For this week’s MV Monday, MBLAQ’s “Mirror” takes the stage. MBLAQ returned last week as a trio following the departure of Thunder and Lee Joon, leaving some fans wondering if MBLAQ will survive. In “Mirror,” the remaining members give it a gallant effort with strong melodies and overall nice vocals.
The song drips with feelings of sadness and betrayal, which is understandable since Seungho, Mir, and G.O have said the past six months have been “emotionally draining” since the departure of the other members. On the surface, “Mirror” is about a romantic betrayal, but members recently revealed that since they lack experience in love, they used experience from the Thunder and Lee Joon’s departure for the song’s overall mood and tone. One section of lyrics, in particular, captured fans’ feelings, since the song may be about the departed members:
You left without saying anything
I guess that’s how distant we were
Now I feel your heart
You and I resembled each other more than anyone
That’s why the scars are bigger
You didn’t even say sorry
To these lyrics, Seungho said, “It will translate differently depending on the viewpoint. We want to reveal all the relevant content with straightforwardness, but there were a lot of good memories. I do not want to ruin those. Just think of it as we’re supporting one another.”
“Mirror” is MBLAQ’s first one as three members. While watching it, it’s clear there is something missing. Gone are the outstanding dances and charismatic music; it seems ballad-type songs may be here to stay (their last release, “Be a Man,” was also a ballad). While the song itself is good, the MV is lackluster.
“Mirror” opens with Seungho, Mir, and G.O riding in a car. Then, they’re wandering and running the streets, standing on buildings, and singing in open doors inside a warehouse. This is the MV. On the surface, it’s fairly dull and nothing stands out, making this a questionable MV and song for a comeback.
Looking deeper, however, there are things to notice that make sense to MBLAQ’s current situation.
The Car Ride: The fact that the MV opens with Mir, G.O, and Seungho in the car is telling. The car has a vanity plate that reads “B3LAQ.” The three members are heading to a new destination, so the drive represents how they are on a new journey. At one point, Mir puts his arm around the empty seat nearby as he looks wistfully at it, hinting that something is missing. This could be the other members or a lover depending on the interpretation.
Walking the Streets: As MBLAQ walk and run through the street, they have wistful appearances. The members are remembering the good times.
The Doors: MBLAQ are seen walking through or standing around doors inside the warehouse. When they’re standing in the doors, this symbolizes how they’re unwilling to move forward to new opportunities at first, especially without the ones who left them. At the end, they walk through them indicating they are heading into the future. The doors never close either, so they are leaving the doors open to opportunity and leaving doors open for the others.
Backup Dancers: At one point, there is one female backup dancer, so this lends credence to “Mirror” being about love. However, there are four male backup dancers. Mostly, they are background, but at 3:43, there are only two. It’s like they are the memories of Lee Joon and Thunder since they are dressed in non-descript colors, but it’s clear Lee Joon and Thunder are still important to the remaining members.
Y: The back of Mir’s shirt forms a “Y.” “Y” is MBLAQ’s second single and featured Seungho, Thunder, Mir, G.O, and Lee Joon on the track (their debut song, “Oh Yeah,” did not feature Thunder as he joined MBLAQ 15 days before their 2009 debut. His vocals were not on the debut album, but Sang Bae–the member Thunder replaced– was. Sand Bae departed the group due to health issues). “Y” is also the single that won MBLAQ’s first music show win. The “Y” on the shirt refers to both their beginnings as five members and the song that earned them attention as well as questioning “why did you go?”
The End: The MV ends with five dots arranged in a triangle, then lines connect all the dots. M3LAQ still thinks of themselves as five members, and no matter what, they’re still connected to one another even though the others have moved on.
The symbolism is what makes the MV better than what it is because there isn’t much to it. MBLAQ did their best to make the material standout, and the method was somewhat effective. If someone isn’t willing to look at the deeper meaning, the MV is just dull.
As a whole, “Mirror” is pretty and highlights Mir, G.O, and Seungho’s vocals. While it is a good song and the MV is subtly impactful, neither are that memorable. “Mirror” earns a 2.5/5.