Exo’s comeback is decent enough

The return of Exo resulted in two different songs, titled Monster and Lucky One. Unfortunately they have been back for a while now and I have just not cared enough to really discuss it. So…yeah…here is a post about Exo’s comeback with a dual single release!

Monster

The song isn’t bad, but…I’m not completely sold on it. This has probably been said several times, but the biggest thing that stood out was the similarities to Overdose in the chorus. It felt slowed down, almost creeping giving it a more dramatic take, which is saying a lot because Overdose was a dramatic wall of harmonies and yelps. Overall Monster kind of just moves with nothing going for or against it. They sound good, and since Growl, have been on a string of rather solid releases so nothing feels out of the ordinary now.

Lucky One

Once again, a good release from the group. It’s very…Maroon 5, which I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing. I think it is much catchier than Monster, but they both seem to feel very middle of the road for the group at this time. If I had to grade it I would give it a B. Like a strong high B. The group is capable of A work (Overdose, Call Me Baby and Love Me Right are two exceptional songs), and have shown the capacity for disappointing failures (Wolf). Lucky Ones falls somewhere in the middle, neither having anything really that makes it stand out yet not doing anything badly.

At the end of the year, I don’t think I will remember Exo’s musical comeback. Even with two offerings, the music didn’t seem to really make way anywhere. Monster is a soft retread playing up the dramatics and darkness, while Lucky One is a catchy pop track. Neither are really the group at their best or their worst, and that’s not a bad thing…I guess.

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Baek Yerin plays it too safe with Bye Bye My Blue

Baek Yerin of 15& is developing herself as a soloist while the duo are on some weird hiatus. Here is her second single Bye Bye My Blue

The song is nice. It has a sweet, but very typical groove and is an okay RbB offering. That being said, this is one in a million when it comes to R&B releases in Korea. There’s a lack of audacity in a lot of them, or they follow an unfortunate ballad like style, which leaves R&B to sound as monotonous, narrow, and quite frankly…bland. Here Yerin follows that to a T, moving through the song with as little complexity as possible. What bothers me is that this idea that you can’t be complex without being big or loud. Intricate harmonies, twist and turns in the melody…anything could have made this song something better. But it is just simple and straight forward. Which works for Yerin I guess.

Bye Bye My Blue is very safe. It plays to the typical expectations of Korean R&B, mixing softer lounge room and adult contemporary pop to give a sweet and lightly muted feel. Yerin motions through the song with depth, and skill that fans are well aware of. Sadly she doesn’t find any new ground to set her apart, which leaves her with a product that isn’t bad, but Bye Bye My Blue doesn’t lend itself to being great either.