I have to admit, while I liked Wolf it was a major letdown. I loved What is Love and History and their official Mama debut was great too, so I had pretty high expectations for Wolf. It’s a fun song, certainly, but I found that there were some parts that really disappointed me. For example, the lyrics. I don’t know what went wrong, but ‘I’ll take you in one mouthful like cheese’ and ‘strength in my toenail weakens, so my appetite, yeah, is gone’ is totally not sexy or manly in any way. So…okay, I’m not holding this against EXO because I know that they didn’t write these lyrics…I hope. I know that they’re supposed to be ‘wolves’ in this song and music video, but some of the lyrics make absolutely no sense. I’m pretty sure wolves don’t eat cheese or ‘eat you up with more refine than [drinking] wine.’ The music video was really just a glorified dance video, but the dance was awesome. In face, it almost made up for the lyrics. Other than that, the ‘Sarangheyo’ sounded really disjointed and cheesy. That, and they pronounced ‘wolf’ incorrectly.
The style in this music video was very…bad. I mean, I get that the members were supposed to look all bad-ass, but the ridiculous fashion certainly hindered that concept. Although it wasn’t in the music video, several of the live performances force members Kyungsoo and Tao into princess sleeves. Seriously. I don’t care how good you look, nobody can pull off princess sleeves. Other than the fashion, the hair was strange too, stranger than standard K-Pop fashion. Kai had…braids and hair extensions (I don’t know who thought that was a good idea) and Baekhyun had poodle hair. No. Just no. I loved Kyungsoo’s style and Sehun’s rainbow hair was really pretty, but please SM, stop making these boys look ridiculous.
So, okay, I didn’t love Wolf. I like the dance and the vocals, but even though two of my ultimate biases come from that group, I still have to admit that the song wasn’t really all that great. Do I still listen to it? Yeah. Do I sing and dance along every time it comes on? Of course. But Wolf kind of marred EXO’s image a bit, so when Growl came out, I was really apprehensive about watching and liking the song and music video.
Growl was amazing. It shattered my expectations. The song itself is so catchy and the dance is addictive. I love that EXO produced the title song as EXO, not EXO-K and EXO-M. Producing the song together gives fans who only listen to one or the other a taste of what all of the members have to offer. It’s also nice because this way, EXO-K doesn’t outshine EXO-M and vice versa. Just look at Super Junior. Super Junior also has a sub-unit that releases in Mandarin named Super Junior-M, but normally fans can’t even name all of the members with the exception of Henry, who releases singles in Korea as well.
The song is great. It’s definitely a pop song, but it’s produced well and definitely one of my favorites. I loved the beat with that low-key scream in the background. The transition from member to member is done well without sounding strange or breaking up the song. Chanyeol’s rap break about 2/3 in isn’t sudden or disjointed. In fact, it fits in the song really well. The break down is good and the adlibs fit in perfectly with the song.
The camera work really saved this music video from being just another SM box-set. The members danced and sung in an abandoned warehouse, which gave the music video a grungy-feel. It contrasted oddly with the clean-cut boys, but I found that I actually really liked the concept. The outfits seem to be the bad-boy version of school boys with sleeveless jackets and untucked shirts, but EXO made it look good. I actually laughed when I realized that Kyungsoo is only one wearing a bow tie, and Suho is the only one in shorts (with leggings of course, because, fashion), but both boys made their style look totally effortless. My only complaint is Sehun. Never would I think I missed his rainbow colored hair, but he definitely pulled it off.
The dance was amazing. I loved the entire thing. It was hard without being too hard. All of the members definitely did an amazing job with their part without outshining anybody else. I loved how the members interacted with each other. The whole swapping hats and camera turns really made this video captivating and interesting. I think my only complaint is Kai. He literally grabs his crotch so many times in this music video, it’s ridiculous. At first I thought it was part of the dance, but if you look, he is the ONLY member who does this.
So, EXO’s Wolf was ‘meh’, but Growl was amazing. Kai’s hair sucked in Wolf, but Sehun’s hair was disappointing in Growl after those pretty rainbow streaks. Check both of them out and see if you agree!