[Album Review] Clé 1 : MIROH (4th Mini Album) – Stray Kids

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.

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Clé 1: MIROH Album Cover

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. ChronosaurusChronosaurus 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

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Clé 1: MIROH Teaser Image

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[Review] Miroh – Stray Kids

Stray Kids have returned with their first 2019 comeback. Last year, the male group made their debut with District 9, and continued promotions throughout the entire year with My Pace and I Am YOU. If you ask me, that is an extremely busy year for a rookie group. Today, the group dropped their 4th mini-album, Clé 1 : MIROH. But they released the music video for Miroh 18 hours prior to the album drop, which was extremely unexpecting. But hey, I am not complaining.

Miroh is an even more intense sound than any of their previous releases. But we don’t really get a sense of that intensity at the start but you can definitely sense the exponential buildup as we head towards the chorus. Instead, we open with Felix’s deep tone voice and sirens layered over birds tweeting. We are then lead into a nice vocal verse. Out of nowhere, the intensity picks up and the rappers come at us with a very powerful rap pre-chorus (also my favourite part of the song). Continuing the momentum is the chorus, which takes a half-instrumental piece and half singing approach. I actually quite like this and thought the song was extremely dynamic due to the dance influence the instrumental featured.  I also find the ‘Woah-Oh-Oh’ very addictive as well, as it seems to provide relief after all the intensity. The fade-out was also nice. Not too typical for a dance song like this but given its heavy-handed nature, I think it works excellently, My personal biggest issue with the song has to be how short it felt. Two choruses in and I actually wanted more, though I am not sure how I would handle more.

I am personally not sure what the song is 100% about. My interpretation of the lyrics is that the song talks about reaching new heights and being yourself in the process (but this may be wrong). I like how the video relates to the song in a more literal sense, however. The members are singing about the concrete jungle and how they ‘ran to the next city’ to go ‘higher in the next city’. And we see that. We see the members taking over the city from the rich men who run it by leading another rebellion. We see them on top of buildings, performing their choreography. It all works out well. I like how the edgy feel of the song seeps onto the video. Furthermore, I enjoyed the editing in this video, which made everything feel so intense.

Big ticks for this choreography. The best part has to be the chorus for me, where the song peaks. And there is nothing better than the peak of a song! Definitely intense and I always like a jump that is timed with the song.

Song – 9.5/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10

[Special] 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards – Artist Categories Results

Welcome back to the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards! On the 1st of December 2018, I presented my readers with many categories filled with talented and deserving nominees for the 2018 KPORPEVIEWED Awards. For the month of December, all of you voted for your favourite artists and songs from January 2018 to November 2018. And today, I present to you who the winners of each category were.

This is the first section, which will look at the categories surrounding the artists including Best New Groups, Best Female and Male Groups and many others.

Each category will have a WINNER (the artist/group that received the highest amount of fan votes), Honourable Mention (the artist/group that received the second highest amount of fan votes) and KPOPREVIEWED Choice (who I voted for).

So, drum roll please, for the winners of the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Artist categories.


Best New Male Group

Nominees – ATEEZ, NOIR, Stray Kids, The Boyz, UNB

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WINNER – Stray Kids
Honourable Mention – The Boyz
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – The Boyz


Best New Female Group

Nominees – fromis.9, (G)I-DLE, IZ*ONE, LOONA, NATURE

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – LOONA
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – fromis.9


Best New Soloist

Nominees – Kim Dong Han, Leo (VIXX), LONGGUO, SOHEE (ELRIS), Yuri (SNSD)

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WINNER – Yuri (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Leo (VIXX)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Kim Dong Han


Rising Star

Nominees – (G)I-DLE, Lovelyz, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Pentagon

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WINNER – (G)I-DLE
Honourable Mention – Pentagon
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Momoland


