I feel like I always say this whenever I talk about Dreamcatcher, but I’m just constantly impressed by how they’ve done so much with one concept – and a very niche one, at that. Most K-pop groups change their signature style as time goes by, but Dreamcatcher has kept us entertained and intrigued by their dark horror music and aesthetics for years now. It seems like they never run out of ideas and stories to tell, which is evident in their new single “BEcause.” It does have its own unique sound and point of view (meaning it’s not too similar to their other songs), but it still stays true to what they’ve always excelled at.
Like many Dreamcatcher tracks, “BEcause” is heavily influenced by rock metal. Though the most memorable parts have a surprisingly more delicate sound, the majority of the arrangement is still as hard-hitting as ever. It’s a tricky balance to maintain, but I think it ends up giving the track a nice duality and helping stand out. I know a lot of fans are probably tired of the “anime opening” comparisons, and I too believe that Dreamcatcher’s songs are definitely much more than that specific stereotypical sound. (Anime soundtracks, too.) But at the same time, I do think that “BEcause” has just a little bit of that feel – especially the part from the first verse up to the chorus. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading a lot of manga lately, but I feel it has a similar vibe to some series that I’m into.
The hook definitely stands out the most to me, and I enjoy how it simultaneously sounds pleasant but also kind of unsettling. Some of the articles I’ve read about “BEcause” say that the hook is “pizzicato,” which is traditionally when you’re playing a string instrument like a violin and you pluck the strings. (Part of the reason this post is so delayed is because researching “pizzicato” somehow turned into a bunch of TwoSetViolin videos on YouTube XD ) While strings aren’t a major instrument in “BEcause,” I think the arrangement still replicates that effect nicely. It’s well suited to Dreamcatcher’s overall horror concept – and since this is a song about love turning to obsession, it gives it an appropriately chilling feel.
The music video for “BEcause” honestly feels like a summer vacation gone wrong, as the two major locations are a mysterious (maybe haunted?) hotel and a creepy abandoned theme park. In non-pandemic circumstances, those are two places I’d most definitely be going to during my summer break – so I like how Dreamcatcher put their own frightening twist on them. The narrative isn’t *quite* as clear to me as some of their other music videos – I personally think it has something to do with evil doppelgangers because of all the double images and the mirrors, but that’s just my educated guess. (Based on the song lyrics, it could also be a commentary about being “two-faced” and having a hidden darker side.) But truthfully, you don’t need to understand the plot to enjoy the “scary story” vibes. And as always, the production design is top notch. The scene where SuA holds out an apple from within a broken mirror is so creative and cool.
Last but not least, I have to talk choreography. One of the things that I love about Dreamcatcher is that everything in their releases is interconnected, so their performances are an extension of their visual storytelling. I really appreciate how they commit to their dark concept in their dancing, incorporating moves that make them look like puppets or dolls. The opening where Gahyeon and JiU stare at each other like they’re two sides of a mirror – before Gahyeon puts her hands around JiU’s neck (?!) – is particularly attention grabbing. On the technical side, Dreamcatcher’s flawless synchronization is on full display here. Constantly changing formations is par for the course in K-pop, but Dreamcatcher has SO MANY of them. It’s seriously amazing how they seamlessly switch positions while making everything look effortlessly crisp and clean.
MY OVERALL INTEREST LEVEL
(NOTE: My options for each category are “Love,” “Like,” “Neutral,” “Not My Style,” or “Dislike.” But I rarely dislike anything, so I’ll mostly be using the other four.)
I’ve never met a Dreamcatcher single I didn’t like, and “BEcause” is no exception. The girls did a wonderful job as always, and it’s definitely solid work all-around. That being said, I must admit it’s not my absolute favorite song of theirs. Compared to the rest of their discography, I just feel like this one doesn’t leave as much of a lasting impression as some of their others. (But that’s probably because I tend to prefer their really intense stuff.) And I’m not sure that I’ll spend a lot of time on it, especially given the wave of new music that’s come out recently. But it’s still a great comeback that plays to their strengths, and I’m always happy to cheer them on.
(“Knee Jerk Reaction” is a column I created to talk about comebacks or debuts when I don’t have a lot of time to write in-depth reviews. A knee jerk reaction is like an automatic response, so it’s a post about my initial thoughts on the song, the music video, and the performance if it’s available. Compared to my reviews, everything is more stream of consciousness and less analytical. And everything is 100% my own opinion!)
SOURCES: Music video and featured image belong to Happy Face Entertainment.