Author: Mar Montiel-Cerón
After years of absence from the stage, K-pop legends EXO comeback this summer with their 7th studio album called “EXIST”, a name which refers to “EXO exists in every moment”. This has been one of the most anticipated comebacks, and it has left us with a sweet and tingling feeling that took us by surprise. In this blog, find the five reasons you should start stanning the era and get into this world of vanilla and new sounds with one of the most successful K-Pop groups.
Don’t forget to check out ‘Cream Soda’ MV !
One of the fundamental parts of every comeback is the concept, and for this one, EXO has two main themes that perfectly portray the duality of the group and the style of the album. The first is “Cool”, where they are relaxed and playful, dressed in vibrant tones, ready for summer and fun. The second concept is “Sexy”. They are wearing tuxedos while enjoying a drink at a party, showing a dark and captivating charisma that brings you to your knees.
Putting the two concepts together is the winning formula of “Cool and Sexy”, which aims to steal your heart while making EXO the kings of summer.
2. The album’s sound
The new album is full of rhythm and personality, with R&B as the predominant genre, followed by Pop and Dance, and each track has a different aura that fits very well with the whole production. The album emphasizes the powerful vocals of the members, as well as the harmonies and whispered improvisations.
As the lead single and introduction to the album, we have “Cream Soda” from the dance-pop genre, composed of metallic piano and drum beats that create an exotic beat that stands out. The next one is “Regret It”, an energetic R&B track with an infectious 808 bass beat and vibrant synthesizers. Followed by “Hear Me Out”, the second single and a classic R&B track that takes us back to the old school. It is followed by “Private Party” from the R&B dance genre with a strong base and dance music elements that combine powerful drums, synthesizers, vocal clicks, and whistles. In the middle of the album, we find “Cinderella” a track that shows synth-pop composed with explosive sounds of a synthesizer and drums, and “No Makeup”, an R&B with a remarkable trap beat that seduces you with the melody and enveloping beats. Then, there is “Love Fool”, a mix of pop and R&B with an energetic retro synth production, and “Another Day”, from the alternative pop genre, which unfolds with a relaxed rhythm, adorned by the enveloping presence of the carefully overlapping bass and keyboard. Finally, to close the album, we find “Let Me In”, a dreamy ballad that envelops the senses with its sound and touching vocals, expressing deep and sublime emotions.
3. The Lyrics
In this album, the lyrics show a mature, funny, and flirtatious group that expresses complex feelings such as longing, love, and doubt in the face of the new. Also, if you listen to the album in order, you can follow the stages of a relationship, from falling in love to the desire to stay together forever.
“Cream Soda” compares the exciting and smooth moment of falling in love to the refreshing experience of a soda with ice cream. In “Regret It,” in which Chanyeol contributed to the composition of the lyrics, are expressed the intense emotions of a moment without regrets. “Hear Me Out” talks about the honest feelings of someone between doubt and determination before starting a new relationship. “Private Party” describes the tense and exciting attraction between two people at a private party, adding a touch of mystery and seduction. “Cinderella” is inspired by the Cinderella story, where the protagonist is forced to abandon everything at twelve o’clock but resists, losing the person with whom she feels an inevitably linked destiny. “No Makeup” proudly highlights the natural beauty of our lover without the need for cosmetics. At the same time, it invites us to love ourselves. “Love Fool” expresses the strength of love, sensitively portraying the unwavering determination of someone who refuses to abandon that deep feeling, even when faced with situations where expressing her innermost feelings is complicated. “Another Day” reminds us of the importance of letting go of the past and greeting each dawn with a hopeful attitude. It all culminates with “Let Me In”, which paints a vivid poetic portrait by comparing the lover to a vast blue ocean, while the longing to be together endures eternally, even in the darkest and saddest moments.
4. The visuals and MVs
In this era, the visuals and concept are connected, and both highlight the duality of the group. First, with black suits and shiny gala outfits, follow with a more relaxed and comfortable style that shows their playful side, referencing the fashion of the 90s using vibrant tones and pops of pink, green, blue, and purple. In both cases, it took EXO-L’s (fandom) breath away, made the members look trendy, and left everyone wondering: How will we survive this?
There are three music videos (MVs) that accompany the era. The first to be released was “Let Me In”, which took EXO’s original concept and, through the metaphor of creating a new universe, showed us the members in different parts and how they come together after a long time. Followed by the video for “Hear Me Out”, where we see the members together like in the old days, having a blast while waiting for the long-awaited return. Brings us to “Cream Soda”, the video that showed the members being flirty and confident at a private party, celebrating the comeback while making the most of the choreography and the “Sexy” concept.
5. Killing Voice
As part of EXIST’s promotions, the band went to the Dingo Music channel and performed on the program “Killing Voice”. Taking us by the hand through a tour of their musical career of more than ten years, and presenting the group’s most emblematic songs. With this, EXO demonstrated their vocal power and highlighted each member’s performance, making it clear why they are one of the most legendary groups in the industry. For EXO-L it was a delight to hear them again, and with this participation also came new people to the fandom, who were enchanted by the charisma of the members. That is why, without a doubt, it is an unmissable and necessary presentation for the era.
In conclusion, the EXIST era has it all: concept, visuals, meaning, and the characteristic charisma of each member. That’s why if you have time this summer and don’t want to miss EXO’s atmosphere, don’t hesitate to take a look at all the material, because if there’s one thing EXO-L is sure of, it’s that it’s been worth every second of the wait.
If you liked the blog don’t forget to share it and let me know in the comments what caught your attention from this comeback, for me, I haven’t stopped watching the music videos, see you next time! 💗
Pair reader: Seline Suriel
Reviewed by: Luisa Quintero
Delgado, S. (julio 18, 2023). NME. EXO – ‘Exist’ review: a deceptively minimalist homecoming. https://www.nme.com/reviews/album/exo-exist-review-deceptively-minimalist-homecoming-3469832
Hong Yoo. (julio 10, 2023). The Korean Herald. EXO returns after 2 year hiatus with 7th LP “Exist”. https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20230710000641
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Sreejita Karmakar. (julio 05, 2023). “EXO THE KINGS OF SUMMER”: EXOLs pumped as the members drop new photos for comeback track Cream Soda. https://www.sportskeeda.com/pop-culture/news-exo-the-kings-of-summer-exols-pumped-members-drop-new-photos-comeback-track-cream-soda
Wikipedia. (julio 21, 2023). Exist. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exist