Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reviewing every song in EXO’s discography, from A-Z. That will continue, but I’m taking a brief break to write about the songs on their newest album, Obsession.
Be sure to check back every day as I take a look at each and every track!
When Trouble was described as “incorporating elements of trap and reggae,” I prepared myself for the worst. That’s pretty much a recipe for mind-numbing boredom as far as I’m concerned, and K-pop has scoured these genres to death over the past few years. But, Trouble turns out to be more interesting than those labels would suggest.
Yes, the verses bob with a slight reggae beat and, like almost any K-pop song nowadays, there is definitely a trap influence. However, Trouble compensates with a great chorus. The melody itself is fine, but I’m more interested in that distorted instrumental and its unexpected jolt of symphonic flourishes.
I often use the word “lurching” as a criticism when describing music. However, Trouble‘s chorus lurches in the best way. It’s disorienting and almost off-rhythm, which creates a tense, post-apocalyptic atmosphere. I just wish that the verses were as memorable. The song’s climactic power note suggests a more dynamic arrangement that might have been. Instead, too much of Trouble feels oddly subdued. It’s an unbalanced track, and that works both to its benefit and detriment.