K-Pop

‘Full Moon’: EXID Shines Their Light and Leaves ‘Em Shaking (Review)

EXID Full Moon

Earth might be canceled, oh…any day now, but EXID‘s already found their bliss out of this world.

To be fair, it hasn’t entirely been rainbows, sunshine and selcas for the five piece South Korean girl group: poor, sweet lead vocalist Solji was banned from promoting with the other four girls after being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism last year. She didn’t even get to lay down vocals on their excellent April mini-album, Eclipse.

Although she’s still not allowed to perform just yet, the doctors did allow the healing pop powerhouse to both sing and appear in the photo shoot for their fantastic follow-up comeback, Full Moon, out today (November 7). She’s even got her own solo track! #JusticeForSolji.

Right out the gate, the girls were greeted with scandal: their ‘tude-filled title track “DDD” was deemed unfit for broadcast on KBS because of one potentially misheard lyric – “Why don’t you 쉿 ma baby” – in which the Korean word sounded like “shit” in English. Controversial, potty-mouthed legends! (They altered the lyric in the end for those plays, though.)

That cocky, sass and siren-filled title track for their fourth mini-album, by the way, is thoroughly the business, as the girls take a nervous dude to task for deceiving his girlfriend across a slick, stuttering electro strut. (“What’s with that? [stutter] / Uh [stutter] / Quivering pupils [quiver] / Try to be quiet when playing games / It’s all obvious, I see you fronting.“) And if you’re shook, that’s the point: “DDD” – or “deoldeoldeol” is the Korean onomatopoeia equivalent for shaking/trembling.

Mercifully, the title track isn’t the only good part about the mini. (All too often, it’s a bunch of filler.) In fact, the whole thing is on par with Eclipse. Sure, the final ballad’s a bit by-the-numbers – but otherwise, there’s plenty more to enjoy inside.

“Too Good to Me,” one of three tracks co-penned by member LE, has a distinct early ’00s UK garage flair (come through, Daniel Bedingfield), while Solji’s solo, “Dreamer,” offers the recovering belter a lovely midtempo pillow of romantic instrumentation to prove she’s still got her pipes.

Jeonghwa‘s House-y, nearly PC Music-lite “Alice” wth PinkMoon is a particularly cool electronic detour down the rabbit hole into a new world. And LE & Hani‘s tag-team, “Weeknd,” bring the beats too, as the girls compare a bae to the feeling of the weekend. (Not to be confused with The Weeknd, unless he’s dating LE & Hani now that Selena‘s out of the picture. One never really knows.)

Of course, Hyelin gets stuck with requisite ballad duty at the end of the mini-album. It’s a perfectly pretty vocal performance atop a sweet piano melody that could certainly stand to soundtrack any K-drama – but it’s not quite a showstopper.

With all five members back together again (in the recording booth, anyway), EXID are only continuing to shine. Notice what they did there? Eclipse was the album without her, and now they’re a Full Moon. Go for the whole Universe next, girls. And beam us up too while you’re at it, would you?

Full Moon was released on November 7. (Apple Music)