Song Review: Stray Kids – Ex

Stray Kids have always been an idol group with a heavy focus on hip-hop, and their new repackaged album leans into that hard. I tend to prefer when their music takes an electronic bent, so I’m having a hard time connecting with many of the new songs. But true to form, the guys are unveiling multiple music videos to flesh out their promotions. And with Ex (미친 놈), they’ve chosen one of the more melodic tracks to spotlight.

However, this isn’t the kind of galvanizing, anthemic melody found on highlights like Haven. Ex is a subdued hip-hop ballad, driven by mood and emotion. Right from the start, the surging guitar and synths paint a tense atmosphere. The instrumental grows from here, climaxing in a near-psychedelic wave during the chorus. I like this approach, and feel that the textures could be even more prominent or build to a more cathartic finale. Still, Ex is first and foremost a showcase for Stray Kids’ performance. There isn’t much rap to be found at all, but much of the melody has a hip-hop flow.

This style fits the group well, while allowing an opportunity for their vocalists to shine. The arrangement it dramatic, with plenty of layered moments that give the vocals a larger-than-life appeal. However, Ex’s melody is a bit too mopey for me. I understand that this isn’t supposed to be a jaunty pop song, but it’s also not the type of music I’m usually in the mood for. So, while I can appreciate its strengths, you’ll find me playing Back Door far more often.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75


19 thoughts on “Song Review: Stray Kids – Ex

    • I’ll give my opinion too.

      GHOST9 – It’s ok, not my type of song and I didn’t like the vocal at the end. The music video was cool though. – 7.375/10

      UP10TION – Did not like the first 8 seconds, but it ended up becoming much more interesting. – 8.375/10

      Liked by 1 person

    • Both feel too short to make any real judgements. It’s not the sound I was hoping for from GHOST9, but it’s hard to tell what the actual song might sound like. I like the synths in that UP10TION teaser, but again the actual song could be horrible. Neither teaser gets me jumping out of my seat with excitement.


  1. Agreed. What’s your favourite song from the repackaged album though? I would say ‘B Me’ [maybe ‘Any’ – a lot of autotune though] but really, nothing stands out.

    ‘Haven’ is also starting to reach ‘MIROH’ territory after 3 MONTHS of listening but it ain’t gonna win lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ex was meant to be a sombre and tantalising experience and it’s successful in the sense of transmitting emotion. I’m a massive fan of Stray Kids’ electronic work yet dialling their in-your-face production back to something moody does work in the song’s favor. It even recalls some of BIGBANG’s balladry.

    Similarly to Red Velvet’s zeitgeist-setting Psycho, the song thrives thanks to its sentimental grandness and its stark, atmospheric vocals. The repackage tracks sure don’t replicate the euphoria that the original album oozes but they’re refreshing, each of the unit songs brings something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. idk why but skz got boring to me after side effects just like ateez after wonderland. its just that their songs musically went downhill and not so good anymore these two are just releasing skip songs/ moneygrab songs lately. i wish their hyped went to A.C.E instead


  4. Is it typical for SKZ to release MV’s for their b-sides? Like…the UNVEIL:TRACK teasers they dropped two weeks before Back Door- will those get their own MV?


  5. In the first thirty seconds of listening to this, honestly, I thought it was a Bts song. I could literally hear Jin in some of the high notes and for every line I could visualize the members of bts that would be singing. It was a weird experience but after listening to it a couple times I can say I really like it and it sound more like Stray Kids. It is really weird though hehe.


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