DREAM CATCHER – 'RAID OF DREAM'
2. Deja Vu
3. The Curse of the Spider
4. Silent Night
Dream Catcher has just dropped their newest EP, 'Raid of Dream'. The mini-album has 5 new tracks, including the title track "Deja Vu." And not an instrumental in the bunch. They've been doing quite well for themselves on their release, topping quite a few iTunes and realtime charts across the globe. Notably, it's a collaboration with the mobile RPG “King’s Raid.” The lyrics reflect the themes in the game, and each member has played it to get a better sense of the story. According to the Korea Herald, Siyeon said this kind of game/music fusion has been a dream of hers for a while.
Starting as a pretty piano piece, "Intro" transitions into a more classical piece with strings. Before long, it picks up steam, adding chugging electrical guitars, and then morphs into more of a dance tune. In the end, it acquires the crunchy guitars of that pop-rock sound that Dream Catcher is known for. "Deja Vu" starts out very much like "Intro" does, quiet and pretty. Only during the chorus are we treated with something akin to the Dream Catcher sound. Even Dami sings rather than raps. It seems rather subdued. It's not bad, but it's not the reason I fell in love with this band in the first place. Now, "The Curse of the Spider" sounds much more like what I've come to expect from Dream Catcher. Yes, there are soft asides, but the sharp vocals and crunchy guitars are never far behind. They use Dami a little more here than in the title track, though the raps are too spare, in my opinion.
"Silent Night" is a softer offering, as befits the title. It's more a dance/electropop hybrid. It's interesting, and it has that sinister menace that lurks behind most Dream Catcher tunes. And wait till you hear the end! Despite the near-complete lack of guitars, this is still a solid tune. More experimental than we're used to hearing from this band, but that's not a bad thing. And finally, "Polaris" is a full-blown ballad. One thing that can be said for these girls is that as sharp-voiced as they can get, they still have a softer side that is too often overlooked. This is a beautiful song, and while I could wish for a more original structure, it is very soothing and refreshing.
Overall, while this album is a little different than other Dream Catcher offerings, it's also quite the same. We've got songs that range from pop to pop-rock, and we've got the lone ballad. They seem to be putting more piano sounds into their albums. Listen to the first one, and then cue up this one and you'll see what I mean. That doesn't mean anything other than a slightly different sound. And the menace that lurks at the edge of the music is still there. Make Dream Catcher mine, at least until they give this up and start being like every other band.
The girls are characters in a video game in "Deja Vu."
Well, sort of. There's not really much of a video game in here, other than maybe swords, intimations of royalty, and improbable situations. There's a ton of symbolism here, from being buried in bright blue roses, people having swords pointed at them, and a sky filled with a blazing sun and a beautiful moon, with cotton candy clouds occasionally lit by a flash of lightning.
We don't see much dancing here, but that's really not the point of the video. They do a little bit where they're well-synced, but it's largely devoid of that. Instead, we see slow-mo sequences, or a camera panning slowly over a scene. Even subtle CGI effects at one point.
And it's absolutely stunning. There are a ton of high-quality videos out there, but I have to say this is one of the better ones. Not only do we have absolutely gorgeous girls, but the sets are equally gorgeous and evocative. And they don't really go overboard, either, except on that wild sky.
JiU gave us a few clues about what to look for: “King’s Raid has three main themes which are ‘doubt, ‘confusion’ and ‘twist.’ I hope you remember them while watching the video,” she said. And I can find all of those, and several more to boot. One of the more elegant MVs they've come up with, and I can't say enough good things about it.
MV SCORE: 9.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6