KARD Aims at a New Angle in “You In Me”
KARD has made their first official comeback with “You In Me,” a haunting love song that clearly details a very twisted side of love. In comparison to their previous releases, “You In Me” goes for a much different angle both aesthetically and musically as well, especially in comparison to their official debut “Hola Hola.”
A Predictable Formula
I don’t intend to attach a negative connotation to it, but it's true that since pre-debut KARD has more or less stuck to the same formula in their songs and music videos. Unofficial-but-definitely-the-actual-debut, “Oh NaNa” was definitely your standard love song that is often used to appeal to a broader audience. It’s understandable, considering KARD was venturing into uncertain territory as a co-ed group in a system that doesn’t exactly welcome co-ed projects. And despite that, the song was still a total bop, considering it got me stanning. One of the group’s charming points is how they have the girls Somin and Jiwoo on one side of a conversation and the boys BM and JSeph on the other, making the song a conversation between the two.
Though “Don’t Recall” had a different tone from “Oh NaNa,” the core theme of typical love song still remained the same. The intriguing point here is that the two voices of the men and women are contrasting each other instead of working in harmony as they had previously, which I think also added an element of success to “Don’t Recall” upon it’s release. “Rumor” soon followed and returned to the formula of “Oh NaNa.” If you look at the lyrics of all three pre-debut songs, they line up to tell a full story. “Hola Hola” comes in with the happy love vibe of “Oh NaNa,” repeating the cycle of what we had all seen before.
I honestly did not know what to expect from KARD’s comeback. I suppose I defaulted to assuming that we would get another song along the lines of “Hola Hola,” but oh boy, did they prove me wrong. “You In Me” went in a direction completely opposite of what I had expected, with a tone significantly darker than their debut.
“You In Me” takes a yandere approach to romance unlike anything they had before. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of yandere, it’s a Japanese TV trope in which one member in the relationship is legitimately crazy about the other to the point of violence. Somin and Jiwoo have done an amazing job in portraying this concept both in the music video and performances. Seriously, Somin’s blue contacts really accentuate her talent in creating the illusion of crazy obsession via just her eyes.
The point that really drives this concept home in the music video is the switch in the middle of the two boys being just mostly unresponsive to actually being dead. Somin’s story with BM particularly highlights this yandere concept, portraying her as losing her mind to the point that she’s shaving a dead BM’s face in the bathtub. I was totally blown away by this flick of a switch in concepts in the best way possible.
KARD has had a lot going against them since they were formed, but they’ve done an excellent job of experimenting with different concepts and different themes based on their co-ed grouping which helps them keep a fresh perspective and remain in the spotlight. I don’t think KARD could have done much better with their first comeback than they did with “You In Me,” and I look forward to what the group will have to offer in the future.