Most Underrated Artist of the Year

Nominees – A.C.E, CLC, N.Flying, KARD, Snuper

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WINNER – KARD
Honourable Mention – CLC
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – N.Flying


Best Unit Group / Subunit

Nominees – EXO-CBX, NCT 127, NCT Dream, Oh My Girl BANHANA, SNSD-Oh!GG

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WINNER – EXO-CBX
Honourable Mention – SNSD-Oh!GG
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – NCT 127


Best Male Solo Artist

Nominees – Eric Nam, Hwang Chi Yeul, Jung Sewoon, Samuel, Seungri (Big Bang)

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WINNER – Seungri (Big Bang)
Honourable Mention – Eric Nam
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Eric Nam


Best Female Solo Artist

Nominees – BoA, Hyolyn, Kim Chungha, Sunmi, Taeyeon (SNSD)

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WINNER – Taeyeon (SNSD)
Honourable Mention – Sunmi
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Sunmi


Best Band

Nominees – DAY6, IZ, N,Flying, The East Light, The Rose

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WINNER – DAY6
Honourable Mention – The Rose
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – DAY6


Best Raps

Nominees – B.I (iKON), Ilhoon (BTOB), Jooheon (Monsta X), Mino (WINNER), RM (BTS)

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WINNER – RM (BTS)
Honourable Mention – Mino (WINNER)
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Jooheon (Monsta X)


Best Vocals

Nominees – BOL4, BTOB, Hwang Chi Yeul, Mamamoo, Minseo

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WINNER – Mamamoo
Honourable Mention – BTOB
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Best Male Group

Nominees – BTOB, BTS, EXO, GOT7, iKON, Monsta X, NCT, NU’EST W, Pentagon, Seventeen, SF9, SHINee, VIXX, Wanna One, Winner

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WINNER – BTS
Honourable Mention – SHINee
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – iKON


Best Female Group

Nominees – AOA, APRIL, BLACKPINK, CLC, Dream Catcher, EXID, GFriend, Lovelyz, Mamamoo, Momoland, Oh My Girl, Red Velvet, TWICE, Weki Meki, WJSN (Cosmic Girls)

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WINNER – Red Velvet
Honourable Mention – BLACKPINK
KPOPREVIEWED Choice – Mamamoo


Artists Who Topped The Weekly KPOP Charts The Most in 2018

This is not a fan-voted category

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WINNER – Monsta X, Seventeen & Sunmi


And that completes the Artist Categories for the 2018 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. The Song Categories will be unveiled shortly and you can access it by clicking here!

And for the End of Year Charts – they will be out tomorrow. I will update this post with the link once it is out.

Thank you for all voting and checking out who you all selected to be the winners! I hope to do this again for 2019!

[Album Review] I Am You (3rd Mini Album) – Stray Kids

Stray Kids returned last week with I Am You, the title to their latest promotional track and mini-album. And while I have reviewed their title track, I have yet to look at their album. So today, that is why we are all here! I have reviewed their I Am Who mini-album, which was released back in August and plan to review their debut mini-album (I Am Not) soon! But before we give Stray Kids another opportunity to complete another I Am… sentence, let’s begin the album review.

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I Am You Album Cover

2. I Am YOU (Title Track)Click here to read the full review of I Am YOU. (8/10)

3. My Side (편) My Side takes both light and heavy rock sound, mashing them up to create one good track. I have to admit each section does seem like it came from different songs as transitions between the vocal and rap sections weren’t really there (they just cut to the other). I like the intensity that the rap sections (and the final section of the song) give, while the vocals provide us with some melodic moments and relief from the intensity. I feel like the vocals were superior, but the rapping was also quite good. (9/10)

4. Hangover Soup (해장국)Hangover Soup has this emotional vibe which makes it an exceptional song. The song felt like it began with a much higher tempo and the tempo gradually decreased as the song went on. Not 100% sure whether this was technically true, but it sure felt that way. The vocals and the raps were all tweaked to fit the slower R&B feels that this song features. And it actually resulted in some high-quality delivery of lines and nice falsettos that attracts my attention. Paired with the minimalistic instrumental, I thought this was a very impactful and cool song. (9/10)

