Written By: Makanalei Kaeo
After a year of waiting, EXO has finally come back with their diverse album Don’t Mess Up My Tempo.
EXO is a South Korean boy group under SM Entertainment. The 9 member group is very renowned in Korea and are even considered the Nation’s Representative by many, including President Moon (South Korean President).
The previous album before this was The War, which was released July of 2017. Afterwards they went on a year long hiatus, leaving their fans anxious and waiting for their come back.
When the teasers dropped in the beginning of October 2018, fans everywhere went crazy. It was announced they would return on November 2nd.
As soon as pre-order was available many did. Don’t Mess Up My Tempo broke records before it was even released. The album became the most pre-ordered album in Korea with over a million sales. This made EXO quintuple million sellers, which has never been done before in KPOP history. They have also recently accomplished a record of 10 million cumulative album sales, which is the most that any artist of the 21st century has accomplished.
Many fans were also excited because it was revealed that Lay (Zhang Yixing), would be participating in this comeback. After almost 2 years of solo work, he would be returning.
The concept of the album is an abstract one. All their albums play into one another in some way and this one was no different. The boys would return to the red cube after just escaping.
Their title track Tempo is a very different kind of genre from most. They included a variety of sounds. The most talked about part was the bridge. In the bridge they did something that was never even considered before. They gave an acapella bridge. No group in KPOP history has done this before so it shows how different and unique EXO is from most groups.
Compared to many of their other title tracks, Tempo is definitely one to remember.
The album was filled with many kinds of genres ranging from EDM to ballads. Here is a breakdown of the setlist:
Sign is a very upbeat track with a distinct kind of beat. It’s a kind of song that EXO hasn’t tried yet but somehow seemed to do effortlessly.
Ooh La La La is a very slow song with a kind of Latin vibe. The vocals in the song play well with the raps. This a title track worthy song.
Gravity gives off an 80’s vibe with the beat and music. It’s a song that would have done well with The War.
With You is very different from a lot of the other songs off the album. The music is just very consistent and has a futuristic feel to it.
24/7 gives you a jazz and R&B vibe. It is very catchy and has an addictive chorus. You can’t help but move to this song when you hear it.
Bad Dream starts off as a soft kind of song but quickly goes into another upbeat, lively song. It displays EXO’s vocal line well.
Damage is an off the bat, very hardcore song. From the beat to the raps, it is evident this song was meant to play while working out.
Smile On My Face is a softer song that plays around with their vocals. It could be considered a ballad, which is something EXO majors in when it comes to music. The meaning behind the song is deep as well. It really shows a softer side of the album.
Oasis is another soft kind of song that leans more toward vocals. The beat is different from the rest and has a lot of changes that makes it unique. The chorus is another catchy one, that you can’t help but sing along to.
Overall the album was different from anything you have seen thus far in the KPOP industry. It has been a known routine for EXO to comeback big and waiting a year just made it more anticipated and more appreciated.