With 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.