5. Get Cool – This song takes a little different turn, with a more light-hearted and fun instrumental. Matching with this is the happier tone in the vocals and raps. I personally don’t mind this song, but no matter how times I listen to it, I can’t seem to get into it. It has a nice rhythm and the fact that is a brighter track makes it stand out. But I think when it comes to Stray Kids, I think I have associated them with a little more intensity and energy, rather than a light-hearted song. (8/10)

6. N/S (극과극) – It seems like N/S stands for ‘North/South’ and N/S goes for a prominent hip-hop tune. What is also interesting is that this song doesn’t really focus on vocals. All the members dabble into rapping of some form, which I think is rather interesting. Usually, these songs make rappers into vocalist, so it is a little unique to have vocals turn into rappers. And if you know me, I don’t tend to enjoy these songs as much. But this one is quite good. It has a nice rhythm and relative simple lyrics that repeat over and over again, allowing it to be engraved into your mind. (8.5/10)

7. 0325 – With the title corresponding with their debut date (25th of March) and the presence of the sirens in their song reminding me of District 9, I expected something along the lines of their debut track. But we get a slightly different track which sounds as good. It doesn’t have that hip-hop or dance feel to it but there is enough in the song to feel like a Stray Kids. I liked how the chorus picked up by using the drum beats and it contrasted nicely with the slightly slower verse. The rapping and vocals aren’t winners on this track, as compared to the other songs but they still showed some talent. Overall, another good track. (8/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

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I Am You Teaser Image

[Review] I Am YOU – Stray Kids

The biggest secret when becoming successful in KPOP nowadays is making multiple comebacks. The very moment a gap between comebacks is a month too long, artists run the risk of being forgotten. This is especially important in the year of your debut. And Stray Kids has definitely taken this on board. With two comebacks already under their belt this year (District 9 and My Pace), the group is not going to be forgotten any time soon. And now their third comeback of the year, I Am YOU was released yesterday, so let’s have a closer look.

While District 9 and My Pace have primarily been about intensity and impact, I Am YOU takes a step back. It has been described as ‘sentimental’ on KPOP news outlets and I think that is a perfect way to describe the song. Despite that, the instrumental does have a particular Stray Kids sound to it, which I can’t really define it. Instead, when you hear it, it kind of makes sense. I thought the song had a nice melody and I liked the way the rappers were presented in the song. Vocally, this has to be their best title track yet, mainly because the step back from intensity definitely caters for their talents. The chorus was catchy (those English line at the start of the chorus are beautiful) but I feel like they could have done something to it to make it even more appealing.

The music video features scenes (and music) from the My Pace music video at the very start, which indicates that this is some sort of continuation. After the events in the previous music video, the members basically hang out with each other, creating a small oasis on the top of a building for themselves. It was nice. I did think they took a somewhat soft route in terms of issues, which does make sense but I personally felt the video was lacking. I did think the choreography scenes on the truck was cool (even though I know it is CGI) but it gave the video that kick that we got from past Stray Kids videos.

[Updated] Like the song, they have toned down the energy to make it fitting for the song. And it was quite fitting for the song. Despite it being slower, the performance felt very strong and felt equally as impactful as their more powerful dances tracks. I think the best word to describe it is ‘smooth’. The chorus was my personal favourite section as this was when the smoothness kicked in the most.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8/10 [Updated]
Overall Review – 8/10

[Album Review] I Am WHO? (2nd Mini Album) – Stray Kids

This is the final “catch up” album review as I plan to get started on some album review for new releases this weekend. This is also the first time I will be reviewing Stray Kids’ album, who made their debut earlier this year with District 9. However, I am WHO? is the title for their more recent album, which features My Pace (link below) as the main title track. The group has also been releasing performance videos (or mv-like videos for all their tracks, so I linked down below so you can view them (simply click on the link at the title of the song).

