K-pop group Stray Kids embraces “noise music” in their new album “NOEASY”

Released on August 23, Stray Kids’ second full-length album, “NOEASY” quickly climbed the charts, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard World Album Chart on August 31. Credit: Gabe Haferman | Photo editor assistant

Released on August 23, Stray Kids’ second album, “NOEASY,” quickly climbed the charts, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard World Album Chart on Tuesday.

JYP Entertainment’s eight-member K-pop group Stray Kids began promoting their new album on July 21, dropping out song teasers and “Unveil” the trailers who created a living tale of unlikely heroes battling a menacing “sound monster”.

Written and produced by band frontman Bang Chan (Christopher Bang) alongside band members Seo Changbin and HAN (Han Jisung), “NOEASY” features a range of quick hits, sultry hymns, and soul-boosting bops. serotonin and heartbreaking. ballads, all incredibly branded for the self-produced idol group.

The title track “Thunderous” currently occupies No. 3 on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart. With smart, fast and powerful rap verses, “Thunderous” combines heavy rhythms and synths with traditional Korean instruments and other sounds, such as car horn noises, while supporting lyrics about originality. , noise and regardless of what other people think. The Musical clip because the song has already over 53 million views.

The first song on the album is “CHEESE”, which is intense and a bit shocking at first, followed by “Thunderous”, “DOMINO” and “SSICK”. The first four songs adhere to Stray Kids’ signature bold, powerful and aggressive style.

Next comes “The View”, a song that makes life feel like it’s worth living with its light, addictive melody and upbeat rhythm between verses. Beginning with a sweet, tentative verse from Hwang Hyunjin, the song evokes the pride felt as a group that has overcome hardships in the past and seem to be basking in the comforts of growing up.

“Sorry, I love you” slows things down, doing a full 180 of the mood previously set by “The View”. A song about intense, unrequited love feelings for someone, this vulnerable hip-hop song features softer, more melodic vocals and arrangements, building on the more emotional side of songwriting from Seo.

Similar to their previous album “IN LIFE”, this album also includes unit songs – which usually only have two or three members instead of the eight. The first is “Red Lights” with Bang Chan and Hwang. Although not listed as self-explanatory, the melody and rhythm leave little to the imagination, and the lyrics, for those brave enough to translate them, paint a pretty vivid picture.

“Surfin ‘” features Lee Know (Lee Minho), Lee Felix and Seo in a catchy, dance-worthy pop song. Playful lyrics accompanied by steel drums make this a perfect song for the summer, albeit a bit repetitive.

With only HAN, Kim Seungmin and IN (Yang Jeongin), “Gone Away” is a nice change of pace after “Red Lights” and “Surfin”. The heart-wrenching ballad features an unexpected, well-placed change of tone and a stunning voice.

The penultimate is the wild hip-hop song “WOLFGANG”, originally released for the K-pop survival show “KINGDOM: LEGENDARY WAR”, which Stray Kids won in June. Reissued and featuring Hwang, who was on hiatus when it was originally released, this song is dark and intense, both lyrically and musically. Accompanied by the sound of howling wolves in the background, the ever-changing vocals, catchy chants and grainy rap verses present “WOLFGANG” as a shocking example of the unexplored potential for Stray Kids.

Those familiar with Stray Kids would already expect loud, boisterous music accompanied by creative and meaningful lyrics, leaning on the phrase “loud music” to produce something fun and innovative. This album brings together fast and clever rap verses bordering on anger, heartwarming and heart-wrenching power ballads and heartwarming pop songs to create another album that is both new and exciting and lives up to the Stray Kids journey. .

However, unlike the uneven distribution of lines among the members of previous albums, the voice of each member of Stray Kids shines in a unique, never-before-heard and sometimes dramatic way on “NOEASY”.

With essentially unlimited free reign over writing and producing their own music, Stray Kids makes full use of the individual talent of each member of this album as they continue to push the boundaries and expectations of K-pop, all by testing the limits and creative devices of their own sound. There is not much to be desired for the 3 year old group.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

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