“MAXIDENT”: Stray Kids’ new EP is here to spice up your playlist


JYP Entertainment

“MAXIDENT” is a portmanteau of the words “maximum” and “accident.”

Julia Brossia, Writer

After debuting in 2018 and rising to success over the last four and a half years, South Korean group Stray Kids released their tenth extended play (EP) titled “MAXIDENT on Oct. 7, 2022. In addition to gaining more than 2.2 million pre-orders before the album’s release, the lead single “CASE 143 hit the charts immediately after its release.

Stray Kids, a group formed by a reality show of the same name, consists of eight members: Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, HAN, Felix, Seungmin and I.N. Typically sticking to genres like K-pop, hip hop and electronic, the group is generally self-producing, as the members are almost always involved in songwriting and composing, unlike many other K-pop groups. Stray Kids’ discography is often considered “noise music” by both fans and haters alike.

Almost two and a half months after returning from their Maniac World Tour, Stray Kids have made their next comeback, straying from their usual hardcore style and centering around the concept of love. ‘MAXIDENT’ features eight tracks, including a Korean edition of the group’s previously released Japanese single CIRCUS along with three subunit tracks. The album exhibits many genres blending together to reflect Stray Kids’ concept, including pop, rock and hip hop.

Although I enjoy almost every song on the EP, some of them especially stood out to me, one being the title track. CASE 143, an electro-pop love song, describes the confusion one can feel while falling for someone, asking the question, “why do I keep getting attracted?” It compares the puzzling situation to a “case” and references the number 143, meaning “I love you” in internet slang. The song contains a perfect blend of vocals and rap, making it a great fit to be the lead single. I found it to be a very relatable, catchy song that I didn’t want to stop listening to. The music video included many bright colors and cute characters, which contrasted well with the production of the song itself.

Another notable song in my opinion was track six, TASTE, an R&B subunit track featuring members Lee Know, Hyunjin and Felix. Detailing physical intimacy and the inexplicable attraction between two who cannot be honest with each other, this song was a perfect addition to the EP. The song contains a perfect blend of vocals and rap with a stirring beat drop in the chorus. The alluring instrumental also contributes to the overall mysterious vibe of the song. I really loved this song and haven’t stopped listening to it since. 

Track five, 3RACHA, is undoubtedly my favorite song on ‘MAXIDENT’. 3RACHA, a trio made up of Bang Chan, Changbin and HAN, can be credited for writing and producing the majority of Stray Kids’ discography along with other JYP producers. The subunit diss track expresses the pride that the trio feels for their success and ambition. Ending the song by saying “while they’re complainin’, we’re producin’,” Bang Chan shuts down haters who speak negatively about the group by expressing how they’ve achieved their success through hard work and determination.

Overall, ‘MAXIDENT’ was wonderfully written and produced. The different genres surprisingly went well together to form a cohesive work of art. Although the romantic concept was new to the group, it was authentically Stray Kids, and as usual it did not disappoint. I loved the EP, as it was well-executed with many remarkable songs, and I think that it’s a great addition to the group’s discography. For anyone who is looking to expand their musical horizons with the experimental style offered by Stray Kids, or who just wants to hear a great album, ‘MAXIDENT’ is a worthwhile listen and I highly recommend it.

What do you think?