With autumn here and winter on its way, it’s time for a soft ballad release with the solo debut of Super Juniors‘ youngest member, Kyuhyun. His EP, At Gwanghwamun, features a title track of the same name.
Ever since 2006, Kyuhyun has been known among his fanbase, E.L.F, as one of the best Super Junior members when it comes to performing ballads. That resulted in Kyuhyun forming a sub-unit Super Junior-K.R.Y that performs mainly ballads with members Ryeowook and Yesung. The talent Kyuhyun has with ballads and the popularity he has gained from singing ballads has had an impact on the type of title track released for his solo debut. From this impact, “At Gwanghwamun” topped all nine digital Korean charts within 12 hours of its release. He achieved what is known as an all-kill in South Korea, which is when a song reaches number one on all major Korean charts.
For the music video, the concept that has been used is an artistic one, in that the scene setups used don’t really have anything to do with the lyrics that Kyuhyun is singing about. It starts with Kyuhyun waking up in bed, getting out of bed, taking a drink of water, and pouring the rest of the jug of water onto a tree randomly planted in the bedroom scene. The scene then switches to him sitting in front of a bathtub that is filling with water, and he writes the release date of his music video with red lipstick before he gets up and walk away.
We then see that Kyuhyun has changed outfits and is sitting in a chair. He has put a picture frame flat on a table. Before zooming out and doing panoramic view of the living room set, there is a close up of Kyuhyun. Then it zooms in on the television, which has an image of white clouds and the blue sky. The two scenes with the bathroom and the living room are used again later on in the video.
The television then switches to a hanging picture of the clouded blue sky that the camera zooms out from towards Kyuhyun, who is putting on a suit jacket. He moves to sit in a chair and someone walks across the camera. Then, the scene changes to a bus stop. Later on in the music video, Kyuhyun is playing the piano, and it ends with a zoom out of the female lead.
The concept is not original overall, but the way that the editors have put the video together has given a smooth flow to it. The video looks like it is going through a single day with Kyuhyun and shows the heartache of waiting for a girlfriend who won’t be coming.
As stated before, the lyrics don’t really have anything to do with the video until you see the ending scene, where they are zooming out on the female lead. Then, the lyrics make a lot more sense: “oneul babocheoreom geu jarie seo inneun geoya / biga naerimyeon heumppeok jeojeumyeo / oji annneun neoreul gidaryeo / naneun haengbokhaesseo / geu son japgo geotdeon gieoge tto dwidora bwa / nega seo isseulkka bwa” translates to “Today, like a fool, I am standing at that spot / Getting wet in the rain / Waiting for you, who won’t come / I was happy / At the memories of holding hands and walking together, / I look back – In case you are standing there.” In the video, Kyuhyun is waiting for his girlfriend who is not coming and he is singing about the pain of waiting.
The music score that Kyuhyun is using a mixture of a piano and string instruments, with violin and possibly cello. This gives the song a soft mellow feeling. With the colder weather now coming, it makes you want to curl up in front of a real log fire with your significant other drinking a hot chocolate, which is a surprising contradiction to the message that the song is giving.