EXO to Release 'Don't Mess Up My Tempo' Album In November

It will be their first in over a year to feature the group with ninth member Lay.

K-pop boy band EXO will return with a fifth album next month. Don’t Mess Up My Tempo will be released on Nov. 2, more than a year after their fourth LP, The War from July 2017, and it’s September reissue The War: The Power of Music, and just under a year since last December’s seasonal release Universe.   

Don’t Mess Up My Tempo will feature EXO as a nine-member act, with Chinese member Lay returning to participate in a group album for the first time since 2016’s For Life winter release. According to a tweet from the group’s official account, he filmed for the single’s music video and participated in the Chinese music for the album.    

The group teased the upcoming album with gritty motorcycle-themed photos featuring EXO’s eight Korean members, sans Lay. One picture reveals that the album will feature 11 songs, including a Chinese version of the first track, ostensibly the single, "Tempo." The images are referred to on social media using classical music tempo speeds, such as allegretto and moderato.   

Shortly after the news was confirmed by SM Entertainment, the hashtags #EXOT9_ComingSoon and #DONT_MESS_UP_MY_TEMPO trended worldwide on Twitter for several hours.

Despite no new music coming from EXO as a group in 2018 prior to this, the members have kept busy with solo projects, including SM Station songs and Lay’s upcoming album. The act also performed at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Closing Ceremony in February. 

EXO in its current dynamic has seen two albums break into the Billboard 200; their second LP EXOdus peaked at No. 95 in 2015, while last year's The War hit No. 87 last July. A third album, 2014's Overdose EP by EXO-K, debuted at No. 129; in the group's early days, EXO was split into two teams, EXO-K and EXO-M, that focused on the Korean and Chinese markets, respectively, though that is no longer the case.