Review

EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – Jekyll

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!


1. Obsession // 2. Trouble // 3. Jekyll // 4. Groove // 5. Ya Ya Ya // 6. Baby You Are // 7. Non Stop // 8. Day After Day // 9. Butterfly Effect


JEKYLL

Though positioned in different terms, the underlying concept of EXO’s Obsession essentially boils down to Jekyll versus Hyde. Given this, Jekyll should be the big centerpiece of the album. And from sound to structure, I see what they were going for. I just don’t think it works all that well in this song.

The Jekyll/Hyde concept is not a new approach to K-pop songs. The industry is known for frankensteining pieces together to create an eclectic aural brew. In Jekyll’s case, its verses represent a moody, subdued brand of r&b-laced dance music, while things become rough and unhinged during the chorus. The problem is, neither of these halves are all that interesting.

The song’s verses are typical EXO, creeping along at a leisurely pace that allows their smooth vocals to flourish. The pre-chorus grows more sinister as the instrumental brings in heavy distortion rather than the expected EDM build. But unfortunately, the chorus just doesn’t hit that hard. The guys spend most of it shouting and growling, closing with a touch of melody before pulling back to a restrained verse two. I like the contrast that this structure provides, but there’s nary a hook to be found within Jekyll’s bluster. For as aggressive as it can be, the song is surprisingly bland.

 Hooks 6
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7

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10 thoughts on “EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – Jekyll

  1. Ok with all the people that were complimenting this song I started thinking I was in the wrong by not liking it. To me it’s the worse track of the album. Though the verses do have some appeal I think the chorus really isn’t anything worthy of attention.
    I think this is one of those tracks where the idea is concept over substance but it really doesn’t work. I know fans will talk about the lyrics and say that the chorus is like text painting and what not but that really didn’t work for me.

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  2. This is a very lazy song, lazy all the way around especially with production and songwriting.
    Its trying to do the minimalist thing without having any solid structure or point. Metaphorically or literally there is no point. So there is no counterpoint. So we are stuck with a low monotone chorus chanted in unison. Pfft, cmon SM, at least you could have made the chorus a weird 7th augmented 9th minor diminish something.
    I have heard this is supposed to be the emotional center of the album, and I just don’t get it.

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  3. Pingback: EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – Trouble | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  4. I do not agree with you.
    The song is great and hits hard enough. Specially the way it builds up to the shouting chorus… “its coming ..get ready”. It is grim and moody with the perfect level of edge to keep it trippy and listenable at the same time. An absolute treat with headphones. Personally I like it more than Trouble, which got a higher rating from you. Difference in tastes I guess.

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  5. Pingback: EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – Groove | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  6. Pingback: EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – Ya Ya Ya | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  7. Pingback: EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – Baby You Are | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  8. Pingback: EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – NON STOP | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  9. Pingback: EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – DAY AFTER DAY | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  10. Pingback: EXO – OBSESSION: In-Depth Album Review – BUTTERFLY EFFECT | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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