EXID – 'ECLIPSE'
2. Night Rather Than Day
3. How Why
4. Woo Yoo / Milk (Hani Solo)
5. Velvet (LE Solo)
6. Night Rather Than Day (Inst.)
"Eclipse refers to the partial lunar eclipse of the moon. Right now, EXID consists of four members. With Solji currently on temporary leave due to her health, we decided to go with eclipse, meaning it's only for a short while until the full moon returns." - LE on why they chose 'Eclipse' as the album name.
EXID has just dropped their new mini-album 'Eclipse.' This will be their first comeback without Solji, as she's recovering from hyperthyroidism. Promoting as a foursome, they decided on a mini-album instead of a full one. Member LE wrote four of the five tracks, including the title. So let's check this one out.
"Boy" has kind of a trip-hop vibe, which might be why I enjoy it so much. The beginning is eerie, as Hani and Junghwa manage to match each other's voices so well that you really have to listen to tell the difference. Hyerin gives this a bluesy feel that is oddly appropriate, and LE is quick to pick up her part and start rapping after Hyerin's emotional turn. "Boy" sounds a bit like Marian Hill's "Down" that was featured in an Apple commercial, the track was most likely inspired by it.
The title track is "Night Rather Than Day." While it starts rather slow, I like how the beat and instrumentation comes in to match the initially stripped down production. This is a great deal less dynamic than their previous title tracks, but it's still a fantastic tune about nightlife in the city. What they lack in energy, they make up for in technical skill. It's a more mature style, and I think it fits them now that they've played out all the variations of "Up and Down."
"How Why" is a cipher that you can diagnose easily. It starts out all folk-style with an acoustic guitar, but very quickly they're singing over synth stabs. The spoken word breakdown is awesome, not to mention the bridge. It creates a pleasant production, a contrast between sweetly sung, and electronically epic. It's a foot-stomping, head-nodding track, and is just overall a good listen.
We have Hani's solo "Woo Yoo / Milk," where she croons seductively -- she's lovelorn, and you can hear it in her voice. This is kind of a jazz-blues number, with the tinkling keys reminding you of that. It's well-played, and I'm pleased that Hani can do something else besides dance (we found that out on the last album). She impresses me more and more and makes me excited for what the future might bring.
"Velvet" is a solo by LE. This one is an interesting blend of house and hip hop, using EDM influences over a sometimes singing/sometimes rapping LE. She handles each task skillfully, and there are time changes here that are brilliant. The main verses blur the line between rapping and singing beautifully, all the while a steady beat keeps the time -- and the piano is a nice touch. I like this one a lot.
Truth be told, I think they should stick to the mini-album format. It suits them well -- especially here, there's not a stinker in the bunch. Are they all great songs? No, but they're all pretty good. I didn't get bored listening to it, and I'm the type that gets bored easily.
The MV starts out rather blasé and cheap-looking. Yes, you have the girls of EXID, but that doesn't save it. What does, is the whole second half of the video, where there's a superabundance of bright colors.
You see, in the first half, there's not that much going on. We're supposed to believe they're on a train, but there's not much to disabuse you of the notion they're on the same old soundstage throughout. But that changes midway, and finally, we get something to feast our eyes on other than a light filter that nearly obscures the girls.
The dancing, unfortunately... is weak. The choreo consists of nothing more than some hip movements, a few gestures, and a tiny bit of stepping. Maybe I can't be too picky considering it's a low-key dance track, but the moves just left me cold.
So what we're left with is just a video you could sleep on. It's not absolutely bad, and there are some parts I really liked, but as an overall product, it didn't impress.
MV Score: 7
Album Score: 8.7