admitting that I will always have a soft spot for INFINITE in the Kpop stratosphere. They were the first group I truly got invested in in the genre, and to say that I don’t look forward to their comebacks would be an understatement. Famous initially for their breakout hit, “Be Mine” and later for the Sweetune masterpiece “The Chaser,” INFINITE has a comfortable place as one of the bigger groups in Kpop. However, it would be wrong to say that they haven’t at least taken a step down since breaking off with Sweetune and teaming up with in-house producer Rphabet to create the orchestral dubstep sound they now occupy. After “Bad” from last year, I was really hoping for INFINITE to get with Sweetune for this comeback (which they didn’t). However, what we’ve got is “The Eye,” a song and video that does a lot more right than it does wrong.
To start off with the good parts, “The Eye” is a song that builds. One of INFINITE’s greatest strengths has been building up to big moments within their songs. Stuff like “Back” and “The Chaser” are great reflections of that, and I’m glad it shows up again in “The Eye.” I am also incredibly happy with the fact that the dubstep and orchestra music meld very well together, first when the song uses orchestra to build up its verses only to have the dubstep breakdown at the end of the chorus. It’s also a dramatic song, something that INFINITE has always been known to be good at from “Be Mine” onwards. Essentially, the song sums up just about everything that INFINITE is good at.
And now the drawbacks.
While I said INFINITE is great when it comes to building up their songs, it’s hard to tell whether or not that build actually goes anywhere. After the first couple listens the buildup seemed just fine, but it may deter new viewers from looking at the song in the first place. Another thing that happens is these weird vocal interjections like, “Okay, okay,” or “Why did you stop the music? Alright alright!” show up in the song, and they serve as nothing more than distractions that can be grating to the listener. It also ends far too soon, and I almost wish that there was at least either a second chorus or a bridge then a chorus at the end. The last thing that bothers me is the lack of Sungyeol in the song. Granted, it’s to be expected that Sungyeol is going to get minimal lines in any INFINITE song, whether it’s because he’s just not a strong vocalist or because he doesn’t want any lines is hard to tell. However, this time it’s very hard to discern the one line he got in the song.
As for the music video, it’s easily one of INFINITE’s most spectacle pieces to date. There are at least four sets that are played with throughout the music video, which makes the dark, gray, and desolate environment somewhat interesting. Despite the spectacle, though, the video is incredibly hard to understand (along with the strange homoeroticism present in the video *coughHoyandLbedscenecough*). While I’m not stickler about whether a video chooses subtlety or not, I wish that the video made it easier to understand what was going on. Plenty of Inspirits have been creating music video theories for this, including myself, but this one is easily my favorite, so check that out when you get the chance. If anything, the music video will keep people watching just to make sense of the piece.
INFINITE is back, and while they’re certainly not better than ever, at least this effort is better than last year’s hip-hop-infused “Bad.” But maybe that’s just my general dislike for hip-hop as a genre.
What did you guys think of INFINITE’s latest? What’s your interpretation of the music video? Comment below and let me know!