Now that I’ve covered my favorite albums in depth, now it’s time to get into the albums where I had fewer faves, but I still listen to the songs I love off these albums regularly.
If you have missed the previous articles in this series, you can find my thoughts on MAMA, XOXO & OVERDOSE, EXODUS and LOVE ME RIGHT, EX’ACT and LOTTO, and THE WAR & THE POWER OF MUSIC in the hyperlinks.
This article is on almost everything else released during Miracles in December and up to EXIST. Well, as of writing, EXIST isn’t out yet, but I’ll update this article with my favorite EXIST songs.
We have 22 songs to cover. So let’s get started!
Miracles in December
Miracles in December
I’ve talked about a few of my favorite Christmas Kpop songs in an article awhile ago. I still stand by wanting to put all the songs from Miracles in December album on that list.
It’s such a phenomenal album. You have your boring ballads, a midtempo song and an upbeat pop song all on the same mini album.
I love the orchestra version of this song as well. It just adds to the drama. I’ll link the Wiki here, so if you’re interested in whom all worked on the album and more backstory, you can read it there. I want to get to the 4/5 songs we’re gonna talk about.
“An absolute classic. The “All I Want For Christmas Is You” of Kpop in my opinion. Christmas season isn’t official until you’ve got “Miracles in December” playing (Korean or Chinese version)”10 Of My Favorite Kpop Christmas Songs
I still feel this way. It’s just soooo good. The Korean version is my favorite. Luhan kills it on the Mandarin version. I do recommend checking out that version as well.
I just love when Baekhyun, Chen, and D.O are able to showcase their powerhouse vocals with minimal instrumentals. Just talent in its pure form.
This was with fans like me in mind. Love love love an R&B midtempo EXO song.
This song is super cozy, snowy or rainy weather with a hot beverage warming your hands vibe.
Sidenote, I will never not get a kick out of this album art. It’s so cute and creative. Having the members posed like a Christmas tree with the EXO logo as the star is genius.
Which speaking of the star…
I used to listen to “The Star” sooo much when I first heard it. I think the first time I listened to Miracles in December album, it was either summer or fall.
So I was just jammin to Christmas songs completely off season, that how you know a song really slaps.
I try now, except for a few songs, to wait until Thanksgiving Day to listen to Christmas songs, like after the Macy’s Day parade. Usually when I start decorating the house while the National Dog Show is playing on TV.
Anyway, back to “The Star”. I love the “ladies and gentlemen” and the “lalala” adlibs and the instrumentals during that like 15 seconds in the chorus.
Idk what Kris thought he was doing in that clumsy ass rap aadsfdgtfghjk. That’s probably the worse part of the song. And I’m not dunking on him because of his downfall, I’ve always thought this rap and his rap skills in his brief stint in EXO was okay at best, mediocre the rest of the time.
I’ve said this before, but TAO was my favorite rapper in EXO. He was just so effortlessly cool, and his line delivery was top tier.
I wasn’t much of a Chanyeol rap defender in the past, but he definitely has improved over time. But like, I don’t want a Chanyeol solo project, *Lay voice* don’t misunderstand. Although his verse on “Frreal Love” with Far East Movement, Tinashe, and Marshmello is pretty good.
I’m getting off-topic again, lol. Next song!
My Turn To Cry
And back to the boring ballads. I love this song too. I think it’s a bit underrated. Still considered a classic, rightfully so. I didn’t realize this one is just Chen, D.O, and Baekhyun song, until I looked up the color coded lyrics.
I also didn’t realize that’s Chen starting the song, not D.O. So I’m a fake EXO-L, lmaoooo.
EXOLOGY CHAPTER 1: THE LOST PLANET
Tell Me What Is Love
Ohhhh maaaaan. When I first heard this song, I needed a full length version of it. Which finally did happen in the form of an SM Station song, I just don’t love it as much as D.O’s solo version of it.
I’m glad they induced it as an SM Station because it’s been a fan favorite for a while. I think I discovered the song from a mutual on Tumblr. I still blast it whenever it pops up on shuffle.
Love Love Love (rearranged)
Why not include concert video if I can have a visual instead of album art? “Tell Me What Is Love” is my favorite song/cover/solo stage song. But this is my favorite group song and stage.
I’ve yet to watch this entire concert. I’m sure I can find it on YouTube. But I first discovered this song via audio on Tumblr.
I remember my baby EXO-L era was so many people also being in that era and so many older fans sharing everything they could with us, good times.
This version is slightly different from this version from the concert. But this is the one I listen to on Spotify for years. My third favorite song from this Lost Planet album/concert.
There’s so much added drama to this version. I love the instrumentals and drops in this version. It’s different enough from the original, but not an entirely different song.
