20140506_seoulbeats_exo overdose coverAfter an extended waiting period, the MV for EXO’s “Overdose” has been released. Following the rather nice MVs for the first version of “Growl” and “Miracles in December,” expectations were high as to what SM Entertainment would roll out this time. Sadly, it was disappointing.

The concept is a bit unbelievable. EXO doesn’t really have the attitude to pull off an urban dance track. Members of EXO who could really give the needed attitude are simply treated as visuals, for the most part. It’s even more laughable considering that there is a distinct lack of hip-hop. You can’t simply throw in your “rap” line in for 30 seconds and call it “urban.”

Putting the members in what stylists believe are urban outfits doesn’t work either. Other groups pull off such music because they feel convincing, and in most cases, really are authentic. “Overdose” reeks of trying too hard. EXO has enough talent that such gimmicks aren’t needed.


There is a whole heap of noise in the background. First, there’s the clacking, a cross between clapping and snapping running through almost the entire song. If not distracting enough, the electronic clamor in the background only makes matters worse. For a song that’s supposed to be rooted in hip-hop and R&B, “Overdose” sounds distinctively like over-produced electronic dance.

It’s not that “Overdose” isn’t a catchy song. By all accounts, this song about the addiction of love, very much will worm its way into your brain and become addictive itself. However, it doesn’t bring anything new and fresh. Even though  The Underdogs were part of the production, due to Kenzie being the composer, it’s still classic SM.

Sometimes being classic isn’t a good thing. “Overdose” appears to be a mix of the earlier releases from the group, even down to the “E.X.O.” After fighting the urge to sing “Heart Attack,” it became clear that there are some similarities with other releases. Not a too-similar-to-be-a-coincidence situation, à la “Bonamana” and “Sorry Sorry,” but the scent of regurgitation is still present.


Like the song, in the MV we see the reappearing of a trend: continuous-shot camera work. Although not the first MV, or even the first SM MV, to use the method, “Growl” shot EXO to the top. Naturally, proven methods are going to be continually used. However, “Overdose” misses the mark. Perhaps it’s the interjecting scenes, but there is a lack of flow and smoothness in the technique. SM needed to stick with either the one-shot or the different stage scenes. With its current setup, the MV lacks the consistency to pull of continuous-shot camera work successfully.

While, generally, comparisons to previous MVs are annoying, it’s difficult to avoid. We have “Growl” in the filming technique. The dance sets are like most of SM MVs. Finally, there’s the introduction and conclusion. Here we have a bunch of guys being imprisoned by a supernatural force. That sounds vaguely familiar. “Mirotic” anyone? Before EXO fans get all riled up, this is not saying that EXO copied DBSK, or that it’s an actual copy (since we have a maze and no woman this time). Rather, it’s saying that SM really needs to find some new material. Whatever happened to EXO being supernatural beings from EXO planet?

Speaking of the maze introduction and conclusion, they are a bit unnecessary. Maybe it’s an allusion to a future MV. Maybe it’s just extra footage used for no reason whatsoever. Without any context, these scenes are only added din among the flash of the MV.

In addition to the background cacophony, the lights are distracting. If you want to see the members clearly, you have to watch the MV in HD. Otherwise, it’s a massive blur. This isn’t helped by the fast camera work, either.

20140506_seoulbeats_exo overdoseOne good thing to come out of “Overdose” is the opening “EXO” pose. It is a unique acrobatic move; also probably difficult to maintain balance while doing. So, kudos to the four members pulling it off. Other than that, the dance is contrived and lackluster. Mimicking drumming and jump-roping isn’t exactly making an impact.

Generally, EXO’s “Overdose” is not exceptional and nothing to write home about. It’s all flash and no substance. There is the sense that the MV is rushed and thrown together without regards to fluidity and full conceptualization.

Hopefully, once people stop expecting much from SM, we will get something amazing. Until then, enjoy “Overdose” for what it is: a catchy track performed by 12 good-looking guys.

MV and Song Rating: 2.5/5

(SM Entertainment, YouTube)