SM’s Latest’s Debut Music Video

30 01 2012

The past couple weeks, Kpop’s biggest label, SM Entertainment, has been teasing us with videos of their newest boy band, EXO.  They’ve shown us dancing, acting, and itsy bitsy snippets of singing with 30-some teasers (it was only 12 you say? pish posh) to get us pumped for EXO’s debut.  So when finally a music video pops up on my subscription feed, I was ecstatic.  The songs from the teasers sounded really catchy and the dancing looked hot.  Oh, and Kai.

Mmmmm, yeah, that one.  Yup, I was excited.  Aaaaaaaaaaaand then I watched it.

Excitement level: dead.

And Kai wasn’t even in it.  None of the other members were nearly as memorable as he was in the 40-something teasers (still 12 you insist? what folly).  It seemed as though only two members were singing, and they weren’t as visually pleasing.  Audibly pleasing, absolutely; but the song was so boring, the only part that kept my attention was the visuals.  Thinking the Chinese version would save it and possibly have Kai, I watched that as well, but a minute in with no Kai and less attractive singers and just as boring vocals with the same visuals, I gave up.

For a song produced by the Teddy Riley, I would have expected a lot more.  The bass line was interesting for a couple bars, but after that, it just kept going, and going, and going… and it was the only backtrack to the vocals for the entire song.  If you’re going to do that, you’d better have some damn catchy and dynamic vocals.  A great example of this is KARA’s “STEP.”  If you listen closely, the same simple melody is the entire backtrack; their verses contrasting the chorus contrasting the array of adlibs on top of regular vocals contrasting the raps are what make it a phenomenal track.  “WHAT IS LOVE” has the same, soft vocal melodies the entire time.  Nothing changes, nothing keeps you interested.

Don’t get me wrong here, the two guys who are are singing (in each language) are phenomenal.  They have powerful voices, and everyone knows a raspy but strong voice is a sexy voice.  But it wasn’t dynamic.  The vocals didn’t drive the song and they never significantly changed melodies or tempos enough to keep me interested.

I’d say the best part of the music was the dancing cuts, especially the split screen chair/wall dancing.  Oh, and the ten seconds of Kai’s on screen dancing.  I suppose that’s the trade-off: he got the most teasers, so he gets the least amount of time in the music video.  All of the teasers actually appeared in the music video.  The members who weren’t singing were both attractive and talented.  Their dancing and acting was more worth watching than the singers in shiny suits in a rusty shack.

Despite everything, this is not either a particularly bad song or music video.  If Super Junior had released this, I would have just watched it and not even cared.  The reason I’m disappointed is because all of those teasers and weeks of waiting led up to this for EXO’s debut.  This is a great filler song for a fierce debut album.  I see the marketing strategy; the song is a great showcase of the talented vocalists of the group.  The music video would have been a delightful gift to fans as a package for buying said album or as the repackage title for their album.

It’s not material for the very first debut music video of a Kpop (/Cpop) group.  This is how Kpop debuts are done these days.  Not this.  SM’s been around long enough to know that, which is why I’m both disappointed and confused.

All I can say is there better damn well be another video coming before they debut and this better damn well not be the title track to their first album.

(On a side note, does anyone else feel like SM’s trying to recreate what Super Junior was intended to be with this group?  The whole massiveness of it? No? Anybody?)



One response

8 03 2012
That a [little] more like it… « Shanimuni Paradise

[…] it’s a much more up-beat and interesting style than their last “prolouge single”, “What is Love?”.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the music video for […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: