Over time, the K-Pop Review community has grown from a few individuals into a full subset of the internet. Now, TheBiasList, Kbopped, 10/10 – Music, Hallyureviews, Jei’s Kulture Notes, Deforested Music, A Floating Realm in the Corner, 8.5 Music, and Kpopreviewed are working together, to create a series, where we review our favorite K-Pop summer songs.
Welcome to the fun August collaboration with some of our favourite people in the reviewing community – our attempt at some sort of summer Olympic games where we share our favourite k-pop summer songs for your and our enjoyment. It has been an honour to be invited to be a part of this wonderful ride by the amazing 108ent and to be able to read about favourite k-pop summer songs by bloggers who inspire us every day. Make sure to check out their reviews which will be linked at the bottom of this post and let’s get into the song the two of us picked as our mutual favourite.
This was both a difficult and easy choice to make. Lina and I created a small list of songs we both adore and ultimately it was, shockingly I know, between our two favourite groups – EXO and SHINee. Power is a song that means a lot to both of us and a summer anthem that often gets overlooked so it’s only fair that this title goes to the majesty herself. Power, the title track of EXO’s repackaged album The War: The Power of Music, has quite a crew behind it, most notably Makeumine Works and LDN Noise who gave us a whole array of incredible k-pop songs, especially in SM Entertainment itself. Power ends up being a complete opposite of The War‘s title track Ko Ko Bop but still offers a great, positive summer energy. From the very start it showcases a mixture of funk, synth and EDM and manages to make you feel like you’re about to go on some adventurous video game ride which, admittedly, is what the music video is all about. While Power is definitely a dance track, it somehow manages to give you both a futuristic and retro sound while also building up that recognizable EXO energy throughout the entire song. Someone else would’ve been in risk of making the anthemic chorus too repetitive but EXO succeed in making it seem fun, uplifting and an ear-worm all the way to its end.
I think it’s the general uplifting message of the song (We got that power / Through this music / When we sing with one voice together / Power / We get stronger / Turn the music up now) and the unusual, funky instrumental that make Power an even better song than it already is, managing to not only make you want to dance in the sun or during a summer road trip, but also feel like you’re a part of something bigger and like someone has your back. We are all bound to be biased from time to time in our choices and for me I feel like a big part of this decision was also the fact that Power is not only one of my favourite summer songs, but also one of my dearest comfort songs, having been with me through a lot of difficult times. And that’s what the song is essentially about, isn’t it? Making yourself believe that you’ve got the power to do something amazing. Power really gives us a powerful yet catchy melody through both its verses and its chorus, but it’s the Turn the music up now line that steals the show for me every time. The song also offers a fantastic line distribution and the right amount of everything for you to want to dance to it while feeling like you’re at the top of the world on a breezy July evening.
When one thinks about Power, it’s definitely the legendary arcade-like outerspace music video that comes to mind and it seems like EXO enjoyed this song as much as we did. From the goofy plotline to their music show performances, the group seemed like they were having the time of their lives every single time and kept adding their own subtle, fun touches to the performances and choreography. Ironically, I think the music video and the styling of the comeback are the main reasons for Power being completely overlooked in terms of summer music – the dark colour palette, even though it’s colourful, and their mostly black outfits, paired with the space theme and game-like plot definitely stray away from the typical summer scenery and visuals we associate with these type of releases. Nevertheless, the energy, the message and the overall melody of the song are definitely summer-oriented and I cannot imagine not playing this anthem while driving on a long highway with your windows down and your best friend right next to you. Okay, I’m projecting now but the statement stands.
Power remains one of the best anthemic summer songs for me and stands the test of time – it can thank that incredible synth-funk party going on in it, as well as super-hero EXO who always have our hearts on a silver platter.
Oh wow, the pressure of going second on this review is on, alright! I don’t think it comes to anyone’s surprise our choice for this was between SHINee and EXO and us going with EXO in the end. We didn’t want to be that predictable, so EXO it was and while we both enjoy Ko Ko Bop a lot Power is just that song for us. May it be personal bias because of the group or because this song means a lot to us, individually or as best friends. Power is a true summer song even if you all are probably rolling your eyes at this very moment judging us for this choice. Power is a very polarizing song even among the fandom, so your feelings are valid. A little funny side story is that I actually thought Power was quite annoying at the first, but we all love character development and growth so Power has, thanks to Una making me re-listen to it, grown to become one of my favorite EXO songs and it is a summer song agree or not.
Power is very energetic and that’s the power of it, pun absolutely intended. It starts off strong right from the start and gets you absolutely hyped up. This is such a nice anthem for pre-exam, pre-work-related-anxiety-inducing hype up moments. This is my pre-game song, even if its just me going to the post office (yeah I am mentally crippled like that). Power got my back and brings me summer all year around and that’s thanks to all the synth and drama the track gives us. Honestly, I am not sure I’d be loving this song as much if it wasn’t carried by EXO’s voices, they fill out this song with all the dramatics and vocal power which make Power so enjoyable. Of course, LDN Noise usually never misses either.
So, let’s have a look at one of my favorite parts of the song, the bridge. Now, EXO are, as every SM artist, so recognizable for their amazing bridges. Suho (I am trying not to let my ultimate biasing show here) absolutely knocked it out of the park with the first half of the bridge. His underrated (go listen to Starry Night lads) smooth vocals combined with Chen’s powerful voice and ad libs? Excuse me while I listen to that a good couple of times now. It makes for an amazing mix and with D.O. following up to start off the last chorus is a feast for my ears. This is what makes Power the song that it is today.
However, I also absolutely enjoy the Chanyeol and Sehun rap during the second verse, say about second verse rap breakdowns what you want and how overdone they are now but the EXOs are doing it so well here. Power is one of the most summery and perfect songs for me. It has aged like absolute fine wine in any regard. It’s also fun every time to watch the music video again, because it is just so unusual and over the top. I would be lying if I didn’t think it felt like an acid trip every time but the guys look great and they probably had an amazing time filming. I just feel bad for Baekhyun who had to sit this one out (mostly) due to story line reasons.
If you want to know my favorite lyrics well then hold on! Man, Shakespeare been real quiet since the EXOs said “We take a shot / Let’s go, we got bang bang pow wow.” I am kidding, I know lyrics don’t have to be that deep all the time and Power is a go crazy go stupid song to an extent, so they are absolutely owning those lines. My actual favorite line is during Sehun’s rap: “With the melody that comes out of your earphones / Shut out all the noise and turn the volume up high.“ This is what I meant with pre-game song. I shut out the noise and my anxiety to just concentrate on Power on a way too high volume and let loose.
Now, this review wouldn’t be completed if I wasn’t going to thirst for a second. This blog is 60% Una being an intellect and 40% Lina being thirsty. So let me just say Power Suho was a cultural reset, what a man?! Clark Kent Suho hits different every time, the fan cams of him in those overalls? My God!
To finish it off let me just say, you might not agree with us but EXO didn’t perform Power at the Olympics for you to overlook it as the bop it is. Power is a summer song! Fight me.
As for 8.5 Music’s song coming up tomorrow: Well, you may be in for an expected or unexpected surprise and we feel like if we said how we feel about the artist you’d know immediately which song it is. So let’s just say: The song is still relevant even after a good couple of years and kind of the standard for all other k-pop summer songs.
Be sure to check out everyone’s posts in the links below!
Header Image Source: Made by Lina