After the ‘Jackpot’ promotions were cut short (due to the Sewol Ferry disaster) It was great to see Block B back with a follow-up mini album a short while later. The promos promised something fun, slightly off-kilter and most of all… very VERY pink!
Block B are a group whose MVs I always enjoy, as they’re usually a bit deranged with a hefty side of tongue-in-cheek winking at the camera – this is not a group who are afraid to destroy their idol image on camera at all.
Their last two promo cycles were ‘Very Good’ – bank robbing themed mayhem, and ‘Jackpot’ – circus themed mayhem. So in keeping with this tradition, ‘H.E.R’ is appropriately full of riotous pop colour, excessive and exaggerated aegyo, and a fun time is had by all.
When the first concept photos were released I will admit I was slightly taken aback – was Block B going to do a cute concept? It just didn’t seem… Block B. That’s not to say that they don’t have some lovely slower and romantic tracks in their discography, but they’ve never really been boy band cute. They’re more… chaos that is barely restrained. It’s like they are all ‘idols…. pfffft we’re here to have a good time!’
Thankfully ‘H.E.R’ throws the cute out the window (sort of) and embraces the silly, over the top joy that the feeling of being in love brings. It’s literally a cute concept on crack, or addled with caffeine and ADD… But it still manages to poke fun at the usual tropes of cute kpop while having a lot of fun romping around. The song has a really bright and upbeat tempo and like a lot of KPop this year, is somewhat of an homage to music styles from the past. This has a brassy 60’s pop feel, and the over saturated candy colours in the MV reinforce that connection. It’s catchy and fun and still has the distinctive Block B feel. Zico has done a really great job producing a cohesive body of work that captures their personalities and showcases their talents.
The live stages were a heap of fun as well, and best of all, we were treated to a few performances of ‘Jackpot’ as well.
I immediately loved all the pastel and pop styling! Especially as it looks like one big surreal play-set. I think they had a lot of fun just goofing off in a lot of the shots for this MV. There is a choreographed dance routine, but most of the MV is just romping around
This GIF is a few scenes spliced together! But I laughed so much at the set-up and then the payoff for this.
So the chorus is very catchy! I especially like the kaleidescope effect where the basketball hoop shots are all smushed together.
Zico and the Ostrich
This is so incredibly strange and dada-esque that it delights me – Zico also has a rather expressive face and makes some great GIF moments here.
So cute! Also rather clever as I remember seeing these all around the super market when we were in Korea. P.O’s noona-slayer pink (bright pink!) hair is also a highlight.
So sweet! And another echo of the kaleidescope imagery in the set and the pop-art sequences.
U-Kwon slaps the aegyo out of Zico
Hands down, the best part of the whole MV. My bias!!! But really, this is too funny. The show within a show is a great conceit as well.
Endless Block B
The show interview pulls back to show the premier stage performance of Block B, and again to show Block B as the band playing the instruments. You can never have too many Block B members in shot at the same time 🙂
In a sea of black and subdued albums ‘H.E.R’ and its bright candy pink packaging definitely stands out from the crowd! Unlike other groups, there is no consistency to sizing or styling with any of Block B’s previous releases. Each album is distinct from the last – which makes for an interesting and eclectic shelf arrangement.
‘H.E.R’ is a 15 x 15 box enclosure (yay boxes!) constructed from a matt laminated card that is screen printed, foiled and spot uv highlighted. Interestingly it’s an interlocking die-cut rather than a cut and glue. (The print and design part of me likes to see how these albums are made, it’s a big part of the reason that I buy a physical copy, because they use so many interesting design techniques). This is a cheaper method, but the corner mitres are snug and the inner flap has an additional layer glued to it to add weight and improve the finish.
I like the paisley design that is subtly printed on the black too! It’s a super feminine touch to an already overwhelmingly pink album. The cover is also a magnetic closure with a ribbon pull tab that is printed with their logo.
Rather than including a photocard, you instead got a random ‘paper doll’ of a member enclosed. I got Jaehyo! It’s a wonderfully kitsch inclusion that makes me love the album that much more.
The photobook is also a lot of fun, featuring bobble-headed shots of the members posing with props. It’s totally cute – in a kind of exaggerated hyper-adorable way – it’s almost like they’re dolls with their tinted pink cheeks and toy scale props.
I’m quite tempted by the Special Edition as well which includes a DVD and extra photoshoot with a larger photobook, but it may have to wait until I am more financially solvent! there are too many albums to buy this year!
The mini album has 6 tracks in total that are a kind of grab bag of styles and sound. I enjoyed the rough version of ‘Very Good’ and the ballad ‘Embrace Me Now’.
This was a great comeback and it was fantastic to see them get a few more wins under their belt too!
“Just a little bit of you”
And bonus dance practice in super cute onesies!! All dance practices should be this adorable!