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I Am WHO? Album Cover

1..WHO? – I do not commonly review the introductory track. But this one was much longer than most intro tracks and featured lyrics, which isn’t something too common. It is performed by Woojin, Felix and Han. A few of the titles of the songs on the album pop up in this track but I think it was a coincidence rather than intentional. I like the vocal and rapping elements in this introduction, my favourite being Woojin’s whispering. (8/10)

2. My Pace (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review of My Pace. (9/10)

3. VoicesVoices is the hip-hop song that fulfils my craving for hip-hop, a genre that I don’t often delve into. It reminds me of the hip-hop songs that you commonly get in the Western industries back in the ‘00s. The song has a very impactful sound that is very rough around the edges but is quite heavy in terms of emotion. I thought the song showcases both their rapping and vocal potential, something I haven’t heard from them yet. I really like the roughness and intensity that the rappers bring to the song and the chorus was superb and melodic. (9.5/10)

4. QuestionQuestion gets the album on a more upbeat and energetic note. In this song, we see different rap and vocal styles that we haven’t heard on the album yet. Whoever did the whispering rap section that opened the second verse sounds so good (I have replayed the song multiple times for that one section). I like entire chorus as it is however thought Felix’s English hook post-chorus extremely catchy and the main selling point of the song. The song does feel like it is missing something though, but I cannot pinpoint what that is. (8/10)

5. Insomnia (불면증) – While I did like other songs on the album more than Insomnia, I think it was the first song to jump out at me to confirm its album review. I thought the song was extremely dynamic, with its soft start and very unexpecting chaotic chorus drop. The fluctuations in the energy from the different sections is very interesting, which I think makes sense given the title of the song. Once again, the vocals and raps were quite good. But since I tend to listen to albums prior to going to sleep, this one isn’t too ideal for that period. (8/10)

6. M.I.A – I personally do not like to label songs as the ‘weakest song’ but it gives you an idea of what type of songs I like from an artist and what I don’t like. This one was a miss for me. I am not a fan of heavy autotune, so with majority of the song being filtered with the autotuned didn’t do much for me. On the plus side, however, the song was quite smooth. Vocals were good but I think some of the rapping in this song was more enjoyable (as it gave the song some roughness to offset the smoothness). Besides that, I don’t have much to say about the song. (6.5/10)

7. Awkward Silence (갑자기 분위기 싸해질 필요 없잖아요) – Ending the album is Awkward Silence, which is extremely fun and playful. A different route once again when compared to the rest of the album. I actually really like the song. The crow squawking during the ‘awkward silence’ just before the chorus was a very nice touch and gave the song that ‘not-so-serious’ element. I thought the bridge of the song was quite nice and Felix’s random inserts were quite enjoyable (also love the Australian accent that trickles in – Australia Represent!). It ends the album on a happier note, which I quite like. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10 [FIXED]

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I Am WHO? Teaser Image

 

[Review] My Pace – Stray Kids

Stray Kids are back with their very first comeback since their debut, District 9, in April this year. My Pace is the name of the title track for their second mini-album, I Am Who, which follows in the footsteps of their rap-heavy and hip-hop dominated debut track. In between the promotions for District 9 and My Pace, the group also followed up their debut promotions with Mirror (a single from their first mini-album).

From the very start, the one word that can describe the song very accurately is ‘energetic’. There is no moments in the song that felt it lacked energy or intensity, for that matter. And that makes it a perfect fit for the most active season of the year. Even the start of the song, the rough and deep ‘NaNaNaNa‘ by Changbin really grabs your attention and kicks the song off with a punch. The rapping in this song continues this momentum with the vocals giving a moment of relief from the punches we keep on getting. The chorus was very simple but works extremely well with the rap heavy side of the song. I really like the very heavy-handed approach on the instrumental which basically goes back to that energetic aspect of the song. My most favourite part was the suspense filled launch into the final chorus which just nudged the song along that bit further. Overall, the song was awesome and impactful.

