Song Review: Stray Kids – Winter Falls

Stray Kids - Winter FallsAfter 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.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25


11 thoughts on “Song Review: Stray Kids – Winter Falls

  1. This really is a pretty song, good job guys. I remember reading a comment somewhere that no one ever became a better vocalist after joining JYP, but if that’s really a thing I think the SKZ members are exceptions (although to be fair their only strong vocalists at debut were Woojin, Han, and maasaaaaybe Bangchan). Lee Know’s gradually improved since then, CB actually sounds pretty good in the right key, Seungmin really stepped up last year after WJ left and broke out on Kingdom, and I.N and Hyunjin have improved a lot on their 2021 releases, including this one. Heck, even Felix sounds pretty good here, maybe because for once they’re not trying to make him sing in a tenor range.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I really love this song. It’s so pretty and simple, but not boring. They are leaning pretty heavily into their rap focused sound these days, so I’m glad they let their vocals take the center stage.

    My favorite thing about the song is after winter falls is sung, a little “falls” is sung after. It’s so pleasing to the ear and I can’t help joining in. Very content with this addition to their arsenal of songs and I will hopefully be playing this even outside of the Christmas season.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yeah, that little touch is very nice. Something I’ve noticed about Bang Chan as a producer is that he’s very detail-oriented. On v live he’ll often go through and play individual sounds (i.e. the car horns and thunder crashing on ‘thunderous’) and explain his process for including them in the song. And often they’re things that I wouldn’t notice at first listen. When they covered BTS’s “Dionysus,” he broke down the many, MANY backing vocals, ad-libs etc used in the original and he explained that he’d wanted to be certain to reproduce every part of the song faithfully. These were things I hadn’t really paid attention to in the song before, even as ARMY who had listened to it tons of times. So when he’s producing, I think you can tell that he throws everything into it and this is a labor of love for him.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree with how detailed bang chan is with his arrangements of skz’s songs but this song wasn’t produced by Bang Chan though.

        The song was produced by Han (the other 3racha member) and earattack (skz’s – victory song, blue print etc) which is one of skz’s resident co-producers without any input from the other two 3racha members.

        Bang chan solely produced their other b-side track 24 to 25.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg, I wasn’t commenting here then, but the Kingdom Mayfly vocal unit performance…that one actually made me cry when I first watched it, it was gorgeous.

    Anyways this is a really pretty song, and I’m glad that, despite it feeling like a winter ballad, I think I’ll definitely be returning to it even after the holiday season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That was a great stage. If I recall correctly, that was the final collaboration stage and I felt really bad for the other team because they hadn’t won any of the rounds and I knew they were going to get stomped.

      Liked by 2 people

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