I preordered the album with express delivery, yes I really did that, even though the CD is not what I use to listen to the songs, it’s simply because I wanted to hold it in my hands as fast as I could. So it has arrived today! I bought my albums from k4town, by the way, in case you would like to buy one from a safe site, I bought all my albums from them.
I mentioned it on Instagram that I get all their albums on what I received for my fanarts. Even the express delivery. And the official ring, which I don’t really wear lately.. I’m glad I’m able to turn the money back to them!
So my opinion. It won’t be all lovely, sorry about that, I really don’t like to be negative online, just don’t read it, I write this for SM. There needs to be all kind of customer review on the internet, I usually don’t bother write it if I don’t like something, but about EXO I care, and I hope they at least make some research about customer satisfaction and such important things, which sometimes I wonder if they do at all… Or SM’s radars are only for the screaming 12 years olds. Because other than them for the last two albums I saw all kinds of customer reviews which SM clearly did not see. I saw some for this album too. From fans, not antis, this is from us, from those who preorder the album, and give the views no matter what, from us who care, and from these who care there is a high percentage who isn’t quite happy to see the direction of where the things go. But why would SM bother, we still preorder..
What I like about EX’ACT:
- The design. The Creative Director. And the Lucky One photographer.
About which I’m happy cause this is all my world, all I am, and I’m glad to see that even though I work in this, I still appreciate it quite much, it was really really really well done!
- The packaging of the album is amazing, the editorial work is outstanding, I LOVE ALL THE WHITE!!! after all those Lucky One concept I thought it will go colorful, because it would have been reasonable, and we all know colors sell better, because white is for those who understand design, and/or have special aesthetic requirements, not for the mass, so I love everyone who still dares to go white. Dares to go white and makes it successful. Yes, white design had a great wave in the past decade, but believe it or not it is still limited down to those who follow trends, regular people still don’t get it even after all what it has gone through and has been communicated by major brands 24/7. Of course I can’t say exact numbers, but based on my experience I would say .. 10%. Less maybe. About 10% of all people who would find a pure white design nice. Luckily that’s still a huge amount of people, but it’s not even funny how many don’t get it, just don’t feel it at all. And that 10% is all under 35 years old, except some special rare snowflakes (like my dad, he goes crazy over white designs, so we can fangirl/fanboy together over white packagings and things : D ). My clients from that 90% come to me complaining it’s empty, put more pictures there, let’s write more text to fill up the space, where is the background… o__o
We usually do every design in black and white first, because in black and white you see all the mistakes, and colors often hide mistakes, and exhaust your attention enough to not notice the design is technically shit and empty, and it says and shows nothing. Colors are great to fake it. 🙂 So when creating a logo, or layout, it should always go black and white first, and once it works in black and white, it will work with any colors, but once you see the simplicity of it, how the idea and the message delivered perfectly – you notice you don’t even need the colors, they are not needed, unnecessary. All this above goes only for the design, I hate black and white photography.
- And the Lucky One photos are the perfect example of bold-coloured photography done right. They are perfect, all of them. When I drew that Chen fanart, and I noticed the lines are aligned on this sweater (he holds his hands up, and he holds them up in the position that the lines on his arms get aligned), that threw me off, those photos are sooooo perfectly done.
- The posters are amazing. The fangirl inside me was slightly disappointed that we don’t have a group photo, but my other parts love it, it’s clean, it’s designish, it has information and feel about each member (with those keywords). The layout and the idea is already great enough that it would have worked with white background too, but this is the example when it would have looked just as amazing in white, so it would work with any chosen color now – and it looks interesting with that yellow. I maaaaybe would have tried the keywords with full lower case, they seem off now.. too official. And maybe the names too, I would have put lowercase with the same bold weight… But wait, what’s this font?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Did you really just use Adobe Caslon Pro for one of the worlds’ no1 group’s 2016 comeback?!?! And get away with it!! (Gosh, I’m going to laugh on this for a week.)
