Review

Random Shuffle Review: EXID – Whoz That Girl

With over 2,900 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.

The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!


Year Released: 2012

Coming off a series of mega-hits, producer Shinsadong Tiger went about forming his own agency in 2011 and scouting talent for a new girl group. Given his remarkable cachet within the industry, it’s kind of surprising that EXID weren’t an out-of-the-gate hit. They gained some attention with their debut, but struggled until the viral breakthrough of 2014’s inescapable Up & Down.

That’s a shame, because the group’s 2012-13 work is quite underrated. Whoz That Girl marked their official debut at the start of 2012, and quickly established their quirky pop sound. The group has always leaned into retro influences, at times designing entire comebacks around 90’s pastiches. Girl is very much in line with what was happening in 2012-era K-pop, but its stomping electro-charged beat carries its share of nostalgic appeal.

EXID are well known for their strong vocalists, but in later years their arrangements would occasionally render their choruses a bit shrill (at least to these ears). In contrast, Whoz That Girl succeeds on a cool, confident performance that draws from the best of their voices. The verses offer a straightforward build and charismatic delivery reminiscent of peers like 2NE1 and 4Minute. The surging chorus is simple but effective, segueing into a standout hip-hop break courtesy of rapper LE. She returns later for an even better bridge, which utilizes hard-hitting breakbeats to thrilling effect. A last-moment key change keeps the song climbing as the girls rattle off some exciting power notes. Quickly after the release of Whoz That Girl, EXID would make some drastic configuration changes, losing three of its members and gaining two more. This makes the track something of an oddity in their discography, though it’s a sound they’d develop further with their next release.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

4 thoughts on “Random Shuffle Review: EXID – Whoz That Girl

  1. The entire story behind EXID is fascinating. I may hit on a few aspects of it here, but the full story is expansive. The original 6 were all talented, but talent isn’t enough in K-pop. I remember when the group split into BESTie and EXID. BESTie received U-Ji, Hyeyeon, and Haeryung, then picked up Dahye. EXID took Hani, LE, and Junghwa, then picked up Solji and Hyelin.

    If I were a gambling man, I’d have bet that (the new) EXID would’ve surpassed BESTie in popularity. I would’ve lost that bet; at least, early on. Despite EXID releasing some really solid songs (e.g., I Feel Good, Every Night, etc.), it was BESTie that was charting better. It wasn’t that BESTie didn’t release their own good material, they did, but I always felt the EXID drops were a bit better.

    EXID were on the ropes and close to disbanding, then the impossible happened. A Hani fancam from Pharkil in 2014 went viral and EXID were suddenly the darlings of K-pop. Then the tables turned. EXID exploded in popularity and BESTie’s star started to dim. It’s a shame because there was room for both to flourish.

    Since then, I’ve read many posts about the two groups and their origins. Some postulated what would have happened if Hani and/or LE had made the transition to BESTie, what if U-Ji stayed in EXID and Solji was picked up by BESTie, etc.. It’s all interesting; to me, anyways.

    Back to “Whoz That Girl”.. ..it’s good, I like it, but it’s not the song that first reeled me in. That would be “I Feel Good”, which then lead to me purchasing Hippity Hop (2012 mini-album) which featured “Better Together” (one of my all-time faves), and “Telephone” which was reforged in the studio to become “Every Night” and released two months later as a single. Ahh… …memories.

    Reference #1 (IFG): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWFB8HCQsu0

    Reference #2 (BT): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK7VGS76k4w

    P.S. Sorry for the big post, but EXID is one of the core groups that got me into K-pop.

    Like

  2. What stands out the most to me in this song is Uji. She’s, by far, one of the most underrated vocalists in the industry and while the BESTie album tracks would go on to highlight this better than their titles her voice has always been very strong with this as one of her better moments for sure.

    Like

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