Review

Song Review: Baekhyun (EXO) – Candy

EXO’s Baekhyun has one of my favorite voices in K-pop. It’s been a huge part of my journey as a fan, but I found his debut mini album to be a bore. Someone once said that if idols were allowed to choose the music they performed, every single one would be doing lifeless trap/r&b or navel-gazing coffeeshop. Okay, I’m paraphrasing there, but the point still stands. Too many idol solo releases feel like they lose the spark that makes the best K-pop so memorable.

Candy reminds me a bit of Justin Bieber’s Yummy, which may or may not have been intentional. It’s got a similarly sleepy groove, perched halfway between smooth 90’s r&b and modern trap music. The SM Entertainment higher-ups are calling it “future” something-or-other, and I’ve come to understand that that has become a descriptor for the kind of lurching synth work that does not sit well with me. The production here feels cut-and-paste from any track of this sub-genre, favoring mood over invention. Baekhyun keeps promising “something original” throughout the song, but I fail to hear anything that inspires.

He does what he can with Candy, rattling off various confections during the chorus, but the result is more of a sleeping pill than a sugar rush. It would have been nice to hear him tackle something funkier, with a rhythmic beat he could have really chewed on. Candy’s a head-nodder, and will likely appeal to those who simply want to sit back and enjoy his tone. But, vocals alone don’t make for a satisfying song – especially when there are so many better EXO tracks to go back to.

 Hooks 7
 Production 6
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7

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12 thoughts on “Song Review: Baekhyun (EXO) – Candy

  1. LOL damn I’ll never be able to unhear the Yummy similarities now… yeah idk about this one from Baekhyun, definitely not utilizing him to his full potential
    What a shame, using his phenomenal voice on a Justin Bieber reject track!

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  2. When I listened to the song for the first time my thoughts were literally, “Baekhyun is giving off a Justin Bieber vibe and I’m not sure how I feel about it.” Also, even starting from the second chorus, they had him doing all sorts of vocal runs in the background that didn’t contribute much, giving me the impression that the producers were almost done with the song before realizing “oh wait, this guy can actually sing, let’s add some of that in just cause.” It didn’t work at all.

    Hilariously I would also want to note that him saying the names of various candies was actually my favorite part of the song as it was the only part that didn’t sound like the mumble rap version of singing.

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  3. Decoding: that wobbly chord + trap high hat rolls combined is the most noticable sound element of future bass a d that’s probably why they called it futuristic.

    My first thought with teasers was actually Ariana Grande post “7 rings” well what difference does it make they all sound the same/s.

    I would say these songs are totally just what Baekhyun deserves. Of all the SM vocal big names he stands out as the most uninspiring one. So there we have it. I would give it a 6.

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  4. I’ve got really conflicting feelings about this song. I adore Baekyhun’s voice colour, it’s just so effortless and smooth. His voice really sold me on that last SuperM tracks, “I can’t stand the rain” and ” Jopping”. Hell, even his last album had some fantastic atmospheric moments.

    Regarding this song, I do love the hazy synths, encapsulating the late-night sombre. Baekhyun’s voice improves the mood too (that’s a given anyway) but those trap hi-hats are really distracting.
    I feel the Justin Bieber comparison is a little off here. Yummy was just a blatant attempt to go viral (memeable music) and Justin’s obvious apathetic character makes Yummy far worse. Baekhyun at least shows effort.

    Honestly, Baekhyun would’ve really benefitted if he followed Usher’s footsteps, given his liking for R&B. It’s been too long since anyone emulated Usher.

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  5. Every EXO members except Kai released solo or duo projects since last year. Some of them just had a goodbye SM Station but I think we have a total of 6 mini albums, right ?
    The only song I remember is UN Village, which was pleasant, and Delight that I listened to just 1 hour ago follows the exact same path of all these EXO solo songs.

    Kai is my last hope, obviously he is more likely to offer a dance track but if it sounds like his unreleased song, I’m still not confident.

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  6. I had to to look it up, Exo solo or at least duo singles, following FDC tempting suggestion.

    I downloaded two b-sides off Suho’s recent album, though not the lead single. And before that, scroll … scroll scroll scroll … scroll some more … “We Young” Chanyeol & Sehun back in Sept 2018. I liked that song. This one, notsomuch, …no, not at all really.

    I will guarantee Kai will probably top them all for video dancing eye candy. I have no idea what Kai’s actual future song would actually sound like, and don’t know if it would matter if I am distracted enough.

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  7. I actually liked Un Village quite a bit. This one doesn’t do much for me. I find those synths to be incredibly grating. I enjoyed the bridge but that’s not nearly enough to save the whole song. It’s a 5/10 at best, and that’s mostly for his vocal performance.

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  8. I can see how the ‘Yummy’ comparisons are there. However, I don’t think it’s as blatant as we know how SM can be sometimes. For example, the recently released track lead by Raiden and Chanyoeol sounds like a bastardised version of The Weeknd’s I Feel It Coming. Although that more or less falls on Raiden, but c’mon The Weeknd’s song was pretty popular some years ago.

    The line of “Baekhyun keeps promising “something original” throughout the song, but I fail to hear anything that inspires.” is pretty much my entire mood towards this particular track. 5.5/10 for me.

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  9. UN Village was a big favourite last year, so I’m disappointed Baekhyun devolved into trite trap treats (had to force the last alliteration to work). I second the above comment, it would be fun if he tackles a song more in-line with Usher’s rnb.

    Alternatively, it would be so much Fun if he does a funky dance track like Changmin’s Chocolate. He definitely has charisma in spades to pull that sound off

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  10. I got Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like” from this. I really enjoyed this song. With every kpop song being so noisy these days, I liked Candy for it’s smoothness, it’s fun video gamey synths, it’s actual chorus, and that gorgeous bridge. 8/10 for me.

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  11. I think if this song was released by another soloist I’d pay less attention to it. Because it’s Baekhyun, however, and because UN Village really grew on me, I’m giving Candy more of my attention than I would have otherwise.

    His vocals are what makes the track stand out. Everything else is pleasant but definitely trendy: the synths, the trap beat, the outifts, the meme-informed dance moves. Trendy isn’t a bad thing, but as you pointed out Candy doesn’t distinguish itself as original. Let’s hope the B sides bring more punch!

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