Buried Treasure: Xiumin (EXO) – Feedback

Xiumin - FeedbackA K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

According to Xiumin, Feedback was considered as a title track. Brand New ultimately won out, and the song has grown on me a bit. But, Feedback feels like the more instantly impactful choice. It also harnesses the retro theme he’s aiming for on the album.

Feedback explodes right out of the gate, letting a boisterous exclamation sweep us into its jagged beat. At first, it seems as if the track may be too enthusiastic for its own good, but the groove quickly settles in and we’re left with a banger that feels vaguely nostalgic without becoming a pastiche. The rhythm will get you out of your seat and sounds especially great in the car. It’s like a fuller, more modern take on The Neptunes’ omnipresent, early 2000’s sound. This era is ripe for reinvention and SM’s slate of artists are perfectly matched to the challenge.

As you might expect, Feedback is all about this groove. Its verses and chorus are serviceable, but wouldn’t be much without the percussion that pushes them forward. Thankfully, Xiumin is matched perfectly to this style. The track gives him plenty of opportunity to inject personality, and his amiable performance goes a long way toward selling the vibe. If we couldn’t get this as a title track, could we at least make it a fun follow-up on music shows? Something tells me it would improve even more with choreo.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8


2 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Xiumin (EXO) – Feedback

  1. Oh, the ‘title tracks that almost were’ category of song is always a fascinating look into what artists choose or what ultimately wins out instead. Sometimes the winner is better but often it’s equal or appealing in a different way than the loser. Has that comparison been a discussion topic yet? I can’t remember (but I think it might have been because I remember discussion underrated groups on here but that might have been a different subject lol)

    This song is definitely funky fun, I can’t say which I prefer more as title tho.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do like ‘Feedback’ more than ‘Brand New.’ It’s definitely a fun groove, and I can attest to the car being the best place to listen to it as the first time I listened was driving down the interstate at night – it’s perfect for that. When the song first started, I was worried that the stuttery synth it opens with was going to annoy me throughout the song, but ended up pleasantly surprised at how well it incorporated into the rest of the song. I wouldn’t have minded at all if this were the title track, though ‘Brand New’ works just fine.


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