转载了三篇国外网络媒体对What U Need和Lose Control两首歌以及专辑的评价。为了大家看得方便就把一些我认为关键的字句翻译一下吧。
Song Review: Lay – What You Need?
Though several former EXO members have struck out on solo careers in China, Lay’s What You Need is the first major push from a current member of the group. Though he’s been less visible in more recent EXO tracks, SM Entertainment seems content to give Lay some freedom when it comes to his home country.
What You Need? is a pre-release from his upcoming album, though it arrives with a slick music video and feels like a convincing step into solo superstardom. The song is co-written by production team Devine Channel, whose work hasn’t always been to my taste in the past. What You Need shares some of the same issues I’ve had with their material, floating along a melody that doesn’t really go anywhere or pack any true punches. But luckily, this is underlined by a funky, 90’s r&b beat that gives the entire track a fun, breezy appeal. This helps brush over any of What You Need‘s shortcomings. And weirdly enough, the lack of any standout melodic moments may just give the song more longevity. It’s simply a good vibe, and it’s hard to get sick of a good vibe.
On the production side of things, What You Need‘s bright, horn-assisted instrumental is simple but effective. Rather than trying to hit listeners over the head with breakdowns and tempo shifts, the song opts for a much more classic, unfussy approach. This would have been an excellent track to throw on in the background during the summer. It’s certainly more fun than we’ve heard Lay have for awhile, and that alone makes What You Need a success.
Song Review: Lay – Lose Control
A couple of weeks after pre-releasing the upbeat r&b funk of What You Need, EXO member Lay is back with his debut solo EP. To herald its release, Lose Control slows things down and sexes things up, giving his sound yet another layer.
From the very beginning, Lose Control screams late 90’s/early 00’s radio r&b. Almost every instrumental affectation recalls Timbaland-produced Justin Timberlake or Usher, down to the stuttery beat and plucks of guitar. Of course, this particular style isn’t new to k-pop (or c-pop, since this is technically a Chinese track), but we haven’t heard it in awhile. On first listen, its throwback simplicity is almost underwhelming — lacking the vocal and instrumental fireworks we’ve become used to in this day and age. But like What You Need, the track improves with further listens. It takes its time setting a vibe, and for better or worse, this takes precedence over melody. At times, the song feels more like a series of advances than an attempt at enduring pop songcraft.
This isn’t an inherently bad thing, though I’m not entirely sold on Lay as the purveyor of this particular sound. He does an admirable job providing smooth — and at times powerful — vocals, but his warm tone feels slightly at odds with the track’s conceit. Lose Control would have been elevated if given some grit. It’s certainly no fault of Lay’s, and he pounces on each line with a palpable dedication. He’s such a slick performer, but Lose Control calls for something different — a nasty sort of r&b attack that abandons smooth precision and just grabs hold of the beat. Still, given the track’s provocative music video, I suspect many fans will be enjoying this comeback with their eyes just as much as their ears!
Album Review: Lay – Lose Control
Featuring the bouncy single What U Need?, EXO’s Lay releases his first solo EP and it is a lot more R&B than we were expecting.
Full of slow jams that really show of the singer’s ability to entrance and audience with his tone, this is a bit of a babymaker. While most of the tracks aren’t pure R&B (there are a lot of pop elements) and a LOT of autotune on tracks like Relax, there is a lot here to enjoy. There is the high possibility that some of his fans will be turned of thanks to the fact that many of the songs slow down and don’t fall into the high-energy realm that we expect from EXO, but it does separate the singer for the pack and allows him to have a personality outside of his group.
The biggest issue seems to be the vocals (there are a few issues with the lyrics, but we think we have a bad translation from the original Mandarin). Lay’s natural tone is actually a win for him and, despite not having the deepest voice, he does sing with gravitas and confidence. The problem is that there is just too much autotune leveling out the character in his voice and making him sound like “everyone else.” When he does let himself shine, the songs are really enjoyable; but the autotune moments can be a little too long and sometimes make you tune out.
Our favorite tracks are Relax and Lose Control. The most skippable track is the acoustic version of MYM. While we actually like is as a standalone better than the original, in the sequence on the album and the tonal shift of the production makes listening to it a little jarring.