[Review] FREEZE – Stray Kids

It is time to review another Stray Kids release. But not the new one just yet. That is on hold until I complete the other Stray Kids Korean releases that I have passed over so far this year. Instead, I am prioritizing the side tracks from Stray Kids’ sixth mini-album, ODDINARY, that got the music video treatment, ahead of their impending album review which I am looking to (and hopefully post later this week). Last week, I covered their VENOM track. As for this review, I will be focusing on the release FREEZE, the album’s fourth track.

FREEZE is quite an aggressive and abrasive track (if not one of their most aggressive and abrasive tracks to date), something that is pretty much up Stray Kids’ alley. I am sure these are the first words that pop into most people’s minds. I also find it bold, dynamic and packed full of energy, the latter two being noticeably absent from the group’s first track on the album. Therefore, I quite enjoyed the likes of FREEZE. The EDM is, without any doubt, very strong, and I quite like the trap elements in the chorus. It is quite a centrepiece and definitely embodies all the adjectives that I have used thus far in the review (and possibly even taking them to the next level). I would also describe as the bigger picture that is FREEZE to be balanced. Interesting word choice for an EDM track like this one, but not once did I find the overload of synths and texture to be overwhelming. Per usual, the rappers definitely stand out in this song. They were rough and harsh, complementing the abrasive nature of the song. The vocals help bring a bit of relief, and I liked how they stayed on top of the synths. They easily could have slipped and been smothered by the synths. I like the smoothness from the ending, with that contrast being a highlight for me. I did think the ending was a bit abrupt, but I do understand that the nature of this song calls for an abrupt ending. It doesn’t make sense for a fade out to be featured at the ending. If anything, I wished the hooks were meatier. That was the only element I thought was lacking in FREEZE, especially since it relied so heavily on the instrumental for its memorable factor.

It seems like the group are going after the white coat gang in this music video, with half of Stray Kids going undercover into a meeting with said gang and the other half listening close by to the events of the meeting. Not sure if the group are like police, but based on the fiery ending, I don’t think so. An epic shoot out happens (though, I am going also going to describe it as impossible) and the members listening in rush in to provide backup. But the white coat gang manages to capture all of them, and tie them up. The gang then leaves the group alone in a warehouse. Not sure why there is no one watching them, but okay. Stray Kids find the green chemical that seems to be causing some trouble in the media (see the Korean news paper article at the start – I presume the white coat gang are behind such an attack). They then confront the gang and use the green chemical against them, causing that very strong warehouse fire at the end. But the ending seems a bit confusing. We close out the video with I.N smiling in a manner that is a bit suspicious (as if he is making fun of Stray Kids), while posing with a gun. I don’t know if this suggest that Stray Kids is after the wrong people, and should have looked internally with themselves. Aside from the plotline, there were some really great visual effects, particularly during the shootout scene.

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

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