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2EYES Tops Editor's Picks For The Top 5 K-Pop Music Videos Of 2013 With 'Don't Mess With Me' [VIDEO]

By Jesse Lent | December 13, 2013 08:54 PM EST

Any time you make a list, you are asking to be told you are completely off-base for leaving somebody off. But while 2013 had it's share of notable K-pop videos, here are the five that had the strongest effect on me.

1. 2EYES "Don't Mess With Me"
There isn't anything in the world of K-pop quite like the "Don't Mess With Me" video. Rocket-fired fists, high-flying martial arts and power plant explosions are just a few examples from the video's arsenal of impressive moments. Subtitled "The Fist of Vengeance" the director reimagines the five members of 2EYES as a group of vigilante fighters in a dark future resembling "Mad Max." Although highly overlooked by fans, ("Don't Mess With Me" has 135,000 YouTube views, a sharp contrast to the millions of views for the other videos on this list) the originality of the concept, a Tarantino-esque revenge fantasy, and the strength of the band's performance, was unmatched in 2013. But for all the visual pyrotechnics, one of the video's strongest sequences is also its most low budget-a scene where the members dance on a dusty back road feels gritty and real. Hopefully, the lack of attention for this brilliant video won't stop 2EYES from continuing to bring the feature film feel to their K-pop music videos. Michael Jackson would be proud.

2. Psy "Gentleman"
The King of YouTube officially retired the one-hit wonder label with this record-breaking video. But beyond all the hype, what is most impressive about "Gentleman" is how Psy doubled down on the over-the-top persona he created on "Gangnam Style" by making himself the butt of the joke. While so many artists seem to value looking cool above all else, Psy showed the world that being silly is way more fun. In a society not revered by the rest of the world for knowing how to cut loose, ("Gentleman" was banned by the Korean Broadcasting System for the rapper's disrespectful treatment of a traffic cone), Psy's video has the irreverent sneer of a Sex Pistols song.

3. Lee Hyori "Miss Korea"
Lee Hyori went retro with highly successful results in the "Miss Korea" video. Shot in black and white, the minimalist directing style and use of silhouettes creates a freshly distinctive look. The decision to employ Golden Age of Hollywood techniques, like the split screen effect and integrating outfits into backgrounds, is inspired. The other various nods to the Jazz Age, like the drummer using brushes and the line of male dancers in 3D glasses, are also a nice touch. The stylized look is the perfect match for the song's jazzy inflection. Lee is at her most stunning in the video, appearing in a dazzling array of flattering outfits and cementing her status as South Korea's number one pop diva.

4. Secret "Yoo Hoo"
Though it's difficult to tell if it's impeccable direction or just dumb luck, the video for Secret's "Yoo Hoo" appears to be one of those shoots where everything went right. Clearly demonstrating the advantage of filming on location, every shot of the clip whisks you away to the idyllic tropical setting the band members find themselves in. The concept of the girl group getting ship wrecked is executed in a charming and amusing way, as the band members attempt to fend for themselves in the wild. Of all the videos on the list, "Yoo Hoo" offers the greatest escape. A big reason for that, is the four band members appear to be genuinely enjoying themselves. They have a natural chemistry that can't be faked, which makes it hard not to root for this band of well-dressed castaways.

5. Bangtan Boys (BTS) "N.O"
Though the five music videos included on this list are first and foremost cited for their entertainment value, the clip "N.O" by the hip-hop boy band Bangtan Boys (also known as BTS) is the only one with a strong social commentary. The video opens with the seven band members in a futuristic classroom, where whitewashed armed guards in riot gear force them to swallow a red pill. The militaristic quality of the scene, and the effective use of color to imply government control, is powerful stuff, particularly considering the two years of military service every South Korean male is currently required to serve. And although the message of the video gets a bit convoluted when the band breaks out of the classroom setting, rising up against their tormentors and enters an unexplained world of white backdrops, Bangtan Boys should be applauded for attempting something of this scope. The video offers a powerful visual dimension to the lyrics, which call for a rebellion against the pressures of young adulthood.

Tagged :  2EYES, Don't Mess With Me

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