EXO is officially back with their first comeback in over a year. Usually, EXO makes at least one comeback before the end of the Summer, which has been the case for a few years now. So once Summer ended, I noticed a lot of concerns and memes appear online (such as the group’s continuous performances of Ko Ko Bop and Power – when we last saw them). Their title track, Tempo, is featured on the group’s 5th studio album, Don’t Mess Up My Tempo and it also the first comeback to feature Lay since Lotto.
Bare with me, as the song contains a number of individual parts that were pieced together with hopes to make a decent song. And for the most part, the producers did a good job. Unfortunately, some parts just didn’t work for me. The song started off with an intro, which felt like typical but featured Chen’s heavenly vocals. We then get thrown straight into the very addictive chorus, which is accompanied by squeaking sounds (with how you perceive the squeaky effect directly affecting the way you perceive the lyrics of the song). We then approach the deep-voiced section (performed by Xiumin in the first verse and Baekhyun in the second verse). This attracted a massive ‘no’ response from me. The rapping follows with Sehun and Chanyeol (in their respective verses) doing an amazing job with their sections. Vocals follow after each rap section but I am not amazed by that. I am, however, amazed at the bridge of the song, which slows down the tempo at first and then managed to throw in some acapella. The concern is that does mess with the tempo, contradicting the ‘Don’t Mess With My Tempo’ hook. But it sounds amazing. I did like the way they brought us back to the original chorus to really bring it home and feel upbeat once again. The instrumentation was funky but changed as it went along, adjusting its ‘tempo’, for example. To be honest, the song is a mess. It is a good mess, just with some unnecessary parts.
I wonder what their concept is for this comeback. Their teasers hinted towards motorcycles but that doesn’t seem to be at the forefront of the visuals for this comeback. What I saw was very edgy and seemed to be very aesthetic, using a lot of traditional elements for a KPOP music video. I quite like the video for that. I personally think each member looked really amazing in this comeback, including Lay who was featured in a few scenes (scarcely, however). Everything in this video seems to very elaborate, resulting in a very detailed production. I also liked how everything changed accordingly to the tempo of the song, which I thought was rather cool.
The winning part of this entire comeback is the dance performance. I thought the chorus was extremely dynamic and looked amazing on stage. The performance from today saw the members wear military outfits, so that confused me even more, in terms of the concept. I liked their energy and power they had behind each move and enjoyed the details throughout the dance during the acapella section.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10