Kiss me baby, just, you can take me day by day…
After a brief delay, T-ara made their return today with the release of their new mini-album and the music video for their soon-to-be No. 1 smash hit, “Day by Day”.
Keeping in theme with their last few single releases, the “Day by Day” music video is another mini-movie, clocking in at just over 10-minutes and featuring a futuristic sci-fi concept that comes after the group previously went retro for “Roly Poly” and gangster for both “Cry Cry” and “Lovey-Dovey”.
In fact, they’ve virtually followed the exact same formula as their last two hits, snagging only Jiyeon and Hyomin to star in “Day by Day”, which has a dark and dramatic sound like “Cry Cry”, while Eunjung will join the pair in part II of the video, which will be for the Euro dance tune “Mirage” (“Lovey-Dovey”, anyone?).
Recent addition Dani, the 14-year-old who is scheduled to officially join T-ara later this year, is the only other member of the group to appear in the “Day by Day” video. After seeing Qri’s awful acting in “Lovey-Dovey”, I’m not surprised that CCM are only booking T-ara’s top actresses to star in the drama versions of their music videos, but it would be nice to see the other members included in some capacity, even if it’s just a non-speaking role in the background.
Now for the actual video. At the beginning, an intro gives us a pretty standard sci-fi plot line about how everybody in the future is at war with each other in the pursuit of power, behaving like violent animals and turning the planet into an apocalyptic wasteland. Dani plays a young blind girl who possesses a mysterious power, while a flame-haired Hyomin, for some reason, has to protect her. Rumors spread of Dani’s gift, leading a bleach blonde war lord, played to perfection by Jiyeon, to come after the pair in hopes of capturing Dani, in order to harness her power and take over the land (I kind of assumed that last part).
Hyomin looks utterly amazing with her Rihanna red hair, but it’s Jiyeon who absolutely steals the show as the evil war lord. If T-ara starred in a Korean version of Melrose Place, Jiyeon would be Heather Locklear. She pulls off the sexy bitch role better than anybody else in K-Pop, so I’m glad to see her playing up to it.
This is the first time we’ve seen Dani, but despite the initial opposition from fans (including myself), it’s obvious that she’s going to make a great addition to T-ara. She looks a lot like miss A’s Suzy, only more slender with better hair and a bigger nose, but she’s still very distinctive, which is an important part of T-ara’s image. She actually seems like a better addition than Areum, who is more typically beautiful, but doesn’t stand out as much as Dani does (Qri part II tbh).
From the CGI effects to the costumes and sets, “Day by Day” nailed everything on the visual front, easily making it one of the best looking videos of the year. The storyline was entertaining, but I wasn’t blown away by it, and I wouldn’t rank “Day by Day” as my favorite idol MV of 2012 — that’d probably be between Sunny Hill’s “The Grasshopper Song”, Miryo’s “Dirty”, or IU’s “You & I”.
Overall, “Day by Day” is a strong effort that takes T-ara’s trademark style and pushes it into slicker, glossier territory. It’s easy to see why T-ara’s the fastest rising group in K-Pop, and while they’re going to need to stop the mini-movies and do something new after they’ve wrapped up their current sci-fi saga, I’m definitely loving “Day by Day” so far and I can’t wait for part II.
I’ll review the song “Day by Day” in my mini-album review latest this week…