EXO - 'EXODUS'Track List:
1. Call Me Baby
3. What If..
4. My Answer
6. El Dorado
9. Lady Luck
are making their 'Exodus
from 2014 with a new album.
Following a year in the headlines -- not only for their record-breaking album 'Overdose
' but also for legal troubles -- EXO
are back again with their second concert tour 'EXO Planet #2 – The EXO'luXion
and their second LP 'Exodus
"Call Me Baby
," a club-banger, takes a bit before it finally settles into its main melody. It was somewhat of a relief because I thought we almost had another "Wolf
" on our hands. For a lead single, this has a lot going on (but then, again, when you have 10 members singing, that's not unforeseen). Chanyeol
's raps keep the time while Chen
's voice spirals into falsetto far more than the others when they start each line. Danceable and catchy, it's definitely a lot of fun.
" chugs along, buoyed by raps by Chanyeol
, and Sehun
. Bass beats, hip-hop styles, and crooning (especially by Suho
) make this track pop. A lot.
" is a ballad, but I thought it was sung in an interesting way. While a bit slow for my pace, the singing was remarkably fast-paced, like they were trying to pack a lot of thoughts into a 4-minute song. There's tons of good eye imagery in here:
The eyes that are too late, the eyes that lost you
I'm becoming more and more sorry,
looking at you with these kinds of feelings
(my heart looking at you)
And those are only a handful of optical references. No matter. It still felt fervent and earnest and kind of sad.
" has acoustic piano; it's notably slower and more heartfelt than "What If..." It's a very minimalist piece, throwing the sextet's great voices into sharp contrast. What is their answer? "The answer is you."
The album picks up again with "Exodus
." While it is largely a by-the-numbers tune, the lyrics really caught my ear:
This is all a dream, you're a cruel queen
Because you hid thorns behind that beauty
Dangerous Dangerous, She's so dangerous
Can't wake from this dream, it's blossomed inside
Still, because it is a standard boy band melody, it is definitely danceable and catchy. There's no stigma in standard as long as the quality is high.
The LP enters a different world with "El Dorado
," following along a doppler-like synth riff. El Dorado is the legendary City of Gold, which was the dream and death of many a would-be explorer in the 16th and 17th centuries. Here, the boys compare the trials and tribulations of a relationship to El Dorado, the myth-shrouded city standing in for an OTP. They really kill it in the chorus and keep it exciting.
Smooth like butter is the first thing that comes to mind when hearing "Playboy
." It takes a page from "What If...
," packing a lot of syllables into a single line. Notably, SHINee
had a hand in arranging, composing, and writing the lyrics for the track.
" is a body-moving track with lyrics that reflect (as if you couldn't guess) pain. Basically, his girl hurt him, but he can't forget her and still misses her. All this conspires to drive him mad. It's a club tune to be sure, but the happy, dance-around-the-room beat hides the "Hurt
." There are some interesting squelching synths during the break that really pop, too.
It starts with a bass riff that sounds like an autotuned downpitched "bmmm,"
which we only hear hints of as the song progresses. It's a mid-tempo catchy tune composed and arranged by Andreas Stone Johansson
(yes, the "Miracles in December
" guy). The easily chantable lines ("Baby, Baby, Lady Lady Luck")
are buried and infrequent, but that doesn't stop it from being awesome.
" is an ethereal and moving low-tempo song, not quite a ballad. It almost feels like you're sitting in gauze as you listen to the opening. It becomes more vigorous and urgent as the song progresses, using that rapid-fire vocal technique that they seem to love so much. The croons work well here and there's a hint of horns. Very soothing and skillful.
It's an album absolutely drenched in synth riffs that are both original and easy on the ears. While it doesn't have any killer tracks of "Overdose
" caliber, it doesn't need 'em. There are tons of standout tracks here, and I can detect no filler. Instead of just "Moonlight
," you have "What If...
" and "My Answer
" to choose from, each with their unique feel. "Overdose
," as a single itself, is a hard act to follow, but the songwriters have done an admirable job here, and EXO
has taken the material and run with it as only they can.
As the video opens, we see Kai
drive up in a hot sports car, and then sit on the hood and put his headphones on. The music starts up, and he starts to lipsync. Then, like clowns in a rodeo, suddenly Baekhyun
, and Xiumin
pop up inexplicably in his car and are standing up, singing with him.
I'm probably in the minority, but I wouldn't be thinking, "Great! My friends are here to sing with me!"
Instead, my greeting would go more like, "Get the heck off my car! You'll scratch the paint!"
After that, it's pretty much them dancing and singing in a car dealership. Kai is a living example of a fashion-don't as he dances around in what looks to be printed pajama bottoms. Plot? What's that?
That said, since I like the song, the video was easy to like. Whatever else can be said, those boys can dance! It was visually arresting to watch them dance in sync. I still would have preferred a plot, or at least some comedy, as it seems like they do this way too often. Still, I can't say I got bored watching.
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