Fans' joy our only goal, say EXO of new album
FRESH off EXO's massive five-day, sold-out solo concert series in Seoul early last month, they returned to the airwaves with their second full-length album, Exodus, on Monday.
"We think that through this new album, you will be able to see a brighter and more evolved side of each of the members," said EXO leader Suho during a press conference at the SMTOWN@coexartium Theatre in Gangnam-gu.
EXO's highly awaited 10-track album comes nearly two years after the mega idol group launched their first, record-breaking full-length album XOXO (Kiss & Hug) in June 2013.
The album became the first in 12 years to enter the elite "one million club", selling more than one million physical copies, and solidified their place as one of K-pop's most successful acts.
"We can't really believe it ourselves, that even in this online generation, for our physical albums to sell so well was surprising to us as well," said Suho.
Now that they have released their follow-up album, curiosity is bubbling in the K-pop community over whether EXO will exceed sky-high album sales expectations, with the group widely considered the hottest K-pop act on the scene today.
Despite all eyes being on EXO and how the new album will perform on the charts and in sales, they stated that giving fans tracks that they would be able to appreciate and take joy in was the only goal in mind.
"Even just thinking about us being able to sell a million copies of our album, I'm honoured. And as much as I would love to re-create the success of our first album, honestly, album sales were never in our thought process while producing our second album," said EXO member Chen.
"While making this album, the only thing on our minds was how to produce something with which we can mutually relate to our fans and just create something that they would be able to enjoy," he added.
The prospects for EXO's new album already look promising as Exodus' lead single - Call Me Baby, released on Saturday - has topped all major real-time online music charts.
Exodus is also EXO's first album as a 10-member group. After a string of highly publicised legal battles involving Chinese members Kris and Luhan, who filed suits against SM Entertainment over labour rights last year, the group have been promoting themselves as a new group of 10.
"It's just the 10 of us now, so it's the start of a new path for us," said Suho.
"But I think one of the biggest changes for us in the past year is how much we have improved in terms of our musical abilities - each and every one of us is able to show a lot more range," he added. "Through this new album, I think you will be able to see our growth."
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK