This week’s breakdown is the Male Rookie Edition, and the winner of the poll this week received a staggering number of votes! With no competition in sight, EXO-K took the lead almost straight away. Let’s take a look at their debut video as we wait for their first comeback… (Can you hear that? That is the sound of fangirls simultaneously dropping to the floor like flies.)

Probably the most defining aspect of this particular video and group is  that the members possess those ‘powers’ that they’re so fond of showcasing, in this video especially. With all due respect, this was the ‘gimic’ that EXO debuted with so they had to show it off somewhere. However, alongside the two or three different sets for the main dancing, plus individual member shots for singing, the addition of these scenes showing the ‘powers’ feels clumsy. There seems to be too many switches between scenes, none of which are synonymous with each other, hence the clumsy, cluttered end product. The effects for these powers are incredibly well edited, though, so they earn credit in that respect at least.

Most clips show the intricate dance for ‘MAMA’, which is very intricate. The dynamics are far superior to a lot of other choreography in K-pop; the members rarely stay on the same level for more than eight counts. The formations are expertly arranged, with all sorts of canons and isolated groups happening, as well as the sections in complete synchronisation. The contrast between sharp moves and soft moves is well weaved in and the EXO members pull the difference in these moves off really well, since we can see the difference between them. If the movements were not bold enough, the contrast would be hard to see and most moves would look the same. The dance breakdown sequence showcases all of these features in under a minute and is therefore an exceptionally good piece of choreography. Kudos to Lyle Beniga.

EXO’s stage outfits have become somewhat of a talking point between K-pop fans over the past 13 months. No EXO stage is complete without metallic accents, glitter, sequins… You get the idea. ‘MAMA’ is the video that this trend blossomed from, with the members dressed in outfits so sparkly that it’s the outfits that are the reason the video looks dark and dimmed. Yes – you thought it was for dramatic effect didn’t you..? Even the white sets aren’t as bright as, say, f(x)‘s ‘Electric Shock’. That’s one theory anyway! (I like to believe it’s true.)

Check out those fabulous outfits in the music video below!


Vote here for next week’s breakdown and you can buy the MAMA album here.


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