I’ve had a strained relationship with EXO-SC. As much as I’ve wanted to love them, they’ve consistently released the weakest EXO adjacent material. Their music is just not for me and their debut single What a Life was everything I despised about modern music in one unpleasant package. It was one of my least favourite songs of 2019 and pretty much left me with no hopes for this comeback. Thankfully, these low expectations have led me to enjoy 1 Billion Views much more than I had expected.
The first thing that really struck me about the song was just how groovy it is. Gone is the ugly xylophone trap instrumental and it’s replaced with a much more invigorating mix of groovy percussion and synths. It feels like a much more natural fit and is miles better than their debut efforts. The verses are the songs strongest efforts, acting as the perfect playground for the boys to trade lines and showcase their bucketloads of personality. It actually has a proper groove and as a result goes a long way in winning my vote. Even better is just how nice and streamlined the track is. There isn’t a single momentum killing breakdown to be found and boy is it refreshing. Moon shows up near the end of the track to provide a strong and memorable climax that provides just enough variation to act as a notable finale. Although I would have really loved to see more of her sprinkled throughout the song.
But 1 Billion Views really could do with a stronger chorus. The one word hook is nice and smooth but grows repetitive real fast. The boys pull it off admirably but there isn’t really much you can do with simply repeating the songs title in a long, drawn out way. It gets stale pretty quickly and feels like an underwhelming centrepiece to what could have been one of the years most groovy comebacks. But even with this hiccup, 1 Billion Views is leaps and bounds better than the duo’s debut and I think it would greatly benefit them to travel down this road further.
Final Rating: 7.75 / 10