After the madcap energy of yesterday’s Christmas EveL, Stray Kids dial back for a more traditional holiday sound. Winter Falls is much closer to an expected December ballad template, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. In fact, it’s satisfying to hear the group set the gimmicks aside and simply let their talent shine.
When writing about Christmas EveL, I struggled with deciding when and where I’d actually play the song. In contrast, Winter Falls is tailor-made for the winter season. Yet, its straightforward nature (and lack of sleigh bells) makes it an easy track to return to throughout the year. I expect it to have robust staying power, even if I’m not immediately as taken with its sound as its twisted EveL brother.
Most of Stray Kids’ title tracks are rooted in hip-hop, making it easy to forget how strong the group’s vocals can be. Member Seungmin reminded us during this spring’s Kingdom unit performance, and his voice is front and center here. But, the whole group does a solid job bringing the song’s mood to life. The verses are helped along by plucked guitar and anchored by a steady beat. The arrangement fleshes out for the chorus, adding nice heft just where Winter Falls needs it. I love the pulse of vocals that punctuate the end of this segment. Rap is also incorporated well, adding additional rhythm that keeps momentum building. Taken alongside Christmas EveL, this seasonal single does a nice job showcasing Stray Kids’ versatility.