It’s been a relatively quiet year for K-pop boy band EXO release-wise, but the popular act is finally back with their fifth album, Don’t Mess Up My Tempo. Released Friday (Nov. 2), the group’s fifth Korean LP is fronted by eclectic lead single “Tempo.”
The song, ironically enough, is a tempo-shifting dance track that blends funky rap with a capella and groovy, occasionally bed-squeaking synths. A vibrant soundscape full of contradictions, it simultaneously emphasizes EXO’s powerful vocals through graceful harmonizing and a rhythmic hook, while also distorting them intensely with heavy-handed Auto-Tune bridges.
The song was originally teased with biker gang-inspired imagery, but the music video for “Tempo” takes the nine members of EXO into a dramatic, glitchy set of scenes where they interact with luxury and cubic objects, as a helmeted figure roams the area. The group's choreography is playful and full of energy, with punching, dabbing and flexing playing a role.