Review: 1집 – XOXO (Kiss & Hug)

1집 - XOXO (Kiss & Hug)

SM’s rookie boy band, EXO, makes their return to the stage as wolves.

I listened, and re-listened and try as I might, I just cannot come to LOVE  “늑대와 미녀 (Wolf).” The song never really gives you time to settle in, and enjoy what’s going because of the constant changing in beat. I thought “늑대와 미녀 (Wolf)”  was poor choice for a title song, and the choreography was like watching kids play pretend. I’ll give them credit for being able own the stage with a pretty ridiculous choreography though.

Score: .5/1

“Black Pearl” was my favorites from the album, and I loved it, so much so that I can overlook the rapping. In my opinion this was “XOXO (Kiss & Hug)’s” best track. I thought it was perfect in both Korean, AND the Chinese, which is a hard thing to do. I like the kind of dark sound EXO had with this song, and I could see them taking this sound and making it their signature. It would set them apart from the rest of SM, and give EXO a definitive image.

Score: 1/1

EVERYTIME I listen to “Let Out The Beast” I want to start singing an N’Sync song, specifically the chorus of “Bringin’ Da Noise” (and maybe parts of “Pop”). I think the song is a dead ringer for the chorus, though “Let Out The Beast” is a remake of Beast Mode’s song of the same name. Maybe it’s because this song makes me think of one of my all-time favorite boy bands, and my sweet childhood, but I love it. I think it is the perfect song for EXO to do their thing with, and I would love to see a performance of this song.

Score: .75/1

Finally, let’s talk “Baby.” This is another of my favorite from this album. It was just sweet, and I can see myself listening to this all year long, and then some. It was nice for them to take a break from the crap rapping and just have all the members join in on a sweet harmonization. I didn’t think it was the best track on the album, because there were a few rough patches like @ 1:14 or the end of the song. I think whoever was singing those parts started sound like like a toddler, and it gets a little weird to listen to. Despite the few hiccups it was good.

Score: .75/1

To this day I cannot figure out what EXO’s angle is, I don’t know what their image as a group is supposed to be. The album was a good one, and was one of SM’s best produced albums in a while, and even ever. However, I can image that if EXO was more established this would have been perfection. I’ll also give major props for having a lot of their songs translate perfectly, very rarely do Korea songs keep their flare when translate, and I can appreciate that with this album.

인어의 눈물  (Baby, Don’t Cry): 1/1

나비소녀 (Don’t Go): .75/1

Let Out The Beast: .75/1

3.6.5: .75/1

Heart Attack: 1/1

피터팬 (Peter Pan): 0/1

My Lady: 0/1

Final Score: 3.6/5

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