Song Review: EXID – Fire

EXID - Fire2022 is the year of long-dormant girl groups making their return. We had Girls’ Generation in August and we’re looking forward to a loooong awaited comeback from Kara in November. This month, it’s EXID’s turn. They’re celebrating their tenth anniversary with a special single album, and they’ve brought longtime producer Shinsadong Tiger along for the ride.

Even if these veteran acts don’t remain as active as they used to, I love the idea of anniversary releases aimed toward their loyal fans. These songs are like icing on an already delicious cake, which lowers the pressure to make (or re-create) something iconic. I’m not very impressed with Fire (불이나), but it’s nice to see the group having fun and showcasing their commanding charisma.

If the entirety of Fire sounded like its melodic pre-chorus, we’d have a winner on our hands. This segment feels closest to what I’d expect from EXID – robust vocals and bombastic melodies. Unfortunately, Fire loses steam during its beat drop chorus. This centerpiece feels like a placeholder, opting for a generic series of instrumental riffs and equally unimaginative posturing. EXID… you’re better than this! Fire’s verses are also a bit bland. The song kicks off with an exciting beat reminiscent of PSY’s That That, but quickly plunges into a much lower-energy arrangement. Given all the talent involved, some of these choices surprise me.

Oh well, at least we have a super solid discography to look back on. I think I’ll spend this anniversary celebration replaying classics like Up & Down, Ah Yeah, DDD and I Feel Good instead of igniting this weak Fire.

Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7

17 thoughts on “Song Review: EXID – Fire

  1. A hot mess. The pre-chorus should just have been repeated for three minutes and it would have been great.
    Are they really strutting around an old prison? … … Is that appropriate?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was incredibly disappointed by this given prior to this they have a flawless discography for me. At least the B sides sound good. Sounds like a discarded song, which it very well may be given the production team.

    Side note are you going to review Limelight Eye to eye? Came out of nowhere and I’m obsessed with it.


    • Not planning on it. One pre-debut Limelight review was enough for me this month. Eye To Eye is better than Starlight, but neither song does much for me unfortunately.


    • Limelight – I am thinking that maybe they are doing a sort of marketing test, see which contemporary style gets more clicks, and then decide how to steer their sound. Eye to Eye sounds like the Blue Jean girl next door strategy song., and lots of people like that sound.


  3. Well, it’s not their best song but god, the video alone sold that song. EXID probably one of the best charismatic performers in Kpop tbh. That last bits during the outro where Solji do her adlibs. Jeonghwa sounds great too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This does sound like a more grownup TRI.BE song, and I wish the chorus had more oomph. But the girls sell it hard and they do a great job in doing it. I like how they finally let Hani and Jeonghwa let loose with their lower registers too. And props to them for coming back with a sexy banger and not with a sappy ballad or a big sentimental piece that other groups have already done, and done better.

    If you’re not into this, their b-sides are great, reminds me a lot of their older music too.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for this comeback, however I’m really confused by some of the decisions behind this release. Firstly, the music video set has been used numerous times by other acts like Blackswan and 3ye. I just don’t think it’s a fitting way to celebrate their ten years. These entertainment companies always seem to put more budget into boy group videos than girl group videos but I would’ve hoped an anniversary would demand a little more effort. Secondly, I would’ve expected a sound closer to their anthemic tracks. I’m always happy when we get anything more than a thank you ballad and I still think this song is worth returning to (especially that prechorus, a bridge in that style would’ve been cool). However, this really sounds like ANS’s follow up to say my name than an exid. I still like the track enough I just would’ve done things differently if I had the power


    • To be fair this seems like a self-funded comeback since they don’t have a company backing them, and they seemed like they only got Sony Korea to distribute, so no surprise if it feels like the budget seems limited.

      And I’m pretty sure this is what they wanted for a sound considering Shinsadong Tiger and LE composed this, and they’re the ones in charge of all their previous songs too, so there’s no other higher-up dictating their A&R


      • didn’t even realize it was independent, explains the video but makes the song less even more disappointing because they had more freedom to commemorate their sound. Glad it’s what they wanted but doesn’t really sound like EXID


  6. This song definitely sucks, but I also hate the way it’s performed. Sure, the members achieved what they were going for, but the whole idea of it was terrible in the first place. This thing is just so tacky. I wish idol rappers and producers would realize that there are other ways to posture without appropriating other cultures. I’m not even saying this from a social justice point of view, it’s just ridiculously cringey to see a Korean woman do Nicki Minaj cosplay. This isn’t even the worst case of it I’ve seen recently, it’s just that the song is so terrible that there’s nothing redeeming or interesting enough to distract me.


  7. Instead of returning triumphantly with their signature sound in a fitting way for such an anniversary, they give us one of the most generic ‘modern kpop’ songs ever.

    If you told me this was by Lapillus or someone similar I wouldn’t have known any better.

    LE was one of the best kpop rappers, but her rap here was weak sauce along with some cringy lyrical choices all round. Yeah it’s great too see them again, but this won’t gain them much in the way of new fans and old school LEGGO like me will likely be dismayed at how this sounds.

    Four out of Ten at best.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m really glad to see them coming back together again as a full group, but this song… it’s like a worse version of Me & You. It lacks identity, they deserve so much better 😦

    At least they look fantastic, as always!


  9. I’m not surprised this was a miss for me since I haven’t liked anything has put out, and their songs are nearly all LE and Shinsandong Tiger tracks. Even in EXID’s most generic past songs, they were always a bit more elevated by the performances than they had any right to be. They were a bit more personal, alive, and engaging, and I aymttribute a lot of that to LE knowing how to write parts for each member them. As a performer, you will be more connected with your songs when you play an active role and care about the resulting product in a way that doesn’t come through when someone is just handed a song by a stranger, follows the vocal guide, and calls it a day.

    That former vibrancy is gone here, and I think that just shows how much the time apart and distance impacts their work dynamic, which is natural. I’m glad to see them back though! It also gives an interesting opportunity to see how mature, adult performers tackle a trend that’s more akin instrumentally and conceptually to what many of the younger groups are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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