Stray Kids is nominated for Best Male Group, while Thunderous is nominated for Best Male Choreography (Group), Best Electronic Song and Best Music Video, and Changbin and Seungmin are nominated for other categories. Support Stray Kids, their members and Thunderous by clicking here.
Stray Kids is the first group to begin the annual Christmas season in KPOP, with the release of two title tracks from the seasonal celebrations. The first of the two, Christmas EveL, will be reviewed in this post, while the second track, Winter Falls, in the next post. This new release comes after the group’s second studio album comeback, NOEASY and Thunderous‘, and their Japanese comeback, Scars.
Christmas EveL was quite an unexpected song. Sure, it is a pretty much an odd ball when you think about – a Christmas themed hip-hop track. But I am quite certain that this isn’t the first time that a Christmas song had been crossed with hip-hop. It just seems to be the case in KPOP. And while the song did take a few listens for me to really get into it, Christmas EveL now comes off as fun and lighthearted track for the holiday season. These might not be words I would usually use for a pretty traditional hip-hop influenced track, but as I always say, there are exceptions. And I am sure that this is the original intention of the song. Since it is also Christmas themed, the cliché Christmas bells make an appearance throughout the song. I liked how they were tweaked for the chorus as well, to match with the overall hip-hop sound. I also like the references and tweaks to classic carols in this song, such as Jack Frost reference in the first pre-chorus, Jingle Bells in the chorus and Feliz Nevidad anthem chant at the end of the song. Its definitely added to the fun side of the song. Since it is a hip-hop based song, the rappers of the group definitely stand out and show off their skills in this song. Han, Changbin and Hyunjin do an amazing job with their rap parts, keeping the flow and maintaining the hip-hop vibe on top of the Christmas influences. Felix and Chan have the most memorable sequences of the song (i.e. the ‘Feliz Nevidad’ anthem ender), which I don’t mind replaying Christmas EveL for. The vocalists have a few good moments, but they seem to follow the hip-hop influence and I don’t think vocals are usually well presented in this manner. But overall, while Christmas EveL might come off weird, it surprisingly works well and successfully marks the start of the Christmas season.
What a fun video, which was expected based on the direction of the song. It was cringy at times, but still a well produced video. From the start of the video, we are told that Santa had lost his voice due to the Sound Monster that Stray Kids was battling in the teasers of Thunderous. And this presents a problematic issue with the current circumstances which the world is in and just weeks out of Christmas. So, Santa enlists the help of the Stray Kids members to hand out the presents to all the good kids in the world. And also from the start, the group has been busy doing so – groaning when Chan asks if they are ready for another trip. Interesting to see that Santa did not offer the help of any elves or reindeers, so the members had to collect their own toys from the store, self-wrap the presents and hand them out themselves. They have a truck that helps them hand out the presents though. They crash though, which leads to them being discovered by the little girl, who essentially schools them on what present to give to her (I hope that was the case, and she wasn’t schooling them on what type of presents of hand out, or else they would need to do the whole world again). They then proceed to have a full on party with the girl, before completing their mission. At the end of the video, though, Chan is sent another text message and the members all groan at the sight. Possibly another Christmas present run, or maybe there is something else that the members need to attend to.
[Update]There seems to be no stages for Christmas EveL and no news that promotions will be undertaken, so the likelihood of choreography for this track is dwindling. As a result, I will omit this section of the review and will keep the final rating based on song and music video.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10