PINK CRES has dropped the video for “Etcetera”, the first video from their forthcoming sophomore album of the same name. The K-pop R&B that PC toyed with on crescendo is back, and once again it’s a bit dated, although perhaps not so much as before. It’s a nice hard-R&B stomper with a catchy chorus and a legitimate rap, but it’s all a bit more than the girls can handle this time around. Oh, not the rap; the rap is spectacular. Pretty much everything else is a disappointment, though. You could spend an hour explaining the differences between the Korean and Japanese idol industries to a friend who is familiar with only one of them, or you could save yourself 55-and-a-half minutes and show them the video for “Etcetera”.
The first thing that hits you is Miyabi trying to pull off “sexy bitch” attitude with her ridiculous mid-length, wet-look hair job, her Santa Claus belt cinched tightly above her waist, and her stylish top and sensible shorts. Literally the only part of her outfit that says “sexy” are the black over-the-knee boots, and what they mostly say is “trying too hard”. The absurdity of Miyabi pulling every “sexy” video-vixen cliché move is near Kafkaesque to anyone who followed her career prior to PINK CRES. Literally NO ONE is buying this, guys. Yuuka’s styling is no better, with her painted-on silver pants, black sports bra and hanging-sequin jacket. Hikaru’s tight braids-n-bangs hair style is hot, and her makeup is flawless, but the rest of her look is 80s goth-lite. I will never understand the styling decisions this groups makes.
The performance fares no better, as they’re tackling a style of K-pop that relies on strong vocals and precision dancing, which aside from Miyabi’s generally good voice, PC is not quite capable of yet. Unlike last year’s “fun fun fun”, the girls can’t get away with simply being adorable to carry a cute song and video that requires zero dancing. “Etcetera” is power R&B in the mold of classic SNSD, and it sets the girls up for failure right from the jump. Yuuka has the Auto Tune bursting at the seams, and Miyabi’s generally strong, if overly-nasal, idol voice is overwhelmed by the music. The only one who comes close to pulling this off is Hikaru, whose rap is surprisingly quite good. I’m curious to know if she wrote they lyrics for it, but either way, it’s delivered with a strong flow and a believable attitude. Basically, Hikaru is the star here.
The dancing underwhelms, too, despite the dumbed-down choreography. A song like this requires forceful moves at full extension, tightly executed and in sync. Deliver that, regardless of the level of difficulty, and you can sell it to the viewers. What we get from PINK CRES here is sub Korean-trainee level of skill and commitment, and that makes it feel lethargic to me. The econo video production is decent, and does a nice job conveying the right mood. A few different sets and sparing video trickery help them to squeeze the most out of an obviously limited budget.
So, not PINK CRES’s finest 4:35, but they never really had a chance with this song. I hope they focus more on their strengths with the other tracks on the album, because when they do, they deliver the goods.