Song Review: Kai (EXO) – Peaches

Kai - PeachesJust like last year, EXO’s Kai has returned at the tail end of 2021 to reassert his place in the industry. 2020’s self-titled debut proved to be a great success, drawing from different elements of modern r&b for a strong collection of songs. Even the subdued Mmmh ended up growing on me a lot. For new single Peaches, he continues to mine this slow, sensual sound. But this time around, the results are too muted for my taste.

This particular style of r&b has had a prolific couple of years, and I think it takes a dynamite vocalist to make it soar. There’s a monotonous – almost droning – quality to the melodic construction, phrased in a way that favors languid mood-building over dynamic peaks and valleys. Oftentimes, this clears space for the listener to focus on a complex instrumental or compelling performance. Peaches hopes to compensate with its hypnotic beat, which incorporates traditional instrumentation. But, the arrangement gets repetitive quickly, and there’s just not enough movement for my taste. Peaches is certainly a vibe, but I wish it pushed beyond that.

Kai has a fine voice, and he’s a dynamite performer. I’m not convinced that this style of song takes full advantage of those skills, but he seems committed to the sound. And when he stretches a bit during the bridge, Peaches starts to come alive. Just like Mmmh, I predict this will improve with further listens. But, I’d kill for a title track along the lines of album tracks Nothing On Me or Ride Or Die.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

14 thoughts on “Song Review: Kai (EXO) – Peaches

  1. Ok, I like this album, and this song is really pretty. It’s not quite the same feeling as last time because KAI was all pursuit, heated glances, probably getting kicked out of places for bad behavior. This one is committed partner snuggling, waffles, fluffy slippers, picking out baby names. Two different vibes. Except for Domino. That’s probably date night.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. The best thing about this song is that I decided to go and look at your review of “Mmmh” and found the buried treasure review for “Nothing On Me”, which I skipped whenever I first listened to his debut EP (although I did pick up “Ride Or Die” last time). I don’t remember if “Mmmh” was a grower for me but I like it a lot now. I think I could like “Peaches” but the English is turning me off this morning. I grabbed “To Be Honest” and “Blue” for the R&B and chill playlists and will have to circle back to “Peaches” when I’m less cranky.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Mmmh” grew on me a lot but I don’t think “Peaches” will. It’s a bit too chill for me, and the chorus isn’t as memorable.
    The english lines “pretty girl you’re like peaches” and “feels good to be the bad guy” made me chuckle though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • the bsides are all pleasant enough here but i have to agree with you, nothing here really sparkles like “Nothing On Me”, which was the perfect song to flaunt Kai’s performance skills, or “Ride or Die” which highlighted his gorgeous vocal tone that often doesn’t get the spotlight otherwise.

      Feels like SM dropped the ball here when choosing dynamic tracks that actually suit Kai’s uniqueness, instead choosing than playing it safe with a bunch of contemporary/alt r&b and one trap song.. hoping this will grow on me after a few listens but even then i’m not enthralled like I was by his first mini this time last year, sadly.


  4. And now a year on, this song sounds Taeyang covering a Bieber song. It’s aight.

    Mmmh and peaches chorus both cover similar sonic territory, C or C# down to A or A#, and the cadence of the lyric is very similar too. So to me, I predict that if Mmmh grew on you, Peaches probably will too. It’s a mashup waiting to happen, mho.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. To me, Kai is a performer before he is a singer. If ChenBaekSoo came out with something like this, I’d be pretty disappointed, but I liked this one from the performance perspective. The MV was mesmerizing, and I loved the fashion choices and traditional-modern fusion styles. I can’t wait to see him perform on a stage. I liked Peaches and the overall feel of the album, but I do agree that Kai has room for improvement in the music/vocals area. I also think there were too many English lines, but that’s only my opinion.

    I’d listen to Peaches and Vanilla on a rainy, cold, lazy day when I’m about to slip into the dreamland of sleep while staring at the rain-streaked windows. When night falls, it’s time for Bambi and Dear My Dear.


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