EXID returns with a new mini-album, Ah Yeah! There’s a lot of hype surrounding EXID and the new album considering the immense popularity they earned with “Up & Down” and it’s amazing climb up the charts. With K-Pop fans watching them as a potential new darling group, did Ah Yeah live up to the hype?
Their new track, “Ah Yeah,” kicks off the album. It was initially billed as the follow up to “Up & Down,” and it definitely has a similar feel, but with a slightly less addictive, although vocally better, chorus. “Ah Yeah” utilizes EXID’s vocal abilities well and shows their potential to become a second-tier group. Hani, Solji, Hyelin, and Junghwa can harmonize well to make the vocals standout, and LE kills it with her awesome rapping. The echoing vocals partway through the song create an interesting dynamic that could have failed if not executed well, but everything came together well. “Ah Yeah” helps capture everything fans knew EXID were capable of since their debut, and this is carried out throughout the entire album.
Fans of “Every Night” may enjoy “Thrilling” as it carries similar instrumentals, rapping, and singing to the point where it sounds like “Every Night” part two. “Thrilling” is different from “Every Night” in that the girls sound more mature. The chorus stands out the most because of the rich, deep vocals. Toward the end of the song, some of the lines feel like they’re screamed over sung, which detract a little from an otherwise excellent song. If this part is overlooked, “Thrilling” shows a nice amount of growth from earlier years.
“Patpat” has some R&B beats paired with LE’s rapping. From the opening chords, it feels like the beat wouldn’t work for LE’s rap, and at times, the pairing felt a bit forced. However, the vocals are magical and fit the music well.
“Patpat” is worth a listen for the singing alone because the high notes and harmonies turn an otherwise so-so song into something above average.
“With Out U” stands out because where other girl groups use flowery language to say they’ll be okay in a relationship, EXID doesn’t. They’re confident and sure they’re okay! The vocals and rap also radiate confidence while the instrumentals sound cheery. “With Out U” could have been a decent single on its own.
Track five, “1m,” is a ballad that has layers of sweetness and gentleness. “1m” strips the girls of their strong backtracks and just presents their vocals. The stripped down EXID feels so right, and it’s a side of them fans should pay attention to since they’re more than just fun songs and potential viral hits. LE is even toned down from her usual fierceness to show a more vulnerable side. Everything about “1m” has an enchanting quality.
Of course, “Up & Down” makes an appearance on the track. Although it’s a song we’re all familiar with by now, it’s nice to see its inclusion as homage to the attention they’ve received the past few months. Even though we’ve all heard it, it’s still as addictive as ever.
EXID’s other hit “Every Night” also makes an appearance on Oh Yeah. The girls give us another version of “Every Night” with rain sounds in the background. It’s not much different from the original version other than long-gone members are now no longer included and the bridge is much better than the original. Again, it’s great EXID isn’t forgetting the songs that put them on the map, so they earn praise for not neglecting their roots.
Fans of EXID didn’t have to worry if they could duplicate and improve upon the viral sensation that was “Up & Down” because they definitely improved and showed their growth with Ah Yeah. This album should help give them the attention they deserve. It earns a solid A.