Stray Kids are back with one last album for the year, this time being a collection of songs they’ve released as part of their SKZ-Player series as well as some new tracks. Now that these tracks have an official release, I wanted to share my quick takes on all of them.
FAM (Korean Version)
I forgot that FAM was originally in Japanese, and after going back to listen to the original I can say I like the Korean version better. It has a better flow in my opinion. Now if you aren’t necessarily a fan of Stray Kids already, this song may not be for you.
Connected by Bang Chan
This is the style of song I am really into, so you bet I was vibing while listening to this for the first time. this was an immediate add to my playlist for sure.
Limbo by Lee Know
What is nice about these SKZ-Players is that we get all of these solos and subunits and can really appreciate an individual member’s talent. Lee Know is one for me where I honestly don’t pay that much attention to his vocal skills since his dance is the focus when with all members. So it is nice to get a solo from him. Now I don’t love the song, as it isn’t really my taste, but his voice does sound nice.
Doodle by Changbin
I’m not a fan personally. It felt very one-note to me and there wasn’t enough variation to really build a climax and be an impactful piece.
Love Untold by Hyujin
I think this would have been a better song with more members on it than just Hyunjin. I really wanted a solid vocal like from Seungmin or Han.
Run by Han
Another song that I couldn’t help but vibe to. And compared to the other songs heard thus far, it is more unique and interesting. I appreciate that Han switches up his delivery, although I think he could do it a little more. But overall it is a good song.
Deep end by Felix
Felix singing! I’m obsessed already. We’re all used to his deep voice rapping, so hearing something new is so nice. And he really strived to show his capabilities beyond rap. It isn’t perfect, but it is lovely and appreciated.
Stars and Raindrops by Seungmin
Seungmin is the one member that I want solo music from so he can really show off his talent since I don’t necessarily think he gets that opportunity much with Stray Kids’. This particular song I’m pretty indifferent on. It’s nice but that’s the extent of my feelings.
Hug Me by I.N
It is a cute song that fits I.N well, both vocally and personality-wise. That is the extent of my opinion honestly.
They really came out here wanting to make everyone cry with this song. They clearly really cherish their fans, and this is their way of expressing that feeling.
Zone by 3Racha
You can’t really go wrong with 3Racha in my opinion. Now I don’t think this is their best track, but it is still good.
Close by Han
Another song that is right in my personal sweet spot. I will admit I did zone out a little bit while listening because it is an easy, chill song to do that with. I’d listen again for sure.
Streetlight by Changbin ft. Bang Chan
I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not a fan of this song. I think it is the instrumental since to me certain instruments pop up at odd moments. I don’t know, I’m just not a fan.
I Hate To Admit by Bang Chan
I adore this song and have for a long time. It’s probably the one SKZ-Player I am very familiar with as I’ve played it on a loop before. It’s such a beautiful, heartbreaking song. It’s the kind of song that when you connect with it, it lives in your soul forever.
I Got It by Han
This is probably my favorite rap track on the album. The flow is just so good. Even though it lacks variation, I think it is overall a solid song.
Miss You by Hyunjin
Given the choice, I’d rather listen to Hyunjin’s singing over his rapping. His rapping is fine, but his vocals are so pleasant to listen to. Even if the song isn’t my cup of tea, it is a nice listen.
Maknae on Top by I.N ft. Bang Chan & Changbin
This song is honestly wild and just so silly. It’s impossible to not enjoy it as long as you can embrace the humor in it. And even if not, it’s a solid song.
Alien by Han
There is something comforting about this song that I enjoy. I think it is because it can be easy to relate to as well as listen to.
Because by Changbin & Felix
Okay I have to admit that a lot of these songs are starting to sound the same to me. And I think that is because SKZ-Player’s tend to be different from Stray Kids’ usual music. Plus many of this latter half was originally released with gaps between them, some even multiple years apart. So when they are a one-off in one instance, it is a nice change. But all in a row is getting tiring. This is why I really don’t feel much besides tired when listening to Because.
Piece of a Puzzle by Seungmin & Changbin
This could have been another repetitive listen, but it isn’t because of Seungmin. His voice is just so good and emotive, so it has more feeling to it then some of the other songs.
Wish You Back by Han
Han has become repetitive now, unfortunately. But I still really enjoy the song, even if it has too many similarities to previous songs on this album. His emotive delivery helps make the track more impactful.
HAPpY by Han
I so badly wanted this song to be upbeat just to break up the chill and vibey songs, and unfortunately, that isn’t the case. I zoned out and didn’t pay attention to most of it honestly.
Up All Night by Bang Chan, Changbin, Felix, &Seungmin
Finally something at least a little different. I still wish it had a smidge more energy, which is just a product of so many chill songs in a row. The video is at least amusing, if not a little ridiculous.
Drive by Lee Know & Bang Chan
Ah, the infamous Drive. I’m already familiar with the song and enjoy it. However, having this song follow Up All Night is back-to-back similar energies in my opinion, and I’m tired of that. My ranking doesn’t reflect that, since I already had an opinion prior to this, but still wanted to mention it.
Ice Cream by Hyunjin
Meh, I’m indifferent. It’s fine, but I’m not going to listen to it again probably.
Overall, my biggest criticism is that they maybe should have shaken up the song in order to add more variation and keep things interesting and engaging. Since I listened to the album top to bottom, I got so tired of the back-to-back similar-sounding and similar-energy songs. From Alien through HAPpY, I just zone out and don’t actually put attention or appreciation into the music because it all sounds too similar. And I know there are some great songs in there, but while great individually they make for a one-note album.