EXO PLANET #5 – EXplOration – Live Album
Rock ’n’ roll legends like Kiss and Cheap Trick found success with the live album format. Since K-pop relies so heavily on visual accompaniment (whether it be choreography, outfits, grooming, or coordinated light sticks), the idea of a “live album” feels incongruous, like a vegan pot roast. Leave it to EXO to capture the live boy band experience as faithfully as they can on this double album. On EXplOration, recorded during their 2019 Asia summer tour, EXO-Ls can hear fan chants and call-and-response ringing out. Embellished live versions of hits like “Tempo” and “Love Shot” are breathlessly rendered. Chen slays the high note on “Monster.” The album offers concert solo spotlights like “UN Village” (Baekhyun), “Been Through” (Suho), “Lights Out” (Chen), and the previously unreleased “Confession” (Kai). Only things missing are the hit single “Obsession” and the endearing between-song banter, aka “ments,” but maybe they’ll appear on Planet 6.