Song Review: D.O. (EXO) – That’s Okay

I’m tired of writing about farewell singles. It feels like we’ve had an inordinate amount of idols enlisting in the military this year, and most of them have ushered in their hiatus with a sentimental goodbye track for the fans. I don’t enjoy being critical of these songs. I know how much it stings to have one of your absolute favorites enlist (we’re waiting for early next year, Sungkyu!). But, these digital releases are rarely interesting. That’s not really the point.

EXO’s D.O. is taking an early leave from the group, enlisting voluntarily rather than wait until his age requires him to do so. His presence in SM Entertainment will certainly be missed. I can’t think of another idol that shares his distinct, r&b-flavored voice. That voice elevates the otherwise dull That’s Okay (괜찮아도 괜찮아).

The song itself is standard, mid-tempo pop/r&b, supported by an acoustic guitar instrumental that mostly stays out of the way. I’ve always loved D.O.’s phrasing, and the conversational nature of his performance makes for an engaging example of this subdued genre. We get a few hints of harmony during the chorus, but Okay is otherwise very stripped back. This allows the track to shine full spotlight on D.O. himself, which is essentially the reason for a song like this to exist. Fans will be smitten, and continue to pine for that elusive D.O. solo album that never was. As for me — I’ll miss the guy, especially if EXO makes another group comeback. But, I can’t say I’ll be returning to this song very often.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7



10 thoughts on “Song Review: D.O. (EXO) – That’s Okay

  1. His voice is what really drives the track and makes the song so appealing. When I read it was gonna be the typical sentimental, guitar ballad, I thought I was gonna hate it, like I’ve detested most of its predecessor with the same style. I’ve found most of these type of korean ballads to be boring and tiring, I guess their strongest asset is their lyrics but since I don’t speak the language I won’t get to appreciate it as much as a fluent Korean speaker.

    With this song, however, it’s different. I really like its simplicity and the way Kyungsoo carries the song with his vocals. It’s soothing yet thrilling when he hits high notes. Maybe it’s the power of Kyungsoo, his vocal prowess or me talking as an fan of EXO, thought I admit Beautiful Goodbye didn’t have the same effect on me.


  2. Kyungsoo has a remarkable voice and the simplicity of this song showcases it. He didnt need a flashy instrumental to make a nice little song. I know its nothing revolutionary, but i love it.


  3. The performance itself is fine, the vocal very nice.
    The song is a bit like Ed Sheeran does kpop, although Ed Sheeran would have done something more interesting with the material. Perhaps 3/4 time?
    The range is also so limited, I don’t even think the vocal line spans an octave, and most of the time it is within the same 5 notes.
    But it is a refreshing alternative to the usual kpop ballad-style.


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  5. Pingback: Baekhyun – U.N. Village & D.O. – That’s Okay: MV Reviews – TweetNewscaster

  6. Kyunsoo continuously shows us that simplicity reigns supreme in his work as a singer/idol, as an actor and as a person. I still believe this track is excellent in that it does what it has to do without ever being too much. It suits Kyungsoo as an artist so well, in the way it is understated. Kpop has served some loud, noisy (trash) songs in 2019 and going back to basics is a breath of fresh air. Truly the elements that drive the track are the LYRICS/theme (which I’m guessing don’t factor significantly here), and the minimalist vocals and instrumental which serve mostly to convey the message. One of the best releases of 2019 for me. I think he has the most interesting tone and style in EXO so I’ll be looking forward to his future releases.


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