I raved about LuHan’s Medals at the end of last year, but with each successive release, it seems more and more apparent that the stately melodicism of that track was a red herring in his solo discography. For Excited, LuHan has once again paired himself with American production team Rock Forward. They do an adequate job here, but like much of their more r&b-infuenced material, the song comes dangerously close to sounding like a knock-off of established western artists.
Excited is the kind of rubbery, autotune-assisted slow jam an American teen heartthrob like Jesse McCartney would have found success with five or six years ago. There’s no reason this template shouldn’t work just as well in China, and to a certain level it does, but I wish LuHan would work with some new producers who could supply him with a more modern, inventive sound.
There are some nice production touches here and there that elevate the track from being purely derivative. The subtle violins in the build-up to the chorus give Excited much needed drive, while the ringtones buried in the mix solidify the aura of restless anticipation. The song and concept feel much more thought out than The Inner Force did, though the melody never reaches a head. It’s all build-up without payoff, which admittedly does match the track’s theme. On the plus side, Excited allows LuHan to show off a smoother, more sensual side to his music. We also get to hear more falsetto in his performance, even if most of it is warped by production tricks.