Kai of EXO returned to the K-pop scene with his third mini album, “Rover,” Monday.
The solo effort comes a year and four months since his second mini album, “Peaches," which was released in November 2021.
The album consists of six tracks led by the eponymous jam, along with “Black Mirror,” “Slidin’,” “Bomba,” “Say You Love Me” and “Sinner.”
Different from his previous albums that were centered on groovy R&B, the tracks from this album range across dance, hip-hop, R&B and pop.
Title track “Rover” is a remake of Bulgarian singer Dara’s dance groove “Mr. Rover.”
The choreography for “Rover” is both powerful and laid-back, with a dance move of a gesture like turning on a car engine.
“The moment that I heard it, I decided this will be the title track. At the same time, I began to contemplate how to make the song mine. That made me enjoy my favorite track more. It helped me grow as an artist during the preparation process,” Kai explained in a press release.
Kai reinterpreted the song with a heavy 808 bass line, marimba and diverse percussive arrangements for a rhythmic melody and lyrics that express a wanderer’s life living free from the judgments of others.
Side track “Black Mirror” is a hip-hop R&B song that questions life dependent on social media, while R&B soul track “Slidin’” portrays the moment one falls in love. “Bomba” is a dance song about enjoying the present and “Say You Love Me” mixes hip-hop and R&B to sing of wanting to be loved. Finally, “Sinner” is a pop tune about a love in which both pain and happiness coexist.
The soloist well-known for his great sense of fashion took part in coming up with the outfit concept and styling the album.
“A few styling ideas came to my mind when I heard the word ‘wanderer’ and one of them was a motorcyclist style. I used a leather jacket to express a freewheeling lifestyle and I liked that style the most,” Kai said.
Kai is to also release a performance highlight video of his latest side tracks on March 20.
Meanwhile, he is also preparing for the full-unit return of EXO, as Baekhyun has finished serving his military duty.
EXO is set to host fan meeting events in Seoul on April 8-9 to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the group's debut, with a new album also on the way.
Kai made his debut as a solo artist with his first mini album “KAI” in 2020 and has since been recognized for unique album concepts and performances.