After almost a year without a comeback, Stray Kids are finally back with ‘Thunderous.’ Not only that but they’re back with their second full-length album: NOEASY. It is once again proof of Stray Kids’ talent and passion for music.
With NOEASY, Stray Kids aren’t afraid of anything and they’re not holding back one slightly bit. Just by the pun in its name, it says it all. Their discography has always been absolutely flawless, but with this new release, it simply reaches a new level of perfection. While GO LIVE was all about showing who they truly were, NOEASY is about taking on new challenges – and boy, this album is such a ride.
First thing’s first: the title track.
Now we all know the killing parts of ‘God’s Menu,’ but it isn’t an exaggeration to say that almost the entirety of ‘Thunderous’ could be the highlight of the song. Starting off with an explosive rap verse from Changbin, the song does nothing but build up an insane energy that only Stray Kids could pull off. The mixture of modern elements with traditional elements from Korean culture in both the song and the music video is absolutely exquisite. This is a song that only emphasizes Stray Kids’ unique sound and colors. And with this song, they make sure we know exactly how special they are.
The music video is really something not to miss out on. This is by far one of Stray Kids’ best music videos with its incredible editing and its big-scale shots. Not only that, but the mix of modernity in this traditional scenery is the perfect embodiment of ‘Thunderous’ as a song. The different settings and shots of every moment of their choreography are so dynamic, and one just can’t stop watching. Needless to say, this might be their best and most unique choreography to date.
Stray Kids came back with everything they got and we’re absolutely obsessed.
But let’s not forget about the album as such because this album has no skips whatsoever. And we’re not exaggerating in any way.
One thing this album gave us is new sub-units. We all know about 3RACHA, Danceracha, and Vocalracha, but this time they decided to switch up things a bit and create new units – and we’re so glad they did. These three sub-units songs are absolutely incredible and they’re so different from each other, truly highlighting the variety in their music and style.
The first new sub-unit song is Bang Chan‘s and Hyunjin‘s song: ‘Red Lights.’ This song is so different from anything they’ve done before. It has this very sophisticated and sexy side to it, and the electric guitar simply makes it a masterpiece. Their powerful yet subtle vocals make this song so interesting, and the way they blend is spectacular. ‘Red Lights’ creates such an irreplaceable atmosphere, and it is a highlight not only in the album but all their discography.
The second sub-unit is ‘Surfin,’ and there’s nothing more to say about it than the fact that this song is the embodiment of happiness. The carefree feeling and the beach vibe that goes through the entire song is so relaxing and lets you let go of all worries. Lee Know, Changbin, and Felix did a great job at embodying that feeling and created such a fun and easy-going track.
The third and final sub-unit is none other than Han, Seungmin, and I.N – and these three created an absolute masterpiece. Just listening to this ballad about unrequited love breaks your heart into a million pieces. Their vocals and the way they build-up is the song is absolutely incredible. ‘Gone Away’ is literally as good as a ballad can get. The lyricism, the vocals, the instrumental – everything about it is simply perfect.
But these three tracks actually come later into the album because what truly opens NOEASY is none other than ‘CHEESE.’
Starting off with an electric guitar, ‘CHEESE’ is one of Stray Kids‘ best openings. Right from the start, it makes such an immense statement. This is a fun and unique track that truly only Stray Kids could come up with. All the puns in the lyrics and witty digs at their haters are truly proof that this time they did not come to play. ‘DOMINO’ and ‘SSICK’ are two tracks that with their own style follow the same themes in some way.
‘DOMINO’ follows in a way the emphasis Stray Kids makes in ‘Thunderous’ about being different and making things their way, as they express their ambitions to be the start of something new. It’s such a fun track overall, and the rap verses are absolutely insane: we didn’t expect any less from them. ‘SSICK’ is also quite experimental and mixes elements from such different genres, making this song truly unique. It’s Stray Kids after all; what did you expect? These tracks show how in this era they took the hate and twisted it to make it theirs.
Now, ‘The View’ parts from the first half of the album. The song about overcoming struggles has such a hopeful message and vibe, with its slightly melancholic yet cherry EDM drop. This is a very optimistic song that feels like the light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s exactly why it can make you feel emotional and low-key on the verge of tears. It is yet once again one of those Stray Kids songs that give so much support and comfort. There’s no way to explain how beautiful this song truly is.
‘Lost Star’ and ‘Silent Cry’ are two songs that bring a lot of comfort in very different ways. While ‘Silent Cry’ initially sounds like a straight-up dark track, the beat changes into this almost hopeful track that makes you feel like you aren’t alone in your pain. ‘Lost Cry’ feels like the other side of the coin, in the sense that it sounds way brighter with its EDM influence, but it’s the perspective of the person that feels lonely. In every way, these two songs show how they’ve never been scared to talk about these types of topics, and we’re so grateful for it.
‘Sorry, I Love You’ is a song we have Changbin to thank for. The song deals with falling for a friend that doesn’t feel the same in a real and raw way. The emotions and regret are conveyed so well in this beautifully heartbreaking song. Just like ‘Sorry I Love You,’ the eighth track, ‘Secret Secret,’ the song was written solely by one member, but this time it’s Han. The song highlights beautifully their vocal skills and their ability to convey deep and heavy emotions, as the lyrics talk about hiding sadness from others. The verses with calm raps make this chorus with explosive pop vocals all the more touching and heartbreaking. These two songs are the perfect example of the incredible lyricism that goes into every single Stray Kids release.
NOEASY also includes a new version of ‘WOLFGANG,’ which is a powerful track they released earlier this year for the Kingdom final. Meanwhile, ‘Mixtape: OH‘ is a slow track they released as a thank you for Stays, and needless to say, it’s the perfect closing track to this perfect second full-length album.
Stray Kids truly didn’t hold back for the release of NOEASY and ‘Thunderous’ can already be considered as one of their best title tracks ever. This album shows so many different sides of Stray Kids and proves how much they aren’t afraid to be different and try new things. From powerful and energetic tracks to heartbreaking ballads, this album has it all. This is just another proof of not only their immense talent but also their passion for music. And we truly think they’re the beginning of something incredible not only in K-pop but in the music industry as a whole.
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Featured Image Source: JYP Entertainment