As a companion to my Top Ten Singles lists, it’s time to look at some of the best album tracks and b-sides from the best artists. EXO have a flawless singles run, but the quality doesn’t stop there. Here’s the best of what their albums have to offer.
Love, Love, Love
Baby, Don’t Cry
10. White Noise (from Ex’act/Lotto – 2016)
Melding its glitchy, experimental production with a soaring, melodically rich chorus, White Noise carries surprising heft.
9. Angel (from Mama– 2012)
Though it was released on their very first album, Angel remains one of the group’s strongest ballads, wowing with its easy melody and strong vocal work.
8. Peter Pan (from XOXO/Growl – 2013)
Slightly polarizing for its emphasis on a lighter, more pop-influenced melody and trite lyrical content, Peter Pan is nonetheless one of the most hummable entries in their arsenal.
7. Run (from Overdose – 2014)
EXO haven’t dabbled in rock music very often, but Run is the best example of their guitar-fueled power pop side in action.
6. El Dorado (from Exodus/Love Me Right – 2015)
Returning to the gigantic, otherworldly sound that marked their debut mini album, El Dorado offered a dramatic opus that took full advantage of their vocal powerhouses.
5. Unfair (from Sing For Me – 2015)
A loose, party vibe feels credibly unrehearsed in this midtempo treat. It’s refreshing to hear Korea’s biggest group feel as offhand as they do here.
4. Tender Love (from Love Me Right – 2015)
Exodus/Love Me Right was at its best when the guys indulged in their pop-influenced dance sound. Tender Love is a ridiculously fun throwback to 80’s roller rink classics, complete with funky rhythm guitar and MJ-inspired adlibs.
3. Machine (from Mama – 2012)
EXO’s entire debut mini album is a k-pop masterwork, but Machine stands as its best b-side — an industrial collection of sputtering beats and an enormous sledgehammer of a chorus.
2. Artificial Love (from Ex’act/Lotto – 2016)
As electronic as the guys have ever sounded, with a throwback 90’s club vibe that sets Artificial Love apart from anything else they’ve recorded. It’s the perfect example of this genre done right, with a stuttering heartbeat that resonates past the song’s artificial pretenses.
1. Lucky (from Growl – 2013)
EXO’s most euphoric pop track, without question. Its appreciation (or lack thereof) will depend entirely on listeners’ tolerance for this type of high-octane sugar rush. But even if it plays too saccharine for some, there’s no discounting the strength of Lucky‘s surging melody, which feels as effortless as it does perfectly crafted.