Song Review: Stray Kids – Red Lights (Bang Chan & Hyunjin)

Stray Kids - Red Lights (Bang Chan & Hyunjin)It feels like I’m writing a new Stray Kids review every other day. JYP Entertainment has gone all out for their newest album, filming several music videos to promote group and sub-unit tracks. I don’t know if I’ll write a detailed review on every one, but Bang Chan and Hyunjin’s Red Lights deserves a few words.

When I imagine great sub-unit releases, I think of songs that add an extra ingredient to a group’s core sound. It’s an opportunity to experiment, drawing upon the individual strengths of participating members. In this case, Red Lights tackles Stray Kids’ more dramatic side. At times, it feels more like a performance piece for Bang Chan and Hyunjin than a proper song, but that approach works.

I appreciate how elements of Red Lights reference older Stray Kids material. The electric guitar in the pre-chorus recalls District 9-era goodness, while the moody, emotive energy is more in keeping with songs from their I Am YOU album.

Red Light’s production is more impressive than its melody, and I long for a chorus that doesn’t feel so throwaway. But, that pre-chorus supplies all sorts of musical drama, offering a peek at how amazing Stray Kids can sound when bolstering their creativity with a diverse soundscape. The guitar and strings combo is very effective, adding a fullness to the track. If I had it my way, every element of Red Light would carry this same weight. The percussion would be faster and more robust, the melody would add meat to its bare bones and that cool rumble of synth would do more than simply tear through the central drop.

 Hooks 7
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8


7 thoughts on “Song Review: Stray Kids – Red Lights (Bang Chan & Hyunjin)

  1. Wow this is cool. I gotta spend some time with No Easy. They packed a lot into that album and while Thunderous never grew on me ….I spent a lot of time last year with No Life/Go Live so I kinda feel I owe it to them.

    If there is a group I wanted to see performance oriented material from, it’s SKZ. I think they should take a TXT move and make a full-on short film.
    In fact I don’t think TXT has made something like that since “Eternally” and it would be well welcome.

    Yah that’s my takeaway. Whilst I prefer a song song, I like performance-oriented material but I’d be excited more fully realized version of that concept. More musicals and 20 min music videos!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of the best songs from them for me but i also like thunder… at least they try and succeed for me to be diffrent.
    Love your reviews (even though we not always match in ratings)


  3. When I watched the (super awkward and over-scripted) song camp video for this one, I wasn’t expecting much – maybe a “Drive” 2.0 that was mostly an excuse for Bang Chan and Hyunjin to dip into that “we’re mostly still a teen-oriented group but maybe with Got7 gone JYP will let us start being a little more mature” energy. I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked the song itself, though, and as a mostly-performance piece the MV delivered more than I expected. Chan doesn’t get featured as a performer much (although he had some great parts in KINGDOM), and it sounds like Hyunjin spent some of his enforced time off working on his vocals, so this really felt like a step up for both of them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yeah as a performance piece, I think it’s great! Looking forward to see Chan and Hyunjin performing this sometime. Like Mybrainisonfire said above, I also wasn’t expecting much from this from what I had heard prior to the release, so it’s nice that I do enjoy the song as well.


  5. I really enjoy every part of this song besides the chorus. And YES to more strings—I always listen for them in K-pop. The pre-chorus is really the highlight of the song for me (I love the tension), and I think both of their voices fit the song super well. It’s really refreshing to get lower, softer tones from them.


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