Jessica’s mid-tempo companion track “Love Me the Same” receives a music video treatment awash in whimsical adult aegyo, with a flirty, lovelorn Jessica beaming and scheming her way back into our hearts– or rather, reminding us why this forlorn K-pop goddess never left them!
Set in a more upscale version of the hipster dwellings of “Fly”, this time we find Jessica living in a fanciful bourgeois suite of rooms, cleanly lit and full of ramshackle cushions and odd bits of retro décor like a receptionless tube tv [NB: tube televisions are vastly superior to the crappy flat digital junk we’re stuck with– seriously.] Her yearnings for companionship are focused upon the little cactus she takes painful care to nurture and dote upon. We see her set her chic orange headphones around the cactus’ glass box while she, as if dancing to music she alone can hear, merrily escapades around her apartment, her loneliness evaporated, her feet light of heart, her butt gently swaying, her face all aglow. Ah, Jessica! This is the Jessica we remember, the beloved “Ice Princess” of yore, returned to us! [NB: even if she and the cactus are listening to– wait, is that a Robyn album lol?]
Jessica treats the cactus to a pancake breakfast date-night, in a kitchen swathed in low lavender tones. Her mood is still loving and hopeful, and she treats him to a face full of unique aegyo charms, but the cactus won’t bite. Ah, is this a metaphor?!
But Jessica awakens to a magical trail of sand, which leads her into the depths of her home, transformed into a terrarium teaming with life. She sits in a cloud– a beautiful literalization of the fog-clouds K-pop groups often employ on stage–and dances through her living living room, transfixed at last in a pose of bliss beneath a lit-up cross over the doorway. And her desert devotion has borne a bloom.
If “Fly” is in a halfway house between K-pop conventions and “Western” practice, “Love Me the Same” plants Jessica firmly in the state of K-pop in 2016. It’s a song we might expect from Baek Ah Yeon, but the music and the video are beautifully suited to Jessica’s unique charms. If we wanted to get snitty about it, we might say that this is the sort of thing neither Taeyeon nor Tiffany can do as well as Jess.
But let’s not be snitty. This is the Jessica we miss: ethereal, approachable, yet something above our quotidian world. Like Lovelyz’ Kei after her, Jessica has the demeanor of a real princess. And “Love Me the Same” spins anew the magic thread of her rare and dazzling enchantment.