history psycho feature
LOEN Entertainment’s History have always shown promise, but it wasn’t until the Latin-flavoured “What Am I To You” that they really did something great and interesting. They’ve kept up the quality tunes with follow-up single “Psycho,” which takes VIXX’s horror movie monster pop and puts a twisted psychological spin on it.

Produced by east4a (Brown Eyed Girls’ “Moody Night” and “Hot Shot”) with some help from the always perfect Lee Min Soo and Kim Eana (BEG, IU), “Psycho” sounds like somebody took an old new jack swing record and then mercilessly stabbed it to death with a million electronic synths (I’m so glad I didn’t work a Janet Leigh reference into that). The crowded production keeps the listener feeling a little imbalanced as it constantly jerks back and forth like a tug of war with little room left to catch your breath. The intention seems to be to create a little unease (a very funky, danceable unease), which works like a charm since the song is actually about a delusional guy who’s so obsessed with his ex-girlfriend that he stalks and then more or less rapes her.

See for yourself.

The moon is rising on this dangerous night,
it’s such a dangerous night.
When the light fades into dusk
the whole world is on my side.

There’s nobody by your side tonight.
Okay, I’ll throw away all rationality,
and once everybody who might see is deep asleep
I’ll go get you.

Did you think you’d be done with me if we broke up?
Well, you thought wrong.*
I’ll be nice, so try to understand.*
Don’t say no, we both know that’s not how you really feel.
You’re gonna like this play.

I’m saying we should take this as far as we can go, bad girl, bad boy.
Don’t try to stop me, I can’t hold it back any more.
If you’re trying to tell me it’s all for my sake, it’s a bad lie, bad love.
Don’t be afraid, now look at me.

It’s our romantic thriller.
We’ll both be smiling in the end.
It’s all because I love you.
Jerk, asshole, crazy bastard… call me whatever you’d like.

No means no! Or whatever.

There’s even more naughtiness to be found in the music video, which balances homages to Hitchcock with endless sexual references and homoeroticism. One scene has suggestive male-on-male skinship in a Catholic confessional, while all the choreography is rife with near-gay moments and suggestive crotch grabs.

“Psycho” is supposed to be referencing The Master of Suspense himself, but it feels more like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, which, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, was some big bizarre metaphor for repressed homosexuality (and also a rather bad movie that broke all the rules set up in the original, but I digress).

What “Psycho” really is though, is the male response to the girl group sexy concept trend of 2014. In AOA’s “Miniskirt,” the group sung about dressing provocatively to try and capture a man’s attention, while in the amazing “Marionette,” STELLAR satirized the sexy concept by presenting themselves as blow up dolls on strings controlled by men; by going all gay-for-pay and rape-y, History’s essentially giving us the true male version of a sexy concept (one that can go toe-to-toe with the girls for titillation), along with providing a cautionary tale about what can happen when sexy goes too far.

Thankfully, History appear to painting the boys as the villains in this one, rather than delivering a victim-blaming pro-rape anthem. But even if they aren’t, who cares? Maybe this is about rape. Maybe it’s about homosexuality. Maybe it’s about nothing. The good thing about pop music and a sexy concept is that you can just ignore whatever the underlining message is and focus on the catchy hook and all the sleazy thrusting instead. I know that’s what I’ve been doing.


  • JammySmoochie

    FINALLY!!! Some HISTORY love from you!!! They have been killing the game since Dreamer (Tell Me Love does not exist…).

    Check out their mini album, Desire, too. Tracks 3, 4 and 5 are really, really good.

    • KingBeaArthur

      “It’s Alright” is brilliant imo!

      I’m right there with you with “Tell Me Love”.

  • hahaha if this had a janet leigh reference this post would be like a gay parade on halloween.

    anyways, i love history since their debut. they are one of the few boy bands i actually like and follow [the others being shinee and AA], and their debut song was epic despite formulaic.

    i firslty listened to psycho a few hours before finding this post and since i was washing the dishes when i played i of course didn’t notice all the references you wrote about. i also had just seen the video. i had a boner throughout the whole shit.

  • KingBeaArthur

    YES!!! I was all in for “Psycho” before I knew just how deep it went! History have captivated me since “Dreamer” (those harmonies are everything!) and they easily took the crown as my favorite rookies of 2013, despite “Tell Me Love” *clears throat*.

    But why can’t the song be about possible rape? Nobody was crying when Dal Shabet were going around telling dudes to get their dicks out and fxxk them with “Be Ambitious”! Oh wait…a lot of people did, actually…oooh.

    One thing that annoys me though is that their stages are always cut! I don’t think they’ve had a full performance of one of their songs since they debuted, and with other people getting double comeback stages (including some 2014 rookies >>> GOT7) I don’t think it’s fair History always have to take the cut! I bet goddamn Topp Dogg had a full stage!!!

  • lildarien

    The storytelling in this concept is so so good. 1 man/5 personalities vying for control. 4 of them homocidal / rapey and 1 is a good guy. They overpower him with dom/top bedroom moves and take the girl for all she’s worth.

  • Angela Rose Guerra

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