The various scenes that make up the video are stringed together so well that it made the music video feel that much edgier when paired with the song. I liked how the camera shots got up close and personal with the members, giving us different angles that we don’t see so much of today. The uNDerground street racing concept was really good as well, fitting both the song and their image. Not too keen on the random break we got just before the bridge, because that cuts the energy. But other than that, a really good video.

The choreography reminds me of Block B. Maybe because it has that wild side that I do recognise from the senior boy group. And like the song, the performance does pack a punch, leaving us energy depleted (because listening to an energetic track and watching a very active performance is really energy draining!) and wanting more.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10

[Review] Mirror – Stray Kids

Stray Kids have had a pretty successful debut so far with District 9. While there doesn’t seem to be too much competition with other new male groups so far this year, Stray Kids have already made a name for themselves in the overseas market. To keep people talking about them, Stray Kids will be following up with Mirror, which is a track off their debut mini-album, I Am Not.

Mirror seems to follow their previous title tracks with its dance-based songs. Interestingly, this song is less intense than their previous songs and it leans toward a pop sound during the chorus. It is an interesting mix, going back and forth to the EDM. Even more interesting is the fact there was a complete slowdown during the bridge, which my opinion worked nicely. This particular sound does allow for the vocals to be heard and they did flourish. We got a taster in District 9 but it would have been interesting to hear more of the vocals (since their songs are already rap dominating), particularly  on a different canvas. While I understand that this may be a little plain for some people, it proved one thing for me. Despite their deep voices and dance-centred title tracks, versatility might be another aspect to keep an eye out. But going back to Mirror, it was a pretty good song overall.

We don’t really have a music video. Rather, earlier this week, they dropped their ‘performance version’, which serves as the promotional video. I feel that while the video looks like it is in line with their debut and pre-release, they could have added something more to make it interesting. For example, a set change for when we launch into the chorus would have made this video pop more and become more memorable. Despite that though, they did do a great job channelling the tough vibes.

What makes the video interesting is the performance rather than the visuals of the video. I really like the mirroring at the start and how they ended the performance in a similar manner to the start. Their formations looked really cool and it was extremely captivating to watch.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 6.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.8/10

[Review] District 9 – Stray Kids

This week, JYP Entertainment has welcomed a brand new male group to their line-up, joining 2PM, GOT7 and DAY6. Stray Kids is a 9-member male group was formed from the reality show, Stray Kids. They released Hellevator in October last year a promotional track for the show. In January, the group released a pre-debut album titled Mixtape. Now, the boy group is back with their official debut mini-album, titled as I Am Not and the title track, District 9.

There are no surprises with the way the song turned out for me. If Hellevator and their Mixtape mini-album indicated anything, the group would be putting out a hip-hop/EDM styled song for their debut. District 9 is exactly that and it is quite intense from the very first second. The song seems to refocus on the rappers, with the majority of the song being quite rap-dominate (given how the verses, bridge and some parts of the chorus were raps). The chorus does provide some variety with the vocalists given their chance to shine in the rap-dominated song. What I noticed with this song is that there didn’t seem to be a buildup to the chorus. Instead, we were thrown into the chorus straight after the raps finished up for that part. I am not disappointed with this, however, because it felt flawless and amazing. I am personally not a big fan of the hip-hop side of KPOP but this song, combined with its dance elements, gives this group a huge advantage in the industry at the moment. It is an amazing debut song.

