Friday, September 16th, 2016

Exo – Lotto



Adaora Ede: SM Entertainment has been going through a phase of placing their acts in hip hop archetypes friendly with their signature style for the past year or so, culminating in their first rap-forward group, NCT 127. For SM’s mainstream group, R & Bass is not a shabby entrance. As one of the most conservative groups in the K-pop-goes-hiphop wave (here’s to these fallen angels), Exo has made their unofficial debut in this niche, despite being the Boys II Men to a trendier Blackstreet in the Korean boy group world. “Lotto” is trap house from a template: slurred ad-libs, slapped bass, Autotune overload, a chorus that feels reminiscent of…spoken word? It’s so impeccably produced that the effort put into this track by Exo themselves sounds sloppy. Tip: try not to come off so macabre when sonically updating your sound.

Madeleine Lee: How can something so contemporary also sound so dated?

Juana Giaimo: With “Lotto,” Exo deepened into the sound of “Monster” by embracing a dark sound, reinforced by the excess of autotune and the contrast of slow and indifferent vocals followed by fast edgy lines. The “oh” hook has nothing to do here, but Chanyeol’s brief rapped verse, delivered with the confidence this song needs, is on point.

Jessica Doyle: So Pantene comes to SM with money and gets back a shimmering club track by Yuri and Seohyun of SNSD, with a few strategically placed slow motion hair flips. Then Lotto comes to SM with money and gets a name-check and an additional name-check for its product… in a song that’s such a processed mess it can’t help but draw attention to its forced quality, plus cash-register sounds, plus Chen wailing “I don’t need no money,” plus a video featuring the members as gangsters, Suho setting fire to a pile of money, and a tied-up stand-in for all EXO-Ls, helpless before this advertising onslaught. Did the check come with one too many strings attached? Did some executive at Lotto offend some executive at SM in one of those incredibly convoluted inter-chaebol arguments we generally only find out about ten years after the fact? Either way, “Lotto” the song is boring (especially when “Lucky One” exists) but “Lotto” the event is going to spawn about sixty papers on the commodification of ambivalence in popular art under late capitalism, and if the master’s thesis on EXO doing aegyo on Weekly Idol is any precedent, we will all end up the richer.

Alfred Soto: The production might have delighted me in, I don’t know, 2013. I don’t hear the allure of lucre or the delight in avarice like I should.

Thomas Inskeep: Too much trap rhythm and Auto-Tune, too little melody.

Ryo Miyauchi: Though it’s more immediately sparking than “Monster,” and more current in sound with that rubberband bass, EXO goes too safe here. They flatter one by one with cool, but suave pop is too expected of a move from these guys. At least the chorus is elastic as the beat they ride.

Reader average: [3.5] (8 votes)

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2 Responses to “Exo – Lotto”

  1. This is just so incredibly bad that I felt second-hand embarrassment for this group. The auto-tuned vocals are obvious, the production ideas are bottom of the pits (ironic considering how SM is always ahead of the other big 2 in terms of innovation), and the melody is forgettable.

  2. yuri and seohyun’s pantene CF > everything