EXO subunit CBX returned Tuesday (April 10) with Blooming Days. Bright in its smooth, retro-pop vibe, the album is Chen, Baekhyun and Xiumin’s second unit-based Korean EP, following 2016’s World Albums chart-topper Hey Mama!
Featuring seven songs that are representative of the Blooming Days of the week, the ebullient album is fronted by “Blooming Day,” a funky synth-pop single laden with R&B-styled vocals and a dynamic house beat. Each of the album’s tracks correlate to a day of the week, the trio confirmed during a live stream, and single “Blooming Day” is the second track on the EP, and fittingly representatives of its release day, Tuesday.
Overflowing with effusive vocals from the trio, especially Chen’s soaring belts, the song shifts between groovy verses and a swaying hook where EXO-CBX ask, “Can I be your boyfriend, can I?” and power croon some “ooh baby”s. The song was written by a team of writers, including Steve Manovski, Jenson Vaughan, Caroline Ailin, JRDN and Yoo Young Jin.
The single was released with a music video directed by VM Project Architecture, a favorite collaborator of many K-pop groups, and features a color-blocked, flower-decorated world for the trio to interact with as they reflect and brainstorm ways to express their love. Playful and charismatic all at once, the music video puts the song’s choreography front and center as the trio perform the dynamic, sweeping motions backed by a team of dancers. The dance for “Blooming Day” is a high-energy one, with the group shuffling, sweeping, and body-rolling their way through the tune.
While past CBX releases have notably leaned into a jocular, showtune-inspired brand of pop music than EXO’s typical styling, Blooming Days offers a more mature, smoother hue to the subunit as they explore romance through the different days of the week.
To celebrate the album’s release, EXO-CBX will be live-streaming each day of the week in correlation to each song; the tracks either include the day they represent in their title — “Monday Blues,” “Thursday” or “Blooming Day” (which can be read as “Tuesday” in Korean) — or are named to relate to a specific mood: “Lazy” correlates to a relaxing Sunday, “Vroom Vroom” represents an exciting Friday night, etc. Each of the weekend tracks — “Vroom Vroom,” Saturday’s “Playdate” and “Lazy” — directly refer to the day they represent in their lyrics, while Wednesday’s track “Sweet Dreams” is titled “Let’s Meet Tomorrow” in Korean, directly relating to the album’s release day.
Blooming Days is CBX’s third album overall, following prior EPs in both Korean and Japanese. The trio will reportedly release their first LP in May, the Japanese-language Magic.