K-Pop A-Z

K-Pop A-Z Review: EXO – History

One song. Every day. Alphabetical order.

Keep up with EXO’s A-Z reviews here!

History (from Mama – 2012)

Though their discography boasts more ambitious material, History has always felt like a flawless distillation of EXO’s sound. Its effortlessly funky groove combines a bhangra-inspired beat with icy, stuttering electronics and a strong kick that anchors the entire track. EXO’s performance rides the rhythm with convincing swagger, and the vocal arrangement is never boring. The wall-of-sound layering that fuels the chorus is goosebump-inducing, stretched to the point of breaking but never feeling less than forceful. When I was first getting into EXO (and K-pop), it was the explosive Mama that grabbed my attention. But, History made me a true fan. What it lacks in complexity, it makes up for in pure verve, pouncing forward with a crisp efficiency. This is a high water mark for SM’s sci-fi style, fusing their megawatt production with an immensely satisfying pop melody and a rookie group more than capable of delivering charisma by the bucketload.

 Hooks 10
 Production 10
 Longevity 10
 Bias 10



3 thoughts on “K-Pop A-Z Review: EXO – History

  1. I didn’t genuinely get into kpop until 2014, but this still ended up being one of the first albums I checked out in full. I absolutely credit it with being one of the biggest “hooks“ that convinced me the genre was worth digging further into, along with SHINee‘s 2013 albums.

    I think I was obsessed with every track on the mini pretty much equally….yes, even Two Moons. Unlike with Western songs of the time I never seemed to get tired of replaying them over and over. It was like musical crack to me, lol. That’s the kpop I remember being so captivating!


  2. I remeber that I had already been listening to kpop for 2 years when this came out, this was the song that got me into EXO (I disliked mama). However, coming back 7 years later, I used your rating system and history got 8.5, yet mama got 10, time changes things! Respect your opinion however.


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