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[Album & MV Review] EXO - 'For Life – Winter Special Album, 2016'

By eric_r_wirsing   Sunday, December 25, 2016   63,413   13,153   0



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1. For Life *Title
2. Falling For You
3. What I Want For Christmas
4. Twenty Four
5. Winter Heat

Since 2013, EXO has released something for their fans during the holidays. This time, they're wishing you a Merry Christmas with a mini-album, the Winter Special Album 'For Life.' They put out two discs for this EP, a Chinese release and the Korean one. This review covers the one released for the Korean market.

"For Life" is their title track, a slow, simple winter ballad. It's tenderly sung, and the boys handle their parts well enough, but it's not really all that memorable. The interesting thing is that Kai, Sehun, and Lay weren't given much to do here, though Suho was allowed more lines this time. There's no rapping, but I think that would have ruined the tone. I like how it ends, with a sweet finality. Overall, it's a cute ode to a lover on Christmas.

Moving on, "Falling For You" is more my speed. Upbeat and funky, mid-tempo and fun. This has more of an even line distribution, which is what you want. No one should be frozen out. The only quibble I have with it is that the hook, which should be stronger, the "ohh ah ohh ah" is a bit thin. It's still fairly jaunty and is definitely EXO.

They slow things way down for "What I Want For Christmas." It's a slow R&B jam, smooth and sensual, sung by Suho, Chen, Baekhyun, and D.O. D.O is the perfect one to sing this, and he gets the lion's share of the lines. Which is fine, as it's a pretty good song overall, and they chose the voices well. What do they want for Christmas? I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Chanyeol, Xiumin, Kai, and Sehun take on "Twenty Four." It's got some hip hop, trap and R&B elements, never quite committing to one or the other but seamlessly fusing the three in this tune. It's got a great hook ("you're my twenty four") sung rather rapidly to give it more punch. This has got to be one of my favorite tracks on the album, but you probably already knew that. :)

"Winter Heat" has more in common with traditional K-pop, done in that inimitable EXO style. It's an upbeat winter jam, done with all the boys. I particularly like Chanyeol and Sehun's raps here, on point and perfectly in time to the song. I particularly like the bridge: "once more" and "call for me" are hooks that bring the awesomesauce.

I like this release. As I said, the title track's not amazing, but there are some parts that really do redeem it on repeated listens. The rest of the tracks flow nicely, and it's not jarring to go from softer to more upbeat songs on here, which is no small feat. Overall it's well put together, the boys really deliver vocally and seems to be just the thing to heat up your winter.


EXO has gone for the drama format this time around, delivering a poignant MV. The theme is one of loss, with the girl being in any of 3 locations, but the boys are unable to catch up with her. Then, it switches to her point of view as she revisits the places where the boys once were, finding them empty.

The common thread that ties all of them together is the girl, and the bracelet, this ornate, ancient-looking magic bracelet, that apparently can disappear and reappear where it wants, at will.

This is almost tear jerking at times, as the loneliness here is palpable, particularly with the woman. The boys are dewy-eyed, but more pensive than heartbroken. I like the way it's filmed too, with extensive use of slow-mo, fog in the city scenes, and neon. There is no shortage of things to look at, though for some reason only Kai, Chanyeol, and Suho appear in the MV. I think that makes it better, in some ways, as fewer boys can have longer and stronger scenes.

The MV, however, is fairly convincing, as we move from darkened rooms to a car on the streets to a clearing in a meadow where a bed and lamp are set up. SM is good at making their MVs not look cheap, and this one is no exception.

Yeah, in case you couldn't see it coming, this MV gets my thumbs up.


MV Relevance..........7
MV Production.........8
MV Concept.............8
Album Production...7
Album Concept........7

SEE ALSO: EXO send out an invitation to fans for 'EXO PLANET #4 The EℓyXiOn'

  1. EXO
  2. For Life Winter Special Album 2016

baekthoven Sunday, December 25, 2016


davidcs Sunday, December 25, 2016

Hu uhm, i prefer the Miracles in Desember

EXOBiasedBBH Sunday, December 25, 2016

a lot if people arenot impressed with For Life title song and i cant understand why. i mean sing for you was one of the songs what made me fall in love with them and it was one of the best of exo but still i really enjoyed For Life "never gonna let you go, giving you my heart and soul" _ really is my fav part. Lay didnot have that small amount of lines, i mean he has less in other songs so actually here Lay got some lines. 24 is really amazing, but im worried that this song doesnot get enough attention, EXO is often criticised (sm as well) for their rapping and i know sm has strong vocal line and rap is lacking, but Exo is really improving a lot, Chanyeol proves it with this song and also Kai's voice is really good, i love his rapping and singing, Sehun has a lot to study but he is improving tok, when it comes to Xiumin i think he was really good with this song but his vocals are good too he doesnot need to rap, but he can rap. u know not a lot of hiphop artists can do freestyle even in kpop bit that doesnot mean they cant rap. CALL ME BIASED IDC, these boys are special for me 💗

Kariyu EXOBiasedBBH Sunday, December 25, 2016

The problem isn't that the song is bad or anything - it's just not anything special. The melody of For Life is pretty generic and EXO is usually known for releasing tracks with more originality. So I think it's more that people had high expectations that weren't met.

lilam Sunday, December 25, 2016

The End



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