The Mid-Week Music Video Reviews Round-Up – 06/01/16 – Dumbfoundead, Lyricks, Clara, Arden Cho, BgA, Jannine Weigel, Brevner, PKeys, Awkwafina, Sam Tsui, Dami Im

Welcome to June! You’d think I’d learn my lesson and actually keep up with these weekly MV posts because once you miss a couple, they quickly pile up! But it’s a labor of love and I just spent the past hour or so checking out the latest and greatest music video releases just so I can share my opinion with you for you to completely ignore! Passive aggressive humor aside, this is an incredibly strong batch of visuals and I do honestly recommend you check them out.

[VOTW] Dumbfoundead – “Safe”

If you follow Asian-American music you’ve probably already seen this video since it dropped last week. If you haven’t, it’s a pretty genius and entertaining stab at how the media lacks Asian representation and even blatantly removes them from traditionally Asian roles. I think we’ll look back and see this as yet another milestone moment in DFD’s career. Nice cameos from Danny Chung, Reks, and even the Clockwise partner in crime, Wax. Post production must have been a b for this though.

Lyricks – “Strictly for the Lees”

Ugh. When Ly is hungry and jumps on the mic there’s nothing you can do but just go along for the ride and take in that pure, unadulterated hip-hop. And the schizo video is so visually lush that it’s hard to keep up – and that’s pretty much the perfect tone as you try to follow from bar to bar, rhyme to rhyme. This has been a good past few weeks for Hip-Hop videos!

Clara – “Electric”

Ahhh, the long awaited return of Clara formerly known as Clara C formerly known as Clara Chung. As her name branding shortens, her talent only seems to grow from her simple but pure folk-pop origins. Her career is taking a very Yuna-esque trajectory and that’s a pretty great path to tread. The video is moody and dynamic and shows that her and her husband make a formidable creative team.

Arden Cho – “Take It Off”

This just may be the most ominous sounding track I’ve heard from Arden and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Does she have the emotive vocal prowess to pull something like this off? Nearly… it’s not quite perfect but if learns to put a little bit more grit behind it, then we’d have something pretty solid. As is, it’s not bad though a guest rap verse could have added some welcome texture. The lyric video does it’s job well as a promotional clip as it fills the gap between static song video and a full on music video.

BgA (David Choi x Jun Sung Ahn x Philip Wang x Ryan Higa x Justin Chon) – “Dong Saya Dae (똥싸야돼)”

Part parody, part skit, part KPOP… this is actually a combination for entertainment gold. Does it have timeless replay value? No, but neither does the subject matter they are lampooning. As a former lover of KPOP with a toddler proficiency in the language myself, this is a project that spoke near and dear to my heart… or er… funny bone. I may not have LOL’d but I was smirking the entire time and that’s more than good enough for me.

Jannine Weigel – “Finish Line”

This rising Thai star has only been a radar for a short time but she’s proven herself to be a Pop force with enough momentum to be hard to ignore. Although there are enough audibly similar cues to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” to make it questionable, it’s a pretty decent pop tune in it’s own right. The video is well shot with good production values but not entirely memorable but there is also a dance version available for those who want to concentrate on the choreo.

Brevner – “Came Up”

Throughout the years, I’ve seen Brevner’s versatility as an MC as he’s been able to transition from style to style effortlessly. To begin with, this type of current sound that’s been prevalent in Hip-Hop lately isn’t exactly my favorite but Brev turns in a decent enough performance to keep me interested. The MV I could do without though, as it’s like I’m watching things through a Virtual Boy headset. Sure, it’s stylistically different but definitely a case of form over function.

P. Keys – “Drunk”

When I heard this song, I thought it was the bravest track (from an artistic POV) on the album but also by far my least favorite. The way it’s mixed and the overall vibe and sound perfectly channels the subject matter at hand – but that doesn’t make it pleasant to listen to. The video actually fares a little better in the sense that it further conveys the tone, but even then this isn’t a clip that I’d put in repeated viewings for.

Akwafina x Margaret Cho – “Green Tea”

I honestly don’t know how to feel about this release. I kinda love it, yet kinda hate it, yet am kinda apathetic. OK so let’s break it down… Awkwafina has clearly grown as an MC, her delivery is sharper than ever and she sounds great on this track. As for Margaret Cho, I’m guessing Awk ghost wrote her verse, which is fine, and she actually didn’t sound half bad either. Now in terms of the comedic/entertainment value, the best I can say is that I was amused at times and turned off at others. I never really developed an appreciation for M. Cho but her and Awkwa seem to play off each other’s energy well. In the end, I guess I like it… I think.

Sam Tsui – “Love and Us”

If there’s one thing LA will also provide, it’s great viaduct scenery. It turns a simple performance video and makes it suddenly that much more interesting. This wasn’t one of Sam’s most promoted songs but I think it’s one of his more underrated ones. Although it didn’t get the full video treatment this ain’t a bad way to push a track that’s already a few years old.

Dami Im – “Sound of Silence”

So many of Dami’s videos are region locked on Youtube and unavailable to those of us in the US. It’s a shame because it’s only when we get the rare access to releases like this we can get a glimpse of what we’re missing from the former X-Factor Australia winner. I’m not sure why her label wouldn’t want to widen her audience past the folks down under, especially since the girl really can sing. I’m digging the song as a whole though it’s a shame the video is just a sharp looking collection of cliched Pop power-ballad motifs. But you know what, I don’t care because it’s one of the few vids we can actually (legally) watch.

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