Don't Mess Up My Tempo

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Don't Mess Up My Tempo
Exo – Don't Mess Up My Tempo.png
Digital cover
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 2, 2018 (2018-11-02)
StudioSM Studios, Seoul, South Korea
Length39:10
Language
Label
ProducerLee Soo-man (exec.)
Exo chronology
Countdown
(2018)
Don't Mess Up My Tempo
(2018)
EXO PLANET #4 – The EℓyXiOn [dot]
Singles from Don't Mess Up My Tempo
  1. "Tempo"
    Released: November 2, 2018
Repackage album cover
Love Shot digital cover
Love Shot digital cover
Singles from Love Shot
  1. "Love Shot"
    Released: December 13, 2018

Don't Mess Up My Tempo is the fifth studio album by South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo. It was released on November 2, 2018 by SM Entertainment.[1] It is their first release to feature Chinese member Lay since For Life (2016).[1] It is available in four versions: Allegro, Moderato, Andante and Vivace, named after types of tempo.[2] The album debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart. The album was repackaged as Love Shot on December 13, 2018..

Background and release[edit]

Don't Mess Up My Tempo[edit]

Don't Mess Up My Tempo is the band's fifth Korean studio album and sixth overall. It follows the band's first Japanese studio album Countdown, released in January 2018; their previous Korean release was the EP Universe, released in December 2017.[1] It was announced in October 2018 that the album is the band's first since Ex'Act in 2016 (and its repackage Lotto) to feature Lay, who has focused on his own singing and acting career in China.[1] Lay participated in recording the Mandarin version of the lead single "Tempo", and also appears in its music video.[3]

On November 2, Don't Mess Up My Tempo was released physically and digitally along with the "Tempo" Korean music video.[4] The Chinese music video was released several hours later.

Love Shot[edit]

On November 11, 2018, it was announced by Kai and Suho that the album would be repackaged.[5] The title was announced as Love Shot on December 3. It was released on December 13, 2018.[6][7]

Music[edit]

Don't Mess Up My Tempo[edit]

"Sign" is an electropop track with an intense bass and "bombastic" groove with lyrics expressing a man's growing doubt due to lies told by the woman he loves.[8] "Ooh La La La" is a Latin pop song, combining a heavy 808 bass and an "exotic" atmosphere of Spanish guitar. The lyrics of the song are about imagined love when two people accidentally make eye contact.[9] "Gravity" is an electropop track with a retro sound and funky rhythm, which the British duo LDN Noise worked on. The lyrics were co-written by member Chanyeol, and are described as about the desire to capture a girl's attention with gravity and charm.[10]

"With You" is described as an R&B and pop track with a "bright" synthesizer and electro-trap elements. Member Chanyeol participated in writing and composing the song. The lyrics are about growing to like someone more when one spends more time with them.[11] "24/7" is a midtempo song with a modern sound and memorable catchy phrases. Kenzie participated in writing the lyrics, which express complex emotions after one says "cold words" to their lover.[12] "Bad Dream" is described as an uptempo R&B song, where the "sophisticated" guitar riff and poppy synthesizer's dynamic melody line go well together with lyrics about one thinking about their past lover alone at night, with comparisons to a storm.[13]

"Damage" is a hip hop and dance song with a bass-heavy and reggae rhythm, with its lyrics expressing the "cold" reaction one has after getting hurt by their lover, and giving back the pain they experienced like a "sudden flash of lightning".[14] "Smile On My Face" is an R&B ballad with soft melodies and simple yet "sophisticated" grooves, with lyrics about healing one's own pain after a breakup, smiling and "letting their love go".[15] "Oasis" was called an elliptical pop song with a combination of staccato piano and strings, heavy 808 bass and a grand harmony.[16]

Love Shot[edit]

"Love Shot" is a pop dance track that features a "memorably addictive" chorus and heavy 808 bass. Members Chen and Chanyeol participated in writing the lyrics that talk about hoping to be together and rediscover the meaning of true love, "which seems to be disappearing more and more from a dreary world".[17]

"Trauma" was also described as an upbeat pop dance song with lyrics expressing the intention to overcome the pain one feels. "Wait" is an R&B ballad with an acoustic guitar melody and harmonizes with the members' vocals.[18]

Promotion[edit]

Don't Mess Up My Tempo[edit]

The album was announced in October 2018 with a teaser on the band's official website and was made available for pre-order on October 4 through both Korean music sites, and a variety of American sites such as Amazon and Target.[19][20] It was also revealed that Lay would appear in the album's promotional material.[3] On October 19, it was revealed that the group will hold a special showcase for the album on November 2, at the Paradise City's Plaza on Yeongjongdo Island, to be aired live for fans all around the world.[21]