Like with “Monster” and the LDN Noise version, those are two different songs. If OG “Black Pearl” came on, and then rearranged “Black Pearl” played after, I’m skipping the arranged version because they’re too similar.
Sing For You
I’m not even a Star Wars girlie, but I was hypppppped about this collab. Kai’s random dance breaks never fail to crack me up.
Like I like them, but they have a bit of sillyness with it. It’s hard to take serious because of what’s going on around him. Basically the same feeling I had when he started dancing in “Lucky One”.
The song is sooo good. I think they did a wonderful job incorporating Star Wars into an EXO song without it feeling cheesey.
Love that Chanyeol wrote his rap for this song. I should have known most of my favorite songs from this album had LDN Noise on them.
We also have the return of BeatBurger and Adrian McKinnon on this song. Lastly, we have Jung Joohee (Jam Factory).
My favorite song from this album and era. I love the Inkigayo live stage version of this song. They looked like they had so much fun performing with their Santa suits.
For some reason I can’t embed that video, so you can watch it here.
This is my most listened to song from Sing For You. I don’t actually care much for “Sing For You”. Its fine. I watched the music video when the song dropped. But other than that, I never check for it.
Most important takeaway from this song is Dean wrote the lyrics and worked on the music for this song. Iconic.
Joombas is also credited on “Unfair”.
Girl x Friend
Third fave song from this album. I like these winter/Christmas songs that aren’t blanantly about Christmas or winter. Like they don’t have a reference to either in the title.
But the instrumentals and overall vibe to the song fits cold weather vibe. So it doesn’t feel out of place on this album.
We also have some familar faces on this track. Makeumine Works, LDN Noise (hey we were just talking about them), MZMC/Jeremy “Tay” Jasper, and Adrian McKinnon.
On The Snow
Second fave song from Sing For You. I love the melodies and a good R&B midtempo EXO song. I just do.
Similar to “Girl x Friend”, we have some other familar faces on this track too, LDN Noise and Andrew Choi. We also have Ryu Dasom (Jam Factory) and Ylva Dimberg (The Kennel).
One of my favorite EXO songs ever. Definitely somewhere in top 10. One of the best b-sides they have. I love a dancy winter/holiday song. I also included this in my top 10 fave Christmas songs article:
I admittedly listen to this song during the rest of the year too. It’s so catchy and upbeat. I feel like it isn’t talked about as much as some of EXO’s other Christmas songs.
It’s a completely different vibe from the first EXO song listed, but it’s a can’t miss for those who love a dancy Christmas.10 Of My Favorite Kpop Christmas Songs
Yeah she’s a vibe. Everything here is chef’s kiss. This is another EXO logo I’m obessed with.
Andreas Öberg is one of the people credited on this track and I’m not surprised at all. Here’s the Wiki with the full list if you’re interested.
On to DON’T MESS UP MY TEMPO. I really don’t listen to anything else from this album, lol.
DON’T MESS UP MY TEMPO
Ooh La La La
Another song Bazzi helped create??? What a fooking legend. Should I be listening to this mans music? Lololol. We are in that era of EXO songs where I don’t care for the title track, but I’m here for a decent chunk of b-sides.
I was definitely in my NCT era fully by this point and a casual EXO girlie. Along with like listening to SF9 and some other boygroups more. Less focus on EXO but I was happy the b-sides still slapped
“Ooh La La La” is so smooth. We love a song you can vibe or dance to.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I love “Gravity”. Unpopular opinnon alert, but this should have been the title track. I get why it wasn’t, like with “Power” and “Sweet Lies”. But maaaan that would have been a glorious time.
I have to talk about this album art. Again the graphics department knocked it out of the park. 1000/10.
Chanyeol, LDN Noise, Deez, and Adrian McKinnon are back in the credits. We also have Jeon Gandi on here too.
Deez and Seo Jieum are back in the song credits. I knew someone or someones I liked worked on this track. I’m slowly seeing the patterns now working on this series.
The instrumentals and melodies bring me back every time.
“Ruuuuuuuuuuun ruuuuuuuun yeah I’m on the road”. Listen, there are very few songs where I feel so strongly about passing a vibe test on. If you don’t like this song, I can’t trust you.
It’s so simple but classic EXO doing what they do at their finest. You give them a sick beat, and watch the magic happen.
Jo Yoonkyung is back on lyrics, Rice N’ Peas, Kevin White, Mike Woods, and Bazzi are on here too and guess who else? MZMC.
It’s getting too predictable now. I literally have like 10 people/producers I love when EXO works with them. They just know what slaps. They (usually, like 9 times out of 10) can make lightinging strike the same place multiple times.
I used to have a music fashio review article about this song, but I deleted it. I don’t think I have a backup of it either. I’d have to do some digging, but if you remember that article, omgggg you’ve been rocking with me for a long time. Thank you.
