Another month, another release through the second season of SM Station. This time around we have something completely different from anything that came before it. The song, “Marry Man”, is a collaboration between the comedic hip hop duo, UV, and Super Junior’s Shindong. Shindong is known for having a very comedic presence on a lot of variety shows, so he is the perfect companion for this song.
UV, who consists of Yoo Se-Yoon, a comedian, and Muzie, a hip hop artist from High Syde, have been releasing singles through their own show on MNET since 2011. They have previously collaborated with some big names in the Kpop industry, but perhaps most famously, with JYP himself in 2010, “Itaewon Forever”.
Shindong debuted as part of Super Junior in 2005, and was capitulated to massive success over the next few years. Whilst making some less than desirable comments about female idols weights in the past, he has since apologised, and has worked on becoming kinder with his words. He has recently completed his mandatory military service, and this is the first song we have seen from him since.
The song starts and it’s almost like a time machine. The song immediately transported me back to the 1980s. The spiralling synths, the power guitar, the building and building of the song as it moves towards the chorus, all indelible hallmarks of all the best 1980s tunes. This is no exception. In fact, as I was researching this song, my husband asked which 80’s song it was. It’s got such a retro vibe to it, in the best possible 80s throwback.
The lyrics seem almost earnest in this jokey song. He sings that he just wants to get married to this particular girl. He wants to spend the rest of his life with her, and that includes sleeping with her. He knows that marriage will be hard, and it’s not for the easily scared, but with her, it’s a risk worth taking. Given the synth music, and the music video itself, I believe that this song is meant to be a comedic song, something to laugh at, but honestly, the lyrics are sweet. They are speaking of an old-fashioned ideal that the members want, even if it’s not what’s in vogue currently.
Just as I was acknowledging the sweet lyrics, the song takes a complete left turn and introduces a hip hop dance break, which I was not expecting in any way! It adds to the overall visual comedic value, but doesn’t help the song itself. It seems that the writers and composers of the song wanted to include as many 80s musical references as possible in one song, regardless of how they fit together. I think that it is unnecessary in this song, and removed me from the otherwise Europop atmosphere.
If the song is an ode to the 1980s, the video is a saga. The video could not have more 1980s references. From the yacht (Duran Duran, anyone?) to the giant shoulder pads (literally any 80s musician) to the crazy eyewear (Elton John and Andy Warhol, to name two), this video looks like it could easily have been released in 1985 and no one would have bat an eyelid. The matching outfits only further solidify the aesthetic of the video. From my limited research on the landscape of pop music in 1980s South Korea, I have concluded that this video is nothing like the music that was popular at the time, and seeks to emulate the European and North American pop music styles and visuals of the 1980s.
The video follows a couple, who we can guess are on their honeymoon, and are being chased around by Shindong and UV, but never quite seem to pay them enough attention. The couple are seen to enjoy each other’s company immensely, and partake in demure activities such as a walk on the beach and horse-riding. Meanwhile, Shindong and UV are dancing around them and thrusting periodically. It is a very out of place dance move with the tone of the MV, but considering they want to get married and spend the rest of their lives with this woman, and that includes being in bed, it definitely makes sense!
It’s the visuals of the video that definitely mark this song apart as being a “comedy” single. The dance routine is pretty humorous but it’s the running that had me giggling. There is something about three grown men running in unison with their hands on their hips, through a field, with their hair blowing in the wind, that tickled me. Couple that with the aforementioned hip hop dance break, it’s one of the funniest videos this year. As I’ve said, the dance break doesn’t do much for the song itself, but for the video, it’s perfect. It’s over the top dance moves and the slight failure of the members fits so well with the tone of the video, I had to watch it multiple times.
This song is completely different from the previous releases to the SM Station. Not an unwelcome one, but probably not a song I’m going to frequently listen to. The video, on the other hand, is definitely worth a watch, if not just for the magnificent shoulder pads.
If you want to hear more Shindong, you can’t go wrong with “Mamacita”, “ Bonamana”, and “Sexy Free and Single”.
For UV, it would have to “Itaewon Forever!” with JYP.