EXO hopes to heal, harmonize world with new album

 K-pop boy band EXO is back with its new album "The War," hoping to open yet another chapter in Korean pop history.

K-pop boy band EXO poses for the camera during a publicity event for its fourth album, "The War," at Grand Walkerhill hotel in Seoul on July 18, 2017. (Yonhap)

K-pop boy band EXO poses for the camera during a publicity event for its fourth album, "The War," at Grand Walkerhill hotel in Seoul on July 18, 2017. (Yonhap)

Before a publicity event Tuesday at Grand Walkerhill hotel in eastern Seoul to mark the release of the new full-length album, S.M. Entertainment, the group's management agency, said 807,234 copies of the new album had been preordered, which, it said, demonstrated how excited fans have been for the return of the popular band.

While three previous albums sold more than 1 million copies, the volume of preorders for this fourth album has been the biggest so far.

Earlier this month, more than half of the 45,000 fans, who gathered for the "SM Town Live World Tour VI" concert, turned out to be EXO fans as they waved en masse white-glowing sticks -- the symbolic color of the group.

"We are so honored to have three million sellers," said Kai during the conference. "We will try hard to have a fourth million seller."

   Leader Suho looked confident about the new album when he said, "This album defines our world view," while Chanyeol said, "By participating in producing this album, all the members could grow significantly."

   The full-length album features nine new songs, including the title reggae pop "Ko Ko Bop" and electro-pop "The Eve."

   The title song, Baekhyun said, was a "big challenge" as they got to try a new genre -- reggae and EDM. "Even people who don't know much about music can naturally feel the bounce while listening to it."

   Noteworthy about the album is that Chen, Chanyeol and Baekhyun all participated in writing lyrics.

"I used my real name Kim Jong-dae as the lyric writer because writing lyrics is (as serious as) learning about life," Chen said.

Meanwhile, the group expressed its hope that its music can be listened to not only by its fans but also by a wider group of people who were hurt for whatever reasons.

"This year, many bad things have happened inside and outside of Korea. As a global group, we wanted to send out a hopeful message through our music," Sehun said.

Suho added that one of the messages of the album was to "heal, harmonize and enjoy through music."

   Asked about the sensitive diplomatic issue of the deployment of the U.S. anti-missile system THAAD in Korea, to which China has fiercely opposed, Suho answered, "We haven't been able to visit Chinese fans for various reasons. Once given a good chance, we hope to go there to perform and stage a concert of harmony."

By Yonhap

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