Analysis of Infinite’s “Paradise”

As I was revisiting the past 2 years of Kpop – the songs I played on repeat during the years when I actively pursued Kpop music – I listened to songs released by boy groups B1A4 and Infinite who were both rookies back then. I could not believe my eyes when I realised those were songs from 2 years back. What caught my attention once more was Infinite’s “Paradise” and its music video. I have already written a literary perspective of B1A4’s “Tried to Walk” and now, I feel inspired to try a hand at Infinite’s “Paradise”. Before I started penning this piece, I looked up on the Internet for other analyses of the song and music video and I came across a piece by the title ‘Infinite – Paradise: The paradox of “Paradise”‘. The title sounded brilliant and I would have wanted to use it (but I decided against it anyway). If you would like to take a look at this writer’s take on the song, you can click on the link in the title. The writer speaks about her own take of the music video, narrating according to her interpretation and she comments on the impression the music has given her; that in relation to the lyrical component of the song as well.

The music video begins with a bright scene where the girl sits on a table in the kitchen, looking out of the window into a green garden. A take around the kitchen shows that the room is actually empty and is seemingly an uninhabited house. A boy in a black suit (L/Myungsoo) lies on the floor of the kitchen and the place begins to turn darker as the girl leaves. And then there’s another boy in black suit by the stairs and then all over the house. Towards the end, it is L/Myungsoo who looks out of the window as the girl leaves and upon turning back to look, he disappears. All of them being everywhere in the house and hovering over the girl can be seen embodied in one boy and at other times, is seen as this multiplied being all over the place. Then this girl is seen walking around the house, taking no notice of the boy (or boys) as she covers most of the furniture in white cloth. As she leaves the house, she turns back too look at the place one last time; from her perspective or in her scenes, the place is bright and bathed in sunlight but the scenes of the boys (or Myungsoo by the window), the place is dark and forlorn.

Taking a look at the lyrics of the song, the song sings of a man who wanted to keep his lover from leaving even if it was against her will. He pleads for her to stay despite her wishes to leave, as seen in the lines “Please stay here, I’m asking you a favor, I’ll treat you better, I can’t let you go yet // I must live, I must survive, cause I will stop some day”. It is a selfish request on the narrator who wanted to keep his lover by his side. In the chorus, the narrator of the song tells his lover of this paradise. In contrast to a pastoral-like heaven or Garden of Eden-esque place, this is a place of imprisonment which the narrator has built for the purpose of locking his lover against her will. The chorus sings of this ‘paradox of paradise’:

This place is a paradise only if you’re here

A paradise that has locked you in against your will

A sad paradise that you won’t go if you’re awake

A paradise that we can be together forever

Towards the end of the song, the rap continues with the narrator being slightly more relieved from his devilish desires to imprison his lover and a realisation that he no longer has the power to keep her from leaving, even if it is at the stake of his own life albeit I do believe that by saying that he needs her to survive, it was not meant to be literal. In the rap, the narrator realises that his lover leaves despite his pleas, turns to alcohol and the mercy of time for the healing of his broken heart:

Every night, I filled me with you

Yeah, now I have to fill it with alcohol, time

The arm that wrapped, the panting night

The best paradise, without you it’s a hopeless world

As Yujie.J wrote in her article, this paradise is in fact a paradox of a paradise which is romanticised and lived in by a pair of lovers. And to take on her narrative interpretation of the music video – that of a boy who has passed away and the girl who loved him yet could not move on – the perspective can be shifted in a way that the embodiment of the boy in all of the Infinite members all over the house is in fact made up in her mind and that she could not come to terms with the death of the boy she loved. And eventually, when she finally learns to let go, she leaves the house and that paradise she has made for herself. As for the soul of the dead boy, he sees her finally at peace with herself.

The train scenes are also symbolic of the desire to arrive at a place which is paradise. But again, it is dark and its absence of light is reminiscent of horror scenes of buses and trains to nowhere. These scenes reinforces the idea of this paradise being somewhere that is un-paradise-like and that this train eventually only transports the boy (or the members) without the girl. This paradise is thus non-existent without the girl and they travel on this train to an unknown place.

References:

[1] Infinite – Paradise: The Paradox of “Paradise”

[2] Lyrics translation for Infinite’s Paradise: here

[3] The official music video of Infinite’s “Paradise”

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