#EXO Kokobop/ The War album review

Well…………….this took some time as I had to listen to each and every song carefully before giving my judgement .

 

I’ll just say this out loud, this is one hell of a masterpiece.

This album, atleast FOR ME topped exodus.

Look, a lot of ppl love that album and are obviously of the opinion that that is like the R & B bible of kpop. Yes I do agree to that. No doubt.

 

Hmmm…..but how do I put it?

EXODUS seemed produced solely for airplay. Even Growl, it was produced with the sole purpose of appealing to the masses, and by that I mean schoolgirls. I mean it’s SM so who would complain, but then I started noticing changes since the EX’ACT era. Their music turned to a more……….how should I say this…..more experimental hash alternate stylization? It becomes more obvious if one would listen to White noise or Artificial Love…LIKE BOIII HOW DID YOU MAKE THAT BEAT???? The feel was very vapor-wave-ish and yet very exo-y at the same time.

IN OTHER WORDS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN IT WAS GROWN UP MATURED PIECE.

A lot of people were like…naah, it’ not working for me.

Well yes. It’s not gonna work for you cause this is clearly experimental music. They are fibbling with various genres and looks and clearly looking for the artistry that suits them.

I grew up on reggae and Jamaican music. My uncle used to blast Harry BelaFonte and Bob Marley, UB 40 and all that. I had always been a fan of dancehall-tropical vibes WAYYY more than actual pop music.

So I always used to pray, after watching JB’s Sorry mv that  EXO SHOULD DO SOMETHING REGGAE-ISH or DANCEHALL inspired. OHOHOHOOHOHO

And the God gave me KokoBop.

Let me tell you this, I kid you not when exo first created the twitter account and released the teaser I nearly died. That tropical guitar riff, the aesthetics….well………I was living for it.

When the MV dropped I was nearly collapsing with hypertension. The music was like soothing RnB-ish reggae combined with trap and some EDM elements.

Tbh when the KokoBop MV teaser came out at the end of all the member’s teasers, I was rather disappointed. It looked so heavy and trap-ish and jarring even though the dance looked super hardcore. I was kinda scared that the main chorus would ruin the reggae feel of the song.

I was happy that that wasn’t the case, they incorporated the trap element during breakdown , which, I still don’t like a lot.

However, the song is like exo’s answer to Ariana Grande’s Side to Side and this mashup by RYUSERALOVER truly made me appreciate the tropical/urban/hip-hop feel.

And honest to God, exo’s vocals are no joke. 

Baekhyun’s soaring vocals, Kyungsoo’s honey dripping voice and Suho’s sweet notes OH LORD. 

Tbh, Chen’s voice..I am still not sure which genre he fits in, but he’s without doubt the most strongest vocalist out of all of them.

My fave out of all the songs in the album are Kokobop(minus the trap portions), What U do, Chill, The Eve, Going Crazy and definitely NOT FOREVER OR DIAMOND. LEL.

Kokobop is written by BaekChenYeol(huehuehue), JQ and Hyun-Ji-Won, the lyrics are rather suggestive but simple, the tune’s undoubtedly catchy. It has a strange alternate feel to it. I’ll tell you why, it goes hard and then slows down to almost a mellow ballad-ish tune, then it picks up the pace again. The MV was SOOO GOOD! I’ll lie to myself if I say that this is the most artistic and visually appealing one ever created for exo. There’s a definite drug-induced-undertone to the song overall and the MV. In fact I was caught off guard when a squeaky voice quipped “LISTEN” in between the dance breaks. Later I realized that it was sampled from The Legend of Zelda Navi’s voice(heh).

And a lot of people are laughing at the line “SHIMMY SHIMMY KOKOBOP” and I’m like BISH DO YOU KNOW WHERE THAT LINE EVEN CAME FROM?? IT’S THE NAME OF A SONG FROM LITTLE ANTHONY AND THE IMPERIALS (which I thought that was really sweet of them). Infact some people came around telling me that It’s from Nelly’s Country Grammar and I’M WAS YELLING BISH DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Next……Chill. This song is so DAMN UNPREDICTABLE that it left me stunned. Goodness me, not only did Chanyeol and Sehun showcase their rapping skills which i must say was PRETTY IMPRESSIVE.

PRETTY IMPRESSIVE PEOPLE.

