By AUBREE STAMPER, Photo Editor
Top K-pop group EXO released their yearly winter album today titled Universe and it’s already topping charts and becoming an instant fan favorite.
The title song with the same name is a rock ballad full of EXO’s strong vocals that is about searching the universe for the person you love. It has already placed No. 1 on four real-time music charts in South Korea and reached 200,000 unique listeners on Melon where all six tracks are also charting.
Instead of releasing a Chinese version of the album like the group has always done in the past, a Chinese version of the title song “Universe” is included on the album. Chinese member Lay also did not participate in the album, but he did release his own winter album last week in China which has already sold over 2 million digital copies on QQ Music. The title track is the ballad “Goodbye Christmas” which has a Chinese and English version.
EXO has released winter music every December since 2013 and all proceeds go to charity. The entire album also has only gender-neutral terms in the lyrics, which created much discussion online and many people are pleased about it.
In the past the group’s winter albums contained a mix of emotional ballads and fun upbeat Christmas tracks, but this year’s has an overall more mature, dismal feel to it between the music and the lyrics.
The track “Been Through” is one of the more popular songs on the album, which has a sad but addicting melody that will make you feel like you’re spinning endlessly. The lyrics say, “This can’t be the end / There will be darker days / At the end of those days / You would shine on me like this / The grey clouds cover the dazzling light of the sun / You’re forever shining upon me as ever.”
“Stay” is a mysterious-feeling song that begins with Kai’s surprisingly soothing voice and ends with a powerful rap from Chanyeol and Sehun at the end. “Fall” is an R&B track with an alluring acoustic melody and full of the members honey-like singing. The album ends with the tracks “Good Night” and “Lights Out”—slow and beautiful ballads that show off the member’s charming vocals.
EXO is also releasing their first full-length Japanese album next month, a little over two years after they made their official debut in Japan. The title track “Electric Kiss” is already out now.
EXO’s Universe will surely keep you warm during the winter. You can buy it on iTunes and stream it on Spotify now!