To anyone not keeping up with their every move, Stray Kids’ mixtape releases seem to arrive out of nowhere. Time Out certainly caught me off guard – so much so that I wasn’t able to cover it on the day of release. The song arrives as a “gift to fans” on the anniversary of their official moniker (ie: Stay) being established. Whatever the case, I’m happy to see the group delivering something fun and uncomplicated.
Time Out re-injects the rock elements that helped establish Stray Kids’ career with the invigorating District 9. In fact, this is closer to a straight-ahead rock track than the blend of hip-hop and dance we now know the group for. Its driving beat and powerful guitar creates a rush of energy, making Time Out go down easy even when it breaks for a rap verse midway through. As expected, the song is a minor entry in their discography, filled with feel-good platitudes like “let’s have fun” and “don’t worry about tomorrow.” But, this lighthearted vibe is in keeping with the celebratory nature of Time Out’s release. And, who doesn’t like a bit of straightforward fun?
It’s nice to hear the group singing more than usual, even if that singing is often closer to shouting in this case. None of Time Out‘s melodies are particularly memorable, but they’ve got punch and verve that keeps things upbeat. I’d love to see Stray Kids lean more heavily into this rock-infused side of their music, amping up the punk elements that seem to come natural to their performance style.
Gosh, I feel so biased towards this pop rock sound. But the chorus feels kinda underwhelming to me. It hints at a melody that has got more bite. More meat on its bones. Still, seeing Stray Kids shift in this direction is definitely not unwelcoming. Rating is about right.
I do like the song’s production, but sadly, I’m not convinced by the member’s vocal performance in this song. The way they sound when they are singing the more ‘belty’ bits shows their slight weakness in their vocal technique, sounding thin and squeezed even through the processing. I personally think that if another more vocally proficient group would have sung this song, it would have worked more. Better yet, SKZ could have lowered the key a couple of semitones. It would have done them a good favor.
However, the song’s energy and the member’s charisma still carried through and it delivered its fun and light hearted energy. Overall, it is perfectly serviceable for its intent and it is still quite successful. I would lower the rating to about 8 or high 7s.
The vocals here didn’t bother me so much as it just sounds rushed. If the pace was just a few tics slower, the boys would actually have time to sink into a note instead of just spitting it out in a half-shout. 0.95x on the custom speed already sounds better, something they could open the syllable hold it and close it with enunciation. As is at this speed, I have no idea how it won’t come out really sloppy live.
But of course it is that speed that adds half of the energy, so it was a choice.
On Ateez’s recent album (Cyberpunk, Guerilla), those boys lean into their bad habits and that drives me nuts. I like the songs, but the low mush mouth and the high whiny screaming not singing make me wince.
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This sounds like every boy band summer rah rah song ever. I mean, its really good, well-done, but it is utterly generic fare.
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I didn’t have high expectations for this – their mixtape releases haven’t been my favorites and I tend to find fan songs generally underwhelming – but it’s fun and I like it!
Hit post early! I also wanted to say that my hands-down favorite part of seeing them live was the extended set that they did with a live band, in particular the rock remixes of Thunderous, Domino, and God’s Menu, so I’m happy getting more rock from them even if it’s not the studio version of those remixes that I want so badly.
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It does lean generic, but it’s a nice break from Stray Kids’ usual style, and the rock guitar is kind of awesome. Would love to see more like this.
super unrelated but i wanna talk about dr music, because something is seriously wrong with this agency since the 2010s
recently they lost their korean members judy and youngheun months after they added gabi and sriya. it’s always been like this, members keep leaving and new ones get added right after. imho i dont think theres a bright future for this group anymore unless some sort of miracle happens like a rollin moment (which i know dr music is gonna fuck up). the fact dr music is so incompetent that they cant sustain any of their members really shows in how they’re handling blackswan
I only have 1 problem with Stray Kids…I with they had stronger vocals. Their music is good but it would so easily be elevated if they had better vocals. Not saying that they’re bad but they are on the weaker side