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EXO-SC ‘What a Life’ Mini Album Review

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When this Kpop summer was looking dangerously like a failure, What a Life saved it. The song is chilled out, elegant and grown up in a way EXO’s rappers have never shown before. The lyrics somehow avoid cliché and go straight to sweet and refreshing. It’s the kind of song you can tell took effort. Like the unusual beat, the feel is playful yet classy. The pre-chorus brings that melodious SM sound and the chorus, though not the most tuneful, seriously grows on you.

“So where should we go tonight? Clubs are cliche let’s go out on the streets

Palm trees next to the beach are fine, too… I feel like I can do something today.”

Just us 2 takes that ‘refined bop’ feeling and makes it intensely emotional. It’s the perfect song to relax or go on a walk to, and the rap is strong all through this album. I have to say, the chorus is a little boring though. It’s more of a mood-maker than a really memorable song. Despite this, it’s better than most of its competition and the kind of song I can definitely see myself listening to in the future. It fully represents the loveliness of summer.

Closer to you has found a place in my heart and won’t be moving out any time soon. Its unique lyrics and charming melodies make you feel very cultured, and this song makes an impression from the first second. Chanyeol and Sehun create a deep and meditative atmosphere in a trendy and fun way. With this album, they’ve taken a whole new angle on summer: the essence of relaxation rather than the literal sun and sand. It’s certainly successful.

“My heart for you is like an artist’s pencil, Filled with black lead

You’re like a twinkling star in a dark night, I just need to draw this out.”

Borderline was a shock to me the first time. It starts out feeling dark – a taste of evening in an afternoon album. The more you listen, the more you realise how cool this rhythmic song really is. The chorus’s simple lyrics might seem a little tired, but EXO-SC use the emotional quality of the song to add a deeper meaning to words that mean almost nothing. What usually lets promising albums down is the lack of versatility, but this song has proved that EXO-SC are not guilty of that. Hearing this song, you feel like you’re racing down a highway in the middle of the night and it’s exhilarating.

Roller coaster proves that the artists did not stop trying after the title track of this album. It’s addictively fun and electric, staying safely on top of the trends at the moment. Unlike Red Velvet’s Zimzalabim, this song is perhaps a little too easy to like, considering SM are known as trendsetters and not followers. That doesn’t stop it from being a great listen though!

Finally we have Daydreamin‘, the classic slow-tempo finishing track. I’m relieved they didn’t go with a traditional ballad because that wouldn’t have suited their voices! This soft rap song is much more appropriate. This album’s finishing song is surprisingly rich and tuneful, and the ideal way to complete a very successful album.

EXO-SC debuted with a splash, creating a trendy and tuneful album that is sometimes hyped and sometimes reflective, making it perfect for any situation. Well done guys!

Kpop Review Café’s Overall Album Ranking: 6/10

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Written by Krystal