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Happy Valentine’s Day from EXO

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Even if you don’t have a “special someone” in your life right now, always remember that SOMEONE cares for you and thinks you’re special!

Enjoy the weekend! ^^

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Missin’ Kris. . .

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Super sensation EXO has been dominating the KPop music world for the last few years, getting stronger with each released single, variety show and commercial in which they’re featured and they’re showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

But as with fellow SM Entertainment guy groups that have preceded them, they have now found themselves in the middle of controversy.

Kris (Wu Yifan, his Chinese name), has filed a lawsuit against his company which has caused him to no longer be part of the 12-member group for as long as the lawsuit is pending.

Kris was the leader of the sub-group EXO-M and for whatever reason, after the release of their most recent mega-hit, “중독 (Overdose)” in May, he decided that for whatever reason, he was not happy with his current situation.

Of course, this has polarized the KPop fan world.  Some are against him, some support only him and others support both sides.

I’m of the both sides camp.  I LUV EXO.  I am a fan and always will be.  I continue to watch their performances and variety shows and groove to their tracks pumping in my car.  But I have to admit. . . I miss Kris.

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Which is interesting because he only just started to grow on me.  When rumors last year claimed that he wanted to leave the group before and was allegedly coaxed back in, I then found myself paying attention to him more and wondering if the rumors were true and thinking, “Is he happy? Did he want to come back? Well, if he did, then good for him.  But if not, I hope he’s not miserable. . . ”

Then I started feeling that way about all the members.  After their mega-success as rookies and coming back with powerful hits and performances, their exposure grew and as a result they were working harder to keep up with the demand of more from them.  Their performances grew to bigger levels – incorporating newer choreography into already-established routines and adding intros to their performances and dance breaks to remixed songs. Their presence also increased on TV shows – being featured on their own variety show, as well as others and various commercials. I mean, these guys seemed to be constantly working.

What does make me feel better, though, is that when they are interviewing and showing their playful side, they do seem genuinely happy and I hope that is indeed the case.  After all, those shows make me happy, too.

So whatever Wu Yifan decides to do with his life after this lawsuit, be it return to EXO, move on to acting as he’s alluded to before, or just live a quiet life back in his native Canada, that’s his right to do.

I’ll still be an EXO fan.  And I’ll still miss him.

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Only EXO. . .

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. . . can turn my frown upside-down!

EXO is BACK and every time I think that they can’t come back any harder or better – THEY DO!

I’m so loving the track and video for their comeback song, “중독 (Overdose)”.  These boys prove themselves over and over again, constantly. Also, as was the case with their previous mega-hit, “으르렁 (Growl)”, the camera work and overall video direction is one that this here video professional would love to one day emulate (I just LUV zooms and fast cuts!).

And the biggest thing that is always accomplished without fail is their ability to make me smile.  After such a trying day – these boys were right there to bring it and cheer me up.

Thank God for good music and talent that awakens perspective.

Thanks, Guys!  고마워!

And KEEP ON doing yo’ THANG!

EXO-OO

 

 

 

 

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~ Color Me Struck ~ EXO Continues to Impress

I’m afraid this is going to turn into an EXO blog. . .

“WOW” is all I can say.  I’m always impressed anytime EXO comes out with something, but THIS takes the cake!

EXO’s video for 『으르렁 (Growl)』was just released and It. Is. FIERCE.

When I saw the teaser for this release a few days ago, I knew it was going to be good.  The teaser hinted at a different kind of sound that EXO would be coming back with.  And the song and video DOES NOT disappoint.

I don’t even know where to start.  Hands down the most noteworthy aspect of this video is the use of the “one-shot” music video technique  We start with one half of the boys with their signature tight dance technique, attitude and swag only to have the camera swing to the other side about a minute later, unveiling the other half, equally executing the aforementioned tight dance technique, attitude and swag.  Eventually at end, the whole crew joins together for a final dance-off.

And as if that weren’t enough, EXO’s super record label, S.M. Entertainment, has confirmed the release of other videos for the song.  Something that was hinted at in the teaser.

Hats off to the director of this video.  It’s simple and clean yet takes talent to pull off.  As a fellow video professional, this is the kind of project that I would be proud to say I created.
The camera technique and overall cinematography is simply award-worthy.

Hats off to the writers and producers of this song.  It’s extremely catchy and overall, fantastic.  It has a great funky, R&B and Hip Hop mix that makes you feel good.  It would be a challenge NOT to move to the beat while watching.

Hats off to the choreographer.  I continue to be amazed by the complexity and creativity that is involved in EXO’s choreography.

And of course, hats off to EXO.  These hard-working boys keep doing their thing and proving that they have what it takes to become increasingly successful.

If it turns out that they won’t drop another track for another year like before, I will definitely be disappointed.  However, if taking a year off after each round of singles and promotions is what’s needed in order for them to prepare properly and come back again harder than ever, so be it.

Even though it’s hard to imagine their ability to keep raising the bar and topping themselves consistently, I gladly look forward to being proven wrong.

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Move over, Shinhwa. . . . . . . .. I have a NEW #1~

Never did I imagine myself uttering such a statement but it has happened – I have found something (someones, actually) that have actually filled the spot where Korean Pop group Shinhwa once was.

