EXO, the Korean-Chinese boy band, released its long-awaited fifth studio album, “Don’t Mess Up My Tempo,” on Friday, Nov. 2.
The album is No.23 on the Billboard 200 for the week of Nov. 17. This comeback in particular was long anticipated because the band’s last comeback, “The War,” was released in July of 2017. The new release has been hinted at since last August.
Lay, a member of EXO, sings on the Chinese album, something that fans have been looking forward to for a very long time since he has not been seen much in South Korean performances. Lay has released music of his own with his third solo album, “NAMANANA,” which landed him at No. 21 on the Billboard 200.
EXO debuted on April 8, 2012 under SM Entertainment and started out with 12 members but has since gone down to nine with former members Wu Yifan (Kris), Lu Han (Luhan) and Huang Zitao (Tao) filing separate lawsuits, prompting their departures. The current members include Kim Jun Myeon (Suho), Kim Min Seok (Xiumin), Zhang Yixing (Lay), Byun Baek Hyun (Baekhyun), Kim Jong Dae (Chen), Park Chan Yeol (Chanyeol), Do Kyung Soo (D.O.), Kim Jong In (Kai) and Oh Se Hun (Sehun).
EXO started 2018 with a bang when they performed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in March, with their previous hits, “Growl” and “Power.” The release of “Don’t Mess Up My Tempo,” on Nov. 2, was an excellent send out for the year. Since their debut, they have garnered fans — known as EXO-Ls — all over the world, captivating hearts with their music and charming looks.
The theme of this album was biker gang inspired based off the teaser released three days prior. When the music video dropped, there was no disappointment, with the utilization of geometric figures along with the climatic and the buggy effects used on the members to make the video more engaging. The red and black aesthetic complimented the biker theme well.
Before the official release of the album, a teaser for each member and the teaser for the music video was released. Two music videos for the title track “Tempo” were released in Korean and Chinese, both receiving millions of views in a matter of hours. The physical copy of the album was sold in three versions called Allegro, Moderato and Andante, named after different types of “tempo,” and has surpassed over one million pre-order sales.
The choreography in the music video “Tempo” has an impressive amount of energy and flashing lights to accompany the high intensity. “Tempo’s” lyrics are filled with love and attraction, evoking warm romantic feelings when they compare their love interest to the rhythm of music and telling others not to mess up that rhythm. Each song has a theme, such as relationship doubts, love at first sight and the cold reaction of a scorned lover who has been hurt by their significant other.