Review: Jackpot – Block B

Hey y’all! Oliveblair here, with my first review on Moar Powah. I’ll be posting about k-pop every Monday (no relation to a certain couple’s K-Pop Music Monday). Today, I thought the best place to start would be with my all-time favorite group, Block B and their second single under new management, Jackpot.

block b jackpot cover

Here’s the official music video with English subs. (You might have to switch to HD to view the subs completely)

The lyrics of this song in one word: money. The goal is to hit the jackpot and become fabulously wealthy- though it isn’t about luck. This song is about working hard and not taking shortcuts. Even though some people might not think it’s possible, you have to disregard them and continue fighting to get what you want.

The video opens in an creepy carnival, where a young girl walks up to what looks like a display case of clown statues. Then one moves. The next thing you know, a member of Block B in a clown mask (which might remind you of their previous single, Very Good) appears behind the girl, making her faint with shock. The rest of the video involves the various members poking and prodding at the girl, dressing her up, chasing her through the park, basically treating her like a doll. It alternates between bright and colorful, dark and dreary, and even black and white. The end result is almost cinematic, and though there is a lot going on, it never seems like too much.

jackpot dress up

Dress-up time, with paper doll Kim Sae-Ron.

There’s been some speculation about the video being representative of the k-pop industry, where the girl is the idol and Block B is the company. It shows how young children are taken in without truly understanding what they’re getting into, how they become puppets for their company, getting dressed up and putting their lives into their company’s hands. An “epilogue,” after the song is over, shows the girl after what would have been her debut, flipping off Block B. This scene, and the shady vibe of most of the video, show how the k-pop industry is not the bright and happy “carnival” it seems to be, and that some groups (like Block B) are treated terribly until they decide to leave (usually with a lawsuit).

jackpot middle finger

Not much of a paper doll after all.

The song is what the group describes as “electro swing,” and although I’m not entirely sure what that means, I guess it works? I can hear what sounds like brass instruments (or maybe there’s a sax?) and there definitely seems to be a swing influence. It took me quite a few listens to get used to it though, because I felt the tone of the chorus was just a little off from the the rest of the song. Or perhaps it was the tone of the pre-chorus versus the rapped verses. They seemed to be different parts that sort of went together, that I’m not entirely sure complemented each other. Still, the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it.

The dance, from what I can see is sometimes goofy, sometimes smooth, which seems to fit Block B well. There are lots of silly faces, which Block B fans have come to expect. They take their jobs seriously, as reflected in the lyrics, but don’t seem to take themselves all that seriously, which is what endeared them to me, as a fan.

jackpot dance

These guys can’t keep a straight face. Typical.

Overall it was a good song with a great video. It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to see them perform it live (partially because of the ferry incident in South Korea, and because Block B is already working on their next comeback), but I understand their reasons for canceling their promotions. Jackpot has come to be one of my favorite Block B songs, and the video itself may even be my favorite. Great job, guys. Can’t wait for the next one.

Pros:

-Creepy and fun carnival concept.

-Fun dance.

-Interesting plot.

Cons:

-What is electro swing?

-Awkward music transitions.

Rating: 4.5/5

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