B-Sides: Short and Sweet
I’m sure that we all have our playlists that we listen to complement our different moods. The average pop song is about three to four minutes, and they are long enough to satisfy your musical cravings. However, some songs are less than three minutes and they leave you wanting more. This week in B-sides, we will look at two songs that are under three minutes from sub-units of SM Entertainment’s very popular boy group EXO.
“Vroom Vroom” - EXO-CBX
EXO-CBX is made up of EXO vocalists Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin, and this track comes from their 2018 album, Blooming Days. The song is only two minutes and 47 seconds long, but the members ooze such charisma that it offers a truly fun time. The brass-electronic synth and playful rhythm make you want to body-roll and sway around whimsically.
The opening note of the song is actually sung by fellow EXO vocalist D.O., but the CBX sub-unit takes over from there. Even though the song is so short, each member gets a chance to showcase their vocals and individual styles. Xiumin’s low, piercing voice smoothly rounds out the song. Baekhyun’s sliding ad-libs are nothing short of flirtatious, and they add so much energy. Chen changes things up from his usual vocalist role, and he raps confidently.
At the end of the song, all the members exchange ad-libs, and they really display their chemistry as a sub-unit. As a personal note, I have to admit that this is one of my favorite EXO songs because it has such a unique sound and it can always put me in a good mood.
“Borderline” - EXO-SC
EXO-SC is EXO’s newest sub-unit, comprised of the two rappers Sehun and Chanyeol. This song comes from their 2019 debut album, What a Life, and it is only two minutes and 34 seconds long. The song has a much softer tone than is perhaps expected from the rap line, but the members totally mesmerize you with their sound.
They mix singing and singing-rap in a very simple but effective way. The song progression flows naturally as they express their feelings. They use the image of drawing to talk about being friend-zoned when you want to cross the line into something more in a relationship. In the chorus, they simply ask, “I love you, need you, want you. Do you like me, like I love you need you?” Their voices are soft and yearning, making your heart melt in sympathy.
Maknae Sehun wrote the lyrics to the song, and the whole song shows off their talent as a sub-unit. Considering that this is their first album of all their own work, EXO-SC has shown that they are unafraid to experiment with different styles. This song in particular makes you feel like you are floating dreamily, and it leaves quite a memorable impression despite its short length.