The takeaway was that I loveeeee these SHINee 1 of 1 meets Kill Bill meets DC villian outfits. You can never go wrong with crop top Kai.
Pink hair Chanyeol and fire red Suho look amazing. Chen and Baekhyun’s looks also look good on them. I think this was during D.O and Xiumin’s enlistments, right?
Not us getting into enlistment era EXO… that means we’re almost done with the article, lol. Don’t worry we have two more eras after this one.
Song wise, this brought EXO back on my radar. I know this album overall had mixed reactions. I think DON’T MESS UP MY TEMPO did too in its own way.
But as I mentioned eariler, I wasn’t that involved with the fandom at that time. So I don’t really have much to go on.
But I remember talking to one of my close friends at the time, she wasn’t feeling this album as much, but she loved DON’T MESS UP MY TEMPO. I was the opposite, sorta. I had more love for this album despite me having the same amout of songs saved from both, 4.
DON’T MESS UP MY TEMPO has more dance and house elements to it. Whereas OBSESSION has more R&B elements to it. I love both, but I always skew more towards R&B songs.
“Obsession” is addicting and a bit haunting to it. They understood the assignment. It’s like a “Monster” part 2 but smoother, less in your face with desire.
I listen to this song so much still. One of my favorite EXO titles ever.
Kenzie, Dem Jointz, Adrian Mckinnon, Yoo Youngjin, and Ryan S. Jhun are back. We also have Cristi “Stalone” Gallo and Asia’h Epperson on here too.
“Groove” is a b-side I’m side-eyeing you if you say you don’t like it. You’re not immediately an enemy, but you’re on the watch list, lol.
Like really? How do you not like this one?
It’s nothing extrodinary for EXO, a tune for sure. Makeumine Works and Joombas worked on this one.
Ya Ya Ya
Call them Britany Spears, because they did it again. I love SWV. “Rain” was one of my most listened to songs in high school.
I think I discovered it when Chris Brown sampled it in one of his songs, and then I later did a project for my English class on the two songs and sampling in music. That’s a story for another day.
I knew immediately where the sample for “Ya Ya Ya” was from, well like, I recoginzed the vocals. It could only be the legends from SWV.
I love when a sample is used creatively and becomes its own thing to make something new. I hate lazy samples where they either just sing over the beat or take something so well known and make it awful, I’m looking at you Bebe Rexa and David Guetta.
There are many people credited on this track, including SWV of course, but I want to specfically acknowledge Kenzie, Dem Jointz, and Ryan S. Jhun.
I said something to the extent of me loving songs that sound like they could have been on EX’ACT. I think it was my article covering The War. Idk if that’s an aesthetic, but I’m making it one.
And OF COURSE LDN Noise is on this song. Lee Seuran (Jam Factory) and Adrian McKinnon are on this one too.
DON’T FIGHT THE FEELING
Don’t fight the feeling
“Don’t fight it, don’t”.
See, now we’ve got a title track I love, but I don’t care for any of the b-sides, come on now! We’re well into the enlistment era now. I’ve recently been listening to this song a lot more. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in my most listened to songs of 2023 in my Spotify Wrapped.
I don’t have too much to say on it, other than I love Sehun’s rap. It’s a little clumsy but effective.
Let Me In
I’m praying that I’m right in anticipating this to be one of my favorite and most listened to albums of the year.
Listening to this song literally made me tear up. It made me realize how much I’ve missed EXO’s presence in the industry. Like yeah, they’re still around obviously, but like… these new boy groups are hitting like this.
Something about “Let Me In” feels like coming home after being away for a long time. Words cannot describe how excited and happy I am for a “full” EXO comeback. It feels long overdue and much needed.
I’ll talk a bit more about this song in my June Favorites article, releasing in a few days. But yeah. I love it. It had to make an appearance on this list and series.
Easily one of my favorite songs released this year.
It feels weird finally completing this series. I’ve been meaning to talk about my love for EXO and their music foreveeeeer.
I mean, they’ve been one of the few constants in the almost 10 years I’ve been a Kpop fan. I can’t imagine a world without them being a thing and the world stopping in anticipation for what’s next.
They’ve done so much already, what else could possibly be up their sleeves?
I saw someone in the EXO Subreddit asking for EXO song recommendations. I was well into working on this series by the time I saw that post. But it does feel like the timing is right. The stars aligned for me to put this all together right before their seventh album.
So I hope this was helpful. I feel like I listen to more EXO b-sides more than the title tracks most days. But they’re a group I always end up coming back to.
So yeah, I hope y’all enjoyed this article. If you haven’t checked out the other EXO articles in this series, here’s the list again:
What are some of your favorite EXO songs? Are you new to EXO or a long time fan? I’m very curious.
Next up is the June Faves. Then I gotta bring another fave artist of mine into the Fave Songs chat, HyunA.
See ya next post!