As I’ve matured in my Kpop consumption, I’ve become much more discerning about which groups, producers, and labels I tend to like more. It’s not a judgment statement, it’s purely taste based. It also doesn’t mean that I dislike everything by any particular group, producer, or label, it just means that the overall aesthetic might not be my bag. That being said, I’m going to put it out there that while I deeply and passionately love some songs from SM artists (and some SM artists in general) overall they tend to lean in a direction that doesn’t fit into my typical wheelhouse.
However, this song by this VERY SM artist is FANTASTIC. Kai, the main dancer, sub-vocalist, and sub-rapper for EXO put out his very first solo album this week and I’m both kind of shocked and delighted with the outcome. The mini has six songs with the title track Mmmh. This song stays really consistent throughout – almost repetitive – but sits in a genre I like so I don’t mind that at all. The MV is crazy world-building fantasy fodder with floating vehicles, both utopian and dystopian visuals, and, of course, Kai’s entirely captivating dancing. That man is unreal when he’s moving. The styling, typical of SM, is a bit over the top…most of the pieces are spot on and suit the artist perfectly, but there’s always that bit of something extra that someone should have vetoed before filming started. I’m looking at you sequenced squid cap.
note: during the reaction video he did of the MV with Baekhyun, it was clear that Kai loved the hat. Baekhyun did not comment – very intentionally
Kai is one of those idols that I’ve always admired and enjoyed but never really, truly bonded with for no other reason than there are a million other idols in his group that perhaps catch my eye a little more readily. Recently, as my bias in the group is in the military and Kai has been putting out more ‘getting to know you’ content on YouTube, I’ve been enjoying him all the more. His interactions with his niece and nephew, the minimalist yet playfulness of his personal space (I love a hidden room), and his sweet nature have been quite charming. I’m glad we’ve gotten all of this extra time with him without the overwhelming presence that is EXO getting in the way. I feel like it’s been a great opportunity for him to shine. And shine, he is.