The Korea Herald


Eyelike: EXO’s new album catchy

By Korea Herald

Published : Aug. 23, 2013 - 19:59

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EXO’s new album catchy

“The 1st Album ‘XOXO (Kiss&Hug)’ Repackage”
(KMP Holdings)

EXO’s 14-track repackaged album is a mainstream mix of hip-hop, R&B, pop and dance and is definitely for the younger crowd.

You won‘t find depth and complexity in terms of music or lyrics, but mature listeners nonetheless will find some tracks irresistibly catchy.

Title song “Growl” is a dance track with an urban R&B sound and describes a man not wanting his lover to be stolen away. “LUCKY” has a rhythmical melody line and showcases clean-cut vocals. “XOXO” has an unrequited love motif portrayed through a letter of a boy confessing his love. The track has a smooth R&B sound complete with rhythmic snapping, and is definitely going to be a favorite among fans.

“Wolf” is a trendy mix of hip-hop and dubstep that has an electronic vibe, while “Baby” is the album’s ballad, focusing on the members’ vocal skills. “My Lady” is catchy yet more subdued than the rest of the album. “Let Out the Beast” and “365” are both energetic pop numbers that will leave you tapping your feet along with the beat.

By Cha Yo-rim (

‘Mortal Instruments’ album intoxicating

Various Artists
“The Mortal Instruments Soundtrack”
(Republic Records)

“The Mortal Instruments” soundtrack manages to encapsulate the spirit of the story‘s adventure into the violent world of shadowhunting (demon killing), the teenage protagonists’ restless spirit and the fragile love story that weaves itself into the narrative.

From the dangerously dark and stormy dance track “Into the Lair” by Zedd to the catchy wails of AFI remix “17 Crimes,” to the bizarrely compelling low frequency tubular vibrations of Jessie J‘s remixed “Magnetic,” it all coagulates into a moody party.

The high energy beats are tempered by Demi Lovato’s lovelorn “Heart by Heart” and Colbie Caillat‘s evocative “When the Darkness” -- two tracks recorded especially for this soundtrack.

The teenage baiting becomes obvious with “Almost is Never Enough,” a duet from Ariana Grande and The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes.

On an album full of memorable songs, perhaps Bassnectar‘s too-short “Calling From Above” sums it up best -- a torrent of eerie, dynamic electronic sounds punctuated by siren calls to get lost in the music. (AP)

Pretty melodies, not much more from Mayer

John Mayer
“Paradise Valley”
(Columbia Records)

Even those of us who have yet to date and break up with John Mayer may find “Paradise Valley” unlikable. Kids are apt to spend some time with the hummable tunes before moving on to more fulfilling relationships.

Predictably, Mayer‘s in love-’em-and-leave-‘em mode. “Sure was fun being good to you,” he sings. And, “I was made to chase the storm.” And, “Some nights I throw it all away.” On “Who You Love,” Katy Perry weighs in, singing, “Some have said his heart’s too hard to hold.”

Best is the summery “Waiting On the Day,” which layers lovely vocal harmonies over a reggae pulse, and “Paper Doll,” a gentle shuffle with darting guitars. Elsewhere the songs are slow and slower fizz and froth, and there‘s nothing here to make us think, laugh or understand Mayer better.

Mayer can still write a pretty melody and his singing’s fine following treatment on his vocal cords. But nearly half of the songs include wordless vocals, probably because on “Paradise Valley” Mayer doesn‘t have much to say. (AP)