Rippito Flippito super slow motion; EYK, you’ve taught me well enough that I can review this song with a straight face while still repeating that line in my head over and over. I love you.
Exo just recently debuted early April 2012, so they’re a part of the Rookie Revolution, the name I’ve given to the sudden boom of rookie groups being pumped out by well-known and obscure companies alike. Exo’s a part of the Rookie Revolution along with groups like B.A.P, C-Clown, and Nu’est. However, it seems that Exo seems to stand out among the other rookie groups. They’ve been getting the endorsements, the interviews, the variety shows, the . Not to undermine the other groups (Especially B.A.P), but Exo’s been making an impression everywhere. And with a song like ”What is Love”, I really can’t see why they wouldn’t.
So, since WE ARE ONE; WE ARE EXO, I’m going to be reviewing both songs at the same damn time! Since the videos for the Korean and Mandarin version are basically the same with the exception of member focus, I really won’t be going that deep into the video but more the Baeksoo vs. LuChen aspect of the vocals.
So, with that, let’s begin!
A Series of Candid Shots
To be completely blunt, trying to understand the video will confuse and frustrate you. When I watched the Korean version of “What is Love”, I really thought that I was watching more of a disconnected series of close-up face shots rather than a video with an actual plot. Don’t get me wrong, Exo is a good looking group of fine young men and they deserve all the screen time that they get. But really? SM, you really thought candid shots would suffice for a music video as long as the men were handsome? But really though, I only really understood the parts with Chanyeol in them, with his being OH SO CURIOUS YEAAAH.
Look at him actually doing work! Chanyeol’s parts are the only ones that really let me know what the is going on. But while Chanyeol’s breaking his back and getting dirt underneath his fingernails, we’ve got hot chocolate drinking and dog cavorting,
Ghost suit dancing,
And kite flying. Mother ing kite flying; that’s not useful at ALL, D.O! Put that away.
Overall, the music video seemed like “Hey, let’s go on a camping trip and look attractive while portraying the feeling of angst and mystery.” It was mainly just a conglomeration of Exo driving, drinking, walking, reading, dancing, and super-slow-motion-ing. I was just glad that they got to be in wide open spaces and not in brightly lit rooms like another group I know…
Oh…That room looks incredibly claustrophobic…
Exo Goes Sensual Lovey-Dovey
Alright, when I first listened to the song, I wondered what it was about. I had no concrete, plot-driven music video to follow for context clues, so I consulted the internet and found the English lyrics.
And Oh. My. God.
“I lost my mind, the moment I saw you,
Except you, everything get in slow motion.”
A fangirl’s dream. Don’t even deny; when you saw the English translation for these lyrics, your heart melted and became a puddle of warm fuzzy feelings inside of your stomach. I mean, they nailed it in the feelings department with this song. What girl wouldn’t fall in love with this song when Luhan’s singing this:
“I will trust you, protect you, and comfort you
I will be on your side
I will never leave you side”
To you? Yet another example of how smart SM can be sometimes; this song involves you. I counted the amount of times “you”, “babe”, “baby”, “Girl”, or any other like pronouns or alternative monikers were used in the song and (excluding repetition in a verse) came up with the grand total of 32 mentions to you. I also took into account the “My baby”, “we”, “with you”, etc. and came up with a grand spanking total of 9. Overall, Exo is making you fall in love with them by including the idea of you and them over 40 times.
Once again, SM, you have impressed me with how clever you really are.
But then again, “What is Love” is just the typical love song. Plenty of songs have been done the same way with the same slow tempo and the same gorgeous voices; only the lyrics have been redacted. The lyrics were guaranteed to be super cheesy with a title like “What is Love”, but nonetheless it is a very sweet, emotional song. It’s what every girl wants to hear at some point during her romantic life; she wants that undying devotion from someone.
Bonus if he’s a good looking Asian Pop idol.
My Babe, baby babe, baby, baby; Tell me what is love
Score for K: 5/5
Score for M: 3.5/5
Okay, so I have small powwows with my roommate and we talk about which Exo subdivision is better. My answer is that no sub division is better than the other, but they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Exo-K has two vocal powerhouses in Baekhyun and D.O. while Exo-M’s main powerhouse vocalist is Chen. In “Mama”, Exo-M dominated in the vocal department with the exception of the screaming part which Exo-K’ss Kai pulled off so well it actually made my guests yelp in fear. In “History”, Exo-M looked and sounded the best although Exo-K seemed to stomp them when it came to the execution of their choreography. In “What is Love”, The Baeksoo pair took the show. Took it. Took it all.
Baekhyun and D.O. are already stellar vocalists; we heard them in “Mama” and thoroughly enjoyed them. For their boyish faces, they hold a vocal talent that should be critically appreciated. I’m no music stiff, but D.O.’s voice has such a profound weight and power behind it that it brings tears to my eyes during “What is Love”. Baekhyun’s voice does the same thing; their voices convey the emotion behind the lyrics in a smooth but poignant way that should be commended. When you hear the effort that Baekhyun puts into some of his lines and hear the “I don’t know why” that D.O. belts out…oh god. This song actually made me notice and appreciate D.O. and Baekhyun. That and the Korean simply flowed in this song.
Now, that’s not to say that Exo-M didn’t do their share of belting, either. Chen, Chen, Chen; Exo-M’s resident troll and vocal powerhouse. Oh, his presence in this song is simply phenomenal. I mean, he makes up for what I believe Luhan lacks. When it comes to Luhan’s parts in “What is Love”, sometimes I feel as though he doesn’t put enough punch into it. Chen really does hold the group vocally because he could have done “What is Love” by himself and made it sound incredible. He puts as much emotion into his lines as Baekhyun and D.O. do in the Korean version. However, after listening to both songs side by side without taking into account my biases or group preference, I found that Exo-M’s version fell a bit flat for me. Baekhyun and D.O. really brought it and made “What is Love” an amazing song.
I Lost my Mind…
Really, though, it was the music video that killed “What is Love” for me. Not every video needs to have a plot, but when you have a kid dancing with an empty suit jacket, it makes me feel a certain way. Baekhyun and D.O. really saved this song with their vocals while Exo-M just fell short. “What is Love” is a good song regardless of the cheesiness of its lyrics or of which group executed it. This song just shows where the strengths of each individual group is and where they can improve. As always, though, I’m HWaiting with the rest of Exo’s fans.
Those boys are going places…
A/N: Hi, everyone. AgentKeyes here; I'm sorry that I don't have a second blog post for you, but I've been neglecting pretty much everything because I've been hanging out with my dad. This was our first real holiday vacation together and I wanted to devote as much time to bonding as humanly possible. So, I apologize once again.
I hope you won't be too angry with me being human, having a life, and having school. I'll get back on schedule soon, I promise! Have a good one; goodbye, everyone!