Review: Driving – A.cian

Hey y’all! This week I’ll be reviewing a group that I hadn’t heard of before. A.cian debuted in 2012 with five members, of which only one still remains. They’ve gone through a couple of lineup changes (having 6 members at one point), but now they’re back with five members of varying experience.

This is the current line-up’s third single, only seven months after their first comeback as a group. Even though the general group has been around for a while, they’re all new to me, so I’m excited. Without further ado, let’s take a look at A.cian’s newest single, Driving!

a.cian driving cover

Here’s the song with English subs (CC):

The lyrics are full of driving metaphors (his heart as an engine, the green light into her heart, driving to her) that are almost too cheesy, but not quite. They talk about a boy who has fallen for a girl, and “driving” is his way of saying he’s pursuing her. It seems to be the beginning of a relationship, as he’s asking her to let him in. It’s a common theme, especially in pop music, but it’s cute and I guess the car metaphors set this particular song apart?

The song itself is extremely upbeat and cheerful. The very beginning of the song (with the four intro beats) reminds me of a Bruno Mars song (Treasure comes to mind). The rest of the song also has a bit of a funky vibe like Bruno Mars, but it’s definitely more pop sounding. I do love the guitar in the backing track. With such a big techno and hip hop influence in pop and K-pop music recently, this song is like a breath of fresh air.

a.cian driving picnic

How cute is this stuff?

The video also happens to fit the lyrics extremely well. It starts with the members preparing for what looks like a road trip. They prepare food, map out a route (on a world map, but that’s neither here nor there) and they play up the cute, boy-next-door image with Disney character sweatshirts. The way they package the food seems very Pinterest-able, which seems like a lot of effort to put into a single drive.

A little before halfway through, they get in the actual cars: a beetle convertible and a Volkswagen van. Nara of Hello Venus also makes an appearance as leader LO-J’s girlfriend. That’s right- a K-pop music video with a boy group and a single girl and they aren’t all stalking her. The other members of the group are just hard-core third-wheeling. But hey, at least they helped LO-J prepare a nice evening for his girl.

a.cian driving nara lo-j

And we call it bella notte…

The dance takes several lines from the song literally (the dance move for “long hair” in the chorus is my favorite), but it looks very crisp and fits the fun tone of the song. The choreography may be a little too demanding, because in the few live performances I’ve seen, the members sound out of breath as they sing. Still, more power to them for taking it on. I think people underestimate the effort it takes to dance and sing simultaneously, and I have to give them credit for not backing down.

One thing I like about this video is the bright, spring/summer-like appearance of it. The colors are bright, but not too loud (possibly some desaturation took place), and there’s sunlight in as many shots as possible. Just watching the video puts you in a happy summer mood, something that bleeds over into the song itself when you listen. It just makes you happy to listen to, exactly the reason why I love pop music.

a.cian driving map

Note the toy versions of their real cars.

All in all, I’d say this was a fun song that really brightened my day and made me want to dance. It’s perfect for this time of year, and I’ll probably be jamming to it to get ready for summer. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of this group sooner, but I’m glad I know about them now. Their company (the Korean branch of a Thai company) is pretty good about putting English subtitles on their content, making this group extremely accessible to foreign fans. It isn’t something their obligated to do, but it is greatly appreciated.

Pros:

-Such a cheerful song!

-The video and dance are perfectly fitting.

Cons:

-The third wheeling was a bit awkward.

-Otherwise, no real complaints here!

Rating: 4.5/5

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