EXID – 'WE'
2. WE ARE..
3. The Vibe
4. How You Doin'
6. Lady (Urban Mix)
7. ME&YOU (Inst)
EXID has dropped their newest comeback EP, 'WE.' Not to be confused by WINNER's EP of the same name, out the same day. It's a bittersweet release, considering Hani and Jeonghwa have decided not to renew their contracts. And after this, they're going on hiatus. This will be the last time (at least for a while), that we see them as a five-member group.
They kick off the EP with an R&B-inspired track. "ME&YOU" still sounds like EXID, which is a good thing. They still have the stratospheric vocal highs and LE's rapping, both of which make for an awesome combo. Besides, I like the songs Shinsadong Tiger cranks out. "WE ARE.." is a song written to the fans. Each member spent some time on the lyrics for their parts. Apparently, Hani and Solji were crying when they were putting it together, Hani during the writing and Solji while she was recording her segment. And it is an emotionally intense song, reflecting on how they felt over the past several years. But the autotuned chorus is rather lackluster and detracts from the emotional impact of the song.
The bluesy "The Vibe" is quite an awesome song. And they play up the jazz/blues aspect without being slavish. I like when they are certain styles because they always seem to put their unique stamp on it, and when LE comes in you know its EXID. It's pretty sweet in parts for all that. "How You Doin`" is a more traditional club-banger. It ticks all those boxes for a low-key dance track. It's got the pounding beat and the vocal pyrotechnics that I enjoy from EXID. It's a lot of fun, and Hani and Hyelin on the ending bridge are both just...wow.
The lullaby-like "Midnight" has pretty simple syncopation, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's not a good song. It's a bop and has all the lyrics (and anticipation) that you might expect a song with a title like this to possess. And if you get offended or cover your mouth, don't say I didn't warn you. Sounding almost like a companion piece to "Midnight," the 'urban mix' of "Lady" is probably better than you're thinking. They preserve most of the structure of the song and kept what was great about the original. For the most part, it's a different backing track with more horns.
So, how to talk about an EP that is basically the end of an era? Well, it's not bad. I feel a little let down by the fan song, that could have been something awesome but the chorus was just not doing it. I think mid-album is where they started to hit their stride, offering up tunes like "The Vibe" and "How You Doin`." And they get an A for effort, anyway, when it comes to "WE ARE.." Overall, it's a pretty good EP, if nothing amazing.
If you know anything about the song itself, you know it's not a happy one.
And they highlight that here. During at least half of the video, the girls are dressed up in bridal apparel, complete with veils, lace, and all that. But they don't look happy, not at all. Not like you'd expect a bride to look. And judging from the gun that Hani's holding, wedded bliss is not in the cards.
Red also plays a significant part here, as much of it is done against a red backdrop. Whether dancing, lounging, posing, what-have-you, an element of red is always there. What are we to make of this? Well, red generally is exciting and often has a hint of danger associated with it.
And the ending is classic girl crush. Instead of heading to their weddings, they end up at a party, their bridal gear discarded. Instead, they're in monochromatic jumpers -- each item is a single color, but each girl wears a different color, and the backdrop is now a black light, illuminating the new costumes they wear. So instead of a marriage, we have a wild party. Or do they?
Of course, any attempt to make a coherent narrative out of this fails. Since, in the end, there's a shot of them in their bridal outfits, holding the bouquets we saw them throw behind them earlier. Still, it's a pretty dynamic MV overall, and it had enough to keep me watching. Maybe the fact that I like the song helped, but I'd give this fairly high marks.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0