“Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop”: EXO’s Back for Summer!

Members D.O, Sehun, Kai, Xiumin, Baekhyun, Chanyeol, Chen, Suho in the music video for Ko Ko Bop. Not Pictured: Chinese member Lay could not participate in the comeback do to scheduling conflicts.

IT’S HERE! After a week of breathtaking teaser trailers, EXO has dropped their much anticipated music video for Ko Ko Bop. It is the title track off of the group’s 4th full-length album, The War.

The song stays true to reggae influences through the verses; muted, funky guitar cords and a gock block keep the beat swaying, while the dance breakdown is distinctly EDM. The chorus straddles the two genres, holding the piece together. Starting off in the smooth, entrancing reggae of the verse and slowly melding those sounds with the breakdown’s beat by the last go around. It’s an unorthodox combo, even in the up tick in tropical/house/dance pop across the global music scene. But it works, which is expected of the triple million sellers.

“Shimmy shimmy ko ko bop, I think I like it / Let you’re guard down down, don’t be embarrassed”: in the first verse, the vocals stay light and breezy; an invitation to relax and just be. The chorus is a touch more provocative: “It goes down down baby, leave your body to the rhythm / It goes down down baby, let it go and scream” though nothing screams carefree summer more than lowered walls and inhibition-free dancing.

In the video itself, EXO throws it back and revamps their original mythology. When the group debuted in 2012, each member had a superpower feeding into the backstory that the group was from a different planet, EXO PLANET. Though the powers seemed to disappear, last year’s co-title track “Lucky One” made an obvious effort to reestablish the lore. “Ko Ko Bop” continues this story line, with a psychedelic twist.

The members ingest colorful candies, which is followed by blissed-out expressions and never before seen superpower potential. Chanyeol, who controls fire, bounces a basketball which soars into the sky and explodes into fireworks, while Xiumin, who governs frost, watches a tiny snow cloud precipitate into a glass cup. Each member has a moment like this where their power resurfaces, though it’s not clear if it’s directly related to the candies. The CG effects don’t overload the senses despite the trippy nature of their use, and during clearer shots there are cuts of the more than amazing choreography that one associates with EXO.

Sonically and visually, the track makes an excellent addition to the Summer Bop playlist, check out the video below!

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