Review

Song Review: EPEX – Do 4 Me

EPEX - Do 4 MeI was no fan of EPEX’s debut, but the official description for first comeback Do 4 Me caught my attention. The song is described as taking influence from Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust, INXS’s Need You Tonight and Dua Lipa’s Break My Heart. That’s a musical trilogy that aims straight for my heart, and I love that the group’s team reached back as far as Queen and INXS for inspiration. In reality, Do 4 Me feels most like a Break Your Heart retread, but I’ll take it all the same.

This sound represents a pretty hard swerve from June’s Lockdown. I guess it fleshes out the storytelling EPEX are trying to portray. A desire to party after quarantine is something we can all relate to (or long for!), and it’s nice to hear the guys cut loose and offer something shamelessly upbeat. Like Dua’s song, Do 4 Me is built upon a sturdy bass loop that pulses with great dancefloor energy. The pre-chorus opens space as disco strings join the fray, and then we drop into a chorus that directly apes Break Your Heart’s bass breakdown. Pulling from Western influences is nothing new for K-pop. I’m just glad EPEX borrowed from a song and artist I happen to adore.

Like so many of their new-gen peers, the group’s biggest struggle is musical identity. The guys are solid performers, but there’s a lack of diversity in their vocal tones. Do 4 Me is bursting with character, and would have absolutely exploded with a more dynamic vocal line. I place all the blame on agencies when it comes to this flaw. They should be thinking about how their individual members’ voices blend and compliment each other. Instead, we’ve got a song that sounds as if it was performed by the same person all the way through. Luckily, Do 4 Me‘s upbeat appeal is strong enough to succeed despite this concern.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5

21 thoughts on “Song Review: EPEX – Do 4 Me

  1. So tangential, but I could cry from just reading “Another One Bites the Dust” since it will now keep me awake from being stuck in my head. Many, many a moon ago when J was a wee one in high school, I took multivariable calculus my senior year. Every time we took a test, the teacher (who basically looked like he could be a lawn gnome) would write everyone’s scores on the board in descending order and pick a place to draw a line. If you fell below the line, you got the boot from the class. As the kids would leave, he’d hit play on the CD player (yes, I’m old) and dance around the room singing “another one bites the dust and another one gone and another one gone…” complete with pelvic thrusts to match the bassline while standing on his desk for the grand finale. If you ever want a song ruined for you for life, put up with that for a year. Well over a decade later and I still can’t handle listening to the song or reading the lyrics (hell, I even passed on the Queen movie just in case), deal with that for a year as a hormonal, perfectionist teenager. Ugh.

    TL;DR I’m going to have to give this song a pass just in case. I don’t need any more Queen trauma in my life lol.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I dunno, I can definitely hear it in the bass line. I wouldn’t risk it. What an asshole. I got thrown out of a math class when I was an exchange student in high school for not speaking good enough German, which was super humiliating but also baffling, since 1) numbers aren’t different in German, and 2) I was auditing everything anyhow.

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    • Sweet baby hey zeus. I went to Catholic school and even then none of the sisters were like that.

      This song here has no Queen in it, only Dua Lipa.

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    • Yikes, that is genuinely creepy. I feel really sorry for your class and you. As Nick said, that dude should not be allowed to teach.

      If anything though, the song sounds nothing like the Queen track. I kind of wonder why they said that. Either way, it is a knock-off of Break My Heart that is only half-good, so you are not missing much.

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  2. Its almost a copy of Dua lipa. If they weren’t a tiny kpop group, they should be worried for copyright infringement.

    I would like it more if the plagiarism didn’t bother me.

    I don’t hear any “Need you tonight”, as someone who didn’t need to look up the song or video to remember. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F93ywiGMDnQ I mean, Michael Hutchence slinking around the stage sotto voce like a sex god. Also Garry Gary Beers being the best stage name for a bassist ever.
    I have my beat up old copy of INXS “Kick” album in the car should all the ipods run out of battery (which happens sometimes). Kids, listen up, this album kicks. … oh shit, I just sung the most of the song out loud, real loud, as I was typing, ok its early no one else is here at work yet. Six videos from one album, and they all kick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is weird how underrated INXS are still even after having one of the very biggest records in the world at that time.

      I also had at one time three copies of War’s Greatest Hits because I wanted to have a clean copy of “Low Rider” in case civilization fell.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, we are probably of the a similar age to have our faves on original vinyl or tape from the 80’s, then CD for early adulthood, then a second CD when that one went kaputski or was borrowed by a friend permanently, saved the CD to itunes back when computers had CD slots, lost that virtual copy when we shifted computers and godammit that part didnt transfer, and bought it again on the $6.99 itunes nostalgia special last year sometime.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is the best song on the EP and it’s solid as hell. I was disappointed by the generic nature of the other EP tracks, as Sling Shot was a wonderfully moody piece on the last EP, and I quite liked the title track. You know what playlist Do 4 Me is going on, and rightfully so. The INXS, Queen – there’s a scratchy guitar and a prominent bassline. That’s it. I feel more of a Chic influence there, which makes sense because both Another One Bites the Dust and INXS were influenced by them.

    I don’t hear it hewing that closely to Future Nostalgia, but I might be coming from a very different place musically.

    I just hope that Epex’s material gets better. I love big-brother group CIX wholeheartedly (except for a little side-eye at the last title track) and would like them to have a consistent concept paired with really good performances and material.

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  4. I’ll echo Myma and say it’s way too close to the Dua song for comfort. In fact, I almost feel like the company said it was inspired by that song in order to get ahead of any plagiarism accusations lol.

    I like the catboy concept, but the execution is a little off, I guess. When it comes down to it, I prefer actual cats. Similarly, I like the concept of kpop taking inspiration from the artists they’ve named here, but when it comes down to it I’d much rather listen to actual Queen.

    (And now that it comes down to it, I have to say I’m not a fan of Dua’s “Break My Heart” in particular. It’s become ubiquitous but I really don’t see what others see in it… I’m easily bothered by repetition and I think the song is just too monotonous for me.)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve been out of the western pop loop long enough that the first time I heard of Dua Lipa was when I ran across that collab she did with Hwasa. So I guess that’s a fun song, because this is a pretty fun song. The lyrics kind of skeeve me out, but I think I can overlook that.

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