TITLE: CLÈ 2: YELLOW WOOD
ARTIST: Stray Kids
LABEL: JYP ENTERTAINMENT
RELEASED: June 19, 2019
I was SO ready for this to drop. From the teaser pictures to the teaser MV’s. As a proud Stay (Fandom name) and after having seen Stray Kids live on their first tour last month, my excitement level was at an all-time high. My expectations were just as high. but what I forgot is when your expectations are that high, you’re bound to be let down a bit. CLÈ 1: MIROH was exceptional! Every track was better than the next and each had a repeat value off the charts. So how would Stray Kids treat Stays in the follow-up…
Side Effects – Title Track
Take it back. Don’t want. The track starts off as kind of a mix between I Am You and Miroh but then it doesn’t really go anywhere. The beat is repetitive but not in the nice catchy way and then it just ends. The song just felt like a prop that they couldn’t control. Even though they tried… this ain’t it chief. I mean, the most intriguing thing was the Seungmin/Hyunjin fight in the MV.
Road Not Taken
This deserves more than being just an intro. When I saw the teaser and it was Bang Chan basically producing the beat, my hopes were so high that this would be the title track. What we got instead was a really well produced… intro. 1 minute and 35 seconds of temptation. The little snippet is EDM heavy with moments of really catchy melody. Why not give the people what they deserve Bang Chan?!
The “What should have been the title track” song. This song felt on brand with a Stray Kids track. It had the bass drops in the right place. The vocal line is allowed to bring you in with actually seeing what they have to offer, the beat is a groovy, dance-pop track that kind of reminds me of something GOT7 would do. Very JYP.
How Stray Kids does a summer track. The tropical trend isn’t dead with this track and actually works. I could have seen this as a title track as well. There wasn’t anything bad about this one and would have fallen right in with other songs on the charts right now. Also… lots of Felix. I’m a fan.
Ballad time. Slow raps and nice guitar riffs showcase what this song has to offer. If allowed, it could have been a second Grow Up but it doesn’t quite get there, which is good. I could see this song being played at the end of a show as Stray Kids sing this to Stay.
Dope Flamingo. The opening line is basically what I will take away from this. Another slower jam but the Felix rap owns me in this.
This is the most Stray Kids track on the whole album. Could go head to head with TMT as best track on the album.
This isn’t the album I had hoped it would be. The talent was consistent with what I expect from Stray Kids, but it just doesn’t hit the mark like their previous releases. Also, why so many “Mixtape” titles? Laziness or style choice? Who knows. Maybe Side Effects will grow on me, maybe not. Only time will tell.
UPDATE: I found out that the “mixtape” tracks are basically the CD exclusives from previous releases. Oopsie.
PRODUCTION : 2.5 / 5
VOCALS / RAPPING : 3.5 / 5
VISUALS / CONCEPT : 3.5 / 5
OVERALL : 3 / 5
Least Favorite Track(s): Side Effects
Favorite Track(s): Road Not Taken