Stray Kids "IN LIFE" Album Review: AOTY?

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(Photo : JYPE)

Stray Kids are back again with their brand new album IN LIFE, a repackaged version of their first studio album 'GO LIVE.' It was released on September 14, 2020, with "Back Door" serving as its title track. The physical release includes a limited version and two regular versions (A and B).

While the first album was undoubtedly phenomenal, Stray Kids bring in an unprocessed, raw charm through this brilliant repackaged version. The album contains tracks not previously included in the previous album, such as 'The Tortoise and the Hare,' 'Back Door,' 'B ME,' 'Any,' 'Ex,' 'We Go,' 'Wow' and 'My Universe.' The rest of the tracks were included from their 'GO LIVE' EP. In this article, we break down all the songs from the IN LIFE album one by one for a complete review, so stay tuned!

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(Photo : JYPE)

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1. The Tortoise and the Hare

Stray Kids set the tone for the rest of the album with this brilliant rendition and take on the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare. The song is a musical genius with its perfect use of rap flow to deliver the concept. The lyrics are crafted to perfection and fit perfectly well with the experimental style of the beat and switching of speeds.

The members are going all out for this one, and we can only take this as a trailer for what their music is going to look like in the future as they get more creative freedom to express themselves.

There are parts of the song that could send a chill down your spine, and there are some that'll just make you chuckle. The lyrics, however, are not just purely aesthetic. Stray Kids might relate themselves and their artistic journey through the allegory of the tortoise and the hare, and it is fully justified.

2. Back Door

Back Door is a complete banger through and through. It has the perfect hook, an enviable drop, and just the right lyrics for the attitude they're going for. The chorus is what makes this song a total bop. The music video for Back Door is just as interesting and full of energy as the song by itself. The camera work is insane, and so is the choreography. This one is sure to be a fan favorite during concerts, online or otherwise.

3. B Me

The mood changes with B Me even thought the overall vibe stays. B Me is a perfect example of the classic "Stray Kids" sound, rife with the electronic instrumentals complementing the melody. The song tells a story of the push and pulls between two people or possible between something and someone - something that holds one back but something that you can't easily let go of. Life is all about navigating those situations to emerge victorious as one's true self.

4. Any

'Any' has perhaps the catchiest beginning among all the songs in the form of a back and forth between Hyunjin and Felix as they contemplate what they want in life to make them happy. The song entirely revolves around the dilemma of what it is in life that matters, and what comes through is that material things can rarely bring happiness, for there is no end to that type of desire. The upbeat rhythm and perfect rapping make this song one of the best in the album.

5. Ex

We're treading on full-blown ballad territory here, but this too is laced with the Stray kids feel, making it unique. The song speaks of someone who is reminiscing on their separation with someone they loved. Even though it was inevitable, it does not soften the pain, and the need to go back becomes strong. An admission follows of possible infidelity and how much they regret it. No matter how hard they try, going back would never be possible. Stray Kids brilliantly express these emotions, which millions might have felt at least once in their life, making it one of the most touching songs in the album.

Sub-units

1. We Go

For the first time now, we have Stray Kids Sub Units. The first song, "We Go," features 3RACHA, or Bang Chan (CB97), Changbin (SpearB), and Han (J.One). The vibe is immaculate in this one as the 3 set fire to the mic. A song about chasing success tirelessly featuring 3RACHA, it's been a long time coming.

2. Wow

The next subunit we get is Lee Know, Hyunjin, and Felix. The song is flirty as it can get and is quite refreshing coming from these 3. Millenial love is what we can call this track, and it is pure perfection as the vocal line delivers beautifully the feelings of newfound attraction towards someone you've known from a long, long time ago.

3. My Universe

The final track features Changbin, Seungmin, and I.N. The track has a perfect balance of honey vocals and rap, as it tells the story of beautiful romantic love. It is soft, a treat to the ears, and brings the album to an end on a sweet and happy note.

Needless to say, after all these songs that stand firm in their own artistic right, IN LIFE has high chances of becoming AOTY.

We wish Stray Kids all the luck!

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'Stray Kids'

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