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EXO finally comes back with Hugs & Kisses!

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The wait is finally over (since about 2 weeks ago)!!! All eyes on these boys-turn-wolves after their teaser was released as fans and curious people like me counted down to their MV release and comeback performances.maxresdefault

Let’s not forget about the tree of life…

Before I start on the album, I would like to claim that though I love how good looking these boys are and how I did pay them quite a bit of attention during their last promotional activities I have to say as a neutral fan of the big 3 I wasn’t going to overlook the fact that B.A.P was winning the fight… until now. (This would probably be a good time to warn you about the lengthiness of this post, there’s just too much to say after holding back for 18 months or so)

After their last mini album and slightly disappointing live performances (because of the constant lipsyncing and probably lack of that ompfphh in their performances) I wasn’t expecting much from them especially not after they kept me waiting for a year and a half. But now all is forgiven and I can say confidently that I love this album to bits. (Which is probably a very big compliment coming from me because I have high standards and the only full album that did it for has only been Supersonic).

Non-Exo fans might be initially turned off by Wolf like I was because of the messy arrangement of the song courtesy of the same guy who composed I Got A Boy which I had disliked very much. Luckily for me, I like the boys enough to give it a few more chances and I would say that the live performances of Wolf was probably what did it for me. I gradually got used to the song and it became a pretty good song to my ears. I guess you just gotta get used to it. Not to mention that the singing parts really showed off the vocal skills of the main vocals! Basically, everyone got a slice of the song which is probably why SM chose this song to promote out off the other easier-to-listen-to songs.

The perf with the most live-singing!~

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Track List:

1. Wolf

2. Baby don’t cry

3. Black Pearl

4. Don’t Go

5. Let out the Beast

6. 3.6.5

7. Heart Attack

8. Peter Pan

9. Baby

10. My lady

11. Wolf (Exo-K)

12. Wolf (Exo-M)

tracklist of the Kiss version with slight differences in the order of the title track

Baby don’t cry

One out of the 3 amazing teaser songs that makes this album, this is the first one to make its appearance in this album. Every EXO fan definitely waited for the full version of this song after hearing the first verse and chorus of this song, including me. The saying that teasers only use the good part of the song is so inapplicable here as this song definitely lives up to its hype and I love it even more thanks to a pleasant surprise by Chanyeol. Not only his rap but his backup vocals took the song to a higher standard from the teaser it was. Because i sure as hell never noticed his backup singing in the teaser (sorry, too busy listening to the live version in their showcase). After hearing D.O and Chanyeol harmonize a few times (check out their billionaire cover), i’m convinced that they are musical soulmates.

Black Pearl

The title totally reminded me strongly of the movie the Pirates of Caribbean. (It still does…) This song ups the pace after Baby don’t cry and definitely has a darker vibe to it. The slower pace of the verse was a good transition from the slower Baby don’t cry its faster chorus. This is one song that also needs a bit getting used to before you can really appreciate it. The constant ‘Hey’ part of the chorus definitely stood out like a sore thumb on first listen and the rap was at an awkward musical location but you get over it fast. Most people tend to forget that this also appeared in Se Hun’s teaser because what was used in the teaser doesn’t really represent the actual song

Don’t go

Is one my favorite song! It’s light, happy and sounds of youth. Not to mention that we get to clearly hear Kai and Chanyeol (Exo-K) and Tao and Xiu Min (Exo-M) sing! As if Baby don’t cry didn’t make me drool over Chanyeol’s voice, this song definitely reinforced his position of ‘the voice’ in Exo. I am just a jelly when it comes to deep voices after all! (How cute he is and how sexy his voice is, is just so…… I don’t know if I should pinch his cheeks or just melt into pudding) Enough with that cute little thing. Though people may say that there is nothing outstanding about this song, i stand true to my motto that a good simple song is still good. There’s nothing wrong with non-experimental songs that follows the master formula of all pop songs if it has a good melody.

Let out the Beast

Is another teaser song that appeared as a full song. Frankly speaking, I didn’t have a very clear memory of this song as a teaser probably because I was more caught up with Baek Hyun (oops!) song teasers like Baby don’t go and My Lady. This song probably falls under the same type of more manly and tough song like Wolf with a much neater and easily accepted musical arrangement. After comparing it to the teaser, it turned out a bit more different but definitely more wholesome as a full song. My only complain of this song is that there isn’t a proper layout and the song basically retains the same beat and feel throughout the whole song much without a climax of any sort. But that’s just the prim & proper part of me complaining because i’m just so used to the standard format of a pop song. (You wouldn’t catch me complaining about the format of a jazz song)

3.6.5

The song I call the One Direction song. Eek! As you might be able to tell I am far from being a fan of One Direction because I do not warm up to cutsy happy songs like this one. Luckily the song blends into the album and because I’m being fed in little portions (in conjunction with the rest of the songs) I can handle it, though I won’t give it the time if the day if it was a single. Be thankful to the album, you song!

Heart Attack

…is another darker vibe-d mid-tempo song that i liked from the first listen. The feeling it gives off is slick and smooth as the fast-paced lyrical melody blends into the slower, draggier beats and echo-y bass line in the verse. The whole song speeds up at the pre-chorus as the vocal melody matches the faster and louder beats and slides into the same draggy feel even with a faster beat and lyrical melody at the chorus. For me, this has been a pretty interesting song as the song plays around with not just each part of the song as a whole but with the different layers of a song eg. the beat, the lyrical melody, the base line etc. (it’s always great to hear all of them singing!)

Peter Pan

To me, this is probably another song border-lining One Direction (again 😦 ) But somehow i’m adapting pretty well to this song i would have otherwise shunned. It’s a fun song to say the least and it has a kind of oldies musicality to it coming mainly from the background music.

Baby

The pace of the album slows down at this song and i have to say this is probably one of the weaker songs of the album and does little to contribute to the otherwise already fantastic song line up. In fact, its presence just before My Lady only serve as an appetizer to make My Lady that much better in contrast. It isn’t bad per say, just boring? Where Wolf could have held back, this song definitely was a tad too plain. The ‘baby, baby’ definitely reminder me of a certain someone with the intials J.B (zomg… why.)

My Lady

is like the most amazing song that can definitely stand alone even when it was a teaser. I can’t even begin to count how many times i listen to it when it was just a teaser -.- And i’m sure as hell i wasn’t the only one looping the teaser like there was no tomorrow. As an audiophile, i would definitely be sifting out every detail of this song into my brain. I can’t even begin to explain it, you’d just have to listen to it yourself.

The teaser that started it all…

Instead of talking about how well each song really stands out on its own, it’s the mix of different kind of songs that make this album great. On first listen, they somehow all go together very well even though they all have different vibes but you don’t really understand why. After listening to the whole album with all the songs in order of the track list a million times (though I would usually shuffle then if the order of the songs weren’t so damn good) I finally understand what was the key factor tying the whole album together! It’s the character of the songs. All of them represent the phase boys go through at their age. *light bulb moment* No wonder their promo photos are of them in school uniform! From boyish One Direction moments to when they just want to act tough or cool in front of the girl they like. Wow, was SM always this capable of tying a whole album together so well? Concept and all. I could go on and on about Exo, their album and them, but i’ll spare you guys the time to go check it out yourself!

P.s: Come to think of it, with 3 amazing teasers being turned into full songs, i should have known the album would already be 1/4 great.

Congrats to Exo for their consecutive wins!

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