Review

Song Review: EPEX – Hymn To Love

EPEX - Hymn To LoveWhen we last heard from EPEX, they were embroiled in controversy over lyrical content referencing a Nazi massacre. The agency quite rightly adjusted the lyrics, but this exposed issues with sensitivity and general global awareness — and that’s putting it mildly. New single Hymn To Love (사랑歌) eliminates all potential of controversy, seeing the group make a hard swerve toward lighter material. EPEX’s music hasn’t had much of a through-line so far, and this comeback is yet another shift.

I quite liked EPEX when they cosplayed as vaguely-creepy puppies for last year’s Do 4 Me. Apart from that, their music has left me cold. Like many boy groups of their generation, the songs have an unearned focus on gruff exclamations without the robust song construction to back up the attitude. Hymn To Love attempts to fuse the group’s extremes. On one hand, it’s a cute little love song. But, this concept is embroiled in a boisterous instrumental and shouty chorus. At its best, the track recalls the offbeat, boisterous energy of Block B.

A memorable series of hooks would have improved Hymn’s standing. The chorus nearly gets there – especially with the instrumental shifting and churning to meet the excitement of the performance. I appreciate its funkiness, but the arrangement would have improved with more brass and less clanging percussion. Every time the song gets going, it sabotages itself. The verses are dull and extraneous, though their Lotto-esque synth bass adds a nice texture. When the chorus embraces its bombast, Hymn To Love shows great potential – only to be marred by unnecessary vocal effects and an overall sense of cluttered busyness. It’s kind of a mess, as frustrating as it is entertaining.

Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.5

Grade: C

9 thoughts on “Song Review: EPEX – Hymn To Love

  1. Circus theme. Yay.

    I bothered to look up the character 歌 = “Ge” = Song in Chinese. With Love in Korean and Song (“Ge”) in Chinese, song title is Love Song, or Love Hymn, or Hymn to Love.

    Although the costumes are rather stylish, the song does not nearly match the fun circus theming. Rating is high for me, flat 7 at best.

    For the record, the best kpop circus theming was the 1-2 punch of the Woo brothers with SPEED “Don’t Tease Me” in March 2014 followed by Block B
    “Jackpot” in April 2014


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  2. Definitely better than April’s absolutely atrocious Anthem of Teen Spirit with the Nazi Germany-glorifying lyrics, but still not great.
    I appreciate the track’s Block B-esque energy. On the other hand, it’s way too overwhelming. The song tries to do too much at the same time, and ends up being excessively in-your-face in its execution. Agree with the rating.

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  3. I really liked this one! I wish these boys would just stick to the cute happy vibe because it fits them like a glove compared to their other concept!

    The MV itself is a 10/10 for me because I really enjoyed it! Overall the song struck a good balance between cute and cool for me and I think it’s a fun performable piece with a scope for silliness XD

    I honestly liked the sound of the rest of the album really from their highlight medley and was coming in with low expectations because this was the one song I did not like at all from the teasers 😅 But it’s pretty nice and enjoyable!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This song perfectly describes my problems with Epex’s music. There are great vocals, awesome rapping, and a banging instrumental, but all of that is ruined by an outlandish and weird chorus. It’s not as bad as AOTS, but still.

    Giving it 7.75 (7, 8, 8, 8)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This isn’t bad but I doubt I’ll ever return to this song. Opposite of the other people here, I prefer ‘Anthem of Teen Spirit’ over this. I don’t think AOTS is as bad as people make it out to be but I do have to say that some parts are a bit…bad.

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