EXO – THE WAR
– CD 1 (KOREAN) –
1. The Eve
2. Ko Ko Bop
3. What U do?
6. Touch It
8. Walk On Memories
9. Going Crazy
EXO are doing their best to beat the heat with their fourth full-length album 'The War!' There are 9 summery songs here and, even better, the title track was written by members Chen, Chanyeol and Baekhyun. There's a Chinese disc too, but we're concerning ourselves with the Korean one exclusively.
They kick the album off with "The Eve," and the initial main verses build suspense nicely. At first, I thought the bridge was a bit of a letdown, but it really just separates out the chorus, which organically fits with the rest of the song. It's a smooth song, owing a bit to R&B, especially with that faux horn in the background.
"Ko Ko Bop" is a tropical house beat, and a little different from what you usually hear from EXO. They've definitely got that summer beat down, and that sort of reggae vibe running through it. In direct contrast to the first tune, this is a definite, bold chorus. Chen and D.O. are particularly awesome here. I really love this one! A bop for sure!
"What U do?" is more your typical pop song. It's a club banger through and through, and that is a great thing. It's summer, so this kind of song is welcome. I like the chord progression here, and they sound absolutely elated when they sing the chorus. There's some fantastic positive energy here. This is my kind of song.
"Chill" seems like a semi-experimental song, and there seem to be several different styles to this one. They switch styles at the drop of a hat, each boy adding his unique charms to each part. The way this comes together is quite interesting, and I think the rapping really makes this song pop. But the EDM sounds here also make this song my jam.
"Walk On Memories" is just a soft pop piece, and sung at a more languorous pace than the others. It's got an introspective vibe running through it, and it sounds a bit like they're pouring their hearts out. It seems to possess a sweetness that makes this song a good one to shed some tears.
The first thing you'll notice with this album is there are no ballads. That doesn't mean they don't have any tear-jerking songs, but they do it in a non-standard way. There are slower tunes to be sure, but they don't quite qualify as ballads. They also seem to have included a lot of techno sounds in this one. Depending on your stance, that can be good or bad, but I look forward to hearing new things, so to me, it's a good thing. If you're looking for summer bops, look no further than 'The War.' You won't be fighting to enjoy this one.
This is one MV where you'll see all sorts of strange sights, from floating objects (like chairs and hamburgers) to a small cloud hanging over a glass, filling it with rain. The hamburgers are seen quite often throughout. Which just made me hungry. But the boys dance throughout, handling those interludes adroitly.
Kai is sporting dreads here which caused some controversy over cultural appropriation. We've got all sorts of loud apparel that the boys rock here, and some looks street and others just look wild. They wear their fashions well, though, consummate professionals all of them.
The dancing was quite good, and sometimes I wished we could see more of it. They had some bold gestures that really made the dances stand out. They looked badass giving it their all, and I think the summer styles suit them quite well.
Did I have the foggiest idea what was going on? Nope. Did I care? Not really. I just relaxed and went with the flow, and that helped a lot. It's got tons of color and pretty good effects. I don't think they were going for realism here, and that's perfectly fine. I still enjoyed the heck out of it, and it was a cool MV to go with an awesome song.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 9