EXO's 'The War' – An Honest Review by a K-pop Fangirl | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 19, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 19, 2017

EXO's 'The War' – An Honest Review by a K-pop Fangirl

If you have heard of K-pop, you must be familiar with the term “EXO”. EXO is one of the most popular boy groups in K-pop. They debuted in 2012 with 12 members, and now have 9. Being a South Korean boy band, they have 8 Korean members: Baekhyun, Kai, Sehun, Xiumin, D.O., Chen, Suho and Chanyeol; and 4 Chinese members: Lay, the only active Chinese member, and former members Kris, Luhan and Tao. EXO has been on top of the game when it comes to beating the charts, and they are back with their fourth studio album called The War. The album had the highest number of K-pop albums preorders, topping numerous charts, beating records - even beating their own records on 'Billboards 200'.

The War contains 9 tracks, the title track being Koko Bop. The physical album has 3 versions: regular A, regular B and a private version. They come with a random member's photo card and poster, different photo book and cover with each. The CD inside also has a different design on each, with the 3 different summer-themed logos. The private version's photo book has small messages and speech bubbles from the members themselves. Of course, you may purchase the EXO-M (Mandarin) or EXO-K (Korean) album of these versions. That makes a total of 9 versions, having a cartoon-version of a random member's postcard in 1 out of 9.

The tropical-themed album The War paints a picture of the perfect summer vibe, with palm trees, lazy days and just chilling with your mates. The new EXO logo is a flower called “strelitzia reginae”, which blooms every 5 years, and coincidentally, this year is EXO's 5th anniversary. Their title song Koko Bop is a dance-bop-reggae-EDM mix, the perfect party song for this season, sure to leave listeners in awe and admiration. The director of this music video did a good job at making it eccentrically fun, throwing in EXO candies, uniquely colorful drinks, burgers, clouds and other things floating around. A lot of weird things go on in the video - sort of like a tropical fantasy. This gives an overall relaxing, sunny and thirst-quenching color scheme. The term “shimmy shimmy koko bop” is now a meme among the fans.

The members have been given quite striking looks; Kai's controversial dreadlocks, Baekhyun's objectively debatable red mullet, Chen's beautiful blonde hair, Sehun's flaming-orange hair and Chanyeol's strawberry-pink rainbow hair. Their looks give a nice touch to the summer-based theme of the album.

It's not just the title track that sounds like a paradise, the rest of the album is just as entertaining, rich in vocal power and containing amazing beat-drops; having pop, EDM, reggae, hip-hop and dance music, making the listener want to get up and start dancing!

By Shazmeen Haq  

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