- I love the matt paper, though it got a little dirty about 15 mins after I opened the album. And it had a dirt inside, I don’t know what happened, looks quite weird, it’s not a print problem, but I had a quite dirty spot in the middle of the photobook. It looks like glue stain..? In the middle of the book. Glue. What happened there?
- I like the logo history they showed on the album and poster.
- I like the Lucky One logo, it’s quite simple and perfect, great idea.
- I love the e)(o logo too, it’s so great, empty, but the designer in me feels really good looking at it.
- I think I like the Monster song. Kind of. Probably. Yes.
- I like their face expressions in the MV-s.
- The Lucky One MV’s free fun. I was laughing on it. I didn’t like it in the first 20 seconds, that’s how long it took me to realize this is for fun and not serious, and then I just really liked it, I laughed. Except on Yixing’s face, because that looked really cool.
- I loved the throwback to MAMA.
- I like the Monster MV setting (the hangar – it looks sterile without any distraction with that natural backlight it is just naturally real and nice), the DoP’s work there (vm?), and I didn’t think I would say I like this, but after these days I realized I actually like that it’s all in dark and you can barely see the faces. In the MV-s where I see their faces I would usually focus on my bias, and it takes me months to notice “oh, the other members are here too, how nice”. In dark I can only assume where is honey because of his height (sorry dear), and usually I see the picture overall, their moves, and everything together, not only faces.
- Their hair and clothes in the Monster MV.
- Jongdae. Just Jongdae.
What I don’t like about EX’ACT:
(this is where it’s time to close my blog if you are not from SM, you don’t have to see this – and if you are from SM please relay a message to Mr Only Cheap Things Director: “screw you, just screw you”, thank you)
- The lack of concept. EXO usually have a better than average concepts, even compared to other SM artists .. now this time it’s worse than average, even compared to other SM artists. And because the Creative Director did such a great job with the design I suspect this isn’t his/her (his, right? this angers me again) (edit: her, Min Heejin – this just earned back my trust in humanity for the upcoming couple of minutes) fault, this probably came from the ever-so-creative-and-I-tell-you-what-you-should-do-can-it-be-a-puppy-in-the-sunset-with-glitter-rainbow-I-want-it-to-pop Marketing Director. Or whoever decided to tell the CD what to do this time. Well, dear, your idea was awful, just letting you know, I hope you understand you ruined it.
- Because the concept is not rounded out enough I think it’s totally unnecessary to have these two absolutely empty and uncompleted two lines: Monster and Lucky One. With their own respective logos. Supported by their third (EX’ACT pentagon) and fourth ( e)(o ) new logo for their album.
- Why are we having 4 logos here, I really don’t get it. This is a minus point for the CD.
- I don’t like that their entire photobook is in Korean. When.. again, I wouldn’t want to guess, they probably have perfectly fine stats, but how much of your whole sells go to Korea? 35%? 40%? Would it be really hard to have an official English translation there everywhere? Honestly I wouldn’t whine about it if I didn’t open the photobook, and saw that everything is in character, EXCEPT “it’s prohibited to blablablah” on every 5th page. So when SM protects itself they can speak English really fast, but when it comes to considering other humans they suddenly forget and go kimchi. And because I couldn’t read anything else to me the whole book is about “you are not allowed to do this, you are not allowed to do that”. I was not planning to go out and start to sell this album, but I just got scolded for buying something from you, and I have a bad taste in my mouth, thanks. You either forget to consider writing in English overall, or do it everywhere, but this super selfish selective way of doing it is not right, it’s what negative people do. Ah, yes, we are a Korean band, why would we care.. sure, you could just forget your American tours too, why, you only have Korean fans don’t you? So when it’s about that you get super international? This was that threw me off and made me angry.
