EXO were the second group featured in my “K-pop A-Z” project. In late 2019, I took a deep dive into their discography and reviewed each and every track. Because of this, any new material will also become part of that page, meaning it’s time for another “in-depth album review” for the newly-released Don’t Fight The Feeling!
Over the course of this week, I’ll be looking at all five of the album’s tracks, so make sure to follow along each day!
1. Don’t Fight The Feeling // 2. Paradise // 3. No Matter // 4. Runaway // 5. Just As Usual
JUST AS USUAL
Ah, the more subdued final track on a K-pop album. SM loves ending their albums on a softer note. For me, songs like this are often connective tissue rather than highlights on their own, and Just As Usual (지켜줄게) fits within this category. It’s a pretty, acoustic-leaning mid-tempo, made more engaging by a standout chorus.
In some ways, Just As Usual is coffeehouse music given a kick in the butt. Its verses and pre-chorus are so unassuming they nearly evaporate, though the vocal performance is lovely. Then, the percussion switches into a jazzier rhythm and the song fleshes out to craft a playful hook. This works especially well when Chanyeol takes the reins, as his deeper tone fits this style to a tee.
Even so, Just As Usual is not the kind of EXO track I seek out. It plays well in context of the album, but despite its livelier moments I find my attention waning. That’s as much a testament to my own preferences as it is a review of the song’s overall quality.
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This is true coffee house music. Very much a quiet background track, but just upbeat enough to not completely fade to the back of my mind. The ‘I can say, things will be, just as usual’ phrase has the exact melody from a line in Justin Biebers’ Sorry. I think there’s a one note difference.
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