I woke up this morning with Broken on my mind. The Broken era still remains very bittersweet. And when I push aside what still aches in my heart from 2014, I am overcome with the sweet from that era. The masterpiece of an album MBLAQ delivered and the maturity and sophistication they settled so comfortably into really is unmatched when you place them side-by-side their contemporaries. No group (in my opinion) comes close. And while it is true that theirs may have been a story wrought with some sadness, it will never tarnish or take away from their incredible evolution collectively as a group and even more importantly, as men and individual artists. My One Shot today comes in .GIF form, a moment from the Broken showcase and the provocative, 남자 답게 [Be A Man].
The sophistication of the Broken era will never lose its luster for me. The suits. The maturity. The elegance. The poise. The evolution of the music. All of it. Today, a G.O One Shotin .gif form. A moment taken from one of the late autumn 2014 stages.
There is just something about 열쇠 [Key]. It seems to be one of those songs that digs deep into G.O and takes ahold of every fiber of emotion welling inside of him. From the Broken promotions to the final performances of the song into late 2014, you see it in his eyes when he sings it and without question, hear it in his voice. 열쇠 [Key] is a somber song filled with pleas to help ease the pain of a broken or closed heart and probably has one of the most poetic and touching choruses of any of MBLAQ’s songs. And yes, G.O is the commander of that chorus. Today’s Fan-Camming Friday moment is a G.O- focused cam taken during the performance of the lyrically beautiful 열쇠 [Key] at MBLAQ’s July 2014 Summer Vacation in Tokyo.
Tonight 우리 사이 어떻게 하죠
[Tonight, what do we do about our relationship?]
자꾸 화만 내는 그대가
[You keep getting mad]
이제는 더 지쳐 가네요
[And I’m getting tired of it now]
나는 정말 어떡해요 난
[What should I do?]
These are words I would think no one would ever want to hear from their beloved. It is a pierce to the heart alone hearing them from G.O; yet, he is dutifully in charge of those lyrics in the lithe and rhythmic break up song, 우리 사이 [Our Relationship], from MBLAQ’s masterpiece 6th mini album, Broken. Even though it is heartbreaking for me to hear G.O sing these words, my ears incessantly argue with my heart. G.O’s vocals are mellifluous and flawless, with his improvisational runs particularly beautiful. With that, even though this is a gorgeous group effort, I still place it squarely in the G.O Vocal Virtuosity category here on the countdown.
It is pretty clear if you peruse the past 348 posts contained in this countdown series thus far that you could easily deem the majority of them as being nostalgic. With the exception of any that pertain to G.O’s actual enlistment and profile and/or selca picture updates that came thereafter, the series is kind of a retrospective on G.O’s career. Lately, I have been feeling particularly nostalgic for 2014 and I guess it is with good reason. The year 2014 was particularly meaningful for me as it was during that year I fell squarely (and safely) into one true bias land having discovered the irrepressible talent and charisma of G.O. It was my good fortune that not only was G.O prepping to hit the musical stage, MBLAQ was about to make a comeback with the release of their 6th mini album, Broken.
I remember when I first heard 열쇠 [Key]. I thought…wow, this is exactly the kind of ballad made for G.O to sing. When MBLAQ released Broken in March 2014, I was pretty confident they were going to pair 남자답게 [Be A Man] with 우리 사이 [Our Relationship] as the teasers J Tune released seemed to indicate such. However, when MBLAQ staged their comeback and began making the rounds performing on various music programs, it was 열쇠 [Key] that became the worthy partner. They also performed 열쇠 at the Broken Showcase on 24 March 2014 and it was easy to discern the rapturous effect the beauty of the song’s melody and heartfelt lyrics had on our gentle main vocal man.
I think if I were to sit down and begin writing a list about all of the things I love about G.O, I would not be able to complete it in the 504 days left of his service. Definitely high on that list would be his playful nature. I think following Curtain Call he lost much of that playfulness but I think his recent appearance in Mir’s chatroom in MBLAQ’s Daum Cafe not too long ago is a promise that his playfulness has not disappeared entirely, and has simply been on hiatus. Back on 28 March 2014 however, he was as cheeky and playful as ever at the Yeouido Fan Sign and that is the subject of today’s One Shot .gif.
I think one of the main reasons I love Broken so much is that the men of MBLAQ took the sensual vibe of Sexy Beat, let it mature like a fine wine and came back with sheer elegance and sophistication when they released their 6th mini album. With the smooth groove, 둘이라서 [Because There Are Two], I felt as if G.O was also maturing as a writer and composer. Coupled with that was his instinctive ability to call upon outside assistance from respected writers, composers and producers (Avengers and Radio Galaxi) to help take what was simmering in his melodically sound retro soul and give it cohesion and vibe.
I admit that I am a Mirror and Sexy Beat girl when it comes to my favorite MBLAQ albums. HOWEVER, I will never (ever) deny that MBLAQ’s sixth mini album Broken deserves masterpiece status. It squeezes itself up there with those other two because its amazingness will not and cannot be denied. Neither will the powerful and seductive visual of the exquisite jacket flip that showed up in the MV choreography for the hit single, 남자답게 [Be A Man].