Stray Kids I Am Not Album Review

Photo via under the Creative Commons License.

Photo via under the Creative Commons License.

Sydney Di Cosimo, Fall Author

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Stray Kids released their debut album called I Am Not on March 26, 2018 and I have yet to listen to it, so I’m going to give you my opinion as I listen to the album for the first time.

Stray Kids is a 9 member K-pop group under JYP Entertainment. They are famous for their inspirational and touching lyrics that they almost always write themselves. The members are also known for their nice personalities that you can see in their fun videos.

Not!- Not! is the first song on the album. It’s sung and rapped by members Seungmin, Lee Know, and Bangchan. The song starts with the leader, Bangchan, doing a talk-rap about being different. Later in the song Lee Know and Seungmin start to do a type of singing called talk-singing. The song portrays a melancholy feeling, talking about being confused and at the end of the song, finally being able to see your life clearly in the dark used to blind you.

District 9- District 9 is the title track of the album, I Am Not, and is sung and rapped by all of the members. The song has a dark, punk, and rock hip-hop vibe. The M/V shows a rebellion that goes against the rules that had been placed on them. The lyrics are about how reuniting others that can relate with the feeling of darkness and not knowing who you are. It also tells the society and their standards to ‘get lost’. The songs incorporated an electric guitar, something that a lot of K-pop groups don’t do. It also had difficult dance moves that express the song clearly. It’s a debut song that a lot of groups might not have the guts to pull off, but they did it, and flawlessly might I add.

Mirror- Mirror is a song that is sung and rapped by everyone in the group. The song is a pop and EDM one, which is different from the other songs in the album. The lyrics are about looking into a mirror and not knowing who you are anymore, no matter how hard you search for the answer. Singing in this song is more focused on than in the other songs that mostly showcase the rapping. In my opinion, the song conveyed the meaning well and the performance is great.

Awaken- Awaken is another song sung, rapped, and made by all the members together. The song has a strong rock feeling with fierce electric guitar and the message of the song is delivered passionately in the lyrics. The lyrics talk about not knowing who you are in the present and trying to get who they are to awaken to know who you are. It’s a song that people trying to find out who they are could especially relate to out of the songs in their I Am Not album.

Rock- Rock is a dark themed, hype, EDM song. The repetition in the song gets the challenges the listeners to the true message that is hidden in the lyrics. Most think that since the song is called Rock, the song would be a rock song, but it is not. Instead, the song conveys jealousy towards inanimate objects, such as a rock, because they can’t feel confusion or emotions.

Grow Up- Grow up is a song that provides a break from all the intense and fierce songs from before it. The song is a song that is completely about encouraging the listeners to follow their dreams. The lyrics also tell them that they’re doing good, and no matter what problems come up, they can can past that and rise. The track is delivered well and conveys it’s intended message undeniably well. The song is for their fans and succeeds in making them feel more appreciated, from what I’ve seen.

3rd Eye- 3rd Eye is a song that represents the songs that Stray Kids make. The unique thing about 3rd Eye is that the vibe is eerily haunting. The lyrics and message of the song is about searching for something that you already know inside of you. The main point of the song is the leader’s, BangChan, and another member, Felix’s, talk-rap. The sounds and drop of the song are something unusual and fun. The song might not be as emotional as the others, but it definitely also displays an important message.

Mixtape #1- Mixtape #1 is the closing song of Stray Kids’ debut album. The genre is tropical house. This song is definitely the perfect ending to the album and takes does it in a calming way too. The message of the song is accepting things as they are instead of changing them. The lyrics talk about believing in yourself and having a good mind-set. It ends all the confusion talks about and makes us smile.

Overall, the album is beyond my expectations, especially for a newly debuted group. The concepts and performances were on point, as well for the singing and rapping. The lyrics and messages touched me, and I find myself wanting to listen to the album all over again. I recommend listening to it and almost definitely know that you might like it.

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