I would like to call this post the SO BEAUTIFUL appreciation post. Because these two songs, which both came out in January this year, both struck me as painfully beautiful the first time I heard them. :’D Love them. (However, both of them had videos I didn’t really think required more than mini-reviews. Just sayin’. Which is partially why I combined them.) They are EXO’s “What is Love” and Brian Joo’s “Let This Die.”
I was totally looking forward to SM Entertainment (home of SuJu, SHINee, and more)’s new boyband. Seriously, I knew they were gonna be good. Even though I think SM’s treatment of their artists is pretty bad, dang if they can’t produce amazing groups. So yeah, I had high expectations. And when they came out with this “prologue single” thing, I was totally not disappointed. LOVED IT.
This song was released in both Korean and Chinese, just as there are two EXO groups (K and M). I, personally, prefer the Korean version, because I understand more of it and such. But my sister likes the Chinese version better, because she likes the voices better, and also because she speaks more Chinese than Korean. Makes sense, I suppose. This is the whole purpose of having it in two languages, after all (to cater to more than one crowd).
Korean version, featuring Baek Hyun and D.O:
Chinese version, featuring Lu Han and Chen:
Both songs only feature two members from their respective groups. The only one of the four I’d ever heard of before from their teasers was Lu Han, who is adorable. But I was seriously blown away by all their vocals. This song is an R&B ballad-y track, with a really powerful and soulful melody and this great backtrack and really pretty vocals and a lot of belting, and it reminds us STRONGLY of “Hot Times” by SM the Ballad (ha, love that song). There are a lot of little ad-libs and fancy frills and things, and it’s super pretty. It’s so much fun to sing along to. Mostly because it’s so soulful.
The video is basically a compilation of teasers and things that EXO has released int he past, and also some unseen ones, if I’m not mistaken. (I can’t be sure, because I didn’t actually watch all the teasers…) And then there’s also a bunch of clips of the boys singing and walking around in a cool, somewhat creepy house that needs to be fixed up a bit. As expected, they are all very good-looking and well-dressed. Neither of the music videos (which are very similar) are especially captivating, nor are they very memorable or interesting. There’s some dancing (I actually love that random coat-dance. HA!), and it’s all really good, but there are only tiny clips of it.
As for lyrics…I love the English in this song XD 98% of them are comprised of “Whoas”, “yeahs” and, my personal favourite, “My baby baby baby baby”s. Heh. There’s also a good “Girl, I can’t explain what I feel”, and some “I lost my mind” s and “get in slow motion”s. The pronunciation on the Korean version is better, but in both cases, the English is not the best. Kind of weird. Oh, and in the Korean version there’s a “Happy ending” and they both have a “Happily ever after.” And also a soulful “What is love.” Just enough to sing along to happily, I gotta say. The English doesn’t really add to the song other than to make it much more fun to sing. Whatever, I’m happy ^^
As for the meaning…love song. Typical emotional love song. Not a sad one, for once. It’s pretty sweet, I gotta say. All about how he’s so happy to have her and that all the other guys must be so jealous and he’s gonna make her smile. Nice 🙂 But nothing special. I’m assuming the Chinese version has the same translation, but I got my Korean translation and lyrics here. Ah, and here‘s the Chinese version. Yes, it’s the same 😀
I think that’s all I have to say about this one. It’s a seriously good song, with outstanding talent. One of my favourite songs right now. I’m looking forward to the real debut of this band (bands?) I think they’re gonna be epic. A lot of people were disappointed by this band, after so much hype, but I wasn’t at all. I think they’re great, and I think this song is great. EXO fighting!
As for the Brian Joo song, “Let This Die!” I wasn’t extremely excited about this comeback, because I’m not typically a fan of Brian Joo’s music. Not usually my style. But the moment I heard this song, I LOVED it. It’s so freaking beautiful. The whole album is (you should buy it!)
This song was actually released in both English and Korean, but I happen to prefer the Korean version, because I like the rapping by Tiger JK a lot. But the English version is equally beautiful. I absolutely love it. I think Brian has an amazing voice, and I love the piano at the beginning (it’s what initially drew me in. I like piano ^^) So after I heard this song, I listened to the rest of the album, and loved it. Like crazy. MUST BUY!
I actually don’t like this video at all. It’s confusing and depressing and a little too passionate for my liking (the fighting, the crying, the kissing). Something about Brian seeing his girl being abused and then finding out it was himself and that he’s crazy and he ends up in a straight-jacket and there’s much crying and flashbacks. So yeah. It’s not a bad music video (I actually think it was really well-made), but I don’t like to watch it very much. Sorry!
I do, however, love Brian’s purple hair. That. Is. Awesome.
The English in this song is, of course, flawless. And even meaningful! :O And the lyrics, though sad, are excellent as well. They’re about letting go of the person you love so that they can be happy and…stuff. Okay, so I don’t really understand them completely. When do I ever??? (I got my lyrics here)
Hmm, so no dancing in this video either. Brian’s not a dancer, after all (actually, he is. But he mainly sings ballads these days.) So no dancing to comment on. And I already mentioned looks; loving the hair *_* His clothes are average. The music video was beautifully directed, especially the lighting and everything (so pretty!). And there is only one member (obvs) so I don’t have any members to comment on. Ah, now you see why I didn’t want to do a full review on this 😛
I just love this song so much. It sounds somehow more…American than most k-pop. Or maybe just less k-pop-ish. Well, it’s not technically k-pop, anyways. It is a thing of beauty, I gotta say. Brian Joo sings mainly ballads, so I’ve never been a huge fan (though I love his In My Head cover). Anyways, I’m really glad I gave this song a chance, because it’s spectacular. How I wish it got more attention. (Did you know Brian Joo used to be signed under SM Entertainment as well? When he was in the duo Fly to the Sky. With Hwanhee. It’s true!)
So yeah. His whole album is amazing. I love it so much. You should all support him, because he’s sadly underrated and makes me want to cry. He is amazing, as is this song. Very powerful and emotional and beautiful. Love it! That is all. Brian Joo, fighting!
Anyways, there’s my post. I’ve been wanting to write it for ages and never got around to it because I am lazy -_- Both songs are beautiful, both songs are amazing, and both songs deserve your attention and love, as do their artists. Now off to find more songs to review! Haha!