EXO is nominated for Best Male Group, Best Music Video, Best Male Choreography. Baekhyun and Chen are nominated for Best New Male Solo, with the latter also nominated for Best Vocals. Finally, EXO-SC is nominated for Best Subunit. Click here to support EXO and its members in the 2019 KPOPREVIEWED Awards.
EXO is officially back with a brand new studio album and the title track, both titled as Obsession. It has been some time since we heard from the group, who have been reduced down to 6 members for this comeback as Lay is still promoting in China, while D.O and Xiumin have both enlisted into the military. It has been a slightly busy year for the group, with each active member focusing on solo projects. Chanyeol and Sehun debuted as EXO-SC, both Chen and Baekhyun made their respective solo debuts, Kai and Baekhyun debuted as part of SuperM. And now that EXO has regrouped, let’s see what Obsession (the song) has to offer.
Obsession bombards its angst and edginess right at you from the very first second and still, it manages to hook you on at the exact same time. The song is described as a hip-hop dance track. Despite its initial impression of being a completely new sound, I found the track to be very EXO as I listen to more of it. Obsession’s foundations seemed very familiar, reminding me of Monster in a way. What sets the song apart is the repetition of ‘I Want You’ that is heard throughout the entire song (including the chorus). It doesn’t get annoying and is well used to help the song become addictive in the few listens that I have given the song. The ‘I Don’t Think So‘ during the verses had a similar effect. The verses were actually quite cool, showcasing a powerful side to their vocal and rapping profile. The only part that left me shaking my head in a disapproving way was Suho’s part in the first verse. He didn’t sound right under any light. I really liked the chorus, even though it felt hidden in this song. It gave Obsession that melodic and smooth side, contrasting heavily with the roughness that we got in the verses. I don’t think I am obsessed with Obsession. But I think there is enough to make this one of EXO’s strongest songs yet.
I am quite sure, as you are reading this and that I am reviewing this comeback, eagle-eye fans are making some sort of theory video. There has to be some sort of storyline or meaning behind this very dark, intriguing and unique side to the group. All I know is that the members (EXO) are in a war with their other counterparts (X-EXO), as it was depicted in their teaser images. One side might show an obsessed side of the group (X-EXO), while the other shows a more sane side (EXO). I think at the very end, we see the obsessed side (X-EXO) win, as it burns up the planet and we finish with that look. I have to give props to their stylists for explicitly setting the two sides of each member apart in a very sophisticated yet extreme manner that makes the video become even more intriguing.
We don’t get to see much of the choreography in the music video, so I will return to the update the review once a full stage it out. But I found the moment in the music video to be very promising. I am definitely looking forward to the Kai and Sehun moment during the bridge. I also like the flowy nature that is alluded for the chorus.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10 [Will Update Later This Week]
Overall Rating – 8.3/10