Originally formed as two subgroups, Exo-K and Exo-M – singing in Korean and Chinese respectively – the boy band Exo now positions itself as one whole. Active since 2011, Exo is considered one of the most popular boy bands in South Korea, with numerous awards to their credit. Once a 12-piece, the band went through a transformation, first parting ways with two original members, and yet another one in April 2015, now performing as a 9-piece group.
As of 2022, the Exo sold over a million copies from their six different albums and over 120 songs. Their most popular albums XOXO, Exodus, Ex’Act and The War released from 2013 to 2017 helped them climb their way up in the K-pop industry under the label of SM Entertainment. However, it’s not just the sales that represent Exo as the new face of K-pop. it’s their intensity and massive growing user base across the world. In this article, we review and rank the best Exo songs of all time based on user reviews and ratings. Let’s get started!
Love Me Right
Following the common practice on the K-Pop scene and their own experience with the debut album “XOXO” (re-released as “Growl”), Exo prepares a repackaged version of their second studio album “Exodus”. The tracklist of Exo’s album Exodus will include all ten original tracks plus four new ones. The title track “Love Me Right” by Exo was released on June 2, 2015, accompanied by a music video. Within several hours after the release, the track held the number 1 position in all nine major Korean charts.
With this track Exo further explored the new trend started with “Call Me Baby” (released on March 30, 2015). They have dropped the aggressive futurism, so characteristic of their previous works, and decided to go urban. The song “Love Me Right” by Exo offers a funky upbeat sound and has all the makings of becoming a summer anthem. The video creates a balance between neon filters and natural light and is set in a number of outdoor as well as set-up locations. As usually, the band shows outstanding coordinated choreography. The track was traditionally recorded and released in two, Korean and Chinese, versions.
On June 9, 2016 the band dropped their third studio album “Ex’Act”. On August 18, 2016 it was re-released as “Lotto”. Besides the original 11 tracks, it included three new songs, one of them – “She’s Dreaming” – written by the band member Chen, and a remixed version of the single “Monster”. On the same date, the single “Lotto” was released with an accompanying music video.
Similar to two previous singles, “Monster” and “Lucky One”, “Lotto” was produced by the British duo LDN Noise. With this single the band continues to experiment with the darker sound they have used in “Monster”. Two prominent Korean TV channels found “Lotto” “unfit for broadcast”, and for this reason promoted the song with modified lyrics under the name of “Louder”. The single collected awards on four different music programmes.
Gravity, released in 2018, roared its way as the best Exo song with its furious yet thumping electro-pop theme. Gravity builds up in your mind with a dizzying intensity and captures the aesthetic the boy group was aiming for. If you have ever felt like driving alone on an empty highway and a force throws your body at an unprecedented speed where you lose control and just pray for your life, it’s the Gravity. Well, literally the Gravity song by Exo. A combination of excitement, fear and will to keep listening is what Gravity delivers.
“Lucky One” by Exo was released as one of the singles on the same date as the album. Seven authors participated in writing its lyrics and music. “Lucky One” is the lighter of the two promotional singles released off the album, however the music video that also came out on June 9 has a futuristic feel to it. “Lucky One” debuted at number three on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart. Exo got lucky with the “Lucky One” released, and were to make their name and prove it to the world that they are here to stay. With one after another hits, Exo has evolved as the new face of K-pop.
“Monster” by Exo was released as one of the singles on the same date as the album. It combines a dark hip-hop sound with an emotional pop chorus. “Monster” was created by a team of four writers. In the music video that was released together with the single the band acquired a dark image, very much varying from what they have done in the past. The song is accompanied with an edgy choreography. “Monster” debuted at number one on the Billboard World Digital Songs chart. Over the years, many European artists including Eminem, Skillet, Imagine Dragons, Justin Bieber and Gabry Ponty have released music under the song title “Monster”, however, the impact Exo have left with their quirky acts and K-pop touch made “Monster” their best title of all time.
“Going Crazy ” is more than just an Exo song. It represents agility and emotion the boy band aims to build as their place in K-pop. Remember how you dream about chilling by the beach in the middle of the summer night listening to a song and watching the lights around you face away? Going Crazy is inspired by Fanaticism which is wild yet provides relief and comfort to your soul. A feeling arises where you feel like leaving everything behind and go crazy with your life and enjoy it the way you dreamt of. If you are feeling depressed or doing something fascinating, listen to “Going Crazy ” and you will get unlimited tips within just a few minutes.
Sing for You
Following their tradition of 2013, the band released a Winter Special album “Sing For You” on December 10, 2015. The mini album includes five songs: the title “Sing For You”, “Unfair”, “Girl x Friend”, “On the Snow” and “Lightsaber” that has been released earlier in 2015 for the promotion of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
The title track “Sing For You” by Exo was released as a single on the same date as the album, with “Unfair” as the second title. “Sing For You” is a pop ballad where vocals of the members are accompanied by acoustic guitar. Instead of doing a choreographed dance that has long become their signature, the band shows off their dramatic talents for the music video that was filmed in black and white. Within 23 hours from the moment of release, the “Sing For You” video gathered 1.8 million views.
Call Me Baby
After more than one and a half years since the release of their first studio album “XOXO” (June 2013, re-release August 2013 as “Growl”) and loss of two original members, the band released their brand new second album “Exodus” in March 2015. “Call Me Baby” by Exo became the first track of the album to see the light of day and was named a comeback single. Immediately after the release the single earned praise for the band. Some critics stated that with this performance Exo brought forward the true meaning of a boy band.
This time the band decided to go basic with the production of the video. Set in a deserted warehouse from start to end, the video offers a gorgeous sports car as its sole glamor content. Instead, they focus on coordinated choreography and personal charisma of the band. Frequent personal close-ups on every member work to that effect, as well as the fact that in this video each of the ten members gets to wear an individual outfit highlighting their own personalities. A 5 seconds shorter Korean version of Exo’s “Call Me Baby” is opened by a different member and has slightly shifted accents in placement of “K” and “M” members in group dancing sequences.
Miracles in December
“Miracles in December” is the lead single of their second EP of the same name which is presented as a special winter album and is scheduled for release on December 9, 2013. Similar to the rest of their art, both the album and single are recorded in Korean and Chinese. The single was released on December 4, 2013, however only 4 members of the band participated in the recording: Exo-K’s Baekhyun, D.O., and Exo-M’s Chen recorded the song in Korean, while Baekhyun, Chen, and Exo-M’s Lu Han recorded it in Mandarin.
Music videos were released for both versions of this pop ballad with classical piano accompaniment. They have a soft pastel color scheme and set the festive feeling for the Christmas celebrations. Band members appear in separate locations, each preparing a gift for his love interest, as well as together singing in somewhat surrealistic surroundings.
The debut EP “Mama” was released in 2012, followed by the first studio album “XOXO” in 2013. Both albums were major commercial hits. The lead single off “XOXO” – “Wolf” – was the band’s first number one in Korea and the first single to win them trophies. “Growl” was not included in the initial track list of “XOXO” which was released on June 3, 2013. The original album contained 10 titles. However, after a repackaging was scheduled for August 5, 2013, “Growl” along with two other songs was added to the list. It was also filmed as a video.