Hello dear readers! We return to our discussion of EXO’s second studio album EXODUS by analyzing “Hurt.”
The opening stanza is very powerful in clearly illustrating what hurt they have endured at the hands of this love interest (were they the same love interest we met in Playboy? Perhaps even in Machine?)
Let us tune into the lyrics.
xiang wu xian de mystery
Like an infinite mystery
mi wu ban de memory
A fog-like memory
nan yi yu qi ni shi wu jie de mi
Hard to anticipate, you’re a riddle with no key
lei ru yu xia de sheng yin er bian wen rou de hu xi
The sounds of tears that fall like rain breathe gently by my ear
fang fu shi ni que zhao bu dao zheng ju
As if it’s you, but I can’t find any evidence
From the lyrics we’ve read through above, there seems to be an opportunity to connect with the lyrics of Machine that I’ve included below.
Tā de lèi dī zěn me kàn bú chū lái yǒu qíng xù
Her crying face shows no emotions
Huī yǎn jīng xiàng bō lí cāi bú tòu mái cáng chún zhēn huò shén mì
Grey eyes like glass, mysteriously hiding innocence or secrets
Bú qīn yǎn kàn nǐ jué bú huì xiàng xìn
No one believes without seeing for himself
Xiàng ài shàng jī qì ài shàng nǐ
Like loving a machine, I fell in love with you
Just like the automaton-like love interest in “Machine,” who gives nothing away with their icy emotionless face, so too is the love interest of “Hurt.” But the presence of tears suggests a contrast in the icy exterior their love interest displays and the way they feel inside. Something is also causing their love interest pain but for some reason they will not allow EXO in. (The sound of tears that breathe gently by my ear
ni cun zai wo de nao hai li
You’re left in my brain
lun kuo na yang de qing xi
as clear as an outline
ru ci kao jin que chu peng bu liao ni
So close but I can’t feel you
Again the icy front that allows him to be close (or what he thinks is close) but not close enough. He has the blue print of her personality and what makes her who she is (outline) but there are so few real, salient details that he can barely make out what he is looking at or looking for.
zhun bei tou tou qiao kai jin suo de xin
Prepared to secretly open the tightly locked heart
(^posted to reiterate the point that their love interest is not willing to allow EXO in and EXO also isn’t willing to take no for an answer. Also the key references take this Admin back to “Playboy” as well…the insinuations…)
tou tou gao su wo
Secretly tell me
要到哪裡才能揭開 封閉你的世界 去擁抱你
yao dao na li cai neng jie kaifeng bi ni de shi jiequ yong bao ni
where should I go to open the locked world of yours, to hug you
rang wo kao jin ni
Let me come closer to you
能不能允許我走進 面紗下掩蓋的 你的世界
neng bu neng yun xu wo zou jinmian sha xia yan gai deni de shi jie
can you allow me to enter, your world hidden under the veil
Perhaps at this point EXO does realize that however close they thought they were, it isn’t close enough. Perhaps little by little they are realizing that they aren’t seeing her for who she really is which is possibly the reason behind the veil and lock/key references. And from the words used here (where should I go to open the locked world of yours, to hug you) we can also see that EXO wants to give this love interest comfort. They don’t want them to suffer alone.
mei ge ye wan xiang ni cai neng ru meng
Every night, I need to think of you so I can enter my dreams
na meng zhong
In the dream
“She’s Dreaming” or “Moonlight” anyone? For EXO to say that they need to think of this love interest in order to sleep, it gives this Admin the idea that this person is still somehow a calming presence (which is also counter intuitive since EXO talks about being hurt.) But perhaps this love interest is also a gateway into EXO’s fantasy (the dream world.)
neng bu neng gou wei wo hui tou
Can you turn back for me
ni ming zhi wo de ai yi shou bu hui
You already know, my love cannot be taken back
And this is as true a statement as we can get. EXO definitely commits to their love interest all the way. Each and every song we have viewed up until this point is a testament to that. Their feelings go from one extreme to the next, falling in love and being miserable or despondent after being slighted by it again and again. And it is interesting that they ask this love interest to consider them and to “turn back” to face him. They waver from demanding their attention/affection and almost begging them for it.
比起你 模糊的身影 和漆黑的晚上
bi qi ni mo hu de shen ying he qi hei de wan shang
Comparing your blurry shadow and the pitch black night
wo geng pa yi ge ren bei liu xia
I’m more afraid of being left alone
These two lines just affirm the idea that EXO’s main concern is their love interest returning their feelings. They are willing to brave whatever else comes their way (apparently 1 in 3 adults admitted in a survey that they fear being alone and in another study it was found that fear of being alone makes people remain in bad relationships.)
To title a song “Hurt” when we’ve known throughout many songs in their discography that they have been hurt is also very fascinating to this Admin.
Again the definition of EXODUS is breaking away from what was; a mass departure from an old location, an old way of thinking, etc.
Perhaps EXO is deciding to be more direct; proclaiming at the end of the song with the instrumentation completely dropped out (it’s literally all that you hear which leaves no question about what they are thinking) that “it hurts” in order to say to their love interest that while they respect their privacy, it hurts to know that no matter how patient they have been and sincere in their affections, that this person still refuses to be honest about not only their feelings but who they are. You can’t force someone to be ready but it’s not wrong to let the person you’re interested in know that it hurts you that they are willing to deceive you versus giving you a chance.
Which is another level of maturity EXO has achieved, don’t you think (maybe)?
This has been your Admin Pisces
**Experiences Cathartic Otherworldly Lyrical Transfiguration**