Infinite – Paradise: the paradox of the “paradise”


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)

This entry was published on October 2, 2011 at 1:18 am. It’s filed under K-pop, Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

16 thoughts on “Infinite – Paradise: the paradox of the “paradise”

  1. Pingback: Analysis of Infinite’s “Paradise” | Musewb's Blog

  2. charles arkhaye verdejo on said:

    do you know the girl in music video ?

  3. Oh nicely written review 😀 I thought the same things when I first heard the name and then heard the song. I love this song and video!

  4. Yea, i like to criticize other people’s views.. especially yours. so dont worry, i will keep do this forever if i have time later today..

  5. OMG LOL I am disparaging you arent i? i am an ass.,

  6. Ok. So you are saying if the word of the title contradicts the meaning of the title it does not fall into the korean stereotype category. Also, you used one example to back up your point .. I don’t think that the song is about the meaning of the title makes it stereotype – widely held belief .

    • Well but it makes the song unique doesn’t it?

      • Unique ? I personally do not think this particular song is unique – different from most korean pop songs. lyrics that contradict the meaning of the title = unique ? I do not think this is fresh thinking.. rather common. I think the lyrics are about a boy who can not live without a girl that he liked… it will not be a paradise without the girl. I would say the song is unique when the song has honest lyrics, fresh melodies, or some creative ideas not just a title that contradicts the contents of the song.

        • Well songs can be unique in many different ways! Comon jun~~~~ And it’s very unusual for them to come out with a MV without any dancing – they are famous because of their dancing! Kinda a break through…. what do you think?

      • I think you are biased. Think more impartial way. That is what professional reviewer would do .

  7. Yujie for the first time i read your whole review of the song. you mentioned that this song does not fall into category of Korean stereotype of the song but i do not quite get it. There are lots of songs about pain of love etc. Do you agree that one of the boys has high pitch girly voice? I thought it was the girl in the music video singing but it was not.
    P.S this is rebuttal of your comment in AP Calc class / i dont look like the rapper at all….

    • wait what? rapper? whaaaah? i don’t remember….
      Well I think the song doesn’t fall into the stereotype not because of the song itself, but because of the fact that the title isn’t synonym of the song’s meaning. Usually when it’s titled “Paradise”, the song would be sweet and happy (For example, Paradise by T-max for the OST of “Boys Over Flowers”).. However, Infinite’s “Paradise”, instead of telling listeners about the theme of the song, makes a paradox and antonym – instead of happiness, the song expresses pain and desperation.
      So yeah…. thx for replying anyways 😀
      And yes they DO have a really high pitch… All songs by Infinite are in pretty high pitches…. I see that as their characteristic – and of course, it can be seen as a way to appeal to female fans, or listeners in general. They adjust the pitches so that girls can sing them easily without trying to lower their voices. And this “trick” actually has a very impressive effect – more girls start singing the songs, and by defult they unintentionally “advertise” for the song.
      Also, in this song, “Paradise”, the SUPER HIGH PITCH (yes it is very high… maybe a bit too much) revealse the status of “in heaven”, or “over the clouds”.

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