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Music Releases, Special Features, Original Features

[MV & Album Review] VIXX -- 'Shangri-La'

By eric_r_wirsing   Thursday, May 18, 2017   12,541   1,723   16
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VIXX -- SHANGRI-LA


Tracklist:


1.    Shangri-La
2.    Into the Void
3.    Black Out
4.    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
5.    To Us
6.    Shangri-La (Inst)



Celebrate VIXX's fifth anniversary with their fourth mini album, 'Shangri-La.' Continuing their mythological concept album cycle, this time they are experiencing paradise, inspired by the Chinese fable 'The Peach Blossom Spring.' Devine-Channel ("Fantasy," "The Closer") produced the title track. Ravi took part in writing the lyrics for every song, and the fourth track is all his.



The title track, "Shangri-La," is a slow-burning track, I particularly like the main verses, where they stuff as many syllables as they can in a machine gun vocal attack. The synth wubs are restrained, almost insubstantial, evoking the feeling of clouds. The chorus rises to a crescendo, betraying the initial quiet of the rest of the tune. The whole tune captures the feeling of anticipation, and this heightens the tension and gives the song an epic feel to it. Awesome and entirely true to their concept.





The next tune, "Into the Void," almost has a sort of pleasing feel to it, and the repetitive hooks in English do everything to lend that feel. "Killing me" and "stuck in misery" also hew closely to their overall dark concept, powerful lyrics indeed, especially given the delivery. I love how this tune works because while it's danceable, it's still entirely grim and foreboding. This is VIXX at their finest.




"Black Out" is a more traditional club-banger. It starts out quietly enough, then it quickly acquires a frantic tone, with a sense of urgency. It's this that builds tension to the chorus. The grammatically awkward "I'm thinking your body" surprisingly makes for an effective hook, and there are some naughtier lyrics besides that. Ultimately, it breaks from concept because it's all about attraction to some lovely lady, but I on second thought that could be considered another form of paradise.





Ravi penned the first ballad on here, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5." If "Black Out" was the love affair, then this track is the breakup. Here, Ravi has constructed a tune that gives all of the boys a chance to show off their sensitive sides. He even slows it down during the raps, shedding his fire-spitting persona for a more pensive one. It's a gentle, sweet tune, assuring her that she'll be fine, not him. The harmonies help give this an ethereal feel. 





Almost seeming to be the end of a three song story, the second ballad is "To Us." This one is actually a little twisted, with paradoxes like "once again for the first time," and "you don't love every day." This almost tells me that the guy realizes how broken he is, and how broken she is, and still wants to be a stand-up guy. I like how this sounds. It lacks the excesses of run-of-the-mill ballads and is up to VIXX's dark standards. 



This is one of their better concept albums. One of the reasons I like it is that it sticks close to their bleak and forbidding concepts. Even "Shangri-La" sounds like there's a hidden ominous side. I also like the mini-love story after the main tunes. I don't know if that was intentional, but I have to think that it was. Bravo!

MV REVIEW



As lyrical as the song is, it's nothing compared to the MV. With moons, clouds, cherry blossoms and fans, the boys convey the feeling of a paradisiacal landscape. Here, the laws of physics don't apply, as one moment one might appear inside a moon, or leaning against it, feet up in the branches of a tree.

The feeling is quite outre, a little dark, but mostly comforting. The imagery and the boys move slowly albeit deliberately. Every second appears to have a purpose. There's symbolism galore, whether we're seeing through a window or seeing a bizarre tattoo on Ken's shoulder.



It's never really unsettling, and I have to hand it to them -- that's not easy to do in an alien landscape. I love the way this was filmed, with slow movements changing rapidly, to the silhouettes and dreamscapes. The camera angles are well-done, too, tight shots where you need them, and showing just enough to whet your appetite for more visuals.

The clothing emulates night clothes in the individual shots, as if this were all a dream, from pajamas to full-on robes. The boys wear suits during the dancing sequences, which are exquisitely synchronized. The movements are done particularly well, hypnotic even, and I love how they slice their air with their limbs. They get particularly forceful during the chorus.



As much as I like the song, I can say that I like the video about as much. It doesn't look like they skimped on this one, and is about as well done as any other VIXX MV, maybe more so. We're looking at another winning shot, IMNSHO.

Score


MV Relevance...........9
MV Production..........10
MV Concept..............9

MV SCORE: 9.3


Album Production.....9
Album Concept.........10
Tracklisting...............9

ALBUM SCORE: 9.3

OVERALL................9.3



SEE ALSO: VIXX bring out their inner models and show love for fans in 'NYLON'

  1. VIXX
  2. Shangri-La


Lalakpoplover Saturday, May 20, 2017

I'm sorry but you got that all wrong! It should all be 10's not 9.3 10's 10's 10's 10, 10, 10 and another 10 and another 10 and one more 10 for good measure. I'm not even a starlight but I appreciate excellence, quality, and brilliance. *Drops mic*

Hyde_and_sick Friday, May 19, 2017

This album and MV are awesome! True ART!

thisisforfun Friday, May 19, 2017

The whole album is great ! VIXX did an amazing job, as always ^^

ByulEri Friday, May 19, 2017

What else can you expect from VIXX ? Everything they do is gold. This album, in my opinion was particularly well crafted and helped show the versality and talent of all the members. I hope this song and amazing concept will help get them more recognition because they really deserve it.

Lalakpoplover ByulEri Saturday, May 20, 2017

ahem...Platinum not gold! lol

KCH Friday, May 19, 2017

one of their best albums to date, that's for sure. I'm fine with the 9.3 rating lol however, you mentioned "some lovely lady" but in all the songs the gender is never mentioned. A first for them if I'm not mistaken. a very rare thing to have even one gender neutral song, let alone 5

Lalakpoplover KCH Saturday, May 20, 2017

What do you mean gender neutral? I'm not fluent in Korean

xcosmosx Thursday, May 18, 2017

nothing but the best from ma boys!

clarissaxd Thursday, May 18, 2017

OF COURSE IT SHOULD BE 9 BUT I GIVE IT A 10! This album was nothing but stellar ! should of gotten more attention. They always deliver! perfect score for me 10/10!

onceinmylife Thursday, May 18, 2017

Great album! Good job boys 10/10!

beautiful_Liar Thursday, May 18, 2017

Of course, they are VIXX after all. Even their lives are perfect 😍

KCH beautiful_Liar Friday, May 19, 2017

Their lives are outstanding

StephieCassie Thursday, May 18, 2017

I think robes and pajamas aren't the correct word to use, they're wearing modern hanbok

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