B-Sides: Stray Kids Special
Not gonna lie, I’ve been quite obsessed with Stray Kids since their debut, and I’ve continued to find myself falling further and further into the fandom hole as time has gone on. On top of being a group full of the cutest little boys, their music has really managed to stand out, especially for a rookie group. Besides having some great title tracks, they also produce some memorable B-sides in their albums.
“Voices” is such an emotionally intense song that I think is perfectly expressed by Changbin’s early rap verse. The song personifies the internal doubts that we all face in our daily lives and expresses the desire to be free of such thoughts, which is something everyone can relate to. The emotional expression wrapped up in the song, the lyrics, and even the choreography are guaranteed to hit the listener right in the most vulnerable point of their heart. The ability to express such an intense and relatable sentiment isn’t easy and proves the talent this group of boys has.
Also off latest mini-album I am WHO, “불면증 Insomnia” has a much less heavy sentiment compared to “Voices” and proves that the boys can accomplish the dual messaging and sound in their tracks. “불면증 Insomnia” discusses exactly what you’d think it would; it also presents a message of a positive future. The track has a lighter feel to it and is accompanied by such a cute music video the boys shot in New York City after performing at KCON NY in June.
“3rd Eye” has a different sound from most of their tracks in that it’s much more R&B and ballad influenced, but maintains the emotional intensity of other tracks like “Voices” and “District 9.” The song also has a stranger type of intensity to it in the melody, with eclectic musical elements that make it stand out. Stray Kids have never focused on generic love songs and instead place importance on deeper emotional topics, which shows through in “3rd Eye.”
“Grrr 총량의 법칙”
Unlike most others, I hadn’t hopped on the Stray Kids train during their variety show days or with the pre-debut release of “Hellevator.” “Grrr 총량의 법칙” was the first song and video I saw of the group, and I was hooked instantly. The intensity of the song speaks to my heavy metal roots, and the impact of the lyrics so openly portraying internal anger many confused youth feel was refreshing to me. In that moment I knew I would be behind this group and their message.
“어린 날개 Young Wings”
In contrast to “Grrr 총량의 법칙,” “어린 날개 Young Wings” portrays a far more positive message related to youth and staying true to yourself. I’m often reminded of the earlier days of BTS during The Most Beautiful Moment in Life in the message Stray Kids go for in this track, which is probably why I’m also so fond of it. Even as an older fan and someone who is considered an adult, there’s some comfort to take in the message of always staying true to your youth and expressing the fear of change that exists in all of us.