The Korean boy group EXO lived up to their tradition of releasing a special winter album. On Dec. 26, the group is back with their fourth winter album called Universe. The album includes eight songs: three versions (Korean, Chinese and CD version) of the title track with the same name, “Universe,” “지나갈 테니 Been Through,” “Stay,” “Fall,” “Good Night” and “Lights Out.”
It is fascinating how the album involves gender neutrality, for there are no gender-specific terms mentioned throughout the album. Hence, anyone can enjoy the album.
Here’s a track-by-track review:
It is a rock ballad song that EXO successfully delivered. The piano and electric guitar add feelings to the song. The song exhibits the powerful vocals of each member, although some of them have a little amount of lines. You can’t deny that one of the group’s strength is their vocal line. “I’ll search the universe.” That line is so addicting. “Universe” talks about one’s journey in searching the entire universe to find a lover/former lover that eventually became a part of their world. Emotions are spilling all over the song.
A coffee-themed music video was released together with the single. The music video contains metaphors that are in the lyrics.
지나갈 테니 Been Through
“You shine like the stars. You light up my heart.” I’m feeling the chorus and the vibe of this song so much. The first beats of the song get me every time. The song describes one’s resilience. All the pain will be healed, all it takes is time. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Moreover, during the darker days, the lover will be the source of light.
That R&B beat? Yes, I love it. The group sounded so fragile, and I can definitely feel it. “Killing me softly.” 100 percent, this song killed me. The rap lines blend so well with the vocal lines. The song talks about someone who wanted their lover to stay even though the lover already stopped giving love. Memories are shattered all over the place, promises are broken and someone cannot believe that everything between them is over.
Those guitar tunes at the start? Perfect. The members’ voices? Comforting. “It’s not easy, baby.” Falling for someone is definitely difficult. It feels like being trapped; the more you try to get out, the deeper the fall can be. Also, how they are captivated by someone’s little details. These sentiments are expressed in the song.
The keyboard tune in the intro is the perfect way to start the pop ballad song. “Baby, good night.” No, I don’t want to sleep yet. I want to hear their calming voices. The song is a sweet lullaby that talks about dreaming of someone who can be within their dreams. Thinking about someone can fuel one’s dreams. As the night falls, when they will fall asleep, they are certain that someone will appear in their dreams again — they will keep waiting, no matter what it takes.
The song is written by EXO’s Chen. What’s the best way to showcase EXO’s vocal line? This song! Their voices are burning with passion, and they are making me emotional. “Lights Out” can be a lullaby, too. I won’t mind hearing their voices before I sleep. The song is an assurance that the morning will still come even though the lights are out. “You’re not alone now. Don’t be lonely anymore.”
Personal favorites: “Stay” and “Been Through”
Album Rating: 8.7/10
Stream the album below:
I sincerely hope you can find what you’re looking for in this universe.