EXO's 'Exodus' Charges Into a New Era of Boy Bands: Track-by-Track Review


More or less, you know what to expect from your favorite boy band: Backstreet Boys give us straight-forward bubblegum; One Direction embraces '80s-tinged, rock-pop hooks; and you can count on incredible choreography no matter what genre TVXQ! try to conquer. On the K-pop scene, EXO is now the male group to beat, currently holding the record for highest-charting album by Korean boy bands on the Billboard 200. Their second full-length album Exodus -- following 2013's XOXO, which broke records in Korea -- is an ambitious record that shows the group isn't ready to be pinned down just yet.

EXO could have presented themselves as a lovelorn boy band like most do, but instead the 10-member oufit are willing to not only get romantic, but also dark, sensual and aggressive -- looks boy bands typically stay away from -- on its best tracks.

Despite the ambition, several tracks feel like they need an extra oomph and fall victim to mediocricy than impression making or solidifying any type of identity. For all of Exodus' hooks, one would think they would stick with the listener better. 

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For their efforts and attempts to push boy-band boundaries, EXO should be applauded. Exodus is one of the more ambitious full-lengths for a boy band in recent years. But past the standouts, a lot of these songs fail to make much of an impression on the listener.

Currently, industry forecasters suggest the album could sell between 3,000-4,000 copies in the week ending April 5. Take a listen through the track with our track-by-track review below and see where it lands on the charts next week.

2. "Transformer" - Helmed by super-producers Stereotypes (Danity Kane's "Damaged," Justin Bieber's "Somebody to Love"), the track keeps the energy going from the opening track with its military drums, ominous horns and fuzzy synth lines. A knocking pop banger, no doubt, but feels like expected territory for EXO. A somewhat played out "tick-tick, boom-boom, bout to blow!" chorus line feels like a cheesy attempt for a conceptual song that a lesser boy band would release -- maybe from some of the early '00s groups that never really made their mark like 5ive or O-Town.

EXO - 'Exodus' Album Review