I the world may have been more focused on certain SNSD-related solo debuts recently, members of f(x) have low-key been killing it. Amber released the infinitely replayable “Need To Feel Needed” and now Luna has managed to up the ante for solo debuts with “Free Somebody.”
As far as EDM tracks go, “Free Somebody” finds a perfect balance between the genre’s addictive qualities when it comes to danceable beats and enough restraint so that Luna doesn’t get lost in a sea of electronica noise. The jagged piano/synths that litter the track give “Free Somebody” a strong head-bopping quality but the track’s wise decision to let each synth note hit clearly and succinctly not only gives the song a retro-eighties vibe, it frees up Luna to fill the void with some rather strong vocal work that the f(x) vocalist tackles with aplomb between her lighter, quick striking hits on the verses and her bellows on the chorus set-ups. (The obvious comparison to make here is to Tiffany’s own dance pop song “I Just Wanna Dance” which sounds near sleepy and lethargic when placed side-by-side with Luna’s “Free Somebody.”) And while the song can perhaps be critiqued for sounding like the sort of song that would play over the loudspeaker at your local hip apparel chain (and it does!), “Free Somebody” sounds like a damn good song to buy your cheaply made, fashionable-for-a-minute shirt to. The fact that it also sounds like a great song to shake the hips to is a bonus.
And if the song is merely an extremely solid commercially viable dance song, the video sends “Free Somebody” over the top into “Video of the Year” contender status. To put it as clearly as possible, “Free Somebody” is perfect. The color scheme of bright yellow and pink gives the video a distinct look that also plays well into the song’s eighties influences. The animation is at once trippy, a bit avante-garde and yet completely comprehensible within the flow of the video. Still, to me, the most enjoyable shots in “Free Somebody” are the rarely-seen-anymore close up side shots that make “Free Somebody” simultaneously look like it’s from a bygone era and feel more viscerally alive than most standard K-Pop videos that seemingly only alternate between close up shots from the front and standard choreography shots. The side shots are a small thing but they inject “Free Somebody” with a grimy, almost voyeuristic aesthetic that is usually missing from sterile K-Pop dance videos.
There is also the cartoon sex, which is accomplished with a creative flair that is nonetheless unmistakable in its intent. It’s fantastic.
Then there’s Luna, who somehow makes DHL sexy. To be fair, Luna is my f(x) bias so the “Luna looks gewd” observation was pretty much always going to be a given for this review BUT I don’t think anyone can argue that Luna doesn’t slay the heavens in “Free Somebody.”
WE ARE ALL WITNESSES TO GREATNESS.
I don’t think I can praise “Free Somebody” anymore without falling into hyperbole. The song is great. The art direction is great. Luna is great. The concept is flawlessly executed. “Free Somebody” is simply great and it should be on any shortlist for best solo debuts of the year.