STRAY KIDS release new album Clé 1:MIROH | Review

K-Pop group Stray Kids released their album Clé 1:MIROH today. The mini album features 7 fantastic songs which demonstrate the breadth of talent in this relatively young band. Drawing on the rap, pop and ballad genres, Stray Kids present a fully unique album teeming with promise.

Title track ‘Miroh’ was released yesterday alongside a cinematic music video. The video draws on tensions between order and disorder, the city and the jungle in an exciting and promising story-line. A quick scroll through the YouTube comments reveals fans thoughts on the new track; fantastic. This song cements them as key players in the worldwide k-pop drive. It gives you everything from fierce dance moves, mind-blowing raps and angelic vocals, wrapped up in a song which wouldn’t be out of place in a club or on the radio.

The final track on the album is such a stark contradiction to the energetic, aggression of ‘Miroh’. It’s a beautifully stripped song, driven by a simple baseline with their vocals taking centre stage. For me, this is one of the best songs on the album. It’s simplicity allows you to really appreciate the band’s talent. ’19’ is a pause, a consideration of age, time and dreams. By ending the album with this track Stray Kids refuse to take for granted what they’ve earned and remind us that things/people/dreams change continuously. This is a healthy reflection on time and identity and a beautiful reminder that this is band creating something more than fantastic tracks. I love the hopeful and yet contemplative passive end to a album which demands action.

You can’t not love Stray Kids. With this album they present something for everyone. Their track ‘Boxer’ is reminiscent of Eminem, drawing on some of their own previous sounds to create a electro-rap hype song. As many k-pop songs do, this song plays with the expected structure of a song, jumping from spoken word, to rap, to singing with fantastic music. It feels like a song with this many layers shouldn’t work, but Stray Kids make it work. This is a song that makes you want to get up and do something – an impressive feat for a student! The perfect hype song; it’s catchy, fills you with energy and singing along to lyrics that are empowering, makes you feel even better.

The vocals in ‘Chronosaurus’ steal the stage – the emotion and feeling they are able to communicate in their tone is astounding. Stray Kids truly are masters at manipulating the listener through vocal tone and style, this is exacerbated by the fantastic instrumentals. The vocal style in this song reminded me of metal band Crown The Empire for its almost playful, pantomime feel. It was the teaser for this song that truly got me excited for this album and the full track did not disappoint.

How does Felix’s voice get so low in ‘Victory Song’? That’s it. That’s the review. The rappers in this group are so unique and this song really highlights it. I listen to a lot of k-pop and this song felt completely original and new. This sound is undoubtedly Stray Kids and with this album they burst into a league of their own.

Clé 1:MIROH is a call to arms, an album which encourages Strays to act. This album has so much depth to it that I could genuinely write an entire post for each track. Stray Kids show another new face, their sound is always growing and developing and this album truly captures all the genius of this band. Their sound is completely unique with talented rappers and vocalists which they use to their advantage. Lyrically, they explore themes such as time and dreams in a way which is really refreshing. I am so excited to see which direction this band go in next – they’ve proven to everyone that they can pull off anything they set their mind to.

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