After 2014’s sensual affair that was Hwahah and the lead single Paradise Lost, Ga In has comeback with the less grim, less sexual, yet still as thrilling Carnival.
Short answer: Carnival brings a great look for Ga In despite some hiccups, with a video that is above the rest.
There is a lot to say about this song, and Gain herself.
With Carnival (The Last Day) she doesn’t let up, deciding to drop her breathy vixen aesthetic, for something more sweet and aware. In fact the song reads like IU’s Red Shoes (the producer apparently did her song). If one were to look at this as a musical, both take places at different points in the movie. Red Shoes feels like a memorable moment that people remember in the midst of the cheesy acting. Carnival is the finale. But ultimately, while comparisons to Red Shoes would feel appropriate the song can stand on it’s own.
The first thing I noticed was the vibrant music. The song is incredibly festive playing like the cliché parade that one would often hear about right before the actual circus. The persistent horns, the fact that Ga In is actually putting effort into her singing instead of sounding like a bored infant. There is a part where the song is mostly the music, and it sounds like the circus. Carnival feels like a joyous occasion sung by a sweet voiced fairy.
Now while I love the song, and ultimately Ga In, I do think the song loses itself with a smaller singer. Ga In feels very isolated on the song, and sometimes gets lost in it, instead of being on the forefront. Had she been the true showcase, and even had grander harmonies to back her up (other than the very sweet and far too docile layers present), I think the song could have been considered perfect. For a song that is so grand and so lively and so festive, Ga In seems to have trouble truly conveying that at her best. But if the song is only a mile away from perfection, the video truly gets it there.
I think these last few comebacks for the ladies have been successes in their music videos. Carnival starts with a slightly too bright funeral. A man in his old age makes his way up, and we are shown images of an alive and smiling Ga In. I almost wish they would have toned down that part. A bigger contrast in colors (a dimmer more grey/muted funeral). Still it seems to play up on the idea that her funeral was a festive occasion even though sad. The rest of the video are scenes of her wake, her life, and her love.
This all sounds super cheesy when writing it, but the video grabbed me. It grabbed me so much that I worried that the video had actually convinced me that the song was better than it was. Carnival might be one of the best K Pop videos I have seen.
I have never not been impressed with Ga In. While I may not have been completely sold as a fan of hers, I have always thought she was by far one of the better idols from a musical and overall performance standpoint. While she has not always won me over (2013 was a meh year for her in my opinion), I think compared to some of her female contemporaries…she is more dedicated to whatever story she is telling, while also producing content that is miles ahead of a majority of other idols. The only soloist I have seen with more dedication to her craft and package has been IU, who has been repeatedly lauded for everything as a pop star.
Carnival may not be perfect, but it does give Ga In something that many do not have. Presence, a vision, whatever you want to call it. Whomever is calling the shots (be it her company, herself, or a team of unicorns), have made it their goal to bring the best of Ga In as an entirety, and it is working.
Ga In has released part 1 of a 2 part album. You can get it now.