Hey y’all! This week, I’m looking at a girl group that I’ve never listened to before. SONAMOO (meaning “pine tree”) is the newest group from TS Entertainment, debuting with an “old-school hip hop” concept in December 2014. Now they’re back with a slightly different concept, so let’s take a look at “Cushion,” by SONAMOO!
Here’s the video with English subtitles (click CC):
“Cushion” has an audible hip-hop influence, with other pop and dance elements. The concept has been described as “future-school,” meaning that their song represents the future of music. It’s a tall order to live up to, and at the most, I’d consider it very “now,” not “tomorrow.”
Nothing against the group and this song. I think the song balances rap parts and vocal parts fairly well, and it’s the kind of song that I’d want to listen to more than once. Part of that is that it’s formulaic, unfortunately. There’s something about the song that sounds familiar, like I’ve heard it before. It’s good, it’s just not life-changing.
Another strike against this song are its lyrics. “Cushion” is a love song about a boy who has soft skin and is “squishy,” and it describes how sweet and “fluffy” he is. There’s nothing wrong with any of that, of course, but it seems like an odd metaphor to make. Why a cushion, of all things? Perhaps it’s a lost-in-translation issue, but it’s something I keep getting hung up on.
Lyrics aside, the video itself is rather entertaining to watch. There are a lot of sets in a variety of colors, and some interesting imagery with tin can telephones and red strings everywhere. If I had to wager a guess, they represent the girl’s desire to communicate with the boy, and the tangled red strings represent her inability to do so (the first line of the song states, “I already told you that I’m shy”).
The rest of the video is dance scenes, more colorful sets, and an interesting (albeit somewhat confusing) plot. The video begins with the girls in a room, looking bored, then suddenly one gets a flyer that reads “Welcome to future school.” The other members come over to read it, and suddenly there’s an earthquake? Then SONAMOO is transported into the various sets that I mentioned.
The video ends with the group landing on a pile of cushions and engaging in a huge pillow fight, when the most anticlimactic thing happens: the member who had received the flyer wakes up. Normally I think the “it was all a dream” ending is a cop-out wherever it’s used, but when this member wakes up in the end, the room has significantly more cushions than it did at the beginning. It’s that small detail that gives the ending a bit more mystery, making it more interesting for me as a viewer.
Honestly, before this song, I’d never heard of this group before. I haven’t been as active in the K-pop community in the last year as I’ve been in the past. Despite my reservations with this particular song, I think I’ll check in on this group in the future. I like their label-mates Secret and B.A.P., so I have high hopes for SONAMOO. Even if this song wasn’t perfect, it was fun, and I like their hip-hop concept. Besides, I need more girl groups in my repertoire.
All and all, it was a catchy song with a very visually appealing video. The lack of “future” in the song and the strange lyrics definitely gave me pause, but I’m definitely willing to give this group a second chance. I didn’t dislike it… I just didn’t love that much about this release.
-Visually and plot-wise, great video.
-Decent song as a whole.
-Not particularly inventive composition.