EXO-SC (SEHUN & CHANYEOL) – '1 BILLION VIEWS'
1. 1 Billion Views (feat. MOON) *Title
2. Say It (feat. PENOMECO)
3. Rodeo Station
4. Telephone (feat. 10CM)
5. Jet Lag
6. Fly Away (feat. Gaeko)
8. On Me
9. 1 Billion Views (Instrumental)
The duo EXO-SC is back, and this time they have something special for you -- a whole album. 8 tracks for your listening pleasure, including the title track and its associated instrumental. Plus you have four -- count 'em -- four videos to feast your eyes on.
With a title that sounds more like wish fulfillment than anything else, we have "1 Billion Views" which is smooth R&B. The press release might call it hip-hop but it's not. It's quite a pleasant listen, so I can understand why they made it the title track. "Say It" got better when PENOMECO got his turn. I prefer rap anyway, and his deeper voice was a welcome counterpoint to the extremely high pitched singing. "Rodeo Station" was definitely more my style. It's a guitar-driven piece with more naturalistic vocals. It's also catchy as all hell, which is just part of the reason I enjoyed it. "Telephone" is kind of a playful. It's upbeat, but not too upbeat. And that's important given the subject matter. The song is about a woman who pays attention to her phone more than her lover.
I really enjoyed "Jet Lag." It's a laid-back guitar-oriented piece, mostly acoustic. There the boys describe their feelings as they jet from city to city. They can't wait to be back in Seoul and in the arms of their lover again. "Fly Away" is another quieter piece. It features Gaeko, but he's not the rapper this time. As a matter of fact, the boys are rapping, and Gaeko sings to take the edge off. I like the imagery in this song. Like "Jet Lag," it serves up a definite mood. I wasn't that much of a fan of "Nothin`." As much as I wanted to like Chanyeol's solo effort, I just couldn't get into it. It dragged too much for my taste. That's probably not everybody's opinion, but it's mine. "On Me" is probably the best song on the album. Ironically, it happens to be the shortest. This one has the energy, and the rapping, some experimental sounds. I'd rather hear something like this than bog-standard stuff all day long.
So what can we take away from this? It seems like some of their best work is acoustic, except for "On Me." Tracks like "Fly Away" and "Jet Lag" are pretty evocative and show life away from the hustle and bustle of show biz. They seem to be better when they're raw and stripped down, like in "Rodeo Station." If we're judging purely by the ability to play outside the box, then this whole album is a bop.
In keeping with the song, "Telephone," the MV features the two boys on the telephone. There's not a whole lot going on here. I'm sure for some of you, that won't be a problem.
And honestly, the coolest part of the video is the end, where they smash a console and it starts sparking and burning. That caught my interest. I guess they saved the best for last.
For what they did with the MV for "On Me," it's not bad. Did it cost a lot? Probably not. Does it have all the dinky effects that other videos have? No. It's basically Sehun with backup dancers.
What they do right, however, is they make the colors pop. And these colors inform the whole video. It's a whole lot more interesting than watching one guy in a well-lit garage. And not only is it the best song on the album, but it's also the best video I've seen so far.
It seems like they turned the solo songs into mood pieces for the music video. Because basically what you have for "Nothin`" is Chanyeol looking anguished and frustrated. There are various close-ups of him, too.
It's the opening shots that are particularly evocative. They're drenched in the same colors, but there are puddles on the floor, riding boots, and a motorbike. I like this one, but for entirely different reasons than "On Me."
The MV for "1 Billion Views" is a special effects extravaganza.
If you were looking at the other videos and you found yourself wondering where their special effects budget went, this is where. It starts with almost a cyberpunk style interface. Beautiful and stylish and definitely high-tech.
It swiftly changes to more of what you might see in 8-bit video games. But it's usually in the background. We don't get a whole lot of that before it changes again, and they start running into a casino.
The effect is rather cool. The flashing lights and flashy effects keep you engaged. And MOON adds a welcome feminine presence to the whole thing.
(Averaged across all MVs)
MV SCORE: 8.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0