Review

Song Review: EXO – Power

With the exception of last year’s Lotto, EXO‘s repackaged title tracks have always been stronger than the release that preceded them. This trend continues with Power, even if the song is ultimately too tame to rank among their absolute best material. Most fans will likely be discussing this comeback’s hyper-colorful, self-referential music video more than the actual song, but listening to Power apart from its visuals is crucial. Without all the manic sound effects laid over the top, the track is much easier to appreciate.

Produced by LDN Noise, Power is one of the most straightforward EDM releases SM Entertainment has given us in awhile. But with EXO’s more recent title tracks being anything but straightforward, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes all you really want is a solid, energy-boosting sing-along guaranteed to pump up a crowd. Power certainly fits the bill, propelled by an unrelenting electro beat that recalls old-school Daft Punk just as strongly as current dance music. There are no tempo-shifting breakdowns or genre mash-ups to muddle the efficiency of Power‘s party-minded attitude, and that’s surprising given LDN Noise’s tendency to experiment with sounds.

To be honest, a little more risk-taking would have bolstered Power‘s overall effect. There’s no doubt that it’s a rollicking, insanely catchy ride, but taken as a whole, it feels less dynamic than expected. By filling its space so completely and uniformly all the way through, the song misses the opportunity to build towards a proper climax. The guys have already untethered themselves from any sense of subtlety this time around, so why not cram the track full of as much bombast as possible? I’m thinking of an example like TVXQ‘s Catch Me from 2012, which was also heavily EDM-influenced. That track felt monumental because its compelling structure told a story. Power is just one long thumping of sledgehammer dance beats without reprieve. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it results in one of the best k-pop singles we’ve heard in weeks. But given some tweaking, it could have been a masterpiece.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING  8.75
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9 thoughts on “Song Review: EXO – Power

  1. Hi Nick! I enjoyed reading your review of this new song! I agree that this song is pretty straightforward with no major musical twists or turns, but as you said, maybe this song doesn’t particularly need that. I do think that the song has fulfilled its purpose in backing up the story that the music video creates…adding a great backdrop lyrically and musically to the comic-esque atmosphere. My only qualm with it is that sometimes, the mv sound effects and visuals seemed to overpower (haha) the song itself. However, I loved the concept, and EXO executed it perfectly; it incorporated the perfect amount of ridiculousness 🙂 Again, I enjoyed reading your ideas about the song! Thanks!

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    • Honesty, the music video sound effects drive me crazy. But that’s just a personal pet peeve. I’ve never liked videos that drown out the actual song with effects.

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  2. The 1st time I heard the song, its feel weird but then, the catchy chorus WE GOT THAT POWER! POWER! totally hyped me! I’ve been in kpop fandom for sometime n this mv gave rare concept for us, fans. Which made exo earned my respect for willing to try n risk it. Ur review made my day! Thank you!

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  3. I’m surprised you rated this song so high actually. For me this is EXO’s weakest single release since their debut. I agree that generally speaking their repackages are superior. (Love me right is my faovurite EXO song and I recall you are fond of it too)
    But for me this would get a 7 max, this sounds like a Chris Brown rehash with below average hooks. Nothing new or interesting about it. I’m sure that the live version will have some slick dance moves so may be bearable in that setting but I’m really disappointed by this release from EXO. Normally their releases are unique and boundary pushing but honestly this probably won’t make my casual playlist (maybe Gym because of the lyrics/pace).
    To me Ko Ko Bop is one of their better releases and I enjoy the change in pace and feel for them. I know you have a distaste for “tropical house” but it’s a bit more severe than the recent KARD or Winner songs in that style.
    Anyway I find I generally agree with you (maybe more on girl group songs) but I feel like this will not be one that sticks around.

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    • I don’t think Power will have incredible longevity either, but I appreciate its energy. I just wish the actual song structure went to more interesting places.

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  7. I think that it is a happy song with cool beats. Loved their live performances and can’t get over Chanyeol’s ‘Ahooya’ I replayed that part till the point I no longer wanted to hear power. I also love a part of their lyrics ‘Your future depends on your imagination. Throw away your fear, we can do it’ I was doing my Physics homework when I looked over the screen and these lyrics were showing, it motivated me to keep going on and finish the homework.

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