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(LEAD) EXO members vow 'perfect performance' on new studio album

All News 15:36 June 08, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS background info and minor edits in 2nd para)
By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean boy band EXO of S.M. Entertainment on Wednesday gave its word to have a "monstrously perfect" performance on its new album.

In a press conference held at SM Artium in COEX, southeastern Seoul, the nine-member act held an impressive 70-minute event to promote their third full-length studio album "EX'ACT." The new album debuts a little over a year after they released their second full-length album, "EXODUS," in March 2015.

To be released on Thursday at 12 a.m., the album has nine songs, with two lead tracks – hip-hop-influenced dance song "Monster" and R&B-dance-pop track "Lucky One."

The event consisted of comments from the EXO members, a brief explanation of the new album and a question-and-answer session. A medley of the two music videos for "Monster" and "Lucky One" was screened, yet the band did not stage any live performances.

"'Monster' literally is a monstrous, dark and fresh kind of song with real monster-like choreography," said EXO's Suho.

The group leader said "Monster" closely follows trademark "EXO factors." Some previous "EXO-like" songs include earlier hits "Growl" and "Overdose," which have powerful beats, explosive group moves and music videos with fantastic imagery.

Indeed, the music video for "Monster" showed members in handcuffs, bleeding scars, a metal cage and a snake, with provocative language like "I'll give you the forbidden thrills."

Kai, another member, said, "We'll bring the perfect performance that fits the song. The lyrics are as powerful as the performance that you won't miss a moment while you watch."

Seven members -- Lay, Kai, Suho, Xiumin, Baehyun and Sehun -- showed a stronger penchant for "Monster" over "Lucky One."

"Having two lead songs in one album is a rarity for S.M. Entertainment," said Lee Teuk, the media event's emcee and member of another S.M. boy band Super Junior.

D.O. and Chen preferred "Lucky One" over "Monster," and Chanyeol voted for both songs.

"Personally, I prefer R&B/funk (like 'Lucky One'), both when I'm at home or driving," said D.O.

Besides the lead songs, "EX'ACT" is meant to show a variety of musical genres through the tracks "Artificial Love," "Cloud 9," "Heaven," "White Noise," "One and Only," "The Never Know" and "Stronger." The songs range from electro, R&B, jazz and groove to disco.

EXO's Chanyeol wrote the lyrics for "Heaven," which was produced by The Stereotypes. The Billboard-winning producing team, made up of Jonathan Yip, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves and Ray Charles McCullough II, also produced for another S.M. Entertainment artist, Taemin of the boy band SHINee, on the track "Press Your Number" released in February.

Lay, the only active Chinese member of EXO, stayed largely silent during the conference.

When asked about his plans for activities in South Korea and China, he said, "Korea and China have many differences in the system. I need the company's approval for solo activities, and personally, I want to engage myself in solo activities (like other members)."

The 24-year-old hoped the new album will make a stronger show of EXO's masculinity.

The new album comes in two versions, Mandarin Chinese and Korean.

"We would like to do as many activities in China as possible," said Suho.

With the album, EXO members crossed their fingers and hoped to win their fourth grand prize in the albums section of the annual Golden Disk Awards for top singers in terms of albums sales in January 2017.

"We want another grand prize for four times straight. We've already have three grand prizes under our belt, but another one will make our history," said Chanyeol, flashing flaming-red hair.

EXO has a fully booked schedule this year, according to Suho.

"It's hard to speak out on the exact date, but we will be throwing a new concert. We have many surprising gifts for you," he said.

jwc@yna.co.kr
(END)

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