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EXO Engage in A Cataclysmic Duel With Themselves in ‘Obsession’

The EXO we know and love face off against the provocative and dangerous X-EXO, engaging in titanic battles that involve swords, crossbows and fiery hand-to-hand combat

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Riddhi Chakraborty Nov 27, 2019
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South Korean group EXO made a power-packed comeback earlier today with their sixth studio album Obsession. The release was accompanied by the dark, gritty and sexy music video for the title track of the same name.

Promotions for Obsession started earlier this month when the band launched a second social media handle @exoonearewe–a mirror to their existing handles @weareoneEXO. The accounts dropped drastically different promotional images and the label ‘X-EXO’ accompanied the teasers on @exoonearewe, confirming the fact that the group would be presenting an evil clone concept. The accounts soon released posters of each member facing a clone of themselves and fans immediately realized it would all lead to an eventual showdown between the two versions of EXO.

In the video, the EXO we know and love face off against the provocative and dangerous X-EXO, taking on their clones in titanic duels that range from fencing, crossbow showdowns and (literal) fiery hand-to-hand combat. The line between the two EXOs is clear; X-EXO have glowing, demonic eyes and are clad in crop tops and leather, liberal with piercings and bright hair colors, while EXO remain in somber, black ops-style gear.

The transition shots between the two versions of the group are seamless, as are the moments where they each face their respective doubles. The tension between both groups is outstanding and the members deserve a pat on the back for their acting skills. There are callbacks to EXO’s previous releases in the visuals; the lazer scene towards the beginning references the 2018 music video for “Tempo,” while “Obsession” as a whole expands on the group’s ‘elemental’ concept from debut where each member had a certain super power–this is seen clearly in rapper Chanyeol’s fire-fueled battle with his double and the water symbolism constantly surrounding leader Suho in his solo scenes.

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The track is a vicious warning for those obsessed with them to stay away and refrain from developing a sense of entitlement, be it an ex-partner, an ex-friend, the media or obsessed fans called sasaengs; “You say you know me? (I don’t think so)/Who are you to snuggle in (I don’t think so)/ You cover my eyes (I don’t think so)/You cover up the truths (I don’t think so)/Let go of the empty dreams (I don’t think so)/Don’t make me spit out the poison (I don’t think so)/You’ll never have me again (I don’t think so)/Shut up and go away.”

“Obsession” is primarily built of a blend of trap and bass with synthwave, bringing in EXO’s signature harmonies and bridges with occasional, subtle jazzy piano interludes, again touching back on what we saw on “Tempo.” The heavy bass is intimidating as it soaks into the entire foundation of the track and pairs well with the overhanging vocal refrain running through.

Obsession follows EXO’s 2018 album Don’t Mess Up My Tempo and marks their first release as a six-member group; vocalists Xiumin and D.O. are currently completing their mandatory military service while Chinese member Lay Zhang is occupied with promotions in his home country.

Stream ‘Obsession’ below:

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