VIXX has long been known as the “concept-dols” in the K-Pop industry, a term given to them due to their strong, unusual, and sometimes downright gruesome and graphic concepts in their music videos. They often pushed the bar with their themes, which does make them more of a niche K-pop group than they might have been otherwise, but for the fans who did enjoy them, these concepts were much-loved. Here are 11 of their music videos that most strongly portrayed their status as the industry’s concept kings.
1. “Voodoo Doll”
VIXX was one of the first groups in K-Pop to really embrace the goth, macabre theme. “Voodoo Doll”, while not their first foray into a darker concept, is still certainly one of their most well-known, given how graphic and shocking the original version is (they even made a “clean” version for the more weak of heart). In the video, the boys are being tormented and tortured by their captor through the use of a voodoo doll, which they also mimic the jerky movements of in their iconic choreography.
The title of this song, of course, comes from the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the music video follows a similar theme. Like “Voodoo Doll”, this music video isn’t afraid to get creepy, with tarantulas and maggots and strangulation all contained within the MV. Their shifts from sweet and innocent to dark and violent are very convincing, and are really impressive given this was one of their earliest comebacks!
3. “On and On”
“On and On” was VIXX’s first real dive into the fantasy genre, since their debut song (“Super Hero”) and first comeback (“Rock Ur Body”) were both completely the opposite with how bubbly and upbeat they were. The theme of this music video is, get this, space vampires! While it might sound ridiculous, the members actually pull off these characters quite well, and their unusual and striking visuals only add to the appeal.
“Error” had a very unique story and some shocking visual effects, with the members portraying half-constructed cyborgs for a good portion of the music video with various limbs missing and metallic pieces exposed. Hongbin stars as the main character who has tragically lost the woman he loves and decides to reconstruct her as a robot. Unfortunately, the music video takes a tragic turn when they’re caught by the authorities for his illegal creation, and the end has a tragic, bittersweet twist.
Another darker concept from VIXX, “Eternity” finally takes them away from the more macabre themes and made their music a little more easy to watch for K-Pop listeners with weaker stomachs that like lighter music while still keeping their strong and unusual type of concept. It features what some might consider cliché sorts of skinship scenes with all of the members and their girls, but the video takes a twist when these pleasant scenes evaporate and leave the members alone as they “wake up” from their dreams of eternity.
“Scentist”, their most recent comeback, was considered by some fans to have less of a strong concept than previous songs, but there was still a general theme and beautiful aesthetics, like all of their videos. The word “scentist” is a mixture of “scientist” and “artist”, which is exactly what the members portray in the video as perfumers. Fans believe that the video was inspired by the German novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, in which the main character has a supernatural sense of smell and becomes a perfumer that murders girls in order to capture their scents. Talk about macabre!
7. “Chained Up”
“Chained Up” can be seen as VIXX’s “sexy” comeback, with less of a theme to the video and more of just the guys looking drop-dead gorgeous and, admittedly, quite suggestive of BDSM with all the chains and talks of being, well, chained up. Some fans have also theorized, however, that the members are shown being chained up in their fears in the music video, such as Hongbin’s fear of water, N‘s fear of being injured and unable to dance, and Leo‘s fear of the spotlight.
“Shangri-La” is, hands-down, one of VIXX’s most visually stunning and aesthetic comebacks, and one of the most aesthetic music videos in K-Pop in general. There’s less of a story involved than in previous music videos, but the video portrays a fictional, earthly paradise depicted by poet Tao Yuan Ming in his Peach Blossom Spring Poems. The use of traditional Chinese aesthetics is strong, from the fans used in their dance to the architecture in the video, and even the symbolism of the peacock and the small pine trees. So even though the story isn’t as strong, the stunning visuals more than make up for it.
“Dynamite” was the first of VIXX’s trilogy of songs inspired by Greek mythology, though a casual viewer might never guess that that’s the theme of “Dynamite”. Breaking away from their typical dark concepts once more, VIXX tells the story of Zelos, the Greek god of jealousy and rivalry. Despite the upbeat song, the music video is about turning the world upside down in order for the jealous god to get his lover back.
This comeback, the second in the Greek mythology series, was much more obvious in where the concept originated from. “Fantasy” is about the god Hades, king of the underworld, the dead, and riches. It shows the member (specifically N) living in an eternal darkness, after the girl they love leaves them, and that they are willing to live in a “fantasy” forever waiting for her to return.
11. “The Closer”
“The Closer” completed the Greek trilogy, and is inspired by Kratos, the god of authority. It confirms what many fans believed that “Dynamite” was actually the last part “The Closer” is the first part, chronologically, in the story, and also that Ken is the mastermind (“Kratos”) behind everything that has happened. The story of the trilogy in its entirety is too long and complex to completely explain here, but if you’re curious to learn more, definitely check out some of the very convincing theories out there!
Starlights can hope that the concept kings will come back soon once their members have finished their military services, and create their beautiful concept music videos once more!