Review

Song Review: Baekhyun (EXO) – Bambi

Baekhyun - BambiWith Baekhyun’s military enlistment just around the corner, EXO are set to temporarily lose yet another member. Despite the group having no comeback since November of 2019, he’s kept busy as a soloist and with SuperM. His solo work has been highly successful, but as much as I love the guy’s voice and general vibe, I’ve found the music itself to be pretty bland. He fits groovy material quite well. I just wish the grooves weren’t always so one-note.

In this regard, Bambi is an improvement. Sure, it never climbs beyond its guitar-fueled atmosphere and could do with a bit more diversity in its structure, but the song has a sinuous charm that feels more dynamic than last year’s Candy or Amusement Park. I dig Bambi‘s general vibe, and that’s enough to get it over the finish line. But, I think there are also some missed opportunities here.

Baekhyun gives a passionate performance, and Bambi feels designed to spotlight that. His vocal has a fluidity to it, where each and every line comes across as an r&b run rather than straight delivery. It’s immensely satisfying to hear him in this realm, even if I wish the song was more intentional about its build. Rather than slowly and methodically climb to a cathartic climax, Bambi opens with full-on vocal backflips and pretty much sustains that level throughout. Yes, Baekhyun rattles off a few power notes as the song grows, but I think they would have been even more effective if there had been greater differentiation between Bambi’s segments. Still, this is a great match of music and artist, and a suitable send-off for one of the industry’s most well-loved idols.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

13 thoughts on “Song Review: Baekhyun (EXO) – Bambi

  1. There is a hell of a lot of mellisma in here. So mu uuuu uuuuh ccchhh meeh lll llll lll lisma. sooo oooh ooh waah ohhh muuuh ch!

    I don’t like this style in English, much less in a foreign language, so its a pass for me. Apparently it is a huge hit already anyway.

    I have to admit the word Bambi comes out as “You’re my bum bi bum, bum bi bum bi bum bi”, which isn’t as bad as it could have been. Hey, sometimes, Michael Jackson enunciation comes out funny but somehow it works too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So melisma is the word for this. We usually just say “vibe” in french, too much vibes.
      I’d put Baekhyun in the Bingo Idols category. His would be : many falsetto, high note in the bridge, melisma. I feel like it could works for any of his Super M or solo songs and it might be part of the reason I never cared about his stuff. This one is no exception.

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    • Melisma! I learned something new today. I don’t like it when there’s a lot of it following each other – it ends up sounding more like a scale exercise or a moment to show off vocal technique than that it sounds like an actual melody.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, but without all that melisma (dang, I should’ve used that word in the review!), I don’t think there’s much of a song here at all. It’s basically a melisma delivery method.

        I keep thinking back to TVXQ’s Before U Go, which plays this trick way more effectively. But, that song’s got a much stronger melody — melisma or not.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It is a matter of personal taste. Just like in art and design, there is too spare and there is way too overdone. Most of us can agree on those extremes. But along the middle where there is more or less, when and where it becomes just enough or just too much, where that line is is personal preference.

        For me, my preference is part-way back to the spare side. This song here is part-way to the highly ornamented side, so it isn’t my style.

        It can also depend on the skill of the performer. Lesser singers can lose the melodic line very easily if they try to copy better singer’s melisma – this is a frequent problem of American idol-type auditions. They try to throw a run in, and it goes horribly wrong. Or they copy so much, it becomes a vocailse exercise. Finger waving in the air showing the notes they are trying to hit. Or they add way way too much, the more must be better idea, that there is no trace of the melody anymore or even what note or key the song is supposed to be in.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Baekhyun is pretty much my favorite idol, my “bias” if you will, so I’m sure that factors into how I accept his music, not to mention that he has my favorite voice in all of kpop. However, that makes me extra critical because I know what he’s capable of. I will eat up anything he does, but I feel like he as the capability to try so much more engaging and unique concepts than what he’s given us so far. I can tell it’s because this is the type of music he likes, and it does suit his voice, but I know he could make songs that no one else would even think of covering, and I want to see that! Give me more of songs like “Psycho” please. That being said, I like this title better than Candy at least already and am anxious to hear the album as well. Gonna miss his voice on new tracks for the next two years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sexy! The atmospheric guitar made for an exciting start, and then his vocals just started flowing. I’m really happy Baekhyun gets to shine this much as a soloist.

    I like your point about the lack of differentiation between the segments of “Bambi”. The verses definitely melt together for me, with only the chorus managing to poke through a bit. “UN Village” is my favorite, and I get shades of its vibes here, but I think “UN Village” does a better job at having defined, memorable sections compared to “Bambi”.
    Still, “Bambi” will probably grow on me with further listens.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. To me, this whole album seems like a statement saying “This is why you shouldn’t forget Baekhyun while he’s in the military.” If I wasn’t so in love with his vocal performance, I would have more to say about how the instrumental is kind of boring. The second half of the bridge to the end is definitely my favorite part. The rhythmic change in the melody really pulls you in before the high note, and then the ad libs add a really compelling layer through the last chorus.

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  5. I guess we should learn how to make Marketing in the new decade from SM Entertainment. Zero research, zero creativity, zero artistic production, zero evolution, thousands of products, millions of investment, billions of ROI.
    For sure they deserve all my uncountable esteem.

    Like

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