Exile

Ballad Best

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    6
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Exile is known for their R&B-infused pop, largely avoiding the strict idol-singing styles of pop common to boy bands in Japan. However, as their third (yes, third) best-of compilation of 2008 shows, they are not at all immune to the ballad. On this collection comprised solely of ballads, the group focuses primarily on love songs, and for some reason primarily on winter-related songs (admittedly, a quieter season). The ballads do tend to run into one another fairly commonly here, all performed well but all rather simple in construction (as pop ballads are wont to be). The boys of Exile perform them ably enough, but never really strike a chord strongly enough to stand out. This is what they do, and their job is done capably. However, amongst the river of balladry there are a couple of higher points. The highest is easily an a cappella rendition of "Holy Night," where the band get a chance to show off their vocal harmonies (all seven members at once), and prove that indeed, they have some formidable abilities. Unfortunately for the listener, that type of contemplative, technical work is quickly thrown to the side in favor of a silly remake of Wham!'s "Last Christmas." This is much the course of the album -- whenever a more lasting impression does manage to be made, even briefly, a more pop-heavy piece immediately follows to break up the format a bit. Exile has a whole stable of nice voices, and when truly let loose they have something wonderful to hear. However, for the majority of the ballads, the band simply puts together more product -- all alright, never great.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
5:45
2
4:38
3
4:18
4
5:42
5
6:08
6
5:26
7
3:41
8
5:23
9
5:52
10
5:35
11
5:00
12
4:37
13
5:46
14
6:30
blue highlight denotes track pick