Call Me Baby Cont’d

Ah the sense of familiarity this song breeds. Call Me Baby was the song that introduced me to EXO and I’ve been hooked ever since. Oh the nostalgia………


But I’m just as excited as Pisces that we’ve finally reached this point in the discography. As I mentioned in my UnPlugged moment {I’m fine guys. I’ve recovered. That darn Beagle…} I was watching the EXO Channel EXO-L Japan Fan Meet from 2015 and they performed Call Me Baby to close it out. Lookie here, lookie here, this damn song…..boy……… and then Pisces posted the demo……… Admin Aqua over here like


Whoooooooo boy!!!!!

But I digress…

**Warning: The following is a music discussion based strictly on aural analysis. I won’t talk about my wish. I’ve done it enough times already.

Immediately after the “Ah” effect you are hit in the face with synth brass, a click track, synth strings and bass. And of course, as with a lot of their dance tracks, the bass is hard hitting. Once we get to the chorus we are introduced to an effect that I notice is included in a few of their songs. I just might not have mentioned it. There are voices in the background on an “Oo” that are treated as an additional instrument. This is certainly true for the breakdown section with the quartet where all of the instruments except the bass and click track drop out with voicings in the background creating an accompaniment. The section when they are singing

Korean Version


어둔 미로 속에 갇혔던 oh 나

eodun miro soge gatyeotdeon oh na

I was once trapped in a dark maze


그 어둠 속에서

geu eodum sogeseo

in the darkness


날 깨워준

nal kkaewojun

But I hear


네 목소리 들려와

ne moksori deullyeowa

your voice that woke me up


날 다시 태어나게 해

nal dasi taeeonage hae

You made me be born again

Chinese Version



shēn xiàn hēi àn mí gōng lǐ miàn de

Trapped inside a dark maze

Oh 我

Oh wǒ

Oh I



zài wú jì hēi àn lǐ

am in darkness



ěr biān chuán lái

Passing through my ears



nǐ huàn xǐng wǒ de shēng yīn

you awaken my voice



wǒ jiù shì yīn nǐ ér chòng shēng

I am born because of you

Other than the “vocal instruments” most of the instrumentation is not made from natural sounds. The repetitive beat should come off as monotonous but because of these aforementioned changes and the fact that it is a commercial piece meant to be catchy, it doesn’t seem overly so.

Good Lord above the vocals in this piece. Where the hell should even I begin…?


Okay, so I have mentioned in at least one of my other analyses that EXO does well with really tight harmonies. Call Me Baby contains segments that have cluster chords, often found in Jazz, in the harmonies that makes great use of the amount of members in the group to true advantage. You can afford to use these thick chromatic chords when you have 10 voices at your disposal. These chords are liberally dispersed throughout the chorus and in the breakdown quartet section with Baekhyun, Kai, Chen and D.O. in the Korean version and Baekhyun, Lay, Chen and D.O. in the Chinese version. Yes, I’m once again referring to the “vocal instruments” where the cluster chords can be found.

Let’s talk about this melodic line. Full of leaps that shows the flexibility of their voices with edgy, disjointed phrasing. Speaking of leaps….. Can we take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous falsetto moments brought to us by Chen, D.O. and Baekhyun? {When D.O. hits that “Baby girl” I swear my soul leaves my body}


I mean goodness gracious!!!! Phew!!!!

And bring back that quartet, notice how seamlessly their voices mesh together in the mellow, understated section. Yes, at this point they’re all used to singing with each other, especially the vocal line which makes up ¾ of the quartet but for them to maintain this unity of tonal color while switching out the fourth member of the quartet, Kai in the Korean version and Lay in the Chinese version, is a feat in and of itself. The integrity of the color is not lost even with the wailed “Oh” by Baekhyun, the mood stays the same.

They never fail to impress with their vocals and the rap section is no exception. Tao and Chanyeol deliver in a way we haven’t seen before showing their growth with the fluidity of their lines, the phrasing and tone. {Can’t wait to get to that Monster and Twenty Four glo up tho….}

Altogether, Call Me Baby is that edgy, slightly aggressively happy dance track that tells another part of the EXO love story. Their musical love life is never dull…


**Experience Otherworldly Aural Transfiguration**

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