Rookie KPop group EXO has not been around long but they have been making their presence known since early 2012.  Never have I seen a group continue to be popular for promoting and performing the same 2 songs for a whole year while increasing their fan base and anticipation for a comeback.

If you recall, I gushed about these boys when they were performing as subgroups EXO-K and EXO-M. For this round of promotions (and onward, it would seem), they are now simply – EXO.

Now if you’ve been with me for a while, you know I can’t stand soccer team-sized music groups *cough* EXILE *cough*. But EXO is different because they were first separate groups of 6, singing the same songs but in different languages – Korean and Mandarin.  I was able to appreciate them as separate groups, learning about each members’ personalities, individual style and talent.  So putting them together as one permanently was exciting and actually made sense given they were performing the EXACT same songs.

So why are they my new favorite even though I’m just getting to “know” them?
First of all, I didn’t feel this way when Shinhwa was a rookie group.  They just kinda grew on me after a while and then I really loved them – plus those men are my age so it felt more appropriate, if you will, to love them as much as I did.  I felt I could relate to them more.  And not being much of a live music person, I even went to a KPop concert in DC years ago where I saw Shinhwa perform.  It was amazingly exciting to see them live.  It was crazy hot that day and these men performed in SUITS – well, that is, until the end. . .

Secondly, I was totally hyped up for their comeback release, “Venus”.  I loved the song and the live performances were great but I was disappointed when it turned out that the song wasn’t as successful as I had hoped.
Fast-forward to the release of “This Love” during their 15th anniversary year promotions, where they are vogueing all over the place in paisley-ish suits and the song got heaps of praise.
Don’t get me wrong, a man can vogue if he wants, I just don’t want MY man vogueing. . .

I felt like with that song and video, the men I knew had changed.  I loved Shinhwa for being the men that danced like MEN, oozing with masculinity through complicated and impressive choreography leaving me in awe of their talent.
With that new style, it felt like they were giving up a part of what I thought made them great.

So why does EXO now get the coveted spot in my heart? Well, each and every time I see these boys, they are WORKING IT.  When they perform, you can see them put their heart and soul into their work and you can only imagine how much time, effort and sweat was put into the end result which is a catchy song and fantastic dance and vocal performances.

With the release of their comeback single, “Wolf” (which, to be honest, took a while for me to feel good about, now I LUV it!) EXO has proven again that they can comeback after a year and perform even harder than before when, at that time, they needed to prove themselves as rookies worthy of a successful career.


EXO’s album “XOXO” is one of the best that I’ve heard in a while.  I put that puppy on repeat for hours and don’t get tired of a single track.
Now, with the teaser video for “Growl” released and seeing a bit of a different groove in this song, I look forward more and more to what SM has planned for these amazingly talented lads.

And I’ll be there every step of the way.  Sorry, Shinhwa, I’ve moved on. . .

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すごい土曜日!| Sugoi Doyoubi! EXO-K – History

EXO-K - History - SM Entertainment

Today’s すごい土曜日!| Sugoi Doyoubi! song is “History” by my boys, EXO-K.

This song has a great dance groove and the boys impress with the ever-present great choreography and constant smolder.  And you know me – I love the smolder.

What do you think of this week’s すごい土曜日!| Sugoi Doyoubi! selection?

Enjoy!

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Bringing the SEOUL back – Thank you, Teddy Riley

EXO-K - What Is Love - SM Entertainment

Waiting patiently for EXO’s comeback (no official word on when exactly that will be but hoping it’s soon!!) I have very few choices of songs through which to rotate in their collection.

If you ever doubt that Korean pop music contains any soul, look no further than EXO-K’s single, “What Is Love”.  Thanks to a collaboration with music producer extraordinaire, Teddy Riley, these fabulous boys are able to let their vocal skills loose.  I can’t count how many soulful riffs are in this song – they start from the very first note.  It’s great – my boys can SANG!

EXO-K - What Is Love - SM Entertainment

In true EXO fashion, there is a Korean version performed by EXO-K and a Mandarin version performed by EXO-M.  I prefer the Korean version of this song.  In the music video of both versions, all of EXO is featured.

Sometimes when you listen to a song in another language it sounds great – until you learn what the song is really about.  “Is THAT what they’re saying?!” is sometimes a disappointing sentiment when I look up the meaning to some songs.  Thankfully, that is not the case here.  The song is great and the lyrics are beautiful, too, including such heart-warmers as:

“If you wish and wish earnestly, will it come true, like the fairytales?  A never-ending happy ending, happily ever after.  I will trust you, protect you and comfort you.  I will be on your side.  I will never leave your side.”

Bust out the tissues.

EXO-K - What Is Love - SM Entertainment

For me, this song gets played on repeat once it starts.  I just can’t get tired of it.  It’s smooth and relaxing R&B sound is one that just makes you want to keep listening.

So when you’re in the mood for an old-school-sounding R&B ballad with a Korean twist, check out EXO-K’s, “What Is Love”.  It’ll hit just the right spot.

EXO-K - What Is Love - SM Entertainment