On October 21, a 30-second Tempo Concept short film teaser was released through their social media accounts [22], depicting them as a biker gang, and playing a short audio snippet of the album's lead single "Tempo", which Billboard describes as "starting off with a dramatic synth melody, pulsating beat and the phrase 'I can't believe.'"[23] The group's social media accounts updated their avatars to red cube icons, and revealed a poster with a caption that reads: "Speed loving bikers enter the fragment of frozen time as they log into the red cube. Solving the given puzzle is the only route for all to escape. However, the bikers are unable to resist the temptation and reenter the cube."[23]

The caption also appears in the interactive puzzle game "Circuit Exo",[24] created for the promotional period which, consistent with the comeback concept, shows a motorcycle running around a mini car track formed as "EXO". In order to stop the motorcycle, fans are asked to enter the jersey number of the EXO member whose teaser has been released that day.[25] Upon entering the correct number, the motorcycle stops and a red cube appears to hover above it, and clicking on it reveals exclusive teaser images.

The first individual member teaser video was released on October 22, 2018, featuring D.O. and the song "Gravity".[26] The teaser was also posted to Exo's official instagram account, along with five teaser images that together made up a poster for the song.[27] At 10 a.m. KST, the teaser images that were revealed through the "Circuit Exo" game were posted on Exo's official Twitter account.[28] A second individual member teaser was posted the following day, featuring member Kai and the song "Ooh La La La",[29] followed by teaser photos from the interactive game.[30]

Further details about the album were also revealed on October 23, with the design and content (posters, photocards and postcards) of the three versions being released.[31]

The third individual member teaser was released on October 24, 2018, featuring Baekhyun and the song "With You",[32] with teaser images revealed through the interactive game and later uploaded onto the group's Twitter account. The fourth member teaser video was posted on October 25. It featured Xiumin and the song "24/7",[33] followed by teaser photos from the interactive game. The fifth member teaser video was posted on October 26, featuring Chanyeol and the song "Sign", followed by teaser photos.[34] The sixth member teaser video was posted on October 27, featuring Chen and the song "Damage", with more teaser photos revealed,[35] The seventh member teaser video and photos were posted on October 28, featuring Lay and the song "Smile On My Face".[36] The eighth member teaser video and photos were posted on October 29, featuring Suho and the song "Oasis",[37] The ninth and final member teaser video and photos were posted on October 30. It featured Sehun and the song "Bad Dream".[38]

On October 31, the "Tempo" music video teaser was released[39] alongside two posters: one featuring all nine members of the group, as well as one containing only the text "End = Beginning".[40]

On November 1, Exo held a press conference where they gave a pre-listening session for Don’t Mess Up My Tempo and talked about their comeback, the album making and the pre-sales surpassing 1.1 million.[41][42][43]

On November 2, Exo began promoting lead single "Tempo" and "Ooh La La La" on South Korean music shows.[44] On the same day, the group held a live showcase at Paradise City in Incheon where they talked about their album and performed four songs, "Ooh La La La", "Smile On My Face", "24/7", and "Tempo".[45][46][47] On November 10, Exo held a fansign event at the SMTown COEXartium,[48] and a second fansign event on November 16 at the GLAD Hotel Grand Ballroom.[49] On November 18, the group held their third fansign event in Gangnam at the White Hall Art Theater with only 50 fans. Sehun did not attend the event.[50]

Love Shot[edit]

On December 3, the repackaged album was announced with two photo teasers, one of the new Exo logo and the other that features the members.[51][6] The album has two versions and was made available for pre-order on the same day through both Korean music sites, and a variety of American sites such as Amazon. In addition to the original 11 songs of the Don't Mess Up My Tempo, the repackaged album will contain four new songs, "Love Shot", "Trauma", "Wait" and the Chinese version of "Love Shot".[7][52] On December 6, the first teaser of "Love Shot" music video was released.[53] On December 7, photo teasers of Kai and Sehun were released.[54] On December 8, photo teasers of Baekhyun and Chanyeol were released.[55] On December 8, photo teasers of Xiumin and Chen were released.[56] On December 10, photos of Suho and D.O. were released.[57] On December 11, two photo teasers of the group were released.[58] On December 11, the second teaser of "Love Shot" music video was released.[59] On December 14, EXO started promoting lead single "Love Shot" on South Korean music shows.[60] On December 15, the group held a fansign in Seocho at the White Wave Art Center.[61] On December 20, EXO held a fan event called 0xFESTA by SK Telecom where they performed "Tempo", "24/7", "Love Shot" and "Wait".[62] On December 21, the group will hold their second fansign in Samseong-dong, member D.O. will not attend the event. The fans who purchase the album from 17 to 19 December will be able to attend, with total of 80 fans per member at SMTOWN Giftshop at Coex Artium & DDP.[63]

