Song Review: EXO-SC – Telephone (ft. 10cm)

EXO-SC’s 2019 debut spurred plenty of ire from this site. To me, it represented SM Entertainment’s full embrace of mainstream hip-hop. The agency who reliably delivered summer classics like Red Flavor, View and Love Me Right would now equate the season with lethargic trap-rap. It remains to be seen if that prediction will completely bear out, but the signs aren’t looking good.

Listening to EXO-SC’s Telephone brought me right back to last summer. Apparently, we haven’t evolved past the plonky piano and lazy trap beats of 2019. Telephone feels no different than most of the sub-unit’s debut album, and for fans of this genre that will no doubt be a good thing. For me, it feels like a complete waste of potential. Both Sehun and Chanyeol have much more talent and charisma than a song like this lets them show off. Even lauded singer-songwriter 10cm is used sparingly, brought in for a moment during the bridge rather than sprinkled throughout the track for maximum effect.

Telephone sees the duo flitting between rap and vocals, giving the entire track a sleepy sing-song structure that only comes alive when the chorus embraces harmony. Otherwise, the melody (such as it is) consists of one continual drawl. I suppose it’s catchy, but not in any surprising or creative way. Anyone could have thrown this together with minimal effort. I sense that apathy is deemed “cool” in pop music nowadays. To me, nothing is more attractive than ambition. These “chill” summer tracks just put me to sleep. They all sound the same, and feel like easy cash grabs rather than meaningful, memorable music.

 Hooks 7
 Production 6
 Longevity 8
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.75

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


11 thoughts on “Song Review: EXO-SC – Telephone (ft. 10cm)

  1. With SM finally dropping the Monster MV I realized sometimes a video really can elevate a boring song into something great.
    This one just made me mad and more bored.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s a bit of a lovely piano flourish in the middle eight, isn’t there? Big fan of that piano flourish.

    … that’s all.


  3. .

    Add another one this week onto the growing list of “Shine: the Shiny-least”.

    (The other being Lee Jinhyuk “Bedlam”)


  4. WTF could Lady Gaga have done to SM Entertainment to deserve 2 of her best known titles ruined back to back in a few hours by homonymous unlistenable songs?
    AND: sorry SM, but you can afford to name “Telephone” a duo song only if the duo is Lady Gaga & Beyoncé.


  5. I was expecting exactly what was delivered. From the teasers, only the pictures, I was expecting a chill kind of okayish track, and it’s what it is.
    Was I surprised? No. But I also wasn’t disappointed.
    It’s a song to listen during the summer and then keep it somewhere until you want to listen to SC discography.

    The only thing that I hate is that I have a lot of faith in Chanyeol’s music abilities, but for some reason, this is what he wants to do in SC.

    There is still the rest of the album so I will wait until then.


  6. They’re gonna be the chill-hop sub-unit of exo huh……i don’t hate chill songs but, i don’t think it’s a good fit for these two. The song are just there without a good rapper to carry it’s weight.


  7. I feel so relieved to see these other reviews. I found this song and MV to be incredibly bland. I listened to it a few times yesterday to give it a chance but I’ve already completely forgotten what it sounds like. Chill is cool, but stone faced autotuned rap singing just doesn’t do it for me.


  8. I prefer bad songs over boring ones and this bored me to the point I forgot I even listened to it. SM should give them better material, they don’t suit chill rap at all.


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