XIUMIN x MARK – Young & Free – SM STATION
Xiumin (EXO) and Mark (NCT) have released their highly anticipated collaboration track “Young & Free” for SM Station. It’s almost adorable the way Xiumin describes mentoring Mark and suggesting they team up once Mark debuts. Well, debut he has, and the time is ripe for them to be “Young & Free.”
The tune starts out with Mark rapping, which isn’t a bad way to start a song. The actual melody I’m not a fan of, as it almost reminds me of some vaudeville acts. Not that it’s a terrible thing, but it’s simply not my thing.
The song really picks up when they hit the chorus though. Not only is the chorus super-catchy, but also we’re treated to more of Mark’s rapping and Xiumin’s ad-libs during the main verses. Xiumin’s vocals help smooth out some nice rapid-fire rapping, and their voices actually meld well during the main chorus.
One of the things I like about this tune is that everything fits together so well. The song is well suited to each of them, which is a testament to Mark’s songwriting. Of course, he’d give himself more rap parts. 🙂 Xiumin handles his parts extremely adroitly, and the tune seems to fit him like a glove. This tune is a pretty good addition to SM Station and a good collaboration overall.
The MV is largely played for laughs. This is no mere boy in a box type MV. As Mark raps, they pull away, showing the curtain he’s in front of to be just another set piece. The two engage in various hijinks as they perform their song in a photography studio. And there’s a surprising twist ending.
The way they set this up is that they’re just hanging out, just two friends poking through the various rooms on set. So you see cameras, lights and the like. It seems pretty convincing, and they do a good job of just being casual and friendly with each other.
You don’t really see any choreo until about 2:45. Then, you get plenty of dance moves. There’s nothing truly mind-blowing, but we’re treated to some fancy footwork. The dance moves are pretty standard throughout. Though I have to admit it was an interesting way to shake things up a bit.
So we have some pretty cute scenes where they’re just horsing around and just being boys. And the ending was kinda cool, too. It was fun to watch and had enough going on to keep things interesting. So yeah, I can give this a thumbs up.
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