Debut vs. Now || EXO

Careless, Careless. Shoot Anonymous, Anonymous.

As always, I would like to start this post with several carrds that contain very important information about the injustices happening right now and resources to help.

  • https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ has a lot of information and resources and is updated regularly! It also has info on Palestine, the Junk Terror Bill, Hong Kong and the Yemen Crisis .
  • https://abolish-ice.carrd.co/ โ€“ In case anyone forgot there are still children and adults in cages in America. I would also suggest you make yourself aware of the same thing happening in China to the Uighur Muslims. It’s truly horrifying.
  • You can also go to Change.org, most countries have their own petition site linked to their government.

As I did with my first Kpop ReadAThon, I will be doing posts about EXO while groing through my current TBR~

EXO released prologue singles – What is Love? + History – in the January and March of the same year before their official debut on 9th April, 2012 at SBS Inkigayo. Despite these songs coming first, I will be talking about their official debut “MAMA” (however, I would definitely recommend What is Love? as it’s one of my favourite EXO songs โ™ฅ).

EXO debuted as a 12 member group – consisting of 2 sub-groups which sang in Korean and Mandarin: EXO-K & EXO-M – with an in depth supernatural concept with each member having a superpower. 3 members left the group – Luhan, Tao and Kris – after filing lawsuits to end their contracts with SM Entertainment (sadly, a lot of companies are shitty towards their non-Korean artists – especially Chinese and SM had done it before to SUJU’s Hangeng who also sued). EXO-M are currently inactive, however, EXO still makes a Mandarin version of the title track.


MAMA

  • EXO-K: Sehun, Chanyeol, Suho, Baekhyun, Kai and D.O.
  • EXO-M:  Kris, Xiumin, Lay, Chen, Luhan and Tao

The song itself doesn’t open with the long ass English spoken story of the concept and background of these supernatural beings, but the videos do and I would suggest listening to it maybe once.

Both versions of MAMA opens with this Gregorian style chant. In the EXO-K version, as a power move Kyungsoo’s vocals are the first thing we hear. This song is pretty solid debut, especially considering aall the hype around them. It’s strong, powerful, highlights every members vocals, even giving the 3 wrappers – Kai, Sehun and Chanyeol – more of less equal exposure.

There is a mix of genres within this song – the fusion of K-pop/r&b/hip hop and baroque pop (the classical elements), but also more rock vibes. What I will say, the only thing I don’t like in this song is Kai’s second rap. I don’t like screamo, it’s unpleasant to my ears ๐Ÿ˜‚

The EXO-M version sounds more cohesive, in that many of the members have the same tone (level of lowness? does that make sense?), with Chen really standing out as the powerhouse of the group, with Luhan close behind. The rap section I hate is split between Xiumin & Kris… it’s somehow worse… However, I do think the Mandarin suits these particular genre mixes.

Overall, the rhythm of the song, the catchiness of the lyrics and chant makes it a lot of fun to listen to!


OBSESSION

  • EXO active members: Baekhyun, Suho, Kai, Chen, Chanyeol & Sehun
    • Xiumin and Kyungsoo are currently doing their military service, while Lay did not participate due to the China/Korean situation and his currently only being active in China.

Obsession is the latest EXO comeback, being their 6th album and was released on 27th November 2019. It has a clone concept which is very intricate and confusing to my dumb brain ๐Ÿ˜‚

At first, I will admit I found this song both sexy and annoying. The robotic elements, especially the “I don’t think so” lines at first were grating… But, the more times I listened, it added another cool element and was fun to sing to. Plus it adds to the kind of creepy/sexy vibe their going for in the MV and also just in general with the mood of this song’s rhythm.

The shifts from the hip hop into the ballad moments – I’m more thinking of Suho and Chen’s part later on in the song – was a bit strange. Their vocals were stunning though, so does it matter? Baekhyun also really stood out in this song. While my favourite parts were Chanyeol and Sehun.

Overall, this is a really sexy and smooth song, with very polished vocals and well produced. It suits every member and doesn’t feel lacking to me despite my favourite vocalist in the group not being present.

The Chinese version doesn’t have an MV (which makes no sense considering how it’s the same 6 members singing it), but you can check out the audio here. I found this one more hip hop heavy. There was still the same beat and elements of the Korean version, but maybe with the Mandarin it gives it more of an aggressively sexy vibe. Or maybe it’s because none of these members are Chinese, so it may subconsciously feel off to me. What do you think?

Overall, EXO knows how to make a great comeback and this is certainly one!

(also whoever styled Kai and Chanyeol needs a raise ๐Ÿ’ฏ)


The more I listen to Obsession, the more I prefer it over MAMA, mainly because of the rap/screamo part. It also has a smooth and sexy rhythm alongside the hip hop that I like in kpop songs.

Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!~

Thanks for reading! I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe โ™ฅ

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25 yrs old// British// Kdrama loverโ™ฅ

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