Photo credits: JYP

[Review] Stray Kids – 5-STAR

Stray Kids is back to wow us all with their new album ‘5-STAR’. Let’s check it out!


We start off with ‘Hall of Fame’. There’s some really dense layering going on with the instrumentals. The very dark sound with the electric guitar and the synths is pretty cool! I really dig the switches between the verses and sections. Some have a completely different sound and energy and it’s dope. The vocal harmony in the bridge had me shook. What a cool listening experience!

Next up is the title track ‘S-Class’. The album description describes it correctly, “The song is characterized by an addictive and unique rhythmic hook that conveys freshness in the composition as if several songs were merged together.” It’s a wild ride and it’s so cool! Literally I have no idea how this manages to sound cohesive but it does. Also shout out to the random elephant sound in the instrumentation.

Now I understand why they were posting the main hook of the song on TikTok days before.

‘ITEM’ brings us another unique track. We’re going for some video games influences with some of the cute samples, the instrumentation feels less dense than the previous tracks, but it is still packed with a dirty drum and bass.

‘Super bowl’ has some insane whispering that feels like ASMR. They’re still cooking like a chef, but this time they’re cooking up a super bowl. It’s a bop in my opinion.

Next up

After that comes the much anticipated collab with icon Tiger JK ‘TOPLINE’. In the album description they wrote a literal love declaration to Tiger JK, which is absolutely adorable. This blend of oldschool hip hop beat which is upgraded into something more contemporary. It sounds like a distorted horn, it’s a very cool synth. The lyrics are fire!

‘DLC’ is next and right from the start we’re in summer mode. DLC stands for ‘dance like crazy’. We’re going Moombahton for the beat and it’s literally a boost of serotonin. Grab your cocktails, your summer hats and SPF, we’re going to vibe next to the pool. In a dream world they’d have TWICE as a feature for this track.

Next up is ‘GET LIT’. This is an electro hip hop track. The chorus is intense and the synth in the backing track is really cool and very dynamic. This is a high energy track that will have you shake your head in no time. The rap verses are absolutely spit fire and I like the balance with the vocal heavy pre-chorus.

The start of ‘Collision’ had me do a double take. The brass is so nice and refreshing to hear. This is one of the softest track on the album so far. The lyrics are literally heartbreaking.

‘FNF’ follows that. This song was inspired by the sadness the members felt after watching the results of the big forest fire in Australia a couple of years ago. This is an electro pop track with a very catchy beat and an even catchier chorus.

Next up

‘Youtiful’ has such a pretty and mesmerizing opening. This is a completely English track. I’m really loving this slightly more acoustic moment. The warm guitars really help enhance this beautiful message. ‘Youtiful’ had me in tears. I.N’s vocals really stood out in this one.

After that we get ‘THE SOUND’ in its Korean version. This was originally released in Japanese on their first full-length Japanese album ‘THE SOUND’. This album was released in February of this year.

Mixtape : Time Out’ is the closing track of the album. For a second I thought I was listening to the riff of ‘Scotty doesn’t know’ which honestly kind of iconic! This rock track was created by reminiscing about happy times in Gangwon-do which is where all of the members went on vacation together. It’s fun and a perfect closing track for the album.

Overall ‘5-STAR’ by Stray Kids is a fun, often very emotional album. It’s a five star album for me.

Go listen to the album on Spotify here.

A writer with a slight coffee addiction and a tendency to find K-Indie gems in the YouTube rabbit hole.