Time to bounce back around the timeline and cover some past releases. This post covers Jeon Somi’s XOXO, which was released two weeks ago! XOXO is the title track off her very first album release since her solo debut in 2019, which also shares the same name as the song! The album is also her very first studio length album and it also consists of her past hits, like her solo debut single, Birthday, and her most recent solo comeback prior to XOXO, DUMB DUMB.
When XOXO was first released, I didn’t care for the pop song as much. I found it to be quite plain, with her earlier solo works being more memorable and catchy. Two weeks on, XOXO has grown on me. But I am still of the opinion that this is Jeon Somi’s plainest song since her debut. The song’s anthem-like chorus is without a doubt the song’s centrepiece (as a chorus always is) and is the main reason why the song has grown on me. It has a nice fluid melody, which in combination with her vocals and backing, adds oomph and definition to the chorus, which in turn provides a substantial and satisfying feeling. The ‘XOXO’ in the chorus is quite catchy. Altogether, the chorus now does come off as memorable and definitely is my favourite part of the song. Unfortunately, the rest of the song was pretty plain. Even after just finishing listening to the song, I don’t think I can even properly describe the verses as there just isn’t anything memorable or interesting. On a more positive note, XOXO is vocally driven and it is a fair showcase of her vocal abilities. The one thing I did pick up on was the reference to Jennie’s (from BLACKPINK) solo song, SOLO (from 2018) in the second verse. I guess that means that XOXO could potentially be a song passed up by Jennie (but this is just me speculating). I wished the instrumentals were more striking, similar to her past releases. I also miss the ‘switch-up’ that usually comes in the final chorus, as per her previous songs. I find that keeps Jeon Somi’s songs dynamic and maintains interest for me, which was lacking in XOXO. Overall, a pretty safe and standard pop song with a catchy chorus. I just wished XOXO was more than that.
XOXO‘s music video is a continuation of the story from DUMB DUMB, but the story turns goes from a high school crush to heartbreak. Essentially, the guy in the DUMB DUMB video (which was confirmed at the end of the video when the dog mask came off) has been cheating on Jeon Somi. Jeon Somi and her friends kidnap him and torture him with a variety of methods, and I think in the end, they end up killing him by crushing him in a car. I liked the edgy change that we saw Jeon Somi undertake for this video, which I think works really well with her visuals and the story. There were also some laughable moments, such as the disclaimer at the start of the video that this video is fiction, and when the police officer drove past and they made it look as if the guy was not kidnapped. Not suspicious whatsoever. I also liked how she ‘accidentally blew up the building at the end, despite rigging it with explosives just a matter of seconds prior.
The choreography was pretty decent. The song restricts it, so it can’t be as punchy as some of her past performances. But it is still good to watch. I really like the big X and O she and the dancer make on stage when the title XOXO comes up.
Song – 6/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.1/10