Review

Song Review: Chanyeol (EXO) – SSFW

This may be a controversial opinion, but by focusing solely on solos and sub-units these past four months, it feels like SM Entertainment has kind of thrown away a third of the year. This isn’t to say that solos and sub-units are unwelcome, but most of the ones we’ve gotten from the agency in 2019 have kind of blended together without making much impact. Where are your groups, SM? When it comes to your next generation of talent, how are you keeping the momentum going?

I realize that this complaint has little to do with Chanyeol’s solo track SSFW (봄 여름 가을 겨울) — at least when it comes to the song itself. But arriving right on the heals of solo work from Chen and Heechul and Taeyeon, its very existence starts to lose a little luster. The effects of this monotonous release cycle are a shame, because SSFW gives Chanyeol a rare opportunity to display his skills as a vocalist.

SSFW’s hazy opening immediately recalls another SM solo: Amber’s underrated Need To Feel Needed from 2016. The two songs share a casual, beach-ready vibe, driven by feather light harmonies and ambient synths. This is a fitting aesthetic for Chanyeol’s resonant tone. What the song lacks in instrumental fireworks, it makes up for in vibe. The melody twists and bends in a laid-back, meandering fashion that matches Chanyeol’s public persona and has all the hallmarks of a solid singer-songwriter effort without being hopelessly dull. It may not be quite what I’m looking for when it comes to K-pop, but there’s nothing wrong with a pleasant, cool-down track right as spring starts to heat up.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

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4 thoughts on “Song Review: Chanyeol (EXO) – SSFW

  1. This song is just OK for me. It doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t rise, it doesn’t fall, it just meanders around in a basic melody. The only thing that strikes me is that it isn’t in the usual style of K-ballads (meaning long and cheesy), it sounds more like western style middle of the road radio-friendly ballad.

    Well, NCT has been really busy. For the others, SuJu is probably waiting for Kyuhyun. Shinee is starting to go off to the military. Red Velvet was releasing in Japan and touring. Maybe EXO is preparing something – last comeback was December. TVXQ is probably due too – tbh I would have to look them up b/c I don’t really follow them if the are releasing or touring Japan again for bucu or doing tv shows. They are always doing something. fx (alas) and SNSD are all but defunct.

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  2. SM just has to throw in a station track for an EXO member in the first half of the year like always. So i guess thats just how the song came be released right now. Like you said, its a shame cause Chen recently released a solo album and Taeyeon too … And both with similar themes about seasons… So thats where the release lost its hype.
    I personally like it. Its melodic, compliments the timbre of his voice, there is no oversinging involved and its just charming how it is.
    Though its going to get lost in the sea of recent solo tracks.. Which is a shame.

    Like

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