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Stray Kids Make Their Comeback with “ROCK-STAR”

Courtesy of JYP Entertainment

Stray Kids Comeback

Global phenomenon Kpop group Stray Kids made a comeback with their eight-track album, ROCK-STAR. The songs take an alternative and darker approach compared to their previous releases, hence the title of the project. Stray Kids have proved their global appeal with three albums hitting #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. ROCK-STAR is aiming for their fourth #1 with this project.

Review of the Title Track “LALALALA”

“LALALALA” is the title track for this album, and comes with an accompanying music video. A phonk-inspired beat makes up this song, hitting you in the face. A strong rap line meets with vocals that come together harmoniously. “LALALALA” sounds a bit chaotic in the best way possible way. The pre-chorus slows the song down for a second before the anthemic drop in the chorus. We are reminded to feel the rock energy they are exerting. The track discusses nonstop dancing and moving to the rhythm of the world. Seungmin, Lee Know and Felix’s outro for “LALALALALA” is the best part of the track. It turns the energy up from 0 to 100 before closing the song.

In the music video, Stray Kids prove they have the budget and power to comeback better than ever. Impossible choreography emphasizes they are the ultimate package. They can dance, professionally spit bars and have outstanding vocals. The impressive fashion the group dripped in from head to toe is a result of signing with multiple luxury brands. JYP Entertainment makes sure that the artists push the envelope in each comeback with strong themes that contribute to their success.

Overall Album Review

Stray Kids 'ROCK-STAR' album cover art
Stray Kids ‘ROCK-STAR’ album cover art

“COMFLEX” is the highlight track of the album with a strong bass-forward chorus. It describes how they are classy and are unique from other groups. The word “comflex” is a clever wordplay mashing the words “complex” and “flexing” together. This song fits the rock aesthetic they are going for, showing a good contrast between high notes and a good rap flow. They deserve to flex their singularity to other groups as they have taken over the whole world.

The album overall is solid. They have better albums like MAXIDENT, but there are no horrible tracks. In some songs, Stray Kids don’t stick to the rock genre, which should’ve been consistent throughout the whole project. They go the ballad route in songs like “Cover Me” and “Leave,” which are great, but don’t fit this particular concept.

Each track showcases the dichotomy of Stray Kids being able to transition from hardcore rapping to belting, as the members have a specific role in the group. There are set vocalist and rap positions that show they can be diverse within their music. They are successful because each member has time to shine. Being a self-produced and self-written group cannot be said as normal in the Kpop industry, but they defy those norms. Bang Chan, the leader of Stray Kids, self-produces most of their discography with help on writing from 3RACHA (Han, Changbin and Bang Chan).

Stray Kids cannot make a bad record and that is prevalent in this comeback. They are raising the bar for Kpop with each release. Want to check out more Kpop reviews? Click here for one on IVE’s latest EP.

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