[Album Review] Street (1st Studio Album) – EXID

It is time for another PARs (Past Album Review) as it is a Tuesday and I have chosen EXID to be next group to cover. More specifically, the group’s first and only studio album (so far). Street is the name of their first studio album and this was released in June 2016. It features the title track, L.I.E, and the remixes of Hot Pink and L.I.E (which I have chosen not to review). More recently, EXID has gone on a hiatus after not resigning with their company. Each member has gone onto different companies in Korea, but the group has stated that they have not disbanded. So we could potentially see another studio album from the group in the future! But until then, it will be a bunch of PARs for EXID.

Street Album Cover

1. Don’t Want A Drive (데려다줄래)Don’t Want a Drive is a mid-tempo R&B number that eases us into the album. Given the group’s EDM direction for the title track, something easygoing and light would be appropriate to start off the album. The instrumental is very pleasant, despite being somewhat crunchy in texture. I really liked how Hyerin echoes the final section of the segment, easing us out of the song. I also found it interesting that Junghwa and Hani took the reins of the chorus, a role usually reserved for the main or lead vocalist of the group. Junghwa’s vocals do really fit in and give the chorus a bit of spark that would have felt over the top if Solji had stepped in, regardless of how good we all know Solji is. (8/10)

2. L.I.E (엘라이) (Title Track) – My original review stated that I was very disappointed with the track. Four years on, the song has definitely grown me. To the point where I will be bumping the review rating to a 8/10. Click here to read the (original) full review for L.I.E. (8/10)

3. I Know (알면서) I Know comes off with an upbeat tone, where the members ask why they are still with their partner despite the entire world around them telling them to leave. The song has this energetic presence, which really helped make the song much more appealing if they took it in the route of a ballad or R&B song. It utilises EDM synths to give it some life and texture. It isn’t dominant hook like how it is employed L.I.E and feels like artists would usually employ the style in a standard pop track. But it is still nice, alongside the catchy hooks and melody in this song. (8/10)

4. Hello (Hani Solo) Hello is a very jazzy-styled R&B track brought to you by Hani. As all solo tracks, the song is well designed for Hani’s voices. She doesn’t have the power vocals like other members in her group, but she can do a fair job on her own, as indicated by this track. What I really like about this song is its lightness and breezy nature. It is so light that Hani could effortless switch to a speaking style delivery of her singing, which I thought was a very cool aspect of the song. It isn’t a standout or memorable track, but it is definitely a nice song. (8/10)

5. CreamCream is a questionable song. Not for the music however, but rather the lyrics. I won’t go into details due as this is a studio album review, but I am sure that this caught the attention of fans back in the day for its possible sensual connotations. Apart from that, I thought Cream was a really good song. I like the vocal work which was very delicate. The instrumental featured a nice level of funkiness and was driven forward with a guitar which gave the song some class. The saxophone at the end also added a little more just before the song ended. The only thing I did not like was LE’s rap sequence, which felt very unnecessary. (8/10)

6. 3% (Solji Solo)3% thrives thanks to two elements. The first has to be Solji’s vocals. We all know her for her impressive display of vocals through many shows in the past. 3% doesn’t put forward her powerhouse vocals, however. Rather, it puts forward an excellent display of her vocals without going overboard with high notes or loud vocals. The other element that really puts 3% forward is the simple instrumentation. It is just acoustic guitars. It is a nice piece, but it also allows the focus to be squarely on Solji. (10/10)

7. Only One – The song Only One is actually a group version of Hani and Solji’s duet, Only One, which the released in 2015. What differentiates this version to the duet is that it feature a rap sequence by LE, which I think is suitable for the song’s upbeat electronic pop style that dominated most of the song. There were other parts of the song that the electronic pop doesn’t feature, replaced by a nice piano piece. The two styles merge nicely to form what we hear in Only One. I just feel that Junghwa and Hyerin just didn’t into the song as nicely as the song was made for Solji and Hani and I don’t think enough adjustments were made for the addition of these two other vocalists of EXID. (8/10)

8. Of Course (당연해) – The alternative title to Of Course is No Way. The song brings out the 80s flair with this song, with the instrumental featuring a dance beat, some funky sounds, synths and bass. I do think they went a little overboard with the bass in the song, especially during the transitional elements in the instrumental. But despite that, I found the song to be very catchy. I also enjoyed the energy that came from the song. I think the song could have benefited if the rapping was a little more powerful, which would have boosted the song in my opinion. (8/10)

9. Are You Hungry (냠냠쩝쩝) (Junghwa & Hyerin Duet) – The album takes a playful and fun vibe with the disco vibes in Are You Hungry. The vocal parts in the verse remind me of something that T-ARA would have released back in the day to follow up some of their weird tracks. The chorus reminds me a mixture of Nyan Cat (who remembers that? Or would I be showing my age with Nyan Cat?) and What Does The Fox Say?, two of the most annoying songs that have long past their prime. It is a catchy number and is definitely a song for the people who enjoy the wacky side of KPOP. For me, it brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. (7.5/10)

10. Like The Seasons (여름, 가을, 겨울, 봄)Like The Seasons is a group ballad. It was also my favourite side-track from the album when it was first released. The ‘Let the Rain, Snow Fall, Yeorum, Gaeul, Gyeuol Bom’ line in the chorus was very memorable. I find the song to be very flowy and suitable for almost all the seasons. There is something in the lightness of the instrumental that makes it refreshing for Summer, yet warm for Winter. I also really liked the harmonies in this song. (9/10)

11. GoodGood ends the album on a very upbeat note. I just found the song to be very linear in nature and didn’t really have much development as it progressed. The song just lacked that climax that would have helped give the ending a punch, as they had everything else there. The upbeat energy that comes from the track was very desirable. There were trumpets, drums and a 70s/80s synth influence, which makes the song fun sounding. The members all sounded good. It is just that lacked climatic moment that was needed. (7.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

Street Teaser Image

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