Block B are a seven member group that have been active since 2011. They have had their ups and downs, including a huge controversy regarding the Thai earthquake in 2012, and suing their company. They have managed to produce some of the catchiest, and well known, Kpop songs of the past 5 years. They tend to have a more masculine concept a lot of the time, especially in their solo and subunit releases, but their videos for Block B are generally a lot brighter. They had 2 comebacks in 2016 after not releasing anything in 2015, so I’m delighted to see them back again with this new song.


Yesterday

Song

The first thing that struck me about this song is how upbeat the music is. It starts straight away with no introduction, no preamble, the music and lyrics start at the same time. If you were unfamiliar with the lyrics, you could be forgiven for thinking that this song is happy and cute, as that is what the music wants you to believe. However, the reality is a lot darker.

The song focuses on Block B asking their girlfriend where she was yesterday. It seems to be a culmination of their suspicion that perhaps she has not been faithful. She goes to bed early, turns her phone screen side down when leaving the room, disappears for long stretches of time, and turns it back on them when asked about it.  The lyrics focus on the questioning of her, and the possibility of what she is up to goes unnamed, almost as if it’s too painful for them to speak about plainly. The saddest part for me, is that they obviously love this girl, so much so that they even tell her that if she is up to something, it’ll be fine if she doesn’t get caught. They will do anything for her. It’s this desperation that the musical composition covers the level of pain and suspicion in the song. The song is almost too upbeat, in a way, as if the questions being asked are being asked in jest, so the truth won’t hurt as much if she actually does answer, and the seriousness of the situation can be downplayed.

I think the vocals and rap parts work really well together in this song. Some songs have the unfortunate addition of having to include a rap break, and it’s plainly obvious when you hear songs that weren’t meant to have one. This song is not one of them. Zico and P.O.’s parts work really well with the overall tone and message of the song, and only seek to elevate an already great song.

There are some bands that I listen to that constantly change their sound, and it can be difficult for them to find a style of music that suits them, for example, GOT7. I feel like Block B has a sound that comes through in each of their songs that make them intrinsically “Block B” songs, and I find it hard to imagine another group pulling a song like “Yesterday” off in the same way they do.

Video

The video for “Yesterday” links more with the upbeat music than the slightly sombre lyrics. The video is bright and colouful, with primary colours being evident the whole time. Yellow is used extensively in this, and lifts the whole colour palette. From Taeil’s oversized sweater, to umbrellas, to walls, yellow is everywhere in this, and the cheerfulness of it helps to sell the song as being more upbeat than it is.

The story of the video focuses on a girl that seems to not be overly interested in the relationship she is having with the guy, she would much rather be out without them. We see her dancing with other guys, and flirting with them, while the guys from Block B are left to put the pieces together to try and figure out what’s happening. We see them follow her in the car, interrogate her in a mock prison interview, even see their pain at when she is spotted at the traffic lights flirting with an unknown. It’s only at the end of the video that we are shown that the girl has been dating all of them, and they have all been played by her. It’s the perfect ending to the video, especially considering the song contents.

The video styling is very much “Block B”, without being uniform. You could show me clips of this video without showing me the members and I would guess Block B every time. It’s the sense of fun that permeates each video they have. Their personalities are really shown well, and I feel like they have a say in how their music is presented to the world.

Block B came back with a song that is so much more than bright colours and an upbeat tune. Definitely one to add to my playlist.


If you like Block B, and would like more song suggestions, I would suggest “Toy”, “Jackpot” and “Nillili Mambo