- I don’t like the songs. I was slightly disappointed in Monster and Lucky One, but I grew to like them now (because I see them singing it, I like those because of the members, not because they are good songs). I’m trying really hard to push the other songs down my throat, I try to imagine the members when singing the lines I hear and make me like it because of them. But I actually have to force myself to like it, and that doesn’t make me happy. You know, when XOXO came out I locked myself in my room, laid down in the bed with closed eyes, and listened to the whole album twice without moving, trembling, and crying. That’s how much I loved it. This feels as far as Jupiter right now. When the EXODUS teasers dropped I had to hold myself back to not share them all over Facebook, because I’m the only one who likes EXO among my friends there, and I didn’t want to fangirl to an empty room and some of my friends years before kept complaining about my kpop songs and stuff, no one cares about them. So I really had to hold myself back to not share it everywhere like “look at these guys, look how cool omg, and the clips are so great, I’M NOT PREPARED” – nothing like that happened here. I had about zero desire to share it anywhere. I had this desire to share the album packaging, the photos above here, I was considering to share 3 of them on Instagram instead of one, but I pushed it down and hold myself back. I will take the album to work tomorrow and show it to the other designers. But that’s all. Nor the album or the MV-s had any close affect. The songs except Monster sound like SHINee’s songs. I swear I can even hear Taemin’s voice. And because we are talking about SM my conspiracy theories kicked in, and my conclusion about the album was that they drag out the good songs to several albums now that they breaking records with preorders, they don’t care what’s on the album any longer. One good song is more than enough for an album, huh, the rest is to fill up the white space. I hate SM, I hate the songs. And I’m so angry that I can’t listen to honeys, because SM decided to go cheap with the songs. You know SM, I want you to drown in your money, push it down your throat and choke on it. And considering I have been standing up in protection of SM after the chinese bastards left (and if this offends you then read the comments below, and if it still does then please help yourself and find the unfollow button, and get the hell away from me), because SM and its’ professionals are amazing and they brought wonders to reality, but I really don’t like that SM got rid of them and is saving up on those professionals in the past 2 years. Without them you are nothing. I hope you soon get to the stage where you see it in your beloved bank account that you can not longer ass that balloon, and finally get back that content.
- That gets me to the choreography. I hate the choreography, I can’t even express how much I hate it. Now saving up on the choreographers? It’s totally empty! Move to the right, step to the left, now arms up, and to the side, because that looks super manly, oh yeah so hot. O_O All I see in that choreo is stressed bodies moving moving to defined positions, pointless, it’s so empty I wonder if it even echoes. Gosh, just ask Jongin-Yixing pair to create the choreo if you don’t want to pay Testa again, I’m about 87% sure even that will turn out better than these C category choreographers. And while you are at it just use Yixing’s songs. I heard he had hundreds of songs (lost, I know, but he said he wrote new ones), where are they, why are they not on the album, I extremely doubt they were worse than these featured ones so tell me your excuse I’m curious. The angel he is he would give it to you in return for a hot chocolate, that would be real cheap, that’s what you like SM don’t you? Saving up for another mansion? I dealt with it in the past albums, and hoped this is going to be the album where SM gets its’ shit back together again, but this just keeps getting worse. I’m angry, I’m so angry.
- On a much lighter note: I don’t really like the piercings. That’s just personal, an individual opinion. I like piercings, I would have my own too if I could deal with pain, but a piercing is the last thing I would like to see on a guy, I’m just getting old probably. But the fanbase is younger than me, so that’s okay, it’s just me.
- Still on the piercings – I’m not sure why a piercing makes someone a monster.
- And while we are on the monsters visual representation topic, it could have been done so much more interesting than this. This was really boring.
- Burning car? Beating? Bruised faces? So original.
So overall no, I didn’t like this album. And I love EXO, and because of that I’m just even more angry, because I still pay for it because of them, for them, but after this album I sat there thinking I might not preorder it the next time, you know what preorder means? It’s trust. And you just lost it SM. Fuck this, get yourself and your values together. Keep your print designers and the members, but I suggest you to completely cut down everyone else, this was awful, really low. … Really low.
And who should I lay to get Testa back for gods sake, this is painful to look at.
And since I’m into complaining .. can we just have less tours? I’m annoyed that I can’t see honeys, because they were touring for so long, I don’t even understand, does that milk a lot? Do we all know the term of keeping the fire alive? Yes? Now think about that, homework. And for plus point you could research the topic about the positive affects of keeping your employees happy, satisfied, and well rested. It involves numbers, that might trigger your interest, I know.