May 1, 2015

EXID Shows Who's Boss In "Ah Yeah"

Trust me, no one is happier than me that Exid rocketed to the top of the charts last year. An ordinary fancam of member Hani performing "Up And Down" at an event with the group went viral, and suddenly she and the group was on everyone's lips. Hani's seductive dancing as well as a song that found it's way into the public's hearts made room for a surprise hit I think no one saw coming.
I've been a fan of Exid since I first watched the video for "Every Night", and I could not for my life understand why that song didn't win anyone over. I had practically given up on them when "Up And Down" first came out and sparked minimal interest, but then the viral video happened. I was overjoyed of course, because they really deserved that attention, but it also increased the risk that their overnight success would simply become a one-hit-wonder. However, since Hani's as famous as she is now and with LE and Solji getting props for their composing and singing chops respectively, there's hope that they will stick around in the spotlight for some time ahead.

At first listen, "Ah Yeah" sounds strikingly similar to their breakout-hit. The saxophone driven melody, the background instrumental and even the structure of the song all share similar traits with "Up And Down". I get it, they want to keep on building on what they know has worked before, but for me it comes off as a bit too unoriginal. It's a shame because I actually enjoy this song better on its own, but it's hard not to compare it to their previous title track.

Anyhow, it's still a great track and all the members sound spot on in their respective parts. The video that comes along is also quite tightly connected to the lyrics, which could be interpreted in two ways. At first read, the lyrics are about unwanted attention from a pursuer, and the members are telling him to stop behaving the way he does because it's uncomfortable.

They sing about him asking strange questions and how everyone else can see their signal but him, wondering why he's acting the way he does. On the other hand, the members of EXID themselves have said that the lyrics imply that they're the ones trying to make a move on him and he's acting annoyingly passive and unresponsive, which also makes sense. Either way, the lyrics are great and they're reflected well in the video, whichever interpretation you choose to take.

Ah YeahIn the video, which like most of their other ones so far is amazing, the plot revolves around said man and the girls talking back at him in different ways. Hani and LE are the ones with most face-to-face interaction, as they play the two sides of the female perspective: the polite, reserved one and the raging, bold one. It's a great twist how the two members switch parts back and forth as well as showing two kinds of reactions to the man's behaviors. Hani sits quietly and sings softly to him whereas LE pulls him by the tie and points fingers directly in his face, matching her more aggressive rapping.

Another theme of the video is censoring, which is an issue faced by many girl groups today. While I personally am not the biggest fan och overly sexual dancing in general I feel like it should be allowed equally little or equally much for both genders. That's not the case however as EXID had their own choreography for "Up And Down" censored but boy groups are still thrusting on stage like nothing's up.

The way the video makes fun of those double standards is by pixelating various parts of the video, such as a few of the posters surrounding Hyerin and Solji as well as the windows surrounding Junghwa, and then revealing those censored areas to be completely harmless. In the end the members all wink and the camera as well and playfully stick their tongues out, which I think is a perfect cheeky response to all the unreasonable censoring.

Ah YeahMy only complaint about this extremely well-crafted video is the choreography, which thankfully isn't included that much. Compared to many of their other routines this one is quite underwhelming, which is even more noticeable when watching the live performances. There isn't much happening at all, and I feel like a song like this should have a more dynamic choreo to go with it.

Apart from that though, there isn't much wrong with the way this video carries itself. The plot is great, the styling is more than decent and I enjoy the use of sets and props. Having one of the dancing sequences taking place in an embedded YouTube video, within the actual video, is definitely cool and is probably playing on Hani's legendary fancam. It certainly seems that EXID has done it again, and while I'm not their biggest supporter I'm thrilled about their success and am also mostly impressed by this notable comeback.

Song: 3,8/5
Video: 4,25/5

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