Review: Red Light – f(x)

Hey y’all! Today I’ll be looking at one of my favorite female groups, the masters of the “dance in different rooms” music video- f(x). I’m often frustrated with SM Entertainment, because f(x) has great songs, and they’re all talented singers and dancers, but it’s obvious that the only thought that goes into their usual music videos is: a) what kind of funky outfits are they going to wear and b) what kind of background are they going to dance in front of? That’s it. But this comeback is like a trailer for a movie, and it’s one of the most entertaining music videos that has ever come out of SM Entertainment. Let’s look at Red Light.

fx red light

Here’s the MV with English subs (best viewed in HD):

The lyrics of Red Light seem to be about a break-up, or a break-up about to happen. The chorus talks about a collision which must be stopped- I’m assuming the collision is a huge fight between the couple. The red light is a warning sign — just to stop for a moment before something terrible happens. There were a few lines that I didn’t understand — like the line about waiting for the blue light. In America, a green light would make more sense. I actually did some research and found that the Korean word for blue is used for the green light on a traffic signal.

The music video, however, has nothing to do with a relationship. There are the dance scenes so common to SM videos, but interspersed throughout are various scenes and references to dystopian novels such as 1984, A Clockwork Orange, and Fahrenheit 451. These scenes make the MV seem like a trailer for some new dystopian movie. Many of the scenes are cinematic and while there isn’t really a plot, there’s enough plot to keep it interesting.

Robots watching a film reel- reminiscent of the movie version of 1984.

Robots watching a film reel- reminiscent of the movie version of 1984.

From what I see of the dance, it’s nothing less than what I’d expect from f(x). The movements are sharp and synchronized. They utilize their numbers well, sometimes one half mirroring another. The movements are powerful, which matches the electro tone of the song and the somewhat tone of the video.

The outfits are pretty varied— there’s a scene where they’re all dressed in camoflague like rebel fighters, and another where they’re dressed in something that looks inspired by fancy military dress. Yet another scene has them in black and white menswear inspired outfits. In many close-ups, you can see that they’re wearing more makeup on one eye rather than the other. This seems to be inspired by the film version of A Clockwork Orange, where Alex has black eyeliner under one eye.

“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.” -Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange.

“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.” -Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange.

The song itself is just your typical electro-pop song. There isn’t a rap break like usual, but the verses have rap elements to them, and Amber gets to sing a line in the bridge. About time the girl got some more singing parts! The song is super catchy — I’ve been listening to it nonstop all weekend. I’ve yet to get sick of it (fingers crossed that I don’t)!

I almost wish there was a bit more plot. There’s the scenes of the girls running—what are they running from? There’s a clip of a building exploding and one of a person in a gas mask — are they linked? Is this universe that dangerous and violent? The most intriguing part of the MV is when f(x) is dressed in white, and they’re out in the open for the first time. I imagine if the MV were like a movie, this would be the end, when they escape whatever it is they’re running from.

f(x) red light krystal luna amber

Happy ending? Bittersweet ending? Is it an ending at all?

On the whole, a very enjoyable song, and one of the most interesting MVs from SM Entertainment in quite a while. I love this concept for f(x), and I’m very excited to be able to finally get the album today! I have a feeling that this song will replace I Got A Boy as my most listened female k-pop song.

Pros: 

-Dystopian concept with classic references.

-Catchy electronic song.

-Cinematic aspects— not just dancing in rooms.

Cons: 

-Not a fully fleshed plot.

Rating: 4.5/5

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