Aw yeahhh it’s timeeeee 💃🏾💃🏾
It’s weird. I became an EXO-L before becoming an ARMY. Then I shifted more towards BTS than EXO. But after a while, BTS musically wasn’t hitting like EXO’s newer releases were.
I could trust that EXO would stick to more of the same, whereas BTS became more of a wild card. Especially after MOTS7 (MAP OF THE SOUL:7).
I’m definitely more of a casual fan of both groups nowadays. But I can’t help but to be excited about EXO’s upcoming album, despite the lawsuits. But I feel is like tradition (unfortunately).
As I mentioned in my EXODUS review, I became an EXO-L during the first wave of EXO members suing and leaving the group. Didn’t stop me from loving that album or digging through their previous releases to catch up.
So these three albums, in particular, hold fond memories of 2015 for me. Along with listening to new Kpop releases, I listened to these albums (well, more of XOXO and Overdose) nonstop.
When I was making my list of groups I wanted to write about on ATK, EXO was an obvious pick. They have such a huge music library and have influenced my taste in Kpop so much. Because of their large catalog, for this Fave Songs series, I’m going to try to break up these albums up into four articles.
I’ve already covered one of my favorite EXO albums, EXODUS. Part 2 will be on EX’ACT, part 3 will be THE WAR and the finale article will be Other Fave EXO Songs with songs from DON’T MESS UP MY TEMPO, OBSESSION, EXOLOGY, For Life, Lightsaber, and Sing For You. Omgg such a long list. So let’s get into it!
Ironically, I never listen to the song “MAMA” from MAMA. But I respect her. Same with “Wolf”. I prefer “History” when it comes to songs I’m actually going to listen to, have on a playlist, etc.
Easily my favorite upbeat song from this album. I haven’t watched this music video in ages. I love the styling and the scenery for “History” music video. It’s dated but aged well at the same time.
A classic! (I’m going to be saying this a lot).
“Machine” is so similar to “History” sound wise, so it’s no surprise it’s on this list. I’m going a bit out of song order on MAMA, I’m loosely following the order of saved songs on my Spotify.
I think I listen to “Machine” a few more times than “History”, but I love both equally. They’re just fun songs to vibe too.
What Is Love
Oh maaaan, it’s time to get into a power ballad. I’m usually so uninterested in ballads, but when it comes to EXO and Baekhyun, Chen, and D.O’s voices, you, can’t help but be hype. You’re going to be in for a treat every time.
I think I’ve said it before, but if it’s EXO, SHINee or Seventeen, I will always be here for boring ballads from them. They have the range, darling.
I talked about how I ended up listening to more EXO-K songs versus EXO-M in my EXODUS article. I just find K’s voices more soulful versus M. I’ve always loved Baekhyun’s voice, and I couldn’t help but to listen to D.O’s version of “Tell Me (What Is Love)” on repeat after I heard it for the first time (we’ll talk more about that later).
So I’m more partial to early EXO-K songs versus EXO-M. I’m glad they finally united the two, but for me, I’ve always been team EXO-K despite having tons of mutuals on Tumblr back in the day who were huge team EXO-M stans.
“What Is Love” is sung in a… technique? Style? Yeah, we’ll go with one of those. A different style vocally than we ever see again to be honest. It reminds me of how Taehyung did that growl thing for “Boy in Luv”.
Like that can’t be good on your vocals long term. But for this one song in particular, I feel like it adds to the drama and overall performance. It’s a completely different song if you take out those… I don’t want to say growling parts, but if you know the song, you know what I’m talking about, lol.
“Growl” and “Call Me Baby” are two EXO songs I will never, NEVER get tired of groups covering. “Growl” is a God tier song. I remember on my first listen, I was flabbergasted that I had never heard it before. It was just sooooo good. And almost 10 years after release (August 5th 2013 according to Spotify), it still sounds so fresh.
I love the choregraphy. I’ve talked a countless amount of times of how I love plot driven music videos and choreo/performance music videos.
The styling is simple, the scenery is kinda dark but also simple. I still get a kick out of these summoning circle parts in the choreo. I remember someone had a meme about EXO having this in their choreo, and they were like, “oop Chanyeol’s getting sacrificed again.”
I also love how both units were united in this video and song. Starting out with Tao, and Luhan’s solos still are two of my favorite parts of this song/video.
The camera work too, I just remembered, is filmed just like CMB. I love these scrolling shots. Yeah, iconic. My second favorite song off this album.
Soooo so catchy. The play on words, the bright, cheery vibe. I love it.
Baby, Don’t Cry
I remember watching this video back in my baby EXO-L days and being obsessed with it. Minus the questionable styling, lol.
My third favorite song from XOXO. You will see a lot of these types of EXO songs on this list. I eat this shit up, every time.
The instrumentals of “Black Pearl” is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this song. I love the dubstep elements in the song. The chorus in particular. Loveee the drop.
Another bright, catchy song. I used to listen to this song all the time.
I don’t jam to it as much now, but when it does pop up on shuffle, we’re turning it up.
I hate I can’t embed the VCR version. But it’s a must-watch. I wish there was a higher resolution version, but it is what it is. The only proper way to experience this song in a visual format.
Tao’s intro, D.O with the flashlight, Sehun’s hair omggg, and them goofing around throughout the video. I also love the way this video was shot. Something about continuous shooting in film brings me so much joy.
This is my favorite song from XOXO. I for some reason took awhile to get through the whole album and decide which songs I wanted to save and listen til the end of time.
“Heart Attack” was one of the last songs off this album I had discovered, and it was through someone on Tumblr sharing the VCR concert video. I was hooked.
Again, the instrumentals stand out to me. It’s unique, kinda futuristic sounding. Totally fitting in with EXO’s alien, superhuman abilities concept they still had goin on.
The adlibs too, omg. I live for them on this track. There’s autotune on this song, but I don’t think it ages the song at all.
100/10 highly recommend.
My fourth fave song from this album. This album is so good, it’s difficult to rank my favorites. I listen to “Baby” more now than I did back in 2015-2016. I think it was another late addition to my saved songs.
There’s autotune here too but again I think it’s just enough to not be too distracting or painfully cringe like a lot of poorly created autotune songs from 2009-2013.
And the last song from XOXO. Another bop! Idk, I don’t have much to say on this one. I just like it. It sounds like a song that would be on XOXO, upbeat and catchy.
On to Overdose.
Oh my f******king God. This intro and choreography! Who is doing it like them in 2014?? I remember watching this video for the first time and being shook by it.
The “Hip Hop” styling isn’t my favorite music video fashion for EXO. I prefer the other look more.
This song though!! Slaps. If there’s one thing about EXO, their title tracks are attention getting, for sure.
Third fave song from the album, although that sounds worse than it should.
It’s difficult to name “Moonlight” or “Thunder” my favorite song from Overdose. So we’ll just say it’s a tie. As mentioned earlier, these are some of my favorite EXO songs. I love these slightly slower paced R&B songs from them.
“What If” is my favorite EXO song, period. So it’s no surprise that similar songs are high up my faves list.
“Thunder” is a slightly faster paced song than “Moonlight”. But I love it the same. I did listen to “Thunder” more for the first few years of my discovery of it. So it was my favorite for awhile there.
It makes me so happy that as of writing, it has over three million views on YouTube, it’s what she deserves.
Love, Love, Love
And now to our last song of this article! I actually listen to the rearranged version more. I gotta see about getting this EXO Planet DVD.
But this was another song during my baby EXO-L era I listened to a lot. I’ll talk about it more later, but I love it when Chanyeol sings. I’m glad he got more singing parts later on in EXO’s discography.
But I think some of that might have been to replace a lost member, lol. Anyway, I’m here for vocalist!chanyeol.
Alright! That’s it for part one of this EXO series! I hope y’all enjoyed it. Next will be part 2, EX’ACT. I’ve been dying to talk about this album since 2016, tbh.
But what are your fave EXO songs from MAMA, XOXO, and Overdose? I’m very curious. And if you’re new EXO-L, which songs are you enjoying so far? Let me know in the comments!
Until next post,