HOLLAND – NEVERLAND
K-Pop has taken a giant leap forward with the first openly gay idol artist Holland debuting with his new single "Neverland." He has been embraced by the K-Pop fan community with the MV surpassing 700,000 views within 24 hours of its release. He's even inspired a Twitter hashtag: #HollandDebutDay. Frankly, his sexual orientation doesn't matter to me at all -- my question is: can he sing?
His delivery is interesting, a bit garbled and indistinct. I'm not sure how I feel about this since sometimes it's annoying. It does mean you need to pay closer attention to the song to understand the lyrics or turn it up higher. I do like the timbre of his voice, though -- it sounds unique and deep enough for him to stake his own claim to fame.
The song itself is about coming out and wanting to get away from all the gay-bashers, heading to a place where he can love freely. This is a pretty universal sentiment at its core -- escape from the haters and live life on your own terms. I like it, and it makes the tune instantly relatable. And I find it encouraging that he wrote his own lyrics. He's very talented and I'm not intrigued to hear and read more of his material in the near future.
Yeah, I think we can term this a successful debut. While R&B is becoming a well-worn trope, Holland still handles it with style and unique charm. I'd like to hear him do more dance-inspired songs, however. Still, he makes a good case for Neverland being a pleasant place to visit.
Come along with Holland as he skates down the road, on his way to Neverland. All is not entirely well there, though -- it seems some kind of mystic lightning flashes across the screen as he travels. Neverland is a kind of paradise, and his lover waits there. And we see scenes of him and his lover there together, sometimes everything's great, other times they're fighting. And there's the kiss...
For the most part, it's structured just like any other vacation getaway video. We have the beach, the crashing waves, the two young lovers in strife or in bliss (in this case, both). We have the loving camera angles and two handsome stars. And we have Holland both happy and singing alone, missing his other half. It's got everything it needs to be a success.
I'm not entirely happy with the decision to rate this for 19-year-olds. There's no violence, no in-your-face sexuality. Why did they do it? I'll let you, dear readers, figure that one out. You're smart (well most of you). While I like the video, as I said, it resembles a lot of other videos. And while I like seeing the sun again, the MV gets no points for originality. It was still okay to watch and wasn't terrible by any stretch.
MV SCORE: 8.3
SONG SCORE: 8.3