From Lee Hi’s 64-second cover of the Winner’s new song, “Baby Baby” to Epik High’s 56-second cover of another new song of Winner, “Sentimental”, numerous fellow YG family artists stepped in to advertise Winner’s comeback. Winner, after one and a half years since their debut, came back with Project Exit Movement, a promotion package that includes an entry single and four different mini albums. The first mini album “Exit: E”, consisting of five newly introduced songs, was officially released on the first of February.
“People seemed confused at first when Lee Hi suddenly released a short cover of Winner’s brand new song,” said Caroline Min (10), Winner fan. “But as many admired YG artists started releasing covers that were uniquely catered to their music styles, the public began to enjoy the sneak-peaks of the upcoming album. It was a very creative approach to marketing Winner and its new album.”
The first of the two title tracks, “Baby Baby,” is a song that embraces a funky and bluesy mood. The groove picks up with Tae-Hyun Nam singing the introduction and Mino laying down the raps in the middle. The dark and emotional music video captures distressed expressions, low heads, and enervated boys to deliberately emphasize their loneliness.
“Sentimental”, on the other hand, is the more playful title track with soft rocking beats leading the melody. Comprised more of an instrumental background, this track gained the public’s attention through its contrasting upbeat mood and sorrowful lyrics. Similar to many of Winner’s previous releases, group members Mino, Seung-hoon Lee, and Tae-hyun were noted for writing the lyrics of both title tracks.
“Immature” is yet another song that arouses lively chuckles and an animated atmosphere. The tune focuses on how immature the members are through the screeching of electric guitars and a kicking melody. “I’m Young” is a solo song by Tae-hyun. This track conveys an emotional and serious mood through Tae-hyun’s balladic voice and self-written lyrics speaking to his years in emotional turmoil. Lastly, “Pricked” is a duet song by Mino and Tae-hyun, mainly centering on the idea of goodbyes. The song starts off smoothly with a background of acoustic guitar but transitions into a more forceful, and aggressive tune with the electric guitar towards the end. The synergy of the two members is particularly notable as the signature style of Mino’s fierce and articulate rap contrasts with the gentle and softer vocal of Tae-hyun.
“All five songs seemed distinct from each other at first,” said Jina Kim (9), Winner fan. “But I realized that there is an overall tie to all these songs and somehow the tracks seem to convey a recurring message of solitude. Being able to experiment with different ways of showing the same emotion is what makes this project so special.”
Winner expects to release three more albums this year accordingly to the three-alphabet letters left of “EXIT”. Consisting of similar album releasing technique to Bigbang’s “MADE” album, the Exit Movement initially garnered a lot of attention. Concerns on how Winner and its marketing technique will differ from its fellow YG artist’s promotion last summer remain unanswered. Although the success of upcoming tracks remain uncertain, all five songs from “Exit: E” have thrived on Korean online music charts.