K-TREND | March.28.2024

The Evolution of EXO: A Journey Through Their Albums

The Debut of a New Era

EXO, an eight-member idol boy group under SM Entertainment, made their grand debut on April 8, 2012. With a name derived from the term 'exoplanet', symbolizing 'new stars from an unknown world', EXO embarked on a journey to dominate the K-pop scene. Initially debuting as a 12-member group with EXO-K and EXO-M units, the group faced lineup changes but continued as a unified eight-member group, gaining immense popularity with their versatile concepts and outstanding talents.



Debut Date: April 8, 2012

Leader: Suho

Genres: Dance, Ballad, R&B, SMP

Company: SM Entertainment

Fandom Name: EXO-L



1st Album: “XOXO (Kiss&Hug)”

Released on August 5, EXO's 1st full-length album 'XOXO (Kiss&Hug)' and its repackage featured the hit song 'Growl', catapulting the group to stardom. The album, available in both Korean and Mandarin, showcased EXO's musical diversity and added three new tracks to the original lineup, making a total of 14 songs. 'Growl' stood out with its sophisticated Urban/R&B sound, capturing the hearts of fans worldwide.



2nd Album:  “EXODUS”

EXO's 2nd album, 'EXODUS', was released on March 30, 2015, marking their return after approximately 11 months. With the previous album achieving over one million sales, expectations were high for EXO's latest work. Featuring the lead single 'CALL ME BABY', the album presented a range of genres, highlighting EXO's multifaceted appeal and reinforcing their status in the music industry.



3rd Album: “EX'ACT”

On June 9, 2016, EXO unveiled their 3rd full-length album 'EX'ACT', following a series of teasers and promotions. This album was the group's comeback after the winter special album 'SING FOR YOU'. Achieving remarkable sales milestones with their first and second albums, EXO continued to sweep music charts and awards, demonstrating their unwavering dominance in K-pop.



4th Album: THE WAR

The 4th full-length album, 'THE WAR', released on July 19, 2017, marked a new beginning in EXO's narrative. Featuring the hit 'Ko Ko Bop', the album explored new musical styles across nine tracks, reaffirming EXO's innovative spirit and global appeal.




On December 24, 2018, with the release of their fifth full-length album 'DON'T MESS UP MY TEMPO', EXO showcased their versatility through 11 tracks inspired by the members' unique superpowers. The album, including the vivacious track 'Tempo', displayed a rich blend of genres, emphasizing EXO's distinctive sound and vision.



6th Album: “OBSESSION”

After a hiatus due to military service, EXO made a grand comeback with their 6th full-length album 'OBSESSION' on November 27, 2019. Featuring a collaboration with renowned producers from around the globe, the album offered a mix of genres and presented EXO's unique musical color, further solidifying their position in the music industry.


7th Album: “EXIST”

EXO's 7th full-length album 'EXIST', released on July 10, 2023, came after a significant break, promising an upgraded chemistry among the members. The album, symbolizing EXO's enduring presence, was met with high anticipation, showcasing the group's growth and continued relevance in the music scene.



An Unending Journey

EXO's discography is a testament to their evolution, resilience, and the unwavering support of their fans. From their debut to their latest album, EXO has continually pushed the boundaries of K-pop, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. As they continue to exist in every moment, EXO's journey is far from over, promising more groundbreaking music and performances in the years to come.


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