EXID - I LOVE YOU
It’s been over seven months since EXID last came back with their single “Lady,” and since then it’s been a long and winding road coming to today. There were some scares over Solji leaving the group, but now all seems right again as the girls make their grand return as a five-member piece. The teasers leading up to this were alluring and sexy, with a very mature edge that solidified this as one of the most exciting comebacks for EXID, at least for me. I didn’t listen to any audio teasers, however, so I just expected another great song with some possibly retro vibes.
I was kind of surprised with how structurally similar this song was to “DDD.” The vocal sampling that makes up the general hook and a fairly large portion of the instrumental backing has pretty much the exact same placement between both songs. That’s not a knock, though. I’ve actually found that a lot of EXID’s songs kind of follow up on similar patterns, likely due to each one being personally crafted with LE’s talent behind the wheel. It’s somewhat of a signature mark for her to do things in this style, and I think that it being a recognizable pattern isn’t a negative.
I think that “I LOVE YOU” was an absolute blast to listen to. It’s got such a nice mixing of softer sounds alongside the more bombastic pieces, and the entire second verse has a great variation that brings the song a fantastic surprise. I’ve loved all of EXID’s releases as of late, but hot damn did I miss Solji. Her voice just brings so much power and energy into EXID’s tracks and she’s an unmistakable piece that seems too integral to making EXID’s tracks have that extra oomph. Each of the other members also did great in this song, too, of course, but Solji’s return couldn’t have been any grander than this. (Excluding her King of Mask Singer performances, of course.)
I mentioned just earlier that this track has structural similarities to “DDD,” but there’s also a nice bit of pull coming in from “LADY.” There’s a retro vibe throughout the entirety of this track, and while it may not be the exact same style or era as their previous comeback, it’s still a bit of a throwback to a prior sound altogether.
All in all, I think that this was a great release from EXID. I wouldn’t say it’s a return to form, as they haven’t exactly lost that, but the reintroduction of Solji into the mix certainly brings back that spicy kick that I felt was missing previously.
Okay, if I’m going to talk about this video, the first thing I have to talk about is the concept. Can I just say that this is absolutely something that only EXID could pull off? There’s no other group that comes to mind when I think of a mature concept that has a great mix of quirk and charm, and somehow remains as something that ultimately comes off as empowering. What an absolute masterpiece of interwoven, unusual ideas and some damn good execution.
Okay, next up that needs to be talked about - Jeonghwa rocking that short hairstyle! She looked so damn good! Seeing it in those teaser images was one thing, but in motion? Completely different story. Don’t get me wrong, though, they all looked incredible. Solji’s return to.. well not the big screen, but return to appearing in the music videos was such a joy. I’m not even a massive EXID fan but I could feel tears welling up with joy when I saw her again.
In terms of story, it’s mostly a silly tale of the girls all essentially getting a hangover after what one would guess was a break up. However, by the end of the video, they’re over it and moving on. This is such a great message overall, but I really love how they used this concept. I don’t know that many other girl groups would purposely let people see them supposedly barfing and looking sickly. (Yes, Sunmi did.) I love how they kept it a bit more on the raw and less polished side of things - it’s something that I think EXID can specifically do because of their higher age range in general.
I’m not going to say that this video blew my mind or anything. It didn’t. I mean, it had CRT TVs which I’ve been ranting about for some time now. At least it fit in with the concept here, though. Anyway, yeah - this video passes as a fun romp with some great shots of every girl, and I think even just due to the extremely different concept, it stands out against most K-pop videos.
I don’t know that I’ve been this emotional over a comeback in K-pop in quite some time. Solji’s return just adds so much heart and soul to this track and maybe that got me a little bit biased in this review, but I think I really enjoyed this song. If you’re a fan of EXID, this is definitely going to make your chest pound with excitement and joy, and even if you’re not, I think the song is good enough on its own to have you enthralled.
(Random note: Yes, I put Solji as the thumbnail by herself. I’m just too happy to see my bias back in action! Sorry.)