Chanyeol (Exo) | High Cut

What happens when four musical heavyweights with their own respective careers and charms combine forces on a song?

“Yours” is the latest genre-crossing collaboration that showcases the versatile talents of its artists. Something like a playground, the song is an opportunity for the musicians to experiment outside of their typical sound and showcase a different side of themselves. Yet despite their distinct personalities and styles, the featured artists fuse well and exude chemistry on the track.  

The all-star team behind “Yours” includes DJ and producer Raiden, EXO singer and rapper Chanyeol, rapper and producer Changmo, and soulful singer Lee Hi. Recently, each collaborator has independently endeavored to diversify their work. Raiden has worked on SM Station tracks with SNSD’s Yuri and Red Velvet’s Irene, Chanyeol has recently launched Studio NNG in addition to the release of “SSFW,” and Lee Hi has experimented with her musical style, singing on poignant tracks like “Breathe” and hip-hop songs like “No One.” Not to be forgotten, Changmo’s “Meteor” has been one of this year’s biggest hits and “Yours” showcases a different side of the rapper’s talents.

“Yours” is a funky synth-based composition that is chill enough to enjoy during a quiet day in the spring or summer yet upbeat enough to dance to. The song feels like a classic R&B and rap collaboration, but with a retro flavor. The sound of the keyboard is warm and nostalgic and balances out the synth elements.

Lyrically, the song expresses the complex feelings of a break-up and the desire for romance without pain. The song takes an omniscient point of view, featuring the voices of both Lee Hi and Chanyeol as the couple explore their feelings. The pair go back-and-forth and repeat the lines: “love me, don’t hurt me. Just kiss me, don’t burn me. And I’ll be yours.”

When LeeHi and Chanyeol do sing together, their voices harmonize well and add light to the already bright track.

The song begins with a bleak tone, setting up a nice juxtaposition between the brightness of the music video and the pain expressed through the lyrics. Chanyeol raps:

Nothing hurts more

than not caring

time like black and white

knowing nothing about the future.

Lee Hi answers Chanyeol’s feelings with similar sentiments: “As if I was locked up in darkness, I close my eyes and get absorbed in my emotions under darkness.”

The pain of the breakup and loss of a relationship are lasting, but there is hope in new and perhaps rekindled romance. Lee Hi reassures: “I’ll take away all of your tears / I want you for no other reason.”

As the first chorus kicks in, the music video explodes with color; Raiden’s previously dark and minimalistic set is lit up by colorful kinetic background displays. Meanwhile, Chanyeol (the only other collaborator featured in the video), moves through series of colorful sets, evoking the passion and memories of the relationship he sings about.

Though Chanyeol begins the video in a room covered in ice and snow, he ends up in a vivid, floral room. His movement symbolizes his ability to progress from past hurt. This is best symbolized by the flowers frozen into ice that Chanyeol eyes in the video’s final scenes– the ice will melt, leaving the flowers behind — just like those hurt by love can again feels its warmth. Indeed, the final image of the video is that of a flower.

Changmo’s rap in the second verse offers an interesting variation in the song’s structure. Moreover, a fun reference to Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” underscores the song’s retro feeling. Changmo raps:

At all times, I’ll be yours.

1 second, 2 minutes, 3 days, 4 months, I’ll reach you, 5 years.

Like that forever ever, forever ever.

The rest of Changmo’s rap evokes the song’s title, as he muses what it means to put your heart at the mercy of someone else in love, rapping “I choose to belong in your hands.”

He wonders about the importance of fate in love and, despite the risk involved, still opens his heart to new relationships. The song emphasizes the brightness of love and an insistence upon vulnerability despite potential heartbreak and pain. It speaks to both the desire that lingers at the end of a relationship and blossoms at the beginning of one.

Though it would have been nice to see Lee Hi and Changmo in the music video, the video’s saturated color palette and continuous movement make it fun to watch. The video matches the song’s funky aesthetic and evokes a retro feeling through its bright color palette.

The song manages to capture a synergy between different artists, each with their own impressive style. The elements from different genres make it a song that’s worth listening to more than once and the vocal and rap abilities of Chanyeol, Lee Hi, and Changmo work well together in their harmonies and individual riffs. “Yours” is collaboration done right, each individual shining bright on their own but even brighter together.

(Images via SM Entertainment, Youtube)