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Thumbs up for XOXO, EXO.

So I thought I’d take some time off my precious ~exam studying hours~ (ONE EXAM DOWN ONE MORE TO GO) to pen down some personal thoughts on this great album before I eventually stop replaying every single track on ‘XOXO’.

I pretty much expressed what I generically felt about most of the songs on Dinoseoul‘s joint write-up here, but there are a couple of songs I’m just particularly drawn to because of the inspiration and beautiful imagery behind their lyrics. I call them my ‘deep’ songs because on frivolous listen, I’m definitely picking other favourites.

So like almost every other EXO fan out there, I’m a slave to ‘Baby Don’t Cry’. Even before it was officially released and was just floating around as a teaser (teaser 21 btw), it was explained that the song was largely inspired by the climatic scene from The Little Mermaid where the mermaid has to decide whether or not she wants to kill the sleeping prince or dissolve into foam when the sun rises. She doesn’t. In ‘Baby Don’t Cry’, however, he does wake up, pleading with her not to sacrifice her life for his. Ok so I am a sucker for plot-based songs, and I’m a huge TLM fan, so I literally can play out this entire scene in my head with the music perfectly narrating it. The piano background is really simple but so effective and I love how the singing in both versions carry the same amount of earnestness and heart, and there’s that underlying gentleness . The Korean title is ‘인어의 눈물’, which literally translates into ‘Mermaid’s Tears’. Also, that piano background is killing me – it’s been stuck in my head forever.

Although not officially stated, it’s quite hard to ignore that ‘Black Pearl’ draws up recollections of 2003’s Pirates of the Carribean, a whole 10 years ago. Quick reference to the lyrics also show that it’s largely inspired by the whole ideology of searching for one’s ‘black pearl’ out at sea, especially with lyrics like:

My goddess, oh, who looks as though she lives inside a myth
I fight past the time to find you
I’ve never believed in things that are forever
If I may reach you whom I’ve been wanting so desperately

I raise the masts and I’m carried by the wind oh
Put the water’s roughening surface to sleep
Flower that bloomed in the dark, the moon above the sea
A place like a secret, my beautiful black pearl
Flower that bloomed in the dark, the moon above the sea
A place like a secret, my beautiful black pearl
In Pirates, the Black Pearl is a cursed ship, raised from the ocean floors as an un-catchable vessel due to the vast amount of sails she has. In the song, although on the surface it does feel like EXO is singing about a girl they liken to a precious gem, I really think this track could syncronise beautifully as an accompanying track to when the Black Pearl was resurrected in the movie. Also, it totally helps when you think in the sense of how traditionally, ships are generally named after female pronouns, often stemming from men who feel they are of nurturing nature. So christening Black Pearl the ship to Black Pearl the female in EXO’s song isn’t an idea that’s completely far-fetched, and I love that the track itself has a climatic, almost theatrical climb that further highlights the song’s potential to be part of an epic OST.
So much love. :’)

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