Daebak! The Top 10 Best Kpop Music Videos Ever, #7-5

IU produces gorgeous music video for You and I.

Good girls, bad girls, nation's little sister girls...#7-5 on our countdown will make you cry cry out of happiness. Disagree with our picks? Let us know what your top ten would look like in the comments!

Check out the rest of our Top 10 List here.

7. Miss A - "Bad Girl, Good Girl"
Debuting in 2010, Miss A’s “Bad Girl, Good Girl” shocked Korea, landing #1 for many weeks, unheard of for a new group.



Why We Like It

Tim

You don’t know me! You don’t know me! Now this, this is a feminist anthem. As their debut song, Miss A came out of the gate strong, hell, their first act is to knock the school books out of a student’s arms. You don’t know me!, they claim. While the song is catchy and the dance so appropriate (notice the choreography shift between the bad girl/good girl chorus), there is a fierce energy that propels this video - a controlled rage. Instead of telling the audience who they are, as would be reasonable for a new girl group, they instead insist: You don’t know me! And calling out YOU, you who would judge them for the clothes they wear and the dance moves they make. Shut up, boy! And turn on the English subtitles for this song (for those of us who don’t know Korean). You’re about to be told.

Zander

I can’t watch a music video set in a school without being reminded of Britney Spears. But in “Bad Girl, Good Girl,” Miss A almost makes me forget Britney ever owned a particular category of music videos. And they do it with a coy smile and wink. “Bad Girl, Good Girl” is a song about culture, about the sexuality that is projected onto women. That might seem like a heavy theme for a pop song, but it comes through in much more than just lyrics. I’m not a dancer. I’m not a choreographer. I’m not even particularly observant. So when I noticed that the dance moves in “Bad Girl, Good Girl” perfectly exemplified the words they were singing, I was hooked. Just watch the refrain at the 1:20 mark if you’re not sure what I mean. Miss A goes from spreading their legs and whipping their hair (bad girl) to kicking their boots all shy and innocent like Betty Boop (good girl). This video satisfies every requirement of a good pop video, and then does a whole lot more.

6. IU - "You and I"
From IU’s “Last Fantasy” album released in 2011, this time travel yarn will leave you spellbound.


Why We Like It

Tim

This is just a beautiful video. The story doesn’t quite make sense, even if you try to put it together (from what I can tell, IU is in love with a young comatose man who will only awaken at an age she’s destined to meet him and because she’s impatient as young girls often are she builds a time machine to arrive at the destined time but he awakens just as she leaves and she would have met him then but then she’s gone into the future but then happy ending). But anyway, I’m telling you, this is just a beautiful video. IU is adorably charming here, the song epic, and the love story, though convoluted, is endearing. Feeling more like a short film than a simple pop video, “You and I” really takes music videos, and the narratives within music videos, to another level. This video feels like magic. Like something lost from childhood. Or discovered just after, when it’s only too late.

Zander

If you watch enough Kpop, you know that there’s no shortage of music videos that make absolutely no sense. Why’s there a pink tank? Why are there guns in a Christmas video? But Korea’s little sister, IU, provides the perfect antidote to some of Kpop’s imbalances. For me, “You and I” is at the height of story-telling. Just watch the careful background and buildup in the first 60 seconds: yellowing family pictures, a machinist’s shop, time imagery everywhere, and a sleeping beau. And then, once we are grounded in this world, the song is allowed to begin. By locating the audience before the synthesized drum beat starts, we have a chance at understanding the images that come next. IU treats her audience as more than just a hit count. Her reward (aside from inclusion on this list), is an attentive and invested viewer. A question like why’s there a duck? becomes an important clue when the duck returns as a ceramic ornament in the real world. And we actually understand it!

5. T-ara - "Cry Cry"
T-ara does it again with the drama version of “Cry Cry”, released in 2011. And this time, they do it right.


Why We Like It

Tim

While IU’s “You and I” straddles the line between music video and film, the beautiful, absurd girl group, T-ara, audaciously makes a two part short film that would rival any Korean drama. I have a soft spot for T-ara. Because they are ridiculous. It is almost impossible to find all of T-ara’s videos because just about every song they release has half a dozen different music videos, a drama version usually included. They will just try anything, and even when they fail, it’s glorious. With “Cry Cry,” they don’t fail. Though the song is very poppy (even when slowed down here), and the drama very serious, somehow it meshes perfectly. This was one of the first Kpop videos I had ever seen, and I remember thinking it was insane, and making fun of it. But by the end of this video, and the beginning of the 2nd part, “Lovey Dovey,” I was hooked. I cared about the characters and was enthralled, despite myself, in their tragic story. Ji-yeon, a T-ara member, acts wonderfully here as the conflicted bounty hunter’s protege. And the action, for what it is, is impressive. This is big budget stuff here, friends. Yes, it’s melodramatic, and a bit ridiculous, and there are many, many plot-holes, but I love it, and, despite myself sometimes, I absolutely love T-ara.

Zander

T-ara are no strangers to making insane videos. Some are interesting. Others…downright strange. “Cry Cry” is a resounding success as a music video, as a piece of entertainment, and as a narrative device. This will be the best fifteen minutes of your day, I promise. And you won’t even need subtitles to understand it. In fact, I forbid it. In this romp through the Korean underworld, bounty hunters gather in a dark alley. They watch a residential home, a man inside, his daughter. The men with guns enter. Shots are fired, and a ruthless mercenary adopts his victim’s daughter as his own. Sixty seconds is enough to tell you that “Cry Cry” is not like anything else out there. Sixty seconds is not enough to tell you anything about the song that T-ara is promoting. “Cry Cry,” in fact, does not begin in earnest until three minutes in. And that’s not a bad thing. There is a saying in the movie business that if you didn’t notice the music, the composer did a good job. There are at least two versions of this song (compare the slow ballad version to the Spanish-influenced pop version), and both are repeated and echoed throughout, as needed. “Cry Cry” goes beyond being a music video, and into the territory of artful cinematography.

Check out the rest of our Top 10 List here.

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