Review: FIESTAR – “One More” is so Incredibly Close to Perfection

fiestar one more cover

The best and worst thing that one can say about FIESTAR’s “One More” is that, as a promotion for midriff-high pants and sleeveless tops, it is pretty flawless.

“One More” is a triumph of a song for a couple of key reasons. First, the production is spot on; a sexy disco number which borrows from the best elements of the genre. Bopping bass is perfectly played off some electric guitar plucks and sharp percussion. Those elements keep “One More” light and infectiously dance-able, something which has been surprisingly missing in this year’s crop of K-Pop summer releases. Co-producers Beomy Nangy and Shinsadong Tiger (as an aside, I’m not surprised to see Shinsadong Tiger’s name here as there’s few better producers working K-Pop today) deserve all the praise in the world for keeping “One More” relatively straightforward and listenable. No, “One More” isn’t challenging any musical conventions or expanding boundaries. What it is doing is reminding everyone that mastering basic genres is just as important as experimentation. Originality and quality are not diametrically opposed terms and this is something which “One More” understands.

Also basically flawless; Linzy.

Also basically flawless; Linzy.

Second, there’s the hook. A simple, catchy beat deserves a simple, catchy hook and holy hell, does the repetitive hook work devilishly well in “One More”. The song could have been all-hook and chorus and it still would have succeeded. The vocal performances themselves aren’t notable. Telling one member of FIESTAR from another is a futile effort but that’s fine given the prominence of the hook and beat. There’s a rap to break things up and keep the song from being completely one note but it almost seems unnecessary. The simplicity of the entire production doesn’t need any bells and whistles to properly shine.  Taken together, “One More” is direct and uncomplicated and that’s pretty damn great.

So great.

So great.

The video approaches its concept in a fairly similar manner but the results are a bit more mixed. A sexy concept makes sense considering how awesomely sexy the music is but “One More” can be problematic at spots.

To be fair, there’s a lot to like here. The direction takes a standard dance-in-a-box concept and is able to keep things visually interesting by playing with borders and perspectives in ways that make the “sexy girls dance in midriff-high pants” thing engaging at a time where that sort of thing appears to be everywhere. Editing is unobtrusive  and one can, for the most part, see what’s going on. The lighting is clear and there’s some nice bright colors in every shot which helps keep the video looking fresh throughout.

Fresher than a farmer's market.

Fresher than a farmer’s market.

FIESTAR looks amazing as the styling and wardrobe opt for contemporary sexy and completely nail the look. Again, this isn’t so much a spin on anything as it is a very strong representation of a basic concept.

If there is a problem to be had, it’s that aside from the group choreography shots, there isn’t enough FIESTAR. Sure, shots of the members dominate the video but often it’s shots of FIESTAR’s various body parts. This isn’t a problem of a group being “too sexy” (whatever that is) either. FIESTAR’s wardrobe is pretty standard stuff for K-Pop in 2014 (if anything, errs on the safe side). The dance is similarly conservative. This is a problem of camera focus. There are so many shots that are just legs, boobs and more legs, that FIESTAR ceases to be the stars of their own music video as their limbs and racks get better billing. And while legs, boobs and racks are wonderful things, the amount of focus that those individual parts (and only those parts) purposely receive here adds a layer of anonymity that makes FIESTAR almost incidental to the music video’s quality (for real, I think Linzy’s pants got as much individual airtime as Linzy herself and that should be a war crime). That lost context detracts from what is otherwise a fairly good music video. “One More” likely aimed to be a flawless feature length MAXIM spread but the final product is more or less an ideal American Apparel ad.

Yup, dat camera focus.

Yup, dat camera focus.

Despite the amount of words spent on the one hangup that “One More” possesses, the good in FIESTAR’s latest release heavily outweighs the bad.  The song is damn near perfect pop, a mixture of joyous dance pop and stupidly memorable hooks that could be put on repeat for an hour without getting tiresome. Aside from how “gaze-y” the video gets, FIESTAR looks great and the video’s lighting and colors are wonderful. Everything is easy on the eyes and the song is easy on the ears which is more than enough to call “One More” a successful sexy summer music video. Now FIESTAR has the more challenging task of figuring out how to make a successful FIESTAR music video.

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18 comments

  1. ald98 · · Reply

    i’m glad my infection works, haha. Told you their comeback is just too good to be not reviewed by you.

    So, Linzy or Jei gonna be in Waifu Wed or Selca Sun? looks forward to it.

    1. Yep Linzy and Jei are really beautiful, but I like Cao Lu a lot too. She has a really pretty face and eyes.

      I don’t know why she has only one line. The only thing I can guess is she is still struggling with her Korean pronunciation, so they can’t give her more lines. Her voice doesn’t sound bad, so I don’t think that is the problem. She’s been in Korea for three or four years, but maybe she isn’t a quick study with languages. I know Korean isn’t real easy to learn and maybe it is harder for those who speak Mandarin to learn than it is for English speakers as there are Romanizations for English speakers to aid in pronunciation when you need to use use it phonetically as Tiffany likely did for those first couple years with SNSD.

