Apologies for the missed album review on Sunday. As a result, I will be publishing another tomorrow to compensate for it, or else I will fall very behind on my schedule. In the meantime, this is the weekly Friday album review post! Stray Kids made their comeback on the 25th of April with both Clé 1: MIROH and the title track, Miroh. Since then, they have been releasing special videos for a number of the tracks on the album. It seems like this is a common thing for Stray Kids and I may compile a special review of these videos later on. However, for now, here is the album review for Clé 1: MIROH.
1..Miroh (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review of Miroh. (9.5/10)
2. Victory Song (승전가) – Stray Kids throws you intensity right, left and centre in Victory Song. Listening to the track, it is loaded with that hip-hop sound that Stray Kids started off with their mixtape. And it honestly been a while since I have personally heard a hip-hop dance track like this and really enjoyed it. Starting the song off are some sirens, which just tell you that it is going to be one hell of a track. The song then moves onto rapping and we are treated to a very deep whisper by Felix, who does a really good job building suspense for the track. The way the song is set up allows for the rappers to really shine, but the vocals were also quite good. The chorus is extremely strong, with their chanting union of the line ‘Listen to this Victory Song’ very memorable. (9/10)
3. Maze of Memories (잠깐의 고요) – Maze of Memories is also very intense. But it takes a different approach that Victory Song or the title track. The song starts off with a light-ish piano piece to build up the song (To me, the piano piece reminds me of the waiting music you hear when you are waiting for a computer game to load up). But the song takes a sudden turn for the chorus, delving into a rock instrumental. Interesting, it returns to the piano piece for the second verse, which I thought was rather cool. And this allows for the rock instrumental to be even more profound when it returns once again. Even more impressively, all the members rap throughout the song. I don’t think I heard any vocals and I think that is quite cool. Felix, Seungmin and Bangchan’s English lines did take me by surprise, which I don’t really understand why. But I guess it is might be because I have not heard an extended sequence like so that much. (10/10)
4. Boxer – Following the intense trend on this album, Boxer seems to be a very appropriate title for a track on this album. And like the title, the song centres itself around boxing, with the chorus acting like a boxing tutorial that I think might just work if you are wanting a workout (though, don’t trust me on this as I do not work out in any way). Once again, the rappers are at the forefront of the song, dominating for most of the verses and choruses. But the vocalists were still quite good in their limited sections. As for the instrumental, there is a more electronic influence, with the scratchy chorus and very intense fast vibrating synth accompanied by the bells you hear commonly in boxing matches. To me, it isn’t the stand out track on the album but it still quite good. (8/10)
5. Chronosaurus – Chronosaurus is appealing for several factors. The song starts off with a tone that seems to refocus on the vocalists of the song. It is much more melodic, and the rappers appeared to be scattered throughout the song, rather than the vocalists like in the previous tracks. The song isn’t as intense, providing some relief after the overload of intensity we have gotten so far. It also has a slower tempo, which allows us to really appreciate the song in a more wholesome way. I also liked the instrumental. Still quite dynamic but it’s different in its own way. I think the best part has to the eerie bridge. I really liked Bang Chan, Woojin and Seungmin’s vocals in this section. It really goes well with all the Western songs that I listen to and it makes the final chorus even more impactful once it comes along. (9/10)
6. 19 – When you see the number 19 in the context of KPOP songs, you automatically think of the strict broadcasting laws video content must be branded with. However, this is not the case for Stray Kid’s 19. The song is a slow R&B track that showcases both the rappers and vocalists evenly. I think the song talks about their hardship at the age of 19, which I think is the final age before people become ‘adults’ in Korea (don’t quote me on this, however). I really like the moody instrumental of the track which seems emotional and reflective, but the deep R&B vibes also fit Stray Kids’ portfolio. It didn’t appeal automatically to my taste, but the song grew on me after a while and I think, now, is quite good. (8/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10