Whenever Exile drops a new single, it feels like we’ve reached the final boss level. With more focus on the various Jr. Exile groups, their releases are less frequent than in years past. But, Exile is still the pillar of the whole enterprise, pulling in performers from various units to create a powerhouse squad. To offer another nerdy reference, it’s like Voltron’s robot lions coming together to save the world.
My favorite Exile era kicked off with 2012’s All Night Long and concluded with the release of 2016’s equally euphoric Joy-Ride. I love when the group’s music heads to the club, draping dramatic melodies over a thumping dance beat. Thankfully, new single Paradox references this sound. It’s a hulking electro-funk-EDM hybrid. The first time through, I longed for a more streamlined performance and production, but Exile often operate under the “more is more” philosophy, and I can’t fault Paradox for going big.
The song’s opening verse sets the scene. We’ve got funky guitar, glitchy electro bass and driving percussion that keeps the energy high and the tempo brisk. After a powerful build, the chorus forges these elements back together. I wish this hook was a bit stronger, but it’s catchy in a repetitive way. With Paradox, it’s the little touches that stand out most. The filtered vocal right before each chorus adds a welcome dose of dynamic funk, while the climactic dance break wows with flourishes of electric guitar and satisfying synth textures. Exile has always excelled at this widescreen sound, and it’s so much fun to hear them back in their element.