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Hello Asia! Music Video Review: Shinhwa "Sniper" (South Korea, 2015)

Legendary K-Pop group Shinhwa returns with the release of their 12th album, WE after a two-year hiatus. Again working with top British composer Andrew Jackson, the group shows off a chic, sexy and matured music video for the album’s title track, Sniper. Boasting impressive array of surreal sets, classic and luxurious wardrobe, intense gazes and maturity, the music video quickly gain explosive responses from fans around the world.

The veteran group takes advantage of their 17 years of experience as the music video shifts between Shinhwa members smoking cigars, burning suits and capturing their targets, and "Sniper" dance choreography showing off sexiness and maturity no other K-Pop groups could pull off.

Since Venus (2012), Shinhwa has chosen to display their maturity with its carefully choreographed, full of feel, smooth yet sexy and powerful dance moves instead of their old ritual of strong somersaults and spin kick dance. Though Sniper choreography might not be as explosive but it certainly embody Shinhwa characteristics, suggestive, intense and addictive.

In their recent interview with Section TV, Minwoo explained that the group has hoped to change Shinhwa colours so they did when there was the opportunity. The members added that they now hope to show a more matured image through their choreography.

Sniper creates an endless loop of listening - it is admirable how its heavy dance and gothic sound, hip hop shuffle rhythm, modern K-Pop vocals and raps could contrast and blend effectively without having one overpowering the other. The varying tone between the verses, raps, falsetto chorus and non-explosive bridge is well layered and harmonised with electronic synth beats, dub step, a gothic reminiscence of nerve wrecking Kill Bill whistle melody that adds on intensity and mystery to the song. The combination easily create an enslaving track as at its end it falls right back to the beginning.

Not only showing off the choreography of the title track, the music video also outlines the concept of Sniper and possibly of the entire album. Shinhwa is again experimental in incorporating a classic and contemporary structure not only in their sound but also in their music video settings and wardrobe choice. The music video contrasts Junjin's typical destroyed underground set with Hyesung's chic white maze and contemporary framed art display Eric inhabits.

The group also use a little colour play in their wardrobe choice to emphasis their passionate hearts. Using darker tone apparel to distinguish their dark longing, lust and intentions for their targets to differentiate the bright red dance costumes that highlight their passionate and sincere hearts.

Protecting their title as the longest running idol, Shinhwa proves their significance in K-Pop music scene with Sniper, their most daring offering to date.

Review Score: 8 out of 10

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Shinhwa's 12th album "WE" and Sniper is available on iTunes HERE.