"Shangri-La" is a true east-meets-west sonic experience with slinky synths are blended with the traditional Korean instrument gayageum for a unique kind of track and sound that isn't typically heard in the K-pop or R&B worlds. The title "Shangri-La," known by most English speakers as a fictional paradise, and its Korean title that translates to "Dowongyeong" make clear to both languages that the track is supposed to take you inside a fantasy which is further accomplished in its accompanying visual.
The music video is where the fantasy really comes to life with the guys wearing traditional costumes and donning Korean hand fans while surrounded by artwork and symbolism that recall the times of ancient Asia. The gorgeous visual sees the members looking like living pieces of artwork in solo scenes—perhaps best seen when a tattooed Ken croons to the camera—with the cinematography reaching a new peak in K-pop music videos when viewers can see every droplet of water swishing and rushing between member's legs during choreography scenes shot in a shallow pool of water. Also notable is how the band make the hand fan (which most would recognize as an accessory for females today) feel power and masculine with member Ravi handling his fan almost like it was a precious weapon. No doubt this will stand out as one of the best K-pop music videos of the year.
"Shangri-La" is the title track from VIXX's new EP that includes five new tracks that stay in the dreamy, exotic electronic/R&B world. Even as the group celebrates five years together after a very busy year in 2016, it's clear there's still surprises still to be seen from VIXX and how far the concept-focused idols can go. You can stream the Shangri-La EP via Spotify below:
Next, listen to Fuse's K-pop podcast K-Stop review VIXX, Sistar, and more below: