EXO’s D-O makes a calming return with his sophomore EP “Expectation,” which tells a story of love and sorrow.

EXO’s D-O makes a calming return with his sophomore EP “Expectation”.

“Matters of the Heart: A Journey Through” is the title of EXO D.O.’s EP “Expectation.”

Matters of the heart have always been a point of pondering, wondering, and musing for every artist. Be it an emotion of love or heartbreak, countless words have been written to explain the inner workings of one’s mind on such matters. The album we’ll be discussing today may well fall into the category of songs that resonate with listeners and become standards.

Over the years, we have seen cinematic and over-dramatic representations of love and relationships on screen, but these days, that narrative is changing. Artists are drawing more and more inspiration from the life they observe and themselves experience. Such instances increase the listener’s ability to relate to the track because somewhere they might have had a similar experience. EXO’s D.O. is one of those artists who can depict real-life happenings through a lens of understanding, empathy, and wisdom. His latest EP ‘Expectation’ charts the journey of a person who fell in love, lived in that love, and also got heartbroken in that love.

EXO's D-O makes a calming return with his sophomore EP "Expectation," which tells a story of love and sorrow.

SOMEDY

Have you ever felt that despite liking a person, something just does not sit right? Do you wish you had someone who would understand you in a way you expect them to? If you answered ‘yes,’ then ‘Somebody’ by D.O. is the track that hits the spot. In the song, Even if there isn’t a flamboyant eruption, D.O. sings about having a companion who understands them is enough, as is a calm and serene relationship.

Love does not necessarily have to be a flurry of actions, feelings, and presents. Sometimes, what one truly needs is a safe space within a person, someone who would shine a light on the darkest corners of the heart – “I want somebody, even if it’d take long/I want somebody, even if passion’s not fiery.” The reverb of guitar strings and percussions punctuates the indie feel of this song.

WONDER

Making an entrance with very folk-like tunes and continuous acoustic guitar rhythm, the music in ‘Wonder’ reflects the amusement expressed in the lyrics – “One by one, the day will come true/It’s like a novel to me/Miracle of meeting you.” The song does complete justice to a crush one has and the questions that pop up in one’s mind. The optimistic tone of the music highlights the purity of the lyrics.

I DO

Using the same animation style from his first solo single ‘That’s Okay,’ D.O. brings back the joyous feeling in ‘I Do.’ The track is all about confessing one’s love to their partner. The cactus that was his partner in ‘That’s Okay’ makes a comeback in this music video but as a car accessory. It would not be wrong to say that the mix of emotions he had in ‘That’s Okay’ have been sorted now, and he has opened his heart to a new experience and love.

The cactus is symbolic of his past experience but not a roadblock in his new path. ‘I Do’ is a confessional song, yet it does so in a soft way. There is waiting and anticipation, but there is no rush to make those feelings a reality – “You can keep your wishes to yourself/Tell me only when you’re ready.”, I’m willing to wait, and I wish I could see the stars in your heart.

LOST

‘Lost’ begins with a low register and progresses to an anthem-like tempo. Different people react differently to a loss of love. Every song does not have to be a ballad or an acoustic version. It can also be an upbeat musical track like ‘Lost.’ The song speaks about the residual feelings and the ‘what-ifs’ after a breakup – “I’m lost, I’m lost, now, I’m lost in you/It just goes around endlessly/To you and to break up/I can’t move on.”

ORDINARY DAYS

Days are bound to be ordinary. It is the people, emotions, and experiences that make it special. In ‘Ordinary Days,’ Due to the absence of the spectacular factor in his life, the protagonist now experiences the commonplace days that D.O. sings about. It would have been a pity if there was no ballad by D.O. in an album all about love and heartache. It fills that spot and introduces the listeners to a lover’s lament underlined by static acoustics – “Before I know it, I feel excited again/When I fall asleep while picturing a new day/Tomorrow comes again.”

