Highlight are back for the second time this year, and following the massive success that was “Plz Don’t Be Sad”, “Can Be Better” sought to replicate the same success. It’s interesting to see the style of music that Highlight are releasing these days. For a group in their 8th year, and one that has recently rebranded completely, one would expect a slightly more serious tone from them. However, it’s obvious that they are very much enjoying their new found musical style, and it comes across wonderfully in their latest work. Let’s check it out in more detail below.
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Can Be Better
The song that is heard in the music video for this release has a different introduction than the one that is on their album, “Celebrate”. The song in the music video has an acoustic guitar intro, accompanied by an electric guitar, which suddenly turns into silence and this gives the song an extra minute runtime. The reason for this is to showcase the members engaging in various activities that seem to go wrong. In the album version, there is no delay or build-up, the vocals start instantly.
“Can Be Better” has a very upbeat tone to both the melody and the music. It’s in the same vein as their previous work, and the levity of the music makes it extremely catchy. The chorus especially, has that elusive earworm quality. The vocals in this are excellent and Yoseob’s voice specifically suits this new direction that Highlight are taking.
Surprisingly, the lyrics to this song are more serious than a brief listen would allude to. They speak of being lost in a world that is full of trouble and pain, but being able to see through it. Highlight urges us to look critically at the situations we find ourselves in. To ask us are we really making the best use of our time if we “worry about things that haven’t happened yet”. They don’t sugarcoat the harshness of this world, telling the listener that they often hate the world as it is. All of what exists can be better, and we can make it happen.
As previously mentioned, the music video has a delayed introduction to the song, as the members each set up their own terrible day. From slipping on a banana peel, to getting distracted by a beautiful lady, each of the members manage to have an awful day before even arriving at their place of work. This delayed introduction takes about thirty seconds. Each of the members are shown in their various employment, but most of the action of the music video takes place in a barber’s shop.
The overriding theme of this video is the sense of fun that Highlight seem to be having. In comparison to the dark and mysterious videos from their time as Beast, their videos are now bright and upbeat, with a merriment and relaxation that is nice to see. The only exception to this is Junhyong’s overly serious section where he is a butcher. The whole scene is at odds with everything that preceded it, and came after it. This alone makes it stand out a little more than the rest of the video, and certainly makes this scene more memorable.
I adore Highlight. I am so happy with the direction that they are taking their music. They are maintaining the serious tone of their music but managing to inject new life into it. Their video makes me smile every time I see it as their smiles and interactions seem as though they are genuinely having a good time. “Can Be Better” is one of those songs that I find myself reaching for when I have a bad day, to try and comfort myself that my bad day was temporary. It’s cheery music belies its serious lyrics, and I was surprised (and glad!) to find this upon researching the lyrics. Definitely one to add to my “Cheer Up” playlist!
If you love this song, please check out “Plz Don’t Be Sad”, “Who Am I?” and “Calling You”.