BAP are back together as a whole unit with the return of Bang Yong Guk, and were supposed to serve an “emotion revolution”, and they appear to have done just that with “Wake Me Up“.
“Wake Me Up” hits three important elements to me that make it successful in the falsetto repetition of “wake me up”, the thumping bass for most of the instrumental, and the quality harmonizations. The bass sets the tone sonically for BAP, and the harmonizations add a nice pop quality to everything, but it’s the sprinkling of “wake me up” throughout the verses and then coming back to it in the hook that makes the track an addictive effort.
Truth be told, I’ve never been impressed with BAP on a rap level, and while they had hiccups in “Wake Me Up” (some jarring flow issues at points) it was solid for the most part and passable at worst. Regardless, the way they delivered it served the pop song well enough and helped the atmosphere of the track match the content effectively.
By the end of it, “Wake Me Up” had completed a sound that was quite epic in nature. But that’s nothing without elements to bring it all together, and the repetition of the falsetto did that in spades. This didn’t actually latch on with me immediately, but after a few listens the appeal was pretty undeniable.
Aside from his rapping, the addition of Bang Yong Guk back to the group seems to have added to the concept as well. There’s no real ambiguity about what’s being tackled in the music video, with mental illness references aplenty, probably a reference to BYG’s own struggles.
While this is an issue that hits close to home for me as well, and thus I understand the impact, that doesn’t mean it’s not without issues. While the scenes contrasting the individuals with problems and then their “wake me up” moment were well done, I do think they could’ve improve the imagery used as some were a bit sloppy.
Specifically though, I thought the scenes with the cars and what not were a bit cringy at times, even though the intensity of the MV definitely did come through.
While I don’t think the “deep” music video was as well executed as people want it to be, that doesn’t detract from the quality of the music. The intensity and atmosphere of “Wake Me Up” definitely come across in the song and it helps the track grow on you over time. Doesn’t hurt that the falsetto applied here is burrows itself a home in your brain, and the completeness of the group with the return of Bang Yong Guk helps make this comeback a success story.