[Review] Mixtape: On Track – Stray Kids

The next comeback to be reviewed is by Stray Kids, who just dropped their second installment in the Mixtape Project as a present for their second anniversary. The title of the new track is Mixtape: On Track and this follows their 2019 mixtape track, Gone Days. 2019 was also another big year for the group, with the release of Miroh, Side Effects, Double Knot, Astronaut and Levanter. This magnitude and high standard of comebacks in 2019 by Stray Kids lead to me picking them for Best Male Group in the KPOPREVIEWED Awards for 2019. Let’s see if Stray Kids can replicate the success of 2019 and possibly go further in 2020.

Gone Days is right up the alley of a mixtape, aligning itself with the genre in which a mixtape is usually strongly associated with. On Track is completely different path, opting to be more a traditional pop track and missing a heavy hip-hop influence. The instrumental that acts as the backdrop for this song is relatively plain and it does bore me. But thankfully, the vocals and limited rapping did help drive the song into a more appealing light. On Track is more vocally driven, as a result for its pop alignment. And I don’t mind this. Since Stray Kids commonly goes for a rough exterior with its sound, I wouldn’t mind any easygoing or melodic tracks from the group. When I am listening to the song, I find myself feeling a little heartbroken with the tone, for some odd reason. The song’s lyrics are a lot more brighter, mustering up courage to chase one’s dream (Source: Soompi). Not sure why I feel that way, but that was the initial impression I got from the song before looking up a translation or the source article.

For the music video, the group are film and acting students and are currently in production for some sort of love story short film (I assume short film). The main characters are Hyunjin (the cameraman), Lee Know (the main actor) and the female actress. Essentially, Hyunjin has this massive crush on the female actress but has never acted upon his feelings. While filming the various acting scenes, he becomes extremely jealous over the scenes that the female actress and Lee Know share. In the end, he makes his move on the female actress while filming. Poor timing, but it matches up with the meaning behind the lyrics of the song (i.e. gaining courage). It is a good plot line and was enjoyable to watch.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

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