[Album Review] The War (4th Studio Album) – EXO

A few days ago, EXO made their highly anticipated comeback with Ko Ko Bop. I did make a sneaky post in the comment section, saying I would make an album review for EXO’s 4th studio album, The War. So here it is.

But before we delve into the album review, I just want to take this moment to notify you all that album reviews will be released on a weekly basis every Monday starting on the 31st of July. This is so I can keep track of things and not go overboard with the number of album reviews as I did in the past few weeks! Now, onto the review.

 

Image result for EXO the War
The War Album Cover

 

1..The Eve (전야) – The album opens up with one killer track. As soon as the song plays, you are attacked with amazing vocals from the members. The slowness of the track was also another interesting aspect. While I don’t the track changed much, you could feel the build up through the instrumental, which creates a tense atmosphere, which ended bringing their vocals/raps into the spotlight. (9/10)

2. Ko Ko Bop (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of Ko Ko Bop (6/10)

3. What U Do? – This is my personal favourite of the entire album. Like the first track, the vocals of the members are put into the spotlight. I love the dynamics of the track, which made me want to get up and dance. The chorus was super catchy and has the ‘What U Do‘ (which all the members participate in) ringing in my head after the song finishes up. (9/10)

4. Forever – This track could have received the same comments as What U Do and The Eve. But I wasn’t impressed with the introduction. It was intriguing but it didn’t feel like it leads well into the rest of the track, which turned into one epic song, which could have rivalled the two songs mentioned. Once again, the vocals are on point, but I thought the first half of Chanyeol’s raps could have been better. The raspiness and speed during the second half were felt needed in the first half. (8/10)

5. Diamond (다이아몬드) – A part of me wants to like the track. It has an interesting yet strong beat. The instrumental has a Middle Eastern influence, which you should know, usually ticks the box for me. However, I didn’t like how the rappers kept on adding small parts throughout the song. To me, it gets annoying after a while and just feels likes a ‘remember me’ technique. It also wasn’t a memorable song, compared to the predecessors in this album. (7/10)

6. Touch It (너의 손짓) – And like Diamond, this song wasn’t that memorable. Instead, it seemed to have gotten lost in the mix of good and disappointing songs. Which was a pity because when it is by itself, I got a good sense of its groovy and funk vibes. The vocal work and rapping were pretty good. I love the ‘na na na‘ at the end of each chorus. It was the catchiest part of the entire track and the accompanying female background vocals suited the groovy vibe, so nicely. (7.5/10)

7. Chill (소름)Chill is a chaotic mess and I say that in a bad way. To me, it felt like all the aspects you could ask for just did not work well together. The instrumental felt like one mess, with all the different elements not coming together well. Furthermore, there was an odd mix of styles, which didn’t sound ear-catching to me. The same could be said about the raps and vocals. Overall, not a song that I would want to revisit. (4/10)

8. Walk On Memories (기억을 걷는 밤) – This is one amazing song. The melodies in this song are definitely one to die for. The vocals in this song are just blissful, where all the members are singing. The harmonies as well. Even the instrumental was beautiful. The aesthetics of the song is on another level and it just leaves me breathless and speechless. (10/10)

9. Going Crazy (내가 미쳐) – Two things caught me by surprise with this track. Firstly, the sudden breakdown. It was unexpected but I felt it went with the rest of the song nicely (unlike in other tracks). It did give the track a more ‘out-there’ feel, which I guess is the ‘crazy’ side of the track. The second thing was that sudden high note at the end of the song. And everything else in between sounded like a really good. It is safe to say that the album ends on a good note. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 7.7/10

exothewarteaser
The War Teaser Image

 

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One thought on “[Album Review] The War (4th Studio Album) – EXO

  1. I feel like, vocally, there were many parts of this album which made me sort of , ‘remember’ the vocal line and appreciate the other members more. Chen , Baekhyun and D.O are solid singers but after listening to “The Eve” and “Forever”especially , their talents just hit me all over again. D.O is most memorable in “The Eve” . The comments on the live performances of “The Eve” are full of appreciation for his vocals. I mean ,wow, apart from the Kai-body appreciation , the section was D.O- dominated.

    “Forever” grew on me, I wasn’t sure about the intro and the rap part too. But if they were aiming for contrast between the rap vs the parts where Baekhyun, Chen and D.O come in then they succeeded. It’s not just the way it was sung. I mean, it’s kind of funny, Chanyeol goes : “nice skirt …hit me and we’re going hard ” and then Baek/ D.O/Chen sing: “don’t disappear …we’ll never find a love like this again “. Sounds like there was a pick up line and then it was insta-love. Or two different guys in one song. Still, I love Chen’s soaring vocals. When he sings the ‘Dasineun ireon sarang eomneun geol’ part, how he says ‘sarang’…honestly, I love that part to bits.

    I agree “Going Crazy” ends the album on a high note. It’s still my favorite. The orchestral elements were nice, the line distribution and arrangement were on-point for me. Can’t forget how Chen and Baekhyun embellished the song too.

    “Touch It ” is a song I can definitely imagine the fans singing along to. Chen’s such a sweetheart for writing it for the fans. There are comments that say it’s got 19+ thoughts wrapped around it but yeah ,what can you do (people’s thirst is real).

    The harmonies in “Walk on Memories” are worth mentioning too. Harmonization is more of a 90’s boy band thing but maybe the guys should be given more opportunities to do it even if it’s not a trend. “What U do?”, would be crowd pleaser too.

    As for “Diamond” and “Chill “…they aren’t on my replay. For “Chill”, I found myself looking for the part that was in the teaser trailer. I think that bit comes in too late in the song. But the track might grow on me. Or I might get used to it playing in the background.

    Like

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