There’s no doubt that these guys are no hood, underground rappers. No they’re not, we get it. But there’s no doubt about the fact that Sehun has the potential to be a VERY GOOD ONE if given time. Chanyeol is already one of the best abstract mid-tempo rappers. I mean I love his flow and I often prefer his over many other ACTUAL rappers. Kyungsoo’s talk-rap doe……………I WAS NOT READY AND THAT LITTLE GROWL WHEN HE WAS SPITTING THOSE LINES IN THE SECOND VERSE ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? AND KAI HITTING THOSE FALSETTOS IN THE FIRST VERSE! This song was honestly a roller coaster of feels for me. The various vocal techniques experimented with and the wide variety of genres meshed together in this song couldve turned it into a GIANT MESS but nope. This song is way too precious for it’s own good. The musicality that follows in this is rather unusual, something that I’ve never really heard before. It was as if……..they were trying to create a soundtrack for a Quentin tarantino movie. As if the different verses were actual movie scenes. Hah, I guess I’m babbling now.

Next is What U do……now honestly i’ve never thought how good baekhyun’s voice would sound until I heard this song. This….according to me had that urban SLIGHTLY Bollywood feel to it. Like those friends-on-a-trip movies. This song was energetic, happy and SO DAMN GOOD! The chorus especially reminded of something that Bee Gees or early 1980s disco bands would do. Except this is like way more urbanised and poppish. And yes, it’s production has a great deal of disco incorporated into it. If you want to get a clearer picture as to why I am comparing this to disco then you should listen to Flight Facilities Foreign language. The structure of the music production is similar although it relies heavily on pop unlike FF which is like PURE FUNK AND DISCO.

The Eve is plain baby-making RnB stuff. That’s all. You’re welcome. 

I’ll be honest but I didn’t enjoy Diamond and Forever. Forever is…..yup….not my fave either. The production type is not my style at all and it doesn’t resonate with me.

Touch it is a flirty and has slight early 2000s pop inspired sound about a handjob.

Yup, that’s about it, but BOIII their voices sounded  SO DAMN GOOD!

This is like when playboy could actually get some action.

No honestly, the horns in the background and the style reminded me of early Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez  stuff…..not sure if I could pin-point which song but she sure as hell would’ve done something along similar lines in late 90s or early 2000s. yup. So in other words it sounded very Dr. Luke-ish or even *NSYNC’ish. Does that make sense? It does well up feelings of nostalgia huh, except when I remember that Chen has written this and it’s about handjobs. Way to go Jongdae.

Xiumin’s voice sounded way more stronger than the previous albums, Kai’s voice doing stuff made me plug tissues up my nose, while Sehun’s singing voice made me feel like a proud mom. 

Honestly listening to this album overall, was such an experience for me. It’s crazy to think that exo was heavily invested in this and that this is more THEM I guess?

It’s so relieving to know that they take music SO SERIOUSLY. Like we all know for sure that they are visual kings and what not, but just the fact that they take this craft seriously is what gives me happiness.

It’s also surprising to see that exo is not giving any shit about being different, there’s no doubt about that. There’s no shadow of a doubt about the fact that RIGHT NOW they are slowly moving away from the generic style that defined them during the Growl and Overdose era. Many people on twitter were like….OH BUT THEY’RE NOT THE GROWL-EXO ANYMORE. 

Is Big Bang the same old HARU HARU ish boy group anymore??

Grow TF up, they’re maturing and so are we. We cannot expect them to do the same Call me Baby-ish over and over again. 

What’s even more surprising is their dance. The Eve live performance has permanently scarred me for my life. Cause NOW YOU KNOW how much they can spread their legs. HOLY SHITTT I WAS NOT READY FOR ALL THAT STUFF. I THINK THAT YIXING LOWKEY HELPED THEM WITH THIS CHOREOGRAPHY. MINSUCC NEEDS TO STEP DOWN. AND SO DOES KAI HE’S LIKE ………

Whatever anyway what was pleasantly surprising was the Ko Ko Bop choreography, which is PRETTY COMPLICATED, considering exo’s past records with easy to dance routines. I mean COMPARITIVELY. All of the member’s dancing has IMPROVED SO MUCH! The formations, dance steps, EVERYTHING WAS SO DAMN GOOD AND FRESH. Most importantly their movements are way more defined and sharper as compared to the past.

AND THIS IS FOR ALL THE HESITANT LISTENERS OUT THERE, I WAS LIKE ONE OF YOU GUYS INITIALLY. BUT GIVE THIS ALBUM A CHANCE, LISTEN TO IT.

YOU’LL BE LIKE HMMMMM………EXODUS IS SHOOKETH.

 

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