Song Review: Stray Kids – The Sound

Stray Kids - The SoundWhen it comes to Korea and Japan, the difference between release scheduling presents an interesting dilemma for reviewers like myself. With K-pop, I’m usually writing about a song mere hours after it debuted, but J-pop’s extended cycle often allows more time for a track to settle in. There can be weeks — even months — between a song’s audio debut and its music video. Stray Kids’ The Sound is a perfect example of this. The actual song has been available for weeks. It’s even been performed on shows like Music Station. But now that it has an official music video, I’m finally writing about it on The Bias List.

To be honest, I’d only heard The Sound a couple of times before today. This probably isn’t a great testament to its longevity! One listen was enough to unveil most of the song’s tricks. The Sound is essentially more of the same from Stray Kids. This isn’t automatically a bad thing. I praise a “signature sound” for a reason. But, whenever a group hitches its wagon to a familiar palette and energy, they run the risk of diminished returns. The Sound is serviceable and relatively straightforward, but there a many more galvanizing examples of its approach within Stray Kids’ discography.

What we’re missing here is the juggernaut chorus of District 9 or the blazing energy of Miroh. Or, if we want to focus solely on Japanese releases, it’s missing the dynamic textures of 2020’s TOP. In short, The Sound feels like a lateral move. At this point, its hard hitting beat and aggressive verses are par for the course. Its hook holds promise but needs more fleshing out to avoid feeling like rote anthem-by-the-numbers material. It would function well on a playlist, but isn’t a song I’ll be seeking out on its own.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

Grade: C+


12 thoughts on “Song Review: Stray Kids – The Sound

  1. Completely fine and serviceable. Yes, the chorus is promising, but not exciting enough to keep my interest. Overall, sounds more like a b-side than a proper title track, so the song is a pass for me.


  2. I really enjoyed this, maybe more because it’s a j- release. Looking at their past j-releases, This song fits fine. The rap, chorus and verses are sung with such a strong energy, its what makes this stand out (as usual from their songs) and its pretty addicting. I personally liked it better than their latest korean title tracks, reminds me of their old songs. Maybe I want skz to continue this sound, but continue to experiment with it more.


  3. I’m a grey Stay, so I’m biased. I do like this song, but when I was discussing it with one of my daughters, my review was ‘It’s very SKZ. They followed the formula.’
    I actually really like a lot of the songs on their recent release Replay a lot more. I love hearing the individual passion-projects that really show you more about each of their own sounds and identities. Han’s Alien is my standout from that album.
    On a related note, I’m so excited to be seeing SKZ in Sydney soon with my daughters! It will be amazing to see Chris and Felix in front of their hometown crowd.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Sound was actually made in early 2020 before they blew away with IT-song so the song itself doesn’t sound like their recent style. I have an idea that these days they constantly go on tours and involve in unrelated-music stuff so when it comes to actual music, they just need to find unreleased songs on their lap, whether it’s great or gross. Really not ready for their next Korean comeback, it would be another cringe case like Case 143, so scary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay what you just said abt case 143 was uncalled for, who even are you to say case 143 is cringey…if you didn’t like the song it;s fine , but don’t say things like that, u could have used a better term to describe the song other than ‘cringey’ [OH and BTW if you see somthing…look in the mirror]


  5. I really loved this! This had more of the old SKZ elements but there’s also something very un-SKZ about it which actually makes me love it more with how they pulled it off! It’s a treat throughout – rap verses,chorus everything and I loved the MV too!

    I’m probably one of the biggest Top supremacists lol – in fact it’s probably my favorite SKZ track so far – and while this is different, I would say it is certainly close to the same level for me. It’s interesting you would mention Miroh – I know you’re a diehard fan of the song lol; for me it’s a good song that I jam to but I have never really considered it their best … and I’m really biased towards SKZ. Miroh’s raps are easily one of the best, yet I find the repetitive nature of the chorus to not be as attractive as most of their other choruses. So for me Sound here easily beats Miroh by miles – though Top is definitely a difficult to break standard.


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