EXO’s D.O. drops solo debut album ‘Empathy’, EXO-Ls laud 'no skip' tracklist from 'vocal king'

EXO's D.O. aka Kyungsoo also released the music video for 'Rose,' the album's title track, in which he carpe diems through his neighborhood while all kinds of absurd incidents take place behind him

                            EXO’s D.O. drops solo debut album ‘Empathy’, EXO-Ls laud 'no skip' tracklist from 'vocal king'
EXO's D.O. for 'Empathy' (@weareoneEXO/Twitter)

It’s time for one of the much anticipated solo debuts of the second half of 2021. Titled ‘Empathy’, EXO's D.O.'s solo debut mini-album, consisting of 8 tracks, was released on July 26. The music video for the title track ‘Rose’ was also released at the same time. While D.O. aka Kyungsoo is known for being part of the fierce K-pop group EXO, it is no secret that he is a ballad master. Quite different from the intense discography of his group, ‘Empathy' is a laidback and soulful album full of pop ballads.

In less than two hours, ‘Empathy’ topped the iTunes Album Chart in 33 countries. 7 of the tracks were in the top 20 of Bugs chart and 6 of them entered the Genie chart (at the time of writing this article). EXO’s D.O. was also trending at #1 on MelOn while all of his songs entered the MelOn chart. The album also has certified gold from QQ Music within 15 minutes of its release thanks to over 30k digital sales in China. It also made 196k physical sales in less than two hours according to Hanteo Chart. Additionally, SM’s stocks also rose by 1.10% and are at their highest since 2012.


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EXO's D.O. for 'Empathy' (@weareoneEXO/Twitter)

Kyungsoo named album 'Empathy'

Well, there is a reason why fans have been going crazy over the release. It was revealed that EXO’s D.O. had put his all in the making of 'Empathy' to the point that we can see his influence in every single aspect of the album. From the concepts to the aesthetic of the music video and the tracklist, it is all quintessential D.O. Not only that, he has written all of the Korean lyrics for the title track 'Rose' and came up with the name ‘Empathy’ for the album by himself.

He even explained why he chose this particular title, “There were times when I couldn’t relate to the word ’empathy,’ but I felt that there was a lot of energy in it. So, just like I had experienced good and influential energy, I decided to go with the theme of ’empathy’ with the desire to give that to others.” The album also has multilingual songs with an English version of 'Rose' and a Spanish version of ‘It’s Love’. D.O. has also collaborated with DAY6’s Jae for ‘My Love’.

The music video of 'Rose' is as refreshing as the song. It follows D.O. as he cycles through a scenic neighborhood. The music video is rendered at a slower frame rate with bits of animation giving it a 2D cartoon feel. As D.O. sings about falling in love and confessing to their crush, he enjoys the little 'silver lining' moments that result from unlikely scenarios like a street light exploding or a fire hydrant bursting. The pop-folk song similarly has a playful arrangement that uses the strum of an acoustic guitar and a cheerful “Oh, oh, oh, oh” hook that will make you want to sing along too.

Watch the music video here:


'No skip album’

Fans took to Twitter to hype up D.O.’s solo debut by trending his real name ‘Kyungsoo’ and ‘#Empathy_ByDO’. But they also noticed that there wasn't a lot of promotional activities like a V Live or music show interviews. This is why EXO-Ls decided to ask for better treatment for D.O.

One EXO-L tweeted, “EMPATHY is a no skip album period.” Another tweeted, “Yow i got goosebumps on this part, i mean its kyungsoo the vocal king.” One commented on the music video, “Aesthetically pleasing indeed.” Another tweeted, “I KNOW THAT’S RIGHT!!! KYUNGSOO WORLD DOHMINATION.” One tweeted, “Kyungsoo being a dork singing and in love while people are being robbed behind him.” Many found the music video endearing that they decided to make compilations of certain moments. One such compilation had a caption saying: “Kyungsoo almost dying in the rose mv compilation.”

Before the release, all morning, fans were trying to get SM’s attention so that no stone was left unturned for this album's publicity. One fan tweeted, “This is not a comeback @SMTOWNGLOBAL @weareoneEXO this is his first ever solo debut after 9 years !! Be fair!! KYUNGSOO DESERVE BETTER.” Another fan tweeted, “SM pleaseee! it is your job to promote your artists!!!!! do it properly!!! Please please.”









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