An amazing accidental comeback made by K-pop group, Stray Kids

Emily Dong, Staff Writer

Rating: 8/10

Stray Kids’ new ninth mini-album Maxident was released on October 7, 2022 after their preceding album Oddinary. With a reputation for using and experimenting with fresh sounds and subject matters, their new album focused on love and romance. The title of the album Maxident is a combination of two words put together: maximum and accident. It’s the first time that their title track is romance based, and in Maxident, their songs explore the various happy accidents of life like falling in love. The album’s tracklist was highly anticipated as it included unit songs where members participated in writing the lyrics. 

The first track/title track, “Case 143”, is a song that returns to the group’s more playful side. It’s full of surprises and it grabs the listener’s attention which is what makes this song so unique and unexpected. Stray Kids comes at the topic of love from a different angle. The song alternates between the members’ emotions of love and the chaotic side of having feelings. In the end, love is too strong to beat. In the colorful and bright music video released, the scenes they shot and edited fit incredibly with their lyrics which is significantly important to the storytelling. The chorus is catchy and the rap parts are emphasized heavily to contrast the soft vocal parts. The sounds experimented with sound disorientating and glitchy which adds to the chaoticness of the song, as it represents the conflict the members have with intense feelings of love. 

After “Case 143”, the second song is “Chill”, which has a very classic R&B vibe to it and a lofi sound. The song is written by the member Han and is a self-written masterpiece that contemplates a complicated relationship. He writes about feeling out of place and eventually taking the time to chill. But overall the song itself is a very bright and refreshing one with a good build-up that does not leave you disappointed afterward. 

The following track, “Give Me Your TMI”, gives off an electric vibe where it’s funky in many parts of the song, but has a  drop that is very pleasant to listen to and there are points in the song where the funky sound really stands out. The song conveys the curiosity Stray Kids has for the person they are interested in and asks questions in an attempt to get to know the person that captured their heart. Having this song already written several years ago by 3RACHA, you can hear fragments of Stray Kids’ I Am-era.

The fourth track, “Super Board”, is both a charming and silly song with a very simple chorus which can be annoyingly catchy,  as “super board” is repeated over and over. Much of the song sounds like it’s swerving here and there which gives a tactile sense of movement and heightens the overall concept. It’s not a favorite of mine but it is a very fun and catchy song to listen to. 

The next track, “ 3RACHA”, by 3RACHA (Bang Chan, Changbin, Han) is the trio’s hard rap song that shows off both Changbin and Han’s lyricism. By naming the track after themselves, they deliver a song that hypes up their accomplishments over the years as a trio that handles the majority of the production work of Stray Kids’ songs and how involved they are with music. They emphasize how they intend to stay creative and have many plans for the music industry, specifically the kpop industry. As a big fan of 3RACHA, it’s always exciting to know that they come out with a subunit song to incorporate with their albums because it makes a great addition. 

Following afterwards, “Taste”, by the dance sub-unit of Stray Kids (Lee Know, Hyunjin, Felix) is my favorite of the album. It’s a song that fits perfectly for their dance musicality. With this song, they can show off their abilities and musical strengths. Additionally, it’s a song about irresistible love as they describe their feelings they have and admit they see the red flags but are unable to resist and want to commit to loving the person. Produced by Hyunjin, the song explores the dancer’s dark atmospheric style similarly to Red Lights by him and Bang Chan. It’s especially in this song that Felix stands out with his vocals and fans are looking forward to more of his singing. The full performance for this song is a must-see. 

In “Can’t Stop”, by Seungmin and I.N, the song is a very cheerful and positive one. They dive head first into rock. It’s a feel-good song for the vocalists of Stray Kids to highlight their singing. They lift the mood of the album to a lighter one that is more energetic from the heightened emotions from previous songs like Taste and 3RACHA. 

The last and final track is, “Circus” but the Korean version. It was originally a Japanese title track so not much is different except for the language. The focus of the theme is “the show must go on”, and it’s overall a very different and quirky production from Stray Kids. 

With Stray Kids’ Maxident, new fans and  listeners can easily get to know the group’s music dynamic as they always come  back with a hard hitting style and experiment with new sounds. Their songs are easily distinctive as Stray Kids even as they try new things and get creative, they never stick to one genre and that’s what makes us Stays love their music so much. There are always surprises.