Hey y’all! This week, I’m doing a special Halloween-themed review. There are a few k-pop songs that have dark, creepy concepts, but no one does them quite as well as VIXX. They’ve had several songs on with dark or fantastical elements, but the best one for the occasion would have to be a single from about a year ago. So without any further delay, let’s take a look at Voodoo Doll!
(WARNING: This music video involves body horror and gore, so view at your own discretion!)
(Check out Starshine’s review of this song here)
Here’s the subbed R-Rated version of the music video, because the “clean” version doesn’t include all the horror elements that fit with the Halloween theme. If you prefer not to view it, there’s a clean version with English subs here. Be aware that all the plot elements (including voodoo girl) are completely omitted from the clean version.
The lyrics can be interpreted in two ways. The first is the realistic way, that “voodoo” is a metaphor. In that case, it’s about a masochistic boy who will do anything for the girl he loves, no matter what the emotional or physical pain to him. There’s an element of sacrifice, that he will endure anything to make sure this girl isn’t treated badly. The other, literal interpretation is that it’s from the perspective of a voodoo doll in love with its maker, that will endure the pain she inflicts on it in order to ensure she gets her revenge.
Personally, I like this version better because I like the fantastical element to it. Either way you take it, there’s definitely an element of masochism or martyrdom to the lyrics. It’s not the first time I’ve heard songs like this – a guy’s in love with a girl, but she keeps getting hurt because she’s with the wrong guys, but he’ll stand beside her and do his best to make sure she isn’t hurt. It’s kind of a sad, boring theme to me. Just move on already! Stop relishing in your self-pity.
One thing I absolutely love about this is the dance. VIXX does this one move at the beginning, where the first member to sing is laying on his back, and gets pulled up over the other members by his wrists and ankles. There’s also a zombie-like dance in the chorus, as if they’re being affected by the voodoo doll. VIXX always has good dances, and they switch it up, rather than having all six members move in synchronization.
Not to say that synchronized dance moves are bad- they’re an art form when done perfectly- but variety is more pleasing to the eye. They also use some sort of skull with attacked spike for various dance moves–lots of stabbing. The stab moves in particular were banned from music shows.
Compared to the lyrics, the video takes a different direction, with the members of VIXX being held against their will by a sadistic voodoo girl. They’re clearly there against their will, which totally counters the lyrics, whichever interpretation you take. She has a small voodoo doll, which affects all six of them. She visits each member for individualized torture, and stands in the middle and hurts them all at once. It almost reads as a metaphor for an abusive relationship in this sense.
The song itself is upbeat with techno elements. It’s very similar to the VIXX songs I know. Which is to say that it’s a good song. I like the tone of their music, and the way they harmonize. The song itself sounds somewhat dark, so it all fits together quite well. I hadn’t actually heard this song until recently (다칠 준비가 돼 있어 had been my favorite song of theirs for quite a while), but it definitely fits what I’ve come to expect from the group. The song is has a dynamic tempo and a bouncy, catchy melody that will stick in your head for the next two weeks.
The video, unfortunately, does not have a happy ending. The members somehow manage to escape their cages, and when voodoo girl finds them gone, she throws her doll around, in turn knocking VIXX all over the place. She pulls one member in particular. I’m not sure what it implies- did the other members get away? Did they die? In the end, the member that was pulled back is sitting in a chair in the middle of the prison. I guess there’s no need for cells when there’s only one of them. There’s a bit more mutilation before the song is over, and not through a voodoo doll. The girl’s body language after that is deceptively loving…. or is it possessive?
All in all, this song was a great listen, the dance was impressive, and the video was creepy and gorey and scary and awesome. VIXX is quickly becoming one of my favorite groups. They’re extremely talented, and their music is always enjoyable, whether they’re going for the horror or boy next door concept. I would also recommend their most recent single, Error, if you want to see more from them. That one is more of a tragic sci-fi story, and it’s just as fun to watch.
-Awesome atmosphere in the video.
-Gore, if you’re not into that stuff.
-Lyrics kind of overdone.