Stray Kids 'Rockstar' album review

Stray Kids 'Rock-STAR' Review: Where K-Pop Meets Rock

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November 21, 2023

Stray Kids' 'Rock-Star' EP: A Dynamic Blend of Afrobeats and K-Pop. Featuring hits like 'LALALALA' and 'Megaverse,' this album showcases the group's unique fusion of styles and introspective lyrics, solidifying their status in the global music scene.


tray Kids, the Korean pop sensation, have made a striking return with their audacious EP 'Rock-Star.' Aiming to redefine the rockstar image within the K-Pop universe, this project marks their second Korean comeback in 2023. The group collaborates with a variety of producers and leverages their in-house talent to deliver an eight-track compilation that weaves through themes of self-realization, struggle, and euphony.

Capturing the essence of the album, the hit lead single 'LALALALA' diverges melodically from their previous work. This Afrobeats-infused rhythmic anthem exhibits verve and a sonorous distortion that aligns with their noise-pop aesthetic. The track unifies the message of joy and the pursuit of happiness through music, symbolizing the rockstar persona's solitude and reliance on art amidst societal misinterpretations.

Transitioning to the EP opener, 'Megaverse' unfolds with a pent-up burst of potentiality, mirroring Stray Kids' stature in the global music scene. Their music, boldly claimed to 'echo through the galaxy,' speaks louder than words, reflecting their formidable confidence and ascent in the music world.

Shifting gears, 'Comflex' presents Stray Kids in an avatar that embraces chaos and humor. Turning insecurities into strengths, the complexities they 'flex' are not just boastful claims but a candid portrayal of self-awareness.

Further, 'Blind Spot' lays bare the mental toll and unseen efforts behind their polished artistry. This poignant reminder of the unseen tribulations and the persistence inherent to Stray Kids' journey toward rockstar status highlights a path marked by more adversities than triumphs.

'Cover Me' juxtaposes the group's collective energy with individual introspection. Hyunjin's haunting questions like 'Why do I feel so lonely on this night?' and Seungmin’s emotional bridge translate isolation and longing into a sonically tangible experience.

Contrasting with the previous tracks, 'Leave' introduces a romantic feeling within the EP. It coaxes a nostalgic yearning that seemingly detours from the collective theme, crafting a bittersweet narrative through evocative lyrics and soul-stirring delivery.

Initially released in Japan, 'Social Path' engages with the rawness of sacrificing youth for the future. Magnifying the idols' unsung doubts and distresses, it lays bare a resolute confession in compelling lyrics that reflect their grappling with a rocky ascent.

The journey culminates with an intensified rock version of 'LALALALA,' revisiting the ecstatic high and elevating it to a cathartic crescendo. This bidirectional glance—embracing both celebrations and reflective moments—is indicative of Stray Kids' quest to navigate beyond performance.

With a runtime of twenty-seven minutes and twenty-seven seconds, 'Rock-Star is compact yet impactful. Beneath the polished production and ambitious arrangements, however, occasional overreach is evident. While the ensemble adeptly commands various styles and emotional expressions, some tracks seem less integrated into the overarching thematic narrative, giving the EP a somewhat disjointed feel.

On a scale, 'Rock-Star' weighs in at a 5 out of 10. The EP reflects Stray Kids' artistic boldness but falls short in cohesively marrying its diverse elements. The high marks are for the heightened energy, bold messaging, and willingness to experiment. However, it's counterbalanced by thematic dissonance and a somewhat fragmentary unity among the tracks.


  1. Megaverse
  3. Blind Spot
  4. Complex
  5. Cover Me
  6. Leave
  7. Social Path (feat. LiSA) (Korean Ver.)
  8. LALALALA (Rock Ver.)\
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