Exo shatters records with comeback

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Group’s album, singles dominate portal charts, worldwide iTunes sales

K-pop boy group Exo is setting records with its newest album “Ex’act,” which has a monster as its theme. [YANG GWANG-SAM]
K-pop boy group Exo returned with its newest regular album last week, and the nine-member boy group is setting records day by day.

“Monster,” a title track from Exo’s third regular album, “Ex’act,” has had a five-day streak at the top of major music portals as of Monday, unlike other songs which stay on top for less than 24 hours.

The group’s song “Lucky One” is also on the lists of top 10 most-streamed songs on music portals.

Now in its fourth year, Exo has exerted its clout on iTunes charts, too.

“Monster” dominated almost all iTunes charts, from that of Thailand to Hong Kong to Malaysia to Singapore.

With its successful debut, industry insiders expect this album to achieve a feat again.

Exo sold more than a million copies with its first and second regular albums, respectively.

Since music is increasingly no longer consumed via CDs, selling more than a million copies of an album is considered a milestone.

The last albums that achieved the one-million mark were the seventh album of singer-songwriter Kim Gun-mo and the fourth album of first-generation K-pop boy group g.o.d., both released in 2001.

Before its comeback, Exo revealed some of its music to reporters on June 8 at the COEX Artium in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, and shared their thoughts on the new album.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

Q. You’re preforming together under the name Exo in 14 months. How do you feel?

A. Suho: I would say our performance for this album is near perfect.

I’m excited about presenting a new album.

Mostly, singers choose just a single song as a title track, but you decided to promote “Monster” and “Lucky One” as two title tracks this time.

Suho: The two songs are quite different in style. I think some of our fans have different preferences in music, and we wanted to satisfy our fans who have different tastes. We gave our all to show you the best performance ever.

The whole album is themed on a monster.

Suho: We wanted to present music that is monstrous. Our music is dark yet fresh.

Kai: Since “Monster” is quite an intense medium-tempo dance song, our dance has to be fierce, too. I bet people can’t take their eyes off of our dance even for a second.

Chanyeol, you wrote the lyrics for “Heaven” this time.

Mine was chosen maybe because I wrote lyrics really hard.

I put myself in the place of a man who is in love, and it was so much fun to write it.

Your collaboration with comedian Yoo Jae-suk as part of the reality show “Infinite Challenge” is garnering much attention.

Suho: We haven’t discussed details of the project with Yoo yet, just that we are working on the collaborative project.

Many of you have pursued individual careers in recent months.

Baekhyun: My song “Dream” with Suzy was so much loved. It was a rare experience for me to sing a duet with a female singer. Although it was my own, I liked the song very much and listened to it every day.

Xiumin: I did a collaboration project with Jimin of AOA. I was skeptical about doing it in the beginning, but I’m very thankful to people who liked the project.

Lay, you’re performing both in Korea and China.

The work environment is quite different, but I try to fit in to the different systems of the two countries and present the best side of me.

BY HWANG MI-HYUN [so@joongang.co.kr]