Commercial performance[edit]

Don't Mess Up My Tempo[edit]

On October 31, 2018, 28 days after the opening of pre-orders, it was announced that Don't Mess Up My Tempo had exceeded 1.1 million pre-orders.[64] On November 8, it debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart.[65]

As of November 11, the album had sold 1,179,997 million copies, officially making Exo a quintuple million-selling group that has sold over 10,000,000+ cumulatively across all albums.[66] On November 12, the album debuted at number 23 on the US Billboard 200, making it Exo's highest-charting album in the United States.[67] It achieved 23,000 album-equivalent units, including 19,000 pure album sales.[68] Exo are the third K-pop group to have an album chart in the top 40 of the US Billboard 200, after BTS and Blackpink.[68]

On January 10, 2019, the album was certified "Million" by Gaon.[69]

Love Shot[edit]

On December 9, the repackage album debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart.

Track listing[edit]

Adapted from iTunes.[70]

Don't Mess Up My Tempo
No.TitleLyricsMusicArrangementLength
1."Tempo"
  • Jamil "Digi" Chammas
  • Leven Kali
  • Tay Jasper
  • Adrian Mckinnon
  • MZMC
Jamil "Digi" Chammas3:44
2."Sign"
  • JQ
  • Mola (makeumine works)
  • Harvey Mason Jr.
  • Kevin Randolph
3:13
3."Ooh La La La" (닿은 순간; Daheun sungan)Hwang Yoo-bin
  • Jamil 'Digi' Chammas
  • Andrew Bazzi
  • Justin Lucas
  • Anthony Pavels
  • MZMC
  • Jamil 'Digi' Chammas
  • Justin Lucas
3:07
4."Gravity"
LDN Noise3:54
5."With You" (가끔; Gakkeum)
  • Chanyeol
  • Kim Min-ji
Sons of Sonix3:08
6."24/7"Kenzie
  • Harvey Mason Jr.
  • The Wavys
  • The Wildcardz
  • Aaron Berton
  • Andrew Hey
  • The Wavys
  • The Wildcardz
4:03
7."Bad Dream" (후폭풍; Hupogpung)Seo Ji-eum
  • Mike Daley
  • Mitchell Owens
  • Bianca “Blush” Atterberry
  • Deez
  • Mike Daley
  • Mitchell Owens
3:56
8."Damage"Shin Jin-hye (Jam Factory)
  • LDN Noise
  • Deez
  • Adrian Mckinnon
LDN Noise3:29
9."Smile On My Face" (여기 있을게; Yeogi isseulge)
  • JQ
  • Park Ji-hee
  • Brian Kennedy
  • Iain James
  • Samuel Jensen
Brian Kennedy3:38
10."Oasis" (오아시스; Oasiseu)Jo Yoon-kyung
  • Kevin White
  • Mike Woods
  • Andrew Bazzi
  • MZMC
Rice n' Peas3:14
11."Tempo" (节奏) (Chinese version)Arys Chien
  • Jamil "Digi" Chammas
  • Leven Kali
  • Tay Jasper
  • Adrian Mckinnon
  • MZMC
Jamil "Digi" Chammas3:44
Total length:39:17

Charts[edit]

Certification and sales[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2019 Golden Disc Awards Disc Bonsang Won
Gaon Chart Music Awards Album of the Year – 4th Quarter Pending
Pending

Accolades[edit]

Year-end lists
Critic/Publication List Rank Ref.
Billboard The 20 Best K-Pop Albums of 2018 5 [95]
Idolator The 10 Best K-Pop Albums Of 2018 4 [96]
Rolling Stone India 5 [97]
Refinery29 The 12 Best K-Pop Albums of 2018 4 [98]
Bravo These are the ten best K-pop albums of the year 5 [99]

Release history[edit]

Edition Region Date Format Label
Don't Mess Up My Tempo South Korea November 2, 2018
United States
Various
  • Digital download
  • streaming
SM Entertainment
Love Shot South Korea December 13, 2018
  • CD
  • digital download
  • streaming
  • SM Entertainment
  • iriver
United States
Various
  • Digital download
  • streaming
SM Entertainment

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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