After all the struggles it has been through, Infinite is finally going uphill these days. After the success of “Be Mine”(#1 of last week!) and its album “Over The Top”, Infinite next came out with the repackage with new song “Paradise” (and “Cover Girl”).
The music of “Paradise” has carried on the as-usual Infinite style: catchy but not too repetitive melody, echoing drum beats and midi sound effect, key change after the bridge, and more…. But it’s not simply a repetition of what Infinite had done before. In fact, it’s very different from the earlier ones: the title “paradise” itself, serves not as a theme, but rather a paradox; by this trait alone, “Paradise” stands out – hardly anybody had done this before.
When I first heard the teaser and saw the title of “Paradise”, I expected a song full of happiness, or at least, a song of sweetness of love, which is a stereotype of korean songs when it comes to terms like “paradise”, “heaven” or “fairyland”. However, when the full version of the song came out, I realized how wrong I was and how easily I fell into the stereotype of thinking. The concise and flipping melody of flute simulates the singing of birds, or angels, which does indeed gives a feeling of “paradise”. However, the string instruments at the back along with the long echoing drum beats and this pretty flute melody create a rather strange image in my head: a humid and obscure, or even foggy, grassland: the air is cool, the breeze is wet, the land is quiet and peaceful, but at the same time it is so vast that it becomes lonely – and there’s no sunshine. When it comes to the chorus, it becomes even more “humid”: the single syllable lyrics sound like beads of dew dripping down from the grass to the soil, and even though the extremely high pitches describe “over the clouds”, the chorus sounds like a striving appeal instead of claim of happiness. The tone of the song isn’t happy at all. It sounds sad, and even desperate as if yelling without being heard to me.
Then the lyrics came out. I was right. The lyrics is full of pain, loneliness and desperation for love. Till now, the meaning of the title “Paradise” comes clear – it’s a paradox that describes a state of happiness that the man (who’s yelling out this song) wishes to own but can never get. “Only when you are here it could be the paradise, even if it would be the paradise where I locked you up; I wish you could never get out from this paradise when you are awake, the paradise where we can be together forever and ever.” The cry for love is so strong that it makes me shiver.
The MV explains the desperate tone of furthermore. This MV contains no dance – not even one shot of it. Instead it portrays a sad story (even though the story disregards the lyrics of the song):
After the boy died, the girl lost hope in life and became numb of everything. She wandered around the house that represents their happiness purposelessly, cleaning up the space that he once lived, trying to wipe him out of her mind but trapped in the memory and love he once gave him. Meanwhile, the boy’s spirit followed the girl – he couldn’t leave her alone. He watched the girl suffer, he felt guilty and regretted his death. However, nothing could be reversed. So the boy sang, trying to tell the girl to get over him: “I can no longer protect you. Please don’t do this to yourself, it won’t make me feel any easier. Just forget me, please. Without me, you should still find your paradise.” Finally, the girl stood up and walked out of the door – she went into the sunshine, and finally stepped forward. As if received the telepathy, the girl turned back to the house and looked at the window where the boy’s spirit stood and gazed at her – but of course nobody was standing there. After seeing the girl relieved from him and herself, the boy went on the train to paradise (or heaven), leaving the girl forever – they both let go at last despite of their deep love for each other. In this music video, the 7 members of Infinite transformed into one figure – they become one single boy’s different sides (another example of “one as all, all as one”!), and the effect was actually quiet natural and stunning – the emotion looked real and heart-gripping.
After all, the paradox of paradise makes this song effective in stunning the audience.Also, I have to say, the dance to the song (from live) is incredibly sexy (yes it does ruin the sadness and desperation expressed in the song, but it shows the man’s plenty desire for love)!
Live Performance of “Paradise”: (The fans’ support was so loud… I am so happy to see this talented group to be appreciated finally)