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Posted by eric_r_wirsing AKP STAFF Friday, March 29, 2019

[MV & Album Review] Stray Kids – 'Clé 1 : MIROH'

AKP STAFF

STRAY KIDS – 'CLÉ 1 : MIROH'


Track List:


1. Entrance

2. MIROH

3. Victory Song

4. Maze of Memories

5. Boxer

6. Chronosaurus

7. 19



Stray Kids has just released a new mini-album, 'Clé 1 : MIROH.' This one has 7 new tracks, including the title track "MIROH." It's a new chapter for the band, as their 'I Am...' series is over and done with. "Clé" is French for "key," but a key to what? We'll find out, listening to this. 'MIROH' is their fifth EP since their debut a year ago, and the release celebrates their anniversary.

"Entrance" is the intro track. With tribal drums, shouts, and even animal roars, it's like entering a jungle. Which is directly referenced in "MIROH" at any rate. It's fantastic sounding and far different than what we usually hear. "MIROH" is the title track, but there's not much to it, lyrically. There's a lot of repetition there, and the meat is in the raps which make up the main verses. But what it lacks in variety it makes up for in aggression. It also doesn't sound like a traditional K-pop song -- there's no bridge, no breakdown, just a steady stream of raps as they go from main verses to chorus accompanied by rhythms, and tribal chants. It's one of the things I like about the Stray Kids -- they don't sound like anyone else, and they're in fine form here. The track "Victory Song" is a fight song, throwing out lines like "undefeated" and the "victor's roar." This song is a nice, powerful piece, and wouldn't be out of place cheering on a sports team. I like it -- it has a forceful feel to it and should get your heart pounding.

"Maze of Memories" is a slower one, but it doesn't make it any less cool. As a matter of fact, the instrumentation on this one just makes the tune sound absolutely epic. It sounds more like an orchestra than synths. And the sounds -- sirens, whip cracks, and other things not strictly music. The raps here are hot, the lyrics are pretty fierce, and Woojin and I.N singing "never give up" in English really give this song a push in the direction of awesome. "Boxer" is another fight tune in the vein of "Victory Song," only a little less subtle in the violence area, talking of punches and fists and all that. It's still not violent, per se, and the lyrics are about fighting for what you believe in. I like this one, too, and it begins with a one-two punch at the beginning, launching immediately into narration, raps, and vocals, with maybe 2 seconds or less of a musical intro.

On "Chronosaurus," the boys liken time to a monster that's chasing them. This song is structured much more like a traditional K-pop song, but heavy synths, powerful beats, and bold vocals really take it in a different direction. At times, I was reminded of B.A.P (that's intended as a compliment). "19" ruminates what it's like being on the cusp of 20 years of age. They seem fearful, almost, of what lies ahead. Take it from someone who's been there -- it's not that bad. The song is a slower one, alternating between raps and croons, and ends up being a pretty solid tune overall.

Wow, there's a lot to unpack here. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- they don't sound like anyone else. They have a definite edginess to their material, and yet they've refined their sound over the past year. They're far from rookies, and it shows. Maybe they're still trying to figure out who they are, and that's fine. I'm on board as long as they're willing to take us along for the ride.

MV REVIEW

If I thought the song was good, well, I hadn't seen the video yet.

The MV is everything an MV is supposed to be. Visually stunning, and portraying the artist in a fairly good light. Here, Stray Kids are not just a band, they're also young revolutionaries, caught in the urban jungle, fighting against corruption and the finance world. Perhaps the same forces who had them incarcerated in "District 9?" No? Maybe it's just me.

Not only are they teen rebels, but they're rebels with a cause. I like how that works because they don't just do it because they want to. They do it because they have to.

The choreo is interesting. Reportedly it's based on the Haka, the ceremonial dance of the tribal Māori. It's meant to provoke their foes, and so is used to good effect here. They clearly adapted it, rather than lifted it wholesale, and the boys show exactly how talented they are. They look totally badass performing it.

Visually striking, arresting, and just plain fun, this is a fantastic MV. Maybe not the best of the best, but I still had a lot of fun watching it.

Score




MV Relevance...........9

MV Production..........9

MV Concept..............9

MV SCORE: 9.0

Album Production.....9

Album Concept.........9

Tracklisting................9

ALBUM SCORE: 9.0

OVERALL................9.0

  1. Stray Kids
  2. CL 1 : MIROH
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La_Decay682 pts Friday, March 29, 2019 0
Friday, March 29, 2019

It's my second favorite after Mixtape album.

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moonie97237 pts Saturday, March 30, 2019 0
Saturday, March 30, 2019

I love and really appreciate how Stray Kids’ albums are like mini stories with the tracks flowing into each other to create an overall theme/message. It shows how much care they put into each album as well as how involved they are with every aspect of their comeback :)

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