Triple H, the Cube Entertainment unit comprised of HyunA and Pentagon‘s E’Dawn and Hui, recently debuted with “365 Fresh” and it’s probably most notable in how shameless it is.
Everything from the instrumental to the title of the song has “24K Magic” written all over it, which is especially obvious given the popularity of “Uptown Funk” in Korea. Heck, even the parts where they go “F-R-E-S and H, so fresh” is quite blatantly in the same as “up town funk you up, uptown funk you up”. So while it’s disappointing in the sense that it’s incredibly familiar, that doesn’t make it bad, as the synth-heavy bass line is still amazing and hard not to groove along to. The electric guitar provides a wrinkle I didn’t expect, and the brass is as appropriately funky as it should be.
The performances were mediocre but quality in the sense that they were immersive and worked within what the song required so as not to detract from the sound itself. Look, Bruno Mars isn’t the first or last to sampling the funk sound, but the amount of “homages” to a couple of his recent tracks in particular makes it virtually impossible to give “365 Fresh” too much credit. That said, independent of that it’s hard to deny that it’s a catchy and fun song. You know, like a lot of Bruno Mars’ funk efforts tend to be.
The music video is where the similarities to Bruno Mars end, as it’s a mess of sex, drugs, and suicide. The contrast between the themes of the music video and “365 Fresh” itself seem a bit forced to me compared to when Trouble Maker did similar things, but that doesn’t detract much from the music video itself.
So basically there are three people with their own ongoing issues who happen to meet by coincidence.
One dude is suicidal, one dude is being chased by gangsters (or something), and HyunA killed a dude in self-defense.
The music video includes references to a bunch of 90s movies about troubled teens and what not, and when they stumble upon money in the trunk of their car, it’s a scene right out of ‘Reservoir Dogs‘.
After getting the money, they do a bunch of stuff, like drugs…
…and having a threesome.
Predictably, the trio end up pursued by the police, and in ‘Thelma & Louise‘ type of ending, they all commit suicide by jumping off a building.
Despite the mismatching elements, the music video is actually rather well constructed in terms of narrative, and more importantly it’s actually rather edgy for Korea and should generate the reaction they were aiming for to begin with.
Triple H is a ridiculous name for a group, and “365 Fresh” borrows quite obviously from recent pop songs that sample funk/disco. However, that doesn’t change the reality that the music video was an entertaining watch and the song was a decently fun listen. I’m just not sure “365 Fresh” is anything I’d seek out, and it seems something on a playlist that you’d enjoy for that one pass but quickly forget about it as well. Still, for better or worse, Triple H was more successful as a unit than I thought it’d be when it was announced.