EXID - 'STREET'
1. Walk Me Home
3. You Know Already
4. Hello (Hani Solo)
6. 3% (Solji Solo)
7. Only One
8. It's Natural
9. Are You Hungry? (Junghwa and Hyerin)
10. Autumn, Winter, Spring (With U)
12. Hot Pink (Remix)
13. L.I.E (JANNABI Mix)
EXID has just dropped their first full-length album 'Street,' the meaning behind which is that these songs are supposed to be good to listen to while walking or driving around the streets. The 13 tracks were produced by LE and Shinsadong Tiger. LE also shares writing and music credits on 'Street' as well -- her name's on every track.
The title track is "L.I.E," which draws its influences from R&B, dance, and hip-hop. The main verses are very familiar-sounding -- there's a fresh and pure feeling that had me grooving along. The chorus is 100% EXID -- powerful, in-your-face, and nicely sung. LE is on point here, spitting awesome fire.
Hmmm..I wonder how many tries she would take?
"Only One" fooled me -- I thought it was going to be a ballad, but then it went all disco on me. Not like that's a bad thing. Solji and Hani absolutely kill it on the chorus. Those pipes carry me sky-high every time. The song ends on a down note, though: "No matter how many times I call you / There is no answer."
I thought I knew where "You Know Already" was heading too, and was pleasantly surprised. LE has the lion's share of the lyrics here. It's a great song, a bit different from their usual output, but a good groove nonetheless. All the signature things from EXID are here, but even better, as the EDM elements start up near the end.
They turn the playful up to 11 with "Are You Hungry?" Junghwa and Hyerin bop their way through this tune and there are all sorts of surprises here. I can hear elements of night-core and glitch-hop. They had me laughing throughout -- it's definitely a guilty pleasure. The up-pitched voices are amusing and make me think of chipmunks for some reason. They're not talking about food at all. :)
The two solo tracks are ballads, but you won't mistake one for the other. "Hello" is Hani's time to shine, and shine she does. It's a slow R&B track, and she does some great things with her voice. It's got enough heft to carry her through the main verses and rises to a coo during the chorus. It adds some nice variation to the whole thing, and the song really spoke to me. "3%" is given to Solji to sing, and it's a sweet ballad. I've always loved Solji as a singer and her chops are top-flight as always. She has quite a range, as at times she acts as her own backup singer -- in a different register! Her voice sounds like it was torn from the pits of despair at the end. Very emotional and moving.
Much of the rest of the album is what we've come to expect from this band. All the songs here are good and stand quite well on their own. At times the LP is soothing, but we have a definite club banger and a couple in between. The remixes are, frankly, little different with "Hot Pink," though "L.I.E." could have been called the Caribbean remix; they gave it a kind of reggae beat. They're not terrible, but I much prefer the originals.
They get kudos -- they've finally broken the curse of the "Up & Down" clones. Don't tell me you didn't notice every single since 2014 -- "Hot Pink" and "Ah Yeah" -- had the exact same structure. Thankfully, this album has none if that, instead embracing different styles while still keeping it undeniably, beautifully EXID.
The girls are all in Hotel EXID. Hyelin is a maid, Hani is the desk clerk, Solji is room service, etc. Some are inside rooms, like LE in the tub :). They all look hot, but there's more going on than just that (though barely).
They're trying to figure out where the guy is, some bloke with a plastic Ken doll head. They're peering in rooms, knocking on doors, flitting into elevators, trying to suss out the dude's location. Meanwhile Hyelin is in a room in a black dress, tearing apart flowers and whatnot. But I won't ruin the surprise...
The dancing could have been better, and the outfits more tasteful, but they didn't cross the line. And sometimes you got the sense this was all done for humor.
This was a lot of fun. The girls of EXID know how to put on a show, and they do here. It's funny and never goes quite where you expect. It's nicely filmed, and there were little details that answered some questions while raising more. Still, it never left me bored.