Next up from Stray Kids’ second studio length album, NOEASY, and the first of the three unit tracks that I will reviewing from the mentioned album is Red Lights. This track is performed by Bangchan and Hyunjin. As mentioned previously, all the Stray Kids reviews I am posting this week are in preparation for NOEASY‘s upcoming album review, which I am hoping to post tomorrow.
Red Lights is quite a surprising and different release. Usually, we get very intense or fun releases from the group, with the occasion mellow song from the group. But Red Lights opts for a mature and sensual vibe that is very different and also quite surprising. I quite liked Red Lights, more so that it explored uncharted waters, and a different side Bangchan and Hyunjin. But it seems like Red Lights offers a bit more than just a change in sound, based on my more detailed listen. The instrumentation is a really cool dramatic but slow piece. I find it to be the most memorable aspect of the song, simply because it is what pulls you in from the start. We get strings and electric guitars throughout the verses, and dubstep in the chorus. All comes together to create a sleek atmosphere that oozes out that mature and sensual vibe that I mentioned at the start. I also quite like the intensity. It isn’t in your face as per their more formal releases, but it is definitely still prevalent and prominent. I feel the vocal work was great, but it wasn’t the strongest aspect of the song. The vocals felt more neutral for the most part, but I did like how Bangchan’s adopted a deeper tone in the second verse, and Hyunjin adopted some falsettos. I find these well balance out the song, and adds flair to the song on top of their usual ‘more standard’ sounding vocals. Overall, Red Lights successfully introduces us to a side of Stray Kids that pushes boundaries in a completely different direction of what we are used to.
That mature and sensual vibe is on display in this music video. Both member’s acting and facial expression definitely take this video to the next level. Based on the lyrics and what I can see in the video, the duo are struggling with the unhealthy obsession that they have of their respective partners. They chained to beds and tables, and are struggling to get out of those chains. Even when they make it out of their rooms, they struggle to get far. The black and white filter heightens those mature and sensual vibes, while the use of red lights made complete sense (as it is the song’s title). I also combined the performance aspect of my review, given that it makes up a very big component of the music video and adds more of that mature/sensual essence to the video. Definitely a choreography to watch, as it is quite captivating and very artistic.
Song – 8/10
Music Video / Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10