Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

EXO – Universe

Your ballad needs more… ballad…


Alfred Soto: It has the enormous bland anonymity of a 1D ballad never released as a single without EXO’s usual commitment except to pour the syrup.

Ryo Miyauchi: This puts together two of my obsessions from the past year into a single song: an ’00s arena-rock ballad that realizes the only promise bigger than the world is the universe. But I already found the stylistic pleasures in Day6, who’ve put out two full-lengths worth to keep me satisfied. And if I’m being gifted the galaxy, I’d rather hear a presentation more dynamic as such a gesture sounds — like BTS’s star-crossed love story in “DNA.”

Edward Okulicz: Lovely melody, sure, and given an appropriately yearning going-over by the boys, but this needs explosions and drums and rockets taking off. It’s an enormous firework of a ballad potentially but it’s so damp it won’t ignite. Either up the cheese quotient or add some fuel. 

Tim de Reuse: The soft, extended intro really earns the build at the end, and I’m a sucker for a sentimental IV – iv – I, but four and a half minutes is a long time to listen to such a straightforwardly dramatic ballad. This one’s got just enough ear candy in it to hold the attention, but only just.

Iain Mew: A decade is only just far enough on to be able to notice the frozen reflection of “Hoppipolla” in the steps of the piano melody without wincing. They wisely avoid trying to take that bit up to universe-scale, at least. The screaming guitar is too disconnected to really do the job either, though, leaving “Universe” like a “Sign of the Times” without the courage of its rock convictions.

Kalani Leblanc: Must be nice knowing you have a safety net of fans willing to support whatever you release–even when it’s something too boring for a K-drama outro. 

Reader average: [6.25] (4 votes)

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