Stray Kids just released their first-ever Japanese mini-album, ‘ALL IN’, and we’re loving every part of it.
After such a massive year, Stray Kids make their second Japanese comeback after the release of SKZ2020 in March this year. This time, they came out with a mini-album that includes three all-new songs, the Japanese version of their iconic songs ‘God’s Menu’ and ‘Back Door’, as well as the OST for Tower Of God, ‘TOP’ and ‘Slump’. Needless to say, for this EP, Stray Kids provided us with banger after banger – not that we expected any less.
Tower of God OST
‘TOP’ and ‘SLUMP’ are two songs that have been out for a while now. Earlier this year, it was announced that Stray Kids would release tracks for the opening and the ending titles for the anime Tower Of God inspired in the webtoon of the same name. The two songs were first released in May 2020 in three different versions: Japanese, Korean and English. Both songs were also included in their first full length-album, GO LIVE. ‘TOP’ was even promoted as a b-side for ‘God’s Menu”s first week of promotion.
In other words, these songs have been around for a while now in every shape and form. We still haven’t gotten tired of them though. ‘TOP’ is an energetic EDM track with some rock influence. They released an impressive music video for it as well. It is everything you would want for an anime opening and more.
‘SLUMP‘ is a slower rock-influenced song that was solely written by Han. It’s about self-doubt, feeling like you’re being left behind with nowhere to go. With falsettos so on point, an explosive chorus full of emotion and raps full of pain – this one is to be remembered.
The Japanese take on ‘God’s Menu’ and ‘Back Door’
The Japanese version of ‘God’s Menu’ was the first one to be released alongside a music video with similar shots to the original version but with slight differences. With this one, Stray Kids not only translated the song to another language but, they also adapted it to another culture by switching up lyrics that weren’t in Korean, to begin with. Felix’s iconic “cooking like a chef, I’m a five stars Michelin” was switched to “cooking like a chef, I’m a five stars Iron Man”, referencing a Japanese cooking show.
And with the release of the Japanese version of Back Door, Stray Kids proved once again they could make their songs work in every language.
The main single, ‘ALL IN’
We couldn’t have asked for a better single. ‘ALL IN’ is powerful, explosive, and energetic. The rap is outstanding, and the production mixes so many different elements. While sticking to a familiar formula, Stray Kids still managed to renew it and give us something fresh and original. And the same thing goes for the music video. Not only the choreography is captivating, but they also executed it amazingly. And the best thing about the music video is, of course, the concept – a bank robbery where all 8 members are both the thieves and the detectives.
If you want a full review, make sure to check out our full article about it.
Two new songs, ‘FAM’ and ‘One Day’
And finally, the last two songs to come out were ‘FAM’ and ‘One Day’.
‘FAM’ is a fun track with a lot of hip hop influence. Its concept makes this song so special. They took advantage of the fact that all their members can rap and everyone has a verse where they rap about another member (Bang Chan > I.N > Seungmin > Felix > Han > Hyunjin > Changbin > Lee Know > Bang Chan). It’s such a cute and fun song. In the lyrics, they managed to include inside jokes and praise every member. In a way, ‘FAM’ is like a “Guide to Stray Kids” in a song.
However, ‘One Day’ takes a whole other turn. This is a more chill song that could fit perfectly as a b-side in Clé: LEVANTER. It reminds us of ‘Sunshine‘. But, while the sound of it is more uplifting and upbeat, the lyrics are sadder. The songs’ lyrics are about the daily routine, similarly to their song ‘Another Day’. But unlike that song, ‘One Day’ makes it clear that even though things can go wrong, there’s hope. The imagery that’s created around snow and seasons is very interesting to see. We would recommend you check out the translation. But even without knowing the meaning, overall, this is a song very comforting song that we all needed.
From new songs to the Japanese take on Korean songs, and of course, songs that were released earlier this year, ‘ALL IN’ feels like a nutshell of the massive year Stray Kids had. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next. But before the year ends, they still have their first-ever online concert which will be surely filled with surprises.
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Featured image source: JYP Entertainment / Sony Music Labels