Review

Song Review: Stray Kids – Christmas EveL

Stray Kids - Christmas EveLIt’s already the time of year when idol groups start delivering holiday tracks. A few will be festive. Many will be ballads. And then, there’s Stray Kids. Prior to release, I couldn’t quite imagine how a Stray Kids Christmas single would sound. But immediately upon hearing Christmas EveL, I couldn’t believe how obvious the answer was. Of course they’d tackle the holiday with the same irreverent hip-hop that’s characterized many of their title tracks so far.

When it comes to holiday music, I’m pretty traditional. Give me sleigh bells and choirs and jazzy instrumentals. Christmas EveL is none of those things (despite a few riffs on familiar holiday standards). Yet, its strong ties to the season make spring or summer listening a strange prospect. When it comes to my personal playlist, I don’t quite know what to do with it!

But as a song, Christmas EveL is fun. Its familiar hip-hop beat is augmented with chimes and bell-like synths, giving it an oddly festive appeal. The pre-chorus is strong, presenting one of the group’s best builds in some time. I never thought we’d hear sirens in a Christmas song, but they blend well with the song’s strange horror undertones. EveL’s “jingle all the way” hook should be absolutely mind-numbing, but the whole presentation is so silly that it works in its own clumsy way. It helps that the beat here is quite addictive, melding trap with rugged synth percussion. I’m less enamored with the predictable, chant-along finale. But, if you have to sell a bizarre “Feliz Navidad” climax, Felix’s deep tone is the weapon to do it.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

19 thoughts on “Song Review: Stray Kids – Christmas EveL

  1. Gah, what is that kids song, something like “Got to catch the spiiiiider, lock him up in siiiiide her”. That song. THAT is what they are quoting here.

    Felix Navidad is the wonky change up that I never knew I needed in my life.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Eureka, I found it! That “spooky” theme they are quoting. It has a name, the “Mysterioso Pizzicato”, and apparently was in my beginning piano lessons book too.

      Like

  2. I’m on my third listen and that siren + Bangchan’s creepily benevolent “Merry Christmas” has made me laugh every time, so that’s a win for me. Even at their most self-important SKZ always manage to be a little (or a lot) silly, and I appreciate that.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Maybe swaggy is a better word than self-important. Blustery? Whatever Thunderous was when they weren’t making laughing faces with their arms and dancing to random car horns. Gonna go listen to some b-sides, because it’s SKZ and have they ever released anything without at least a couple of b-sides?

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I can’t believe you couldn’t imagine it either. Literally my first thought when I saw they were doing a Christmas track was: “I’m betting there will be sleigh bells with a trap hi-hat.” And yeah. Here it is. In full goofy flavor.

    I’m sure a lot of people will hate this but I’m glad to see that you don’t. Um, I don’t see it winning a Grammy anytime soon but it’s very stupid and fun which is more than can be said for a lot of holiday schlock. Felix Navidad to one and all.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Oh I forgot to mention my favorite part is the lyrics and the goofiness of the video. This is one I definitely would recommend watching with subtitles on. As something of a curmudgeon myself, I really enjoy the concept of a holiday song that’s all about being annoyed by the holidays. Changbin’s loneliness rap at the beginning especially had me cackling.

      Liked by 5 people

  4. I………love this.

    In an industry where every boy group is trying to be the coolest savagest dangerousest, Stray Kids somehow manage to marry the same vision with a healthy dose of self-deprecation. Thunderous worked for me in the same regard.

    I should hate this. This kind of beat with a droning chorus should make me bored. But maybe it’s the fact that this is Stray Kids, or because of the music video, or because of the lyrics, I really like it. (8,8,8,10 – 8.5)

    Also, the finale is easily my favorite part of it. I wish they kept that beat throughout the whole song instead.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. When Stray Kids announced this song a few weeks ago, I was skeptical and amused at the thought of a “Stray-Kids-fied” Christmas song. And though like you, I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with it listening-wise in the future, the silliness is enough for me to really enjoy it. This song is not supposed to be taken very seriously, and I really appreciate how fun it (and it’s hilarious video) is. Definitely agree with matchagrl about the lyrics with the video, it really makes me smile.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I think that despite this not being revolutionary- it’s more of a guilty pleasure. So that’s what I’ll treat it as. It probably will be on my playlist during the holidays, but not after. The music video definitely makes me appreciate the song more heh.

    The b side that catches my attention is winter falls! I really like chorus and it shows their softer more vocal centered side in an interesting way. Despite it falling on the more ballad side, it does not bore me and I appreciate that. Solid song!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Winter Falls is the one I could see myself listening to more casually. Christmas EveL is just insane fun and 24 to 25 is like they were just trying to tick the generic ballad box, but WF is a nice tune on its own.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s kind of the aural version of the Nightmare Before Christmas, isn’t it? Spooky yet festive. I haven’t been fond of Stray Kids of late, but this is hilarious and catchy.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It was really fun! An MV that had me smiling throughout! My favourite part was with the little girl! ❤️ Their shenanigans as substitute Santas is really a mood!😂✨

    Liked by 2 people

  9. At this point, I think skz thrive on their own sentiment of comedic ability and given that their agency allows them to go this crazy, this is insane. When they first announced this release, I was just expecting a single with some sleigh bells, but with stray kids, I know I shouldn’t have done that. Now what we get is a wild ride with such fun lyrics, after dongkiz’s crazy night, this is the mv that made me laugh throughout.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. When I first heard this I was like “hmm…that’s a bit odd…I’m not sure if I like this…it’s interesting I guess.” And after another two listens I became utterly obsessed. I cannot stop playing this song! I’m fairly new to skz so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I kind of thought the song would be genuinely dark and “evil” so I am very pleasantly surprised that it has such humorous undertones that just work together perfectly with the song as a whole. It’s a bop, it’s interesting, it’s relevant, it’s funny, and just awesome. SKZ never lets me down!

    Liked by 1 person

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