And this huge advantage might already be paying off. Stray Kids have become the group with the highest amount of views within 24 hours of debut. On top of that, they have accumulated more than 11 and a half million views within a span of 3 days. That is amazing, considering they just debuted 3 days ago. The music video shows the members being trapped inside a futuristic prison (that seems to be hidden from the public, like Area 51). The members seem to realize this and find a way out of the prison by crashing through the unseeable barrier and the real world (or what they dub as District 9). Kind of like how it alludes to their debut. It is a great video to watch, pairing well with the intensity of the song. The cinematography is amazing and you can tell the budget is well used with this music video.

The post-chorus sequence was really well done. The performance also went well with the song. They managed to be in sync all throughout the performance, particularly amazing me for the chorus. Their stage presence is quite large and if anything can come out of this performance is that these guys aren’t afraid to give some of the other groups a little competition when it comes to dancing.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10

 

[Review] Grrr (Law of Total Madness) – Stray Kids

Have you seen the winners of the 2017 KPOPREVIEWED Awards yet? If you haven’t, feel free to click here to be transferred to see who won!

Last year, as an introduction to a potential upcoming boy group by JYP Entertainment, Stray Kids unleashed Hellivator. The group then went on to compete to see who would be able to debut later this year, with all nine members confirmed to debut at the end of the show’s run. Now, they are back with a pre-debut mixtape (in the form of a mini-album) titled as Mixtape and features the main track, Grr (Law of Total Madness).

If we want to talk intensity, Stray Kids is probably the group to talk about. From the very start, there is no holding back. Instead, the group just launches right into there. The song seems to be a mixture of rock and EDM, with elements poking out at you during certain moments throughout the song. You could say that the combination turns it into a mess but given their past track, it is clear that it was intentional and definitely adds to their portfolio. It does lack something that could have made the track more catchy, in my point of view. Maybe a chorus because I felt this song’s chorus didn’t have much of a presence due to the song’s style and rap-dominance. But it is still decent to listen to. Once again, the vocals are overshadowed by the raps. So while this is just a pre-debut, I am hoping to hear a few tracks that highlight the vocal capabilities of the group in the future.

The music video is essentially the performance of this song, throwing in some closeup shots of the member. Everything felt fitting for this music video, from the shaky camera work to the industrial background. So there isn’t much else to talk about.

But the key part of the video is definitely the dance performance. That level of intensity that you could hear from the song is seen throughout the performance. In my previous review for the group, I commented on their potential and this performance just cements that. I like the ‘running towards the camera’ during the chorus and the second verse rap where some of the members are lying on the ground (at 1:30) is pretty unique.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.9/10

 

[Review] Hellevator – Stray Kids

Another song that I missed. JYP Entertainment jumped back onto the reality TV show bandwagon for their next boy group. STRAY KIDS is currently a show broadcasting in South Korea with the sole purpose of selecting members of a future boy group to debut next year. To promote the participants and show, the trainees released Hellevator, the focus of today’s review.

The first part of the track reminded me of Rhianna and Eminem’s Love The Way You Lie, which was one of the songs that got stuck in my head through my early teenage years. The way the vocals were set up reminded me eerily of the way Rhianna sang her song and the way the raps began reminded me of how Eminem rapped in the said song. Hellevator’s main attraction was the raps. There is no doubting that. And I thought the raps were really well done. They were rough and tough, much like the EDM drop that the song featured. The vocals, on the other hand, didn’t seem to connect well with that side of the song. What also yelled out to me was the intensity of the track, which basically grew larger as the song went on. It was there from the start but I think the chorus kicked it up a notch. Overall, it is a great pre-release, in my opinion.

I like the video. Ther post-apocalyptic vibes were very cool and the sets portrayed that very well. There was a small plotline in the video but for the amount of time it received, it felt unnecessary in the end. I am not going to make a summary of what I thought was going on in the video because I had no idea what was going on. But after some searching, I thought this site pretty much explained in a more cohesive manner than what I would have done. To read the synopsis, click here (3rd paragraph).

The choreography performed was really cool, as well. It seems to make their future releases look promising with such epic choreography.

Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10