Xdinary Heroes, an up-and-coming Kpop Band from STUDIO J, under JYP Entertainment, made their long-anticipated comeback on November 11th, 2022. The band debuted back in December of last year with their single ‘Happy Death Day.’
Initially scheduled for November 4th, 2022, the mini album was later postponed to respect the Korean mourning period for the Itaewon tragedy of October 29th, 2022.
When the mini album was finally released, the music video for the title track ‘Hair Cut,’ was ultimately well received with currently 6.5 million views, and 269 thousand likes.
The music video itself mainly takes place in a carnival at night. But many other settings are also featured adding to the dark theme shown throughout the song and video.
The song itself was quite similar to their track ‘Happy Death Day,’ and a previous comeback ‘Test Me’, both of which had been well received by fans. Junior Sarah Machado said that the song “reminds me of ‘Happy Death Day’ and ‘Test Me’ so it felt very familiar.”
“I really like the repetition in the chorus of “Hair Cut” with the scissor sound effects and the really nice guitar in the back,” Machado explained. She also felt as though the lyrics behind the song were very deep and meaningful.
When it comes to the similarities between their three previous title tracks, senior Emma Martinez also had similar feelings. “I feel like it’s still within their ‘realm,’” Martinez explained.
The chorus itself was also well-liked by junior Saia Hussain, who felt as though the song was quite eerie but very well executed.
The album itself followed more of the same dark vibe, each song had its own unique sound and twist to it. Such as the first song on the album ‘Zzz..’ Machado described the song as a great blend between a groovy sound and a nice rock sound. However she felt as though the lyrics were quite strange, but they seemed to have an underlying message as it appeared that the song “mimics sleep talking,” which is something new that Machado had never seen before.
Following ‘Zzz..’ and ‘Hair Cut’ on the tracklist came ‘LUNATIC.’ The song had a loud energetic chorus with slightly calmer choruses. Machado commented on the song, pointing out that she liked the guitar that plays in the verses, “it’s really calm before falling into the loud chorus, it feels like any other pop-rock song.”
Next up in the mini album was ‘Crack in the Mirror.’ Martinez felt as though this song was awesome, and that it gave her similar vibes to Exo, an older Kpop Group from the mid-2010s. Machado felt as though the song started off strong with the vocals, drums, and guitar, which really stood out to her.
Nearing the end of the mini album is the song ‘Ghost.’ This song again had an eerie sound to it, but the little whistling sounds in the chorus did not go unnoticed by Machado, who felt as though “‘Ghost’ is really great. I like how it sounds a little creepy.” She felt as though the whistling from the chorus could be compared to the noises ghosts make in cartoons giving an almost nostalgic vibe.
Martinez also liked ‘Ghost’ though she did feel as though it had a lot of similarities to the trend of Kpop Boy Band songs of this time period. Which was not necessarily a bad thing in this case.
Finally, the last song on the mini album was X-MAS. Machado enjoyed the mix of both Halloween and Christmasy vibes conveyed through the “dark lyrics, and the distorted sound in the beginning.” She went on to say she felt as if this unique style was really only something the group could do well.
Machado has a vast musical background which helped her to take a special appreciation for the underlying details of the song such as “the bassline [which] is really amazing and addicting.”
Hussain on the other hand had not expected the song to sound the way it sounds, as based on the title, she had assumed that the song would have more of a Christmas feel to it.
In Kpop, physical albums are something that most fans indulge themselves in. Some may collect all versions of an album for a certain group. Or some may just buy albums that they enjoy. But when it comes to these Kpop artists, they know how to promote. For this mini album, Xdinary Heroes has seven different physical album versions.
At first, Martinez thought that seven was a little too much but when thinking more into it, she felt as though “a lot of other groups have albums with so many more versions.” Many groups had recently started to produce more album versions.
Machado addressed this by explaining that “in Kpop it’s important for a group to show their different sides and charms, some in darker and lighter concepts.” That way these idols are always appealing to their fans’ varying tastes!
But there are also times when the story the album is trying to portray works best with multiple versions as Hussain explained. Sometimes “multiple versions are a way to execute the idea.”
When it comes to the album as a whole, Machado feels as though the “songs all go very well together,” and that she is certain they “will definitely be on repeat!”
However, though Martinez also liked the album as a whole, she expressed that she is not the “biggest fan” of the title track.
Hussain felt as though the album was “definitely not [her] style, but that’s what made it stand out to [her].” Overall, the entire genre of the album was a switch for Hussain, who was into more pop than rock Kpop.
With this being Xdinary Heroes' second comeback, it is safe to say that they are on the way to making quite a big name for themselves as they continue to shine in the world of Kpop Bands.