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Photo: Courtesy of SM Entertainment

This week South Korean artist and EXO member Baekhyun made his return to the entertainment scene after completing his mandatory military service. The singer-songwriter was discharged on February 5th and greeted his fans globally just a day after via a livestream on February 6th. With everyone already anticipating a comeback as soon as possible, we thought we’d celebrate the award-winning vocalist’s return by recommending a few of our favorite tracks of his that you need to have on your playlists.
“UN Village” (2019)

This bold, sexy number was the lead single off Baekhyun’s debut EP City Lights and introduced us to a brand new side of the singer. His voice is the absolute hero on this complex synth-R&B blend and Baekhyun delivers intricate vocal runs with en effortlessness that most singers aren’t capable of. The track stands the test of time to remain one of the greatest R&B releases from the Korean music industry.
“Take You Home” (2017)

This bittersweet ballad is a breezy yet emotional number that showed audiences more of Baekhyun’s style as a soloist. Released in 2017, “Take You Home” sees the artist sing about wanting to protect the one he loves from any harm.
“Diamond” (2019)

A B-side off City Lights, “Diamond” (written by prominent R&B artist Colde) is an underrated gem of a number from Baekhyun. The rapid melodic transformations as it seesaws from funk to trap makes fantastic use of Bakehyun’s ability to change keys seamlessly and harmonize with his own falsetto. It’s reminiscent of sounds from Bruno Mars or Stevie Wonder and the retro vibe is refreshing and unique.
“Young” (2018)

While Baekhyun collaborating with South Korean rapper Loco was unexpected, it was an absolute gift to anyone who likes dark synth-pop and rap. The duo delivered a sharp critique on society’s need to force the youth to join the repetitive daily grind of academic/corporate success. Baekhyun’s vocal harmonies layer over Loco’s rap verses to present a haunting and addictive sound
“Candy” (2020)

As the lead single off his second EP Delight, “Candy” aimed at shifting gears and presenting a bubblier vibe compared to Baekhyun’s sultry debut with City Lights and “UN Village” a year prior. “Candy” is a charming buoyant blend of pop, upbeat synth and R&B, with Baekhyun cruising effortlessly through soaring vocal runs. In the lyrics, he compares himself to various types of candy, each of which signify a different aspect of his personality. 
“All I Got” (2021)

The Nineties-influenced “All I Got” (written by South Korean songwriting powerhouse Kenzie) is the absolute crowning glory Baekhyun’s six-track third Korean EP Bambi and sees the vocalist unleash the full power of his voice from the first note itself. It’s astounding how he cruises through impossible vocal runs, flawless falsettos and quick key changes, combining it all with an old-school soul instrumental.
“Dream” (2016)

Baekhyun joined forces with pop superstar and actress Suzy for “Dream” in 2016. The track marked his first solo project outside EXO and is a playful, jazz/new soul love song. Much like its title implies, “Dream” has an unearthly and gentle energy with both artists using softer vocal tones to create a relaxing and positive sonic atmosphere.
“Bambi” (2021)

Sexy, smooth and playful with a tinge of dark obsession, “Bambi” jumps right into pure R&B reminiscent of greats like Usher, Maxwell and D’Angelo. The track was the lead single off the EP of the same name which featured so many outstanding R&B numbers, it earned a place on Rolling Stone India‘s list of the 10 Best Korean Hip-Hop and R&B Albums of 2021. “Bambi” is heady and immersive and absolutely worthy of looping for at least 24 hours straight.

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