The second solo artist to be reviewed today is Baekhyun from EXO. He makes his solo comeback with Candy and second mini-album, Delight. Baekhyun made his debut last year with UN Village and City Lights, which all formed one of the most successful solo debuts ever. Baekhyun’s comeback follows Suho’s solo debut last month and Chanyeol’s recent solo collaboration with Raiden, Lee Hi and Changmo. Baekhyun also recently participated in a collaboration (Leo) himself with BOL4, for her solo comeback which also occurred this month.
Baekhyun’s solo debut track highlighted a lot of his vocals. And it is expected that his solo comeback would do the same. Candy does just this, but in a more laid back manner. More on this later though. The song falls under the R&B realm as well, as per his debut song. But this one is a lot more upbeat and straight forward in terms of its instrumental. I really liked how sleek the overall song felt, which can be attributed to a really refined instrumental and his smooth vocals. The thumping bass and the light twinkling pop in the instrumentation was really nice. I do have my issues with the song. I did feel that by going this straightforward and direct R&B route, the song feels a little more typical. I wanted something that ‘one-up’ UN Village, which was unique and characteristic of him. Candy didn’t have momentum, unfortunately. That that is only a minute issue. His vocals do a lot in this song and I thought this vocal chops were well used throughout this song. Those ad-libs during the bridge and ending of the song were on point and effortlessly beautiful. Those deep ‘Candy, Candy, Candy‘ chants give some texture and depth to the song. Furthermore, Candy likens Baekhyun to various sweet food items. While this sounds rather childish in some ways, his vocals really put a mature spin on it, which I really like. Overall, Candy shows off that Baekhyun is highly capable of variety and a more upbeat style (i.e. he isn’t just your typical ballad main vocalist).
To reflect the more upbeat style that we heard in Candy, the music video opts for colour, which makes total sense. After all, this song does not deserve anything dull. It is set in a urban area of the neighbourhood, which has an old arcade and movie theatre, like the ones we see in movies. And this suits the more laid back vibes the song has. Baekhyun looks really good in this video. It might be his hair or his smiles he flashes towards the camera. The music video does seem to approach with the dreaded choreography and closeup formula. But I didn’t it mind as much, as some of the closeups seemed to flow through to the choreography scenes cohesively.
Unlike his solo debut, this comeback features choreography. It isn’t anything complicated, which again matches the laid back and easy going vibes of the song. The instrumental of the song also wasn’t complex, so there isn’t any need for overly complicated moves to wow us. I do note that the moves do all work together to create a cool performance. There was a part of the performance where he dances opposite female dancers. I thought that was a strong moment in the choreography and I would have liked to see a more prolonged sequence of that, as there seemed to be some chemistry between the two sides.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10
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