One of k-pop’s biggest bands, EXO, took to KakaoTalk last week to announce that their upcoming third record, EX’ACT, would be released this Thursday (June 9th). The album, which is the first of theirs to have two title tracks (“Monster” and “Lucky One”), is expected to dominate the k-pop charts, especially since EXO’s last two records, XOXO and EXODUS, have sold over one million copies each.
But for those who haven’t heard of EXO and their fantastically addictive songs, this starter pack is EX’ACTLY what you need to get ready before June 9th. But warning: you may get obsessed!
An oldie but a goodie none the less! “Overdose” is from EXO’s second EP of the same name, back when EXO was still divided into two teams: EXO-K and EXO-M. While one would do promotions and perform in China, the other team would promote and sing in Korea. It was an exceptionally clever plan to appeal to multiple countries, almost as clever as the group’s mad scientist concept in the “Overdose” music video. With killer choreography, heavy use of clapping and a thick, electronic beat, someone call the doctor for us because we are overdosing on this song!
The song that really put EXO on the map, “Growl”, is a rollercoaster ride that was featured on the repackage of EXO’s first record, XOXO. Its macho lyrics mixed with a creeping drumbeat and beautiful harmonies between all twelve members make it the ultimate dance tune. “Growl” was so popular when it released in 2013 that it ended up winning Song of the Year at both the KBS Music Festival and at the MelOn Awards, and it can still be heard playing around Seoul to this day.
3. Call Me Baby
Call. Me. Baby. Where to even start. Maybe from its dramatic use of trumpets, its flawless rapping, its irresistibly cheeky choreography or its thumping drums that give this song so much charm. With over 825,000 copies of the song sold and a nomination for Song of the Year at the MelOn Music Awards in 2015, “Call Me Baby” is the perfect pop song and solidified EXO’s place as one of the greatest k-pop groups of all time.
4. Love Me Right
For their repackaged second album, EXO released “Love Me Right”, a funky, guitar-heavy tune that has a hint of an 80’s vibe to it. Combined with cute choreography and the vocal line’s high notes, this song proves that all of the immensely hard work EXO puts into every comeback pays off — it’s a gem of a song. Now clap along!
5. Sing For You
The group’s most recent release, the Sing For You EP, holds the key to EXO’s softer side. While EXO are no strangers to a fantastic ballad (see: “Moonlight” and “What is Love”), “Sing For You” is a poignant showcase of each of the member’s strong vocals. No choreography, no fancy concepts, just sweet, gorgeous singing that makes the listener fall in love with EXO over and over again.
This post was written by our guest blogger, Emlyn Travis.