It is rare for a K-pop boy band member in his 20s to croon retro-flavored pop songs that remind people of the 1980s. But EXO’s lead vocalist Chen has done just that with his second mini-album “Dear my dear,” released Tuesday, which includes six tracks in his own style. “Retro-themed numbers have been in vogue these days, but I had never thought about singing them for myself,” Chen said during an album showcase on Tuesday at the YES24 Live Hall in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul. EXO member Sehun hosted the event. “I didn’t simply want to follow the trend and was uncertain if I could handle them,” Chen said. “But following an in-depth discussion with the people involved, I decided to take them. My first solo album ― “April, and a Flower,” released in April ― reflected my wants a lot. But this time, I mostly accepted other people’s ideas because the goal of the release was to relay the love I have received from the listeners with the previous work instead of asserting my opinion.”
Although he was a stranger to the retro-style, Chen tackled the fresh challenge, believing the songs’ melodies and lyrics best epitomize his willingness to repay. The album was also made in the form of a letter. “Its title is ‘Dear my dear’ and the songs included are about love rather than break up,” Chen said. Among the tracks, the lead song “Shall we?” revolves around a man who does not want to part with his girlfriend late at night. Although its melody is maudlin overall, the lyrics are saccharine, creating a sense of contrast.
“I chose to sing in my own way instead of mimicking the vocal styles of the 1980s,” Chen said. “I also did not employ many techniques, but crooned the song in a rather flat tone, as if I was talking to someone. I became sentimental and nostalgic when singing this track. So I picked it as a lead number, hoping more people could feel the same.” His second mini-album, which hit shelves Tuesday, also contains the British pop song “My dear,” the acoustic “Amaranth,” the medium-tempo “Hold you tight,” the ballad “You never know” and the dreamy “Goodnight.” “I do not expect my new numbers to conquer music charts,” Chen said. “I was pressured at first but became more comfortable as time went by. Now I know it is enough if I can convey my message of love and appreciation to people.”
Source: The Korea Times