EXO's D-O makes a calming return
THE VIEW

Shakespeare compared his lover to a summer day; D.O. is the modern equivalent. singing about the protagonist comparing his lover to a beautiful day view in the concluding track ‘The View.’ He smartly uses the rhyming of “view” and “you” to lament “I wonder if I’m to blame/I still see you in my memories/’Cause you are the view, I miss…/I miss, I miss you, the view,” is a song about missing someone. When the song is performed, the rattles, along with the rhythmic guitar strumming and drum fills, produce a depressing ambience.

When played individually, each track of D.O.’s second EP ‘Expectation’ presents a micro-story of each stage of love. ‘’Somebody’ and ‘Wonder’ are about the jittery excitement and butterflies that come first, ‘I Do’ is about wondering if the other person feels the same way, and ‘Lost,’ ‘Ordinary Days,’ and ‘The View’ are about the aftereffect of that expectation of falling in love. While the love was not successful, it was bittersweet.

Without any lingering hatred or anger, the songs accurately convey the pain. The protagonist has come to terms with the reality but somewhere the innocent heart still expects the reality to change. Even if it is just a crush, one-sided love, or a broken relationship, the hurt is no less. D.O. combines lovely metaphors and pictures to convey the love, the pain, and the aftereffects. The beauty of D.O.’s music is that he does not resort to grand alliterations when it comes to the lyrics. His words are simple, yet very profound.

In a world where love songs often focus on grand gestures, epic romances, or bitter breakups, D.O.’s ‘Expectation’ stands out as a poignant exploration of the quieter, more introspective moments of love. Each track on the EP delves into a different facet of the emotional rollercoaster that is love, from the initial spark of attraction to the lingering ache of heartbreak.

 

‘Somedy’ captures the essence of longing for a deep, understanding connection, emphasizing that love doesn’t always have to be a fiery blaze but can be a gentle, comforting presence. With its indie-inspired sound, the song carries an air of authenticity that resonates with anyone who has ever sought solace in a partner’s understanding.

‘Wonder’ exudes the innocent excitement of a new crush, mirroring the fluttering heartbeats and daydreams that accompany such feelings. The folksy, acoustic guitar-driven melody perfectly complements the lyrics, painting a vivid picture of the thrill of newfound affection.

‘I Do’ continues the journey with a joyful confession of love, marked by a sense of readiness and patience. D.O. uses clever symbolism, including the recurring cactus motif from his previous work, to convey growth and resilience in the face of past heartaches. This track embodies the optimism that often accompanies new beginnings in love.

‘Lost’ takes a different musical route, adopting an upbeat tempo to explore the lingering ‘what-ifs’ and unanswered questions that follow a breakup. The song captures the essence of feeling adrift and unable to move on, a sentiment many can relate to.

‘Ordinary Days’ slows things down, offering a heartfelt ballad that reflects on the mundane moments that become extraordinary when shared with a loved one. It beautifully encapsulates the emptiness that can accompany the absence of that special someone.

Finally, ‘The View’ serves as a poignant conclusion to the EP, drawing parallels between the beauty of a picturesque view and the absence of a loved one. D.O. skillfully uses rhyme to convey the ache of missing someone, and the music creates a melancholic atmosphere that tugs at the heartstrings.

What sets D.O.’s ‘Expectation’ apart is its ability to capture the complexities of love in its various stages without resorting to grandiose or clichéd expressions. Instead, the simplicity and depth of his lyrics allow listeners to connect on a deeply personal level. Each song serves as a poignant reminder that love encompasses a wide spectrum of emotions, from quiet understanding to the bittersweet ache of loss.

In a world saturated with love songs that often glamorize or exaggerate the highs and lows of love, D.O.’s approach is refreshing and relatable. He reminds us that sometimes, it’s the everyday moments, the quiet understanding, and the enduring hope that define the true essence of love. ‘Expectation’ is not just an EP of songs; it’s a heartfelt journey through the maze of the heart, where every listener can find a piece of their own story.”

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