EXO Member KAI introduces a new Rover into spring

Emily Dong, Staff Writer

Rating: 8/10

On March 13, 2020, KAI from the Kpop group EXO released his third mini album since debuting as a solo artist back in 2020. His new single and mini-album is titled Rover, following his previous releases Mmmh and Peaches. This new album with six hit songs has proven to be a very diverse album which explores different genres and themes that are outside of Kai’s comfort zone.


The first song “Rover” is the album’s title track. Kai does not disappoint his fans and listeners with his melodic and smooth voice. The highlight of this song is that the chorus and beat are incredibly catchy through the repetition of the word “rover.” Although it has a different vibe from his previous releases, the song really highlights his potential as a solo artist and his talent in both dance and vocals. It’s an upbeat song with a pleasant pace and has a very unique stomping beat to it. Not only is the simple repetition of the “Rover” chorus catchy, but the subtle intensity building up to it makes it more impactful for the listener. Additionally, the instrumentals consist of percussion, twinkling bells, and marimba which you can hear throughout the song behind Kai’s sultry voice. 


The next song “Black Mirror” has a very interesting opening and you can easily tell it’s going to be a hip hop song. It has a mysterious vibe to it and unpredictable drops that sound very smooth. In this song, Kai critiques society’s obsession with social media and expresses how it can be very addicting. The title “Black Mirror” refers to how when our phones are not in use, the screen is like a black reflective mirror for us to gaze at. Even so, we all continue to use social media because we love it. 


The third song “Slidin’” has a very standard R&B beat and bass to it. With Kai’s adlibs, he carries verses flawlessly, and it perfectly suits the title of the song. It’s overall a very smooth and chill song with vibes and vocals that are very pleasant to hear. The charming introduction will definitely draw the listener in, and it’s a contrast to the previous song. This song is an excellent and sweet transition song from “Black Mirror” to “Bomba”.


Up next is “Bomba,” an unexpected addition to his release. Kai goes back to using reggaeton beats with prominent synth riffs, creating a very catchy but carefree pounding rhythm similarly to “Rover.” “Bomba” is a great follow-up song to “Slidin.’” Each note is sung with confidence, and its catchy chorus is infectious. I enjoyed the second half of the song more than the first, because there is a better build up and the bridge is satisfying to hear. 


Following that, “Say You Love Me” meshes R&B and hip hop together in a typical love song with straightforward lyrics. In this song, Kai expresses how he wants the listener to be honest and tell him whether or not they love him. It’s mysterious sounding just like “Black Mirror” and has a moody, melodic, trance-like feeling due to Kai’s low and sensual vocals with high falsettos.


And finally the last song, “Sinner,” is a slower song that is both soft and low which is a major contrast compared to the other upbeat songs in the album. The song isn’t as hard hitting as there are both highs and lows. The beat slowly picks up and builds up more later in the song. Its lyrics have in-depth emotions which is reflected in Kai’s vocals. All in all, I think it was a perfect ending track to a very diverse album. 


Overall, Kai’s new album Rover has no skips for me. It showcases his potential to be a great solo artist away from the K-pop group EXO. He explores different genres that he usually does not delve into which is interesting and exciting for listeners so that they will continue to look forward to what more he has in store!