The making of MAXIDENT is certainly no accident

Margot Murphy '23, Associate Web Editor-In-Chief

Maxident Album cover (Courtesy of Google)

After taking a hiatus to rest, relax, and visit family, k-pop boy band Stray Kids returned with mini album MAXIDENT on Thursday, Oct. 7. Although shorter than most American album releases with only eight songs, it touches on several genres of music, encapsulating the essence of the band.

Since their debut in 2018, fans have fallen in love with their self-made image and hip-hop/electronica-esque music. They dabble in other genres as well, and their latest album MAXIDENT is no exception to this trend.

The album opens with its title track, Case 143, which is code for “I love you”. The song centers around falling in love as if you were an outsider. However, it also dives into the wonder of developing feelings for someone, despite how it can slowly take over your life with contrasting lines like “you’re pulling me deeper and deeper” and “I try to get out but I can’t stop.” In true Stray Kids fashion, the verses go from a strong hip-hop rap into a melodious bridge that builds into the anti-drop refrain. The hip-hop techno beat accompanied by harmonious adlibs creates a brain-scratching tune that you can’t help but listen to over and over again.

Switching the mood, the following track CHILL not only has a happier-techno sound, but describes a different kind of love– letting go. Lyrics such as “burning each other’s precious time” and “your eyes are avoiding me for many reasons,” contrast the uplifting tone of the song and show how Stray Kids hope to convey the cathartic feeling of letting go of someone without any regrets.

The third song, Give Me Your TMI, brings the mood back to hip-hop and R&B, the song immediately starting with a low, bass intro before switching into a more catchy refrain. The breaks in sound, switching from techno, to pure drums, to guitar and back, throughout the song make it not only an interesting piece, but a cohesive song entirely. Similarly to Case 143, the song talks about falling for someone, but it touches on infatuation and wanting to find out more about the person rather than escaping the messy feelings entirely.

SUPER BOARD touches on the topic of self-love, unlike the previous songs. Stray Kids alludes to their personal love and pride for their accomplishments through their lyrics such as “I am delivering myself to my dreams.” SUPER BOARD’s back track is something that a listener can easily get behind, the bass and snatch create a hype-like feeling that accompanies the rap and bridges well. However, this song falls short in its addition of the “nyoom” adlibs to the refrain, completely taking away from the rap-rock style of the remainder of the song.

Keeping with the rap flow of SUPER BOARD, 3RACHA is a love child of the three of the main producers of Stray Kids: Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han Jisung, the original members of Stray Kids. Along with the hip-hop rap flow that pays homage to their original solo work, the song describes how the 3RACHA’s hard work has led them to their wins and that their endless amount of creativity will not dry up anytime soon.

At this point of the album, it has become apparent that the group has split into three sub-groups based on their main group positions; these groups being 3RACHA (producers and writers), DANCERACHA (choreographers), and VOCALRACHA (main vocalists). The six track of the song, TASTE, is by the three members of DANCERACHA, is about the more sexual side of love. The song’s slower R&B and heavy bass invokes an overall mood of lust. Not to mention that the song also translates very well to a dance, the portion of the group that DANCERACHA focuses on.

VOCALRACHA’s song, Can’t Stop, reflects a more upbeat pop-rock mood as compared to TASTE and 3RACHA. The singer’s melodies blend extremely well together along with the instrumental, making an overall extremely catchy song. The lyrics reflect on the more innocent feelings of love, describing what it’s like to have a one-sided crush on someone with lyrics such as “Why did I pretend I did not like you,” and “I think I like you.”

The final song of the track, CIRCUS, feels oddly placed in the album because of its early release in June, 2022. As the title describes, the majority of the song samples from circus-like sounds of elephants trumpeting and clown-like laughter, but it still maintains its hip-hop tune. The lyrics talk about performing and “being in the zone,” rather than love, making this track feel like it was added to the album as an afterthought.

Overall, Stray Kids’ newly released album, MAXIDENT, is great if you wish to hype yourself up or listen to something casually. Personally, I recommend Can’t Stop, Give Me Your TMI, and TASTE the most on this album, since they have the catchiest beats and lyrics. The overall hip-hop and rap makes for good car-ride music to keep yourself entertained. Stray Kids truly have put their heart and soul into this album and wish to express their unconditional love to their fans, something truly commendable in the constantly changing music industry.