Both Kai and D.O are nominated for Best New Male Soloist, and Mmmh is nominated for Best Male Choreography (Solo). EXO is nominated for Best Return to Industry, while fellow member Baekhyun nominated in a bunch of other categories. Support either Kai or D.O, Mmmh, Baekhyun and the rest of EXO in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards by clicking here.
Exactly a year since his solo debut with Mmmh, Kai returned with Peaches on the Tuesday that had just passed, the title of both his latest lead single and second mini-album. Since his solo debut, we haven’t seen too much of Kai aside from the return of EXO with Don’t Fight The Feeling earlier this year after a period of two years, and a few television variety shows.
The one aspect that really jumps out at me from Peaches is how aesthetically pretty the song is. If there is anything to get out of this song, it is simply that. This comes about in Peaches thanks to two main elements, the instrumentals and vocals. Firstly, the instrumental of this R&B track takes on this lo-fi type of backbone, with percussive elements added on top. Both the lo-fi and percussive elements were light on. Together, they created a pretty airy, spacious but alluring instrumental for the song. Secondly, Kai’s singing was light on (as well) and soft, fitting for this style of R&B. Peaches is very much vocal orient, and seems to be more straightforward, compared to the likes of Mmmh where Kai was a lot more sensual and teasing with his vocals. But while it sounds like Peaches is all good, I also think the pretty aesthetics was also Peaches downfall. To me, the song focused too much on on being aesthetic and light that it pretty much neglected everything else. Sure, Peaches may be calming and soothing, but I want more from the song. For example, the hooks and melodies in Peaches was nowhere near ‘memorable territory’, and I feel this is the reason to why I am not being pulled back into the song (compared other releases that are dominating the airwaves). Another aspect of the song that I am not entirely sure of is his singing. I mentioned that it is lightweight above and fitting for the song’s style, but I did not mention whether I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I find that there is this monotone nature to his vocals as well, and that it dries out the song for me. There is just nothing to it. And because of this, I personally think would listen to Peaches a couple more times in the near future, but I don’t find myself compelled to remembering its existence.
When you think of the colour of Peaches, you think of their pinkish yellow cream tone. And I think this entire video was shot with that in mind. They tried to change it by introducing baby blues and light greys, but everything just comes off as ‘peachy colour’ for this video. It is good in the sense that it relates back to the title, but also not so good in the sense that it dulls the video. Aside from colours, Kai looks amazing throughout this video. His outfits seem to be influenced by different time periods and cultures. It isn’t the sexy concept that we remember from Mmmh, but it is within that direction nonetheless.
The pretty aesthetics also extend to the choreography component of this comeback. You can definitely get that sense during the start of the choreography and during the slower moments of the routine. What I liked about the choreography was that there was a balance between slow and sharp. It definitely works well with the lo-fi backing and the more upbeat percussive elements. As a result, the choreography comes off as refined and elegant, which is a side I like to see more from Kai. Also, there is still that sensual energy coming off the choreography, but it is not in your face this time around.
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.6/10