MV Reviews

Published on September 1st, 2014 | by Scott Interrante


EXID: Making a bold and fun statement with ‘Up & Down’


EXID’s 2012 single ‘Every Night’ is one of my all-time favorite k-pop songs, but since then, the 5-member girl group hasn’t put out any music…until now! So naturally, I was excited to see what they would do—especially now that they’re signed to a new label, Yedang Entertainment—and I’m certainly not disappointed.

The song and its accompanying music video are over-the-top, fun, and kind of crazy, which I not necessarily what I expected, but definitely something I tend to enjoy. Produced by Shinsadong Tiger, who worked with EXID on their previous singles, ‘Up & Down’ goes in a different direction and shows off a more playful side of the girls. It’s tough, though, to not draw a comparison between ‘Up & Down’ and Orange Caramel’s recent hit ‘My Copycat.’ Although the EXID song isn’t entirely guilty of being a ‘Copycat,’ there is a similar sensibility in both songs that lends itself the correlation (much more so than the similarly titled Ye-A track from earlier this summer, ‘Up and Down’).


Both songs are built around edited saxophone loops and have a light and fun mood. ‘Up & Down’ has more of a hip hop flavor than ‘My Copycat,’ at least in the verses, dominated by LE’s fierce rapping. In the song, the girls sing about a guy giving them mixed signals, begging him to ‘Stop spinning me around and around’ and be clear with what he wants. The musical styles shifting between rap verse to pop chorus to pop chorus with trap hooks in between matches the uncertainty of the song’s character, as well as making for a more exciting production than the Orange Caramel song.

The music video captures a similar silliness found in ‘My Copycat’ or even Orange Caramel’s other single from this year, ‘Catallena,’ but EXID blends the camp with the sexy. And a ton of suggestive phallic imagery. With bright, over-saturated colors, the video shoes the girls in wacky scenarios, like LE sawed in half in a magician’s box or JungHwa stuck through a wall. Also there’s a lot of Hani taking pleasure in inflating and deflating penis-resembling balloons. It’s all certainly sexy, but in a mostly funny way, similar to SPICA’s video for ‘You Don’t Love Me.’ I’m not entirely sure, though, that it fits the lyrics of the song. In the lyrics, the girls are frustrated and desperate, but the video shows them confident and dominant, in control even if they’re cut in half. Either way, it’s certainly memorable, and an exciting way for EXID to return.

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About the Author

I’m currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Musicology where my research focuses on contemporary pop music and gender. Outside of academia, I’m obsessed with K-pop, binging on tv shows, and cats. My writing can also be found on PopMatters, and Short and Sweet NYC.

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