On May 30, 2013 EXO-K and EXO-M released a new comeback song (in both Korean and Chinese, respectively). This song is entitled “Wolf” or “늑대와 미녀”. The Korean version of the music video is the only one I’ve watched (since I speak Korean but not Chinese), and, in my opinion, it is represented in a very 멋진 스타일 (cool style). The video even features members of EXO-K transforming from human to wolf and back to human in quick blinding flashes.
The interesting thing about this comeback is that, a few months ago, the song was leaked onto the internet! This means that thousands of EXO fans around the world were able to download and listen to the song before its release date. I have no idea how the song was leaked, but I admit to listening to it on the internet after it was leaked.
The Korean version of the song that was released on May 30 basically consists of the same melody and lyrics, however subtle differences in the song can be detected. For instance, the pronunciation of “wolf” sounds much more “Korean” (울프), as opposed to the English pronunciation of “wolf”. Furthermore, the background vocals of “아 사랑해요” were simply a higher-pitch in the leaked version of the song but sound much more auto-tuned in the official music video. The overall pitch of the song has been lowered to a more alto-pitch as opposed to low-soprano.
The Choreography (안무)
This is definitely group choreography. Of course one person could learn and perform the dance on their own, however, much of the effect would be lost. The choreography is very dependent on synchronization and collaboration with the other members to create illusions with their bodies (such as tree shapes, landscapes, and backgrounds the other members create during one member’s solo).
I particularly like the choreography for the chorus; especially “그래 wolf 내가 wolf” – where the members raise their hands over their heads as though making wolf ears for themselves.
I’m also particularly fond of the very beginning of the music video, with the aboriginal sounding music, sinister feel, dark lighting, and collaborated dance moves depicting a tree moving in the breeze, followed by two hands (or paws!) reaching out on either side of the tree and scraping the earth. I don’t know about you but I got a little tickle in my tummy upon seeing that!
The choreography is definitely much more a performance than it is a dance – featuring many wolf-like movements, tableaus, and many arm and hand movements.
The Lyrics (가사)
I tried to understand all of the lyrics to this song, but, to be completely honest, some of the words are new to me and some of the sentence structures a little more complex than I’m used to. Therefore, I don’t understand every single word in the lyrics, but, from the overall meaning I get a metaphor for the members as being “wolf-like” or “animalistic” in some way, which, in my opinion, can very well be a sexual one. From some of the lyrics it would seem that the members are viewed as sexual predators and so the 미녀 or beautiful lady is scared of each of them (or for whichever one she is falling), and I suppose that would be with good reason, since some of the things the members say in the lyrics can be taken in a very “sexual predator”-type way. For example, “향기 맡고 색깔 음미하고 와인보다 우아하게 잡아먹을테다”, meaning “I will sniff her scent, savour her colour, and consume her more elegantly than wine”. If that doesn’t sound predatory, I don’t know what does!
The lyrics that focus on her and her reaction are after the first chorus where it says:
그녈 좀 봐 공포에 삐져. 눈앞에 시튜에이션 이해 못해 못해. 저 더러운 늑대놈이 결국 날 잡아먹겠지. 그게 아닌데 사랑에 빠진 겁니다.
Look at that girl, she’s in a horrific state. Can’t understand the situation in front of her. “That dirty wolf is eventually going to eat me”. But it’s not like that; I’ve fallen in love.
There is also a line that is repeated in the pre-chorus, “난 단순한게 좋아”, which, in my opinion, can be interpreted as representing an animalistic quality. This line means “I like simple things”, which can seem contradictory to the normally complex ways of thinking of humans and the general complexity of falling in love itself.
Furthermore, there is an element of mystery; like the EXO members need to hide apart of themselves. This can be seen when they sing, “내 속에 있던 숨어있던 것이 지금 눈 떴어”, meaning, “you can now see the thing that was hiding inside of me”. It almost sounds as though there really is some kind of beast living inside of him that has now been released!
Like I said, I enjoyed the music video as well as the comeback performance. Strange as some of the lyrics may be, they are quite mystifying and intriguing, as well.
Good job EXO!