It’s so easy to dismiss EXID’s latest comeback as a rehash of their previous songs because it actually is. Looking at DDD’s structure, you’ll see a lot of familiar faces: the exchange of verses between rapper LE and vocalists Hani (and Junghwa), the one-two chorus combos of the group’s main vocals, the addicting repeated hooks. You name it, DDD’s got it.
“I see no difference!”
That does not mean that DDD is lacking of any innovation. In fact, what made this song work is that they played with their strengths but also made sure to add little quirks here and there to save it from being a dull duplicate of their hits.
First, its main hook is the group’s sultriest yet which sees LE chanting “dul dul dul” with so much mechanical libido. Second, it has this saucy and random breakdown after the chorus (which should have been more prominent btw). Last but definitely not the least, it features one of the funkiest chorus heard in K-Pop this year. A little disco strings would’ve added more magic but overall, I’m satisfied!
Some people think that DDD’s chorus is the weakest part of the song but I am on the other side of the fence about that. I think it’s that part that carried the song in a way that it’s not something that you’d expect for a chorus with song that was built up with so much flirtatiousness. And isn’t that what we all love so much about K-Pop? The unexpected twists and turns thatwe don’t find in by-the-books pop music of the West?
Or are we stanning K-Pop for different reasons? If so, damn y’all need Jesus!!!
Although it is quite commendable for EXID to actually tweak around DDD while still maintain their signature sound, it made me realize that they belong to those groups who won’t really find success if they don’t use that formula. We all saw how Night Rather Than Day (a gorgeous song btw) underperformed by EXID’s standards. Now that they’re back with their old ways with DDD and they’re suddenly charting better!
That one time when they tried something new and we never bat an eyelash but when they keep churning out the same stuff, y’all so pressed. What is the deal?!?!
Actually, the same theory applies to all the top girl groups of the current generation. We all saw how:
- G-Friend went back to their white dresses and magic girl pop after Fingertip,
- Twice upgraded TT a little with Likey because Signal was a little too off
- The Velvet side of Red Velvet was demoted to b-sides after One of These Nights
- AOA started tanking after they stopped with their Brave Sound repeaters
- A-Pink basically returned to their 2013 era with Five because nobody thought how great Only One was.
I can’t say the same for BlackPink because they just kept on doing the same thing. No tea, no shade, no pink lemonade!
The only girl group that I can think of who can get away with shifting concepts and succeeding every damn time is Girls’ Generation.
Anyway, back to EXID. Their EPs are actually very solid but I have to say their previous effort Eclipse is still better than this current one. There are a few standouts though, like the 90s sounding Too Good To Me, Hani and LE’s Weeknd, and Junghwa’s deep house solo Alice.
Speaking of solos, it’s so amazing to see how Junghwa improved that she almost sounds like Hani to an untrained ear. I mean, she’s singing Solji’s part in the chorus in their lives! Dasom never got to try that!
Another member who has shown tremendous improvement is Hyerin. With Solji stepping down due to health issues, Voldemort’s confidence really went up when she was left in charge of EXID’s demanding vocal chops. Remember when she slayed the hell out of her verse in Boy? Or how she killed the ad libs at the last parts of Night Rather Than Day and DDD? I mean, she still stiff and awkward to look at generally but you can see that she’s coming out of her shell a little. Girl’s got the chops and she’s obviously holding back. It’s about time she stepped up!
Look at this soju version of Night Rather Than Day and you can see her throwing some serious vibrato and sass that we’ve never seen before. I demand for Banana Culture to get her inebriated before any performance because we need this Hyerin on stage!
Hyerin is EXID’s Drunken Master! The Rock Lee of the EXID Universe! All hail Lord Voldemort!!!
Stream the rest of Full Moon here: