Album Review

EXO Returns With Repackaged “Lotto” Album

One month following their Ex’Act comeback, the Korean pop band EXO released a repackaged version of the album titled “Lotto” on August 18th. Although the Lotto album only contains three new songs and one remix, EXO once again sky rockets to the top of the charts. EXO’s “Lotto” managed to reach the top of all seven major music sites in South Korea, thus receiving an all kill within 24 hours of release — no surprise there given the popularity this boy band holds.

Many of SM’s, EXO’s entertainment company, newest releases, such as Jonghyun Kim’s album “She Is” or Red Velvet’s “Cool Hot Sweet Love,” contain a similar sound of minimal instruments focusing on vocals. Even the first release of Ex’Act contained the same minimalistic sound with very few synthesized instruments, such as the song “Artificial Love.” The title track song for their repackaged album, however, takes a completely different turn. Filled with autotune and EDM contributions, “Lotto” isn’t a song I would recommend to any of my first time kpop listeners. Although I’ve been listening non-stop since its release, the song doesn’t do EXO justice. I find almost anyone who wishes to make it big in the music industry can throw together a song similar to “Lotto,” an autotuned mess with frequent base drops. Despite the chaos “Lotto” actually is, it’s addicting, it’s catchy, and it’s fun. It doesn’t show EXO’s talent or even give any of the vocalists a chance to belt out their pipes, but man, it will be blasted in my car for several days.

The same goes for “Can’t Bring Me Down.” It’s a little less autotuned, but still a mayhem. Although this song once again doesn’t give the vocalists in EXO a chance, it does give its two rappers, Chanyeol Park and Sehun Oh, a moment in the spot-light. For many seconds their quick tongues and rapid fire words flow through the speakers and gives the listener a moment to appreciate their talent in between the frequent bass drops. Once again, it doesn’t do EXO justice, but I’ll be listening for a few days whenever I want to listen to something that will pump me up.

The final new song in the repackaged album, “She’s Dreaming,” is definitely the only one that shows a resemblance to the EXO I know and love. Don’t get me wrong, EXO has always had upbeat and crazy songs — anyone remember “Drop That?” — but “She’s Dreaming” finally let’s the vocalists, who — in my opinion — makes EXO, shine. Slow paced and with no auto tune, the song lets the listener appreciate good, clean, unmessy music with powerful vocals.

I debated even bringing up the “Monster” remix. Although “Monster” is my absolute favorite EXO song of all time, as difficult as it is to choose, I felt as though the remix was something I would find on Tumblr after a fan decided to take a stab at editing music. How could someone have been paid for this? Let alone paid by the biggest music company in South Korea? Barely any of the original song actually made it into the remix and it’s so busy I could barely decide what to focus on. Maybe I’ll grow used to it or grow to like it, but for now I’ll be skipping it.
If you still haven’t heard the original album, Ex’Act, I highly recommend it. If you still haven’t even bothered to listened to kpop at all I highly encourage you to and EXO is a wonderful band to start out with. Their genre, mannerisms, and the friendly atmosphere they give off is an excellent way to ease into the wonderful world of kpop.

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