      1. i’ve been learning Korean for a couple of month, and i admitted that speaking Korean is really hard. some words are really difficult to pronounce.

        Cao Lu is struggling with that. I thought maybe she’s trying to remove her chinese accent .chinese languange is really different if you say it with different note, while Korean aren’t, so that’s why in interview she’s slow at saying korean.

      2. Yep, its funny how often you see even native Koreans like Hyoyeon mangle pronunciation or read spellings wrong aloud. I bet it is equally frustrating for Koreans to learn Mandarin since Korean isn’t tonal like Mandarin where the same spelling could have up to four different meanings when spoken based on rising and falling tones. Also some folks just don’t pick up new languages as easy as others. Victoria, Fei, and Jia, have all learned Korean pretty well, but they have all been in Korea for 6 or more years I believe. It seems like it took Tiffany about 5 years to really get a good handle on learning Korean and she had the advantage of Jessica being a few years ahead to help her. Cao Lu doesn’t have anyone in her group who speaks Mandarin I would bet. I hope that Fei invites her to some of the ethnic Chinese get-togethers that she has from time to time where the Chinese nationals and the Chinese from the Americas get together. She would probably benefit from the social connections and perhaps getting some language help from those that have been in Korea longer or are struggling to learn it too.

      3. Cao Lu and Fei Together? that would be the moment God gives his best blessing.

      4. Add in Victoria and you have a deal.

  2. Honestly, I hated the borders changing color and cutting off most of the screen. The circles and keyholes were fine, but the bars on the top and bottom need to go away.
    Regardless, the song is amazing. It’s definitely one of my favorites this of year and I pretty much haven’t stopped listening to it since I watched the video this morning.

  3. By the way here is a the video of dance practice which lets you see the ladies better.

  4. Fleur De Seoul · · Reply

    I watched before I read, and I thought the same thing that you did, that it read more as a musical American Apparel ad. I tend to agree with Meg, in that I dislike when the video changes aspect ratios throughout the video; it just throws me off.

    In addition, want to see some bad use of butt pads? 2:22. The lady in the white shorts. Butts don’t typically do what hers is doing.

    1. Yes, it does look like she has some derriere pads there, but I think that is pretty common in K-pop as I notice that quite often the ladies have fuller hips or rounder bottoms than I usually see on Asian women that are that skinny. SPICA actually poked some fun at that in their last video for “You Don’t Love Me” where they wore some outrageously oversized but pads to fill out their pencil skirts. That certainly isn’t from doing lunges and squats or her thighs would be huge and muscular as well.

      The funny thing is that one of the things I find attractive about Asian women quite often is that they have tight skinny bottoms quite often.

      1. Fleur De Seoul · ·

        Yeah, their use of them is pretty frequent, I had just never seen one so misplaced though.

  5. moyaaa · · Reply

    [blockquote]The best and worst thing that one can say about FIESTAR’s “One More” is that, as a promotion for midriff-high pants and sleeveless tops..[/blockquote]
    The marketing executive from Tide is disappointed you didn’t notice their product placement.

    1. I noticed that, and that in some of the teaser photos they had photoshopped it to say “Tiger” instead. I am guessing that in those photos the deal had not been struck to use it by name yet, or the forum the photo was going to didn’t allow product names to be used.

  6. moyaaa · · Reply

    Well, I’m glad I give this song another go, as it does grow on you. Now I can’t get that darn hook out of my head. That and after watching a ton of “One More” videos on YouTube.
    Very pleased to see them putting Linzy front and center, instead of the usual Jei. Cao Lu looks great too (for her limited lines), but Linzy is and has always been the one that stood out for me, even when she was sporting short hair. Here’s another ‘eye contact’ practice performance video for your viewing pleasure (horrible camera work but close-ups!!):

  7. I see the prudes at the Korean broadcast networks are busy again. it looks like Fiestar is getting slapped with a ban after performing last week after viewers complained about the lyrics being too suggestive. Kind of a crappy thing to do for the networks to approve them let them air, then throw in a monkey wrench like this and force them to redo their lyrics in the middle of a comeback. It puts the group in a rotten place. On the one hand you kind of want to tell the networks to go kiss their own pussy asses for bowing to pressure when they saw nothing wrong with it in the first place, but this is a group that isn’t popular enough to blow off being on MBC, SBS, and KBS. It’s amazing how arbitrary the censors at these networks are as it seems like it is a constantly moving target as to what they will or won’t accept or even then they just change their minds after they approved something due to some group writing a bunch of letters. The stupid thing about complaint letters is statistically they are usually insignificant as unless you have violated an obscenity standard, it is typically just a very small number of whiners who are willing to even write whereas those in support or who are indifferent don’t right, so 85% might be positive or neutral, but 15% might decide something for the other 85%. Sucks for the group.

    http://www.allkpop.com/article/2014/07/mbc-music-core-ban-fiestars-performances-and-mv-for-one-more-fiestar-to-change-suggestive-lyrics

    1. moyaaa · · Reply

      Wait, “One More” is about having a threesome? Now I understand why there’s fisting incorporated in the dance moves..

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