K-Pop A-Z

K-Pop A-Z Review: EXO – Black Pearl

One song. Every day. Alphabetical order.

Keep up with EXO’s A-Z reviews here!


Black Pearl (from XOXO / Growl – 2013)

In 2013, dubstep was all the rage. Black Pearl incorporates just enough to make the song trendy, but relies more heavily on pulsing electronics and staccato hooks. Perched somewhere between mid-tempo and dance track, Pearl has a tense energy. It feels continuously on the verge of exploding, held back by the constraints of its lockstep structure. Things finally open up during the hypnotic bridge, which should have been incorporated more strongly into the entire track. The chorus has a satisfying heft, but never quite hits with the impact it needs to. While this blunts my overall score when it comes to Black Pearl’s original album version, the re-arranged mix from the group’s Exology concert album fixes almost all of these issues and deserves a rating closer to nine.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.5

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