Romantic? No. Or, a Love Post to Christmas Evel
Updated: Aug 1, 2022
I know Christmas has passed for majority of the world, but in my neck of the woods I started this while there was still an hour and a half of Christmas left- so I'm gonna commit to this and finish out a post I've been meaning to get to. Fun fact TMI: I also have Covid right now, so I'm doing this in a mild state of delirium.
Ahem. 😅 I'm alive, I'm medicated, and I'm stubborn. Fighting!
I have been meaning to make a post screaming about the beauty that is this fun-loving holiday EP of a gift to Stays that was dropped Nov 29, and has won a Mubank award with ZERO promotion, while Stray Kids prepared the feast of End of the Year shows that they have debuted so far, and get this, there are still more to come!! I'm worried I won't survive it*, but it'll be worth whatever they put their creative spin on next (*the shows not my current health status).
This post is going to be all over the place; I'm sick, but I'm motivated to talk about all the reasons you should pay attention to this album, if you haven't already. Start the clock.
FIRST OFF THE ALBUM IS THE FIRST TITLE TRACK- CHRISTMAS EVEL. In addition to this being a sardonic and unique spin on your typical Christmas/Holiday type of song- being upbeat and using a lot of instruments not typically associated with this content, it also includes Stray Kids' trademark of using inside jokes and fun verbiage. Stray Kids is kind enough to make sure we are aware that we are also in on the joke with them. That's so nice of them!
They do this visually with their music video too with lots of Easter Eggs! The continuation of the Sound Monster storyline, 325 meters until Stay St, outfits on mannequins from previous music videos, & of course, things about the members too- like Lee Know's penchant for filters & love of cats, Felix using the selfie stick, Hyunjin getting his own BG music again with Changbin's interruption, Bang Chan's drone, all the members causing mayhem, and more! The bit where they introduce themselves after getting caught trying to leave presents had me laughing out loud.
Also, Felix got to drop the now iconic "Felix, never bad" line, after years of enduring and laughing with Stays saying Felix Navidad to him all tha time. This bit of the song, is also now the fastest growing TikTok audio for a 4th gen group, and has been featured on a Spotify pop Christmas playlist- which has garnered new listeners for Stray Kids. Good for him!!!!! Felix's baritone and distinctive voice is always sprinkled in for maximum impact- and bless 3Racha and the Kids for knowing how to harness and utilize this. This is not to say they don't do this with every members' strengths- they absolutely do!
This is a fun twist on what most groups/people would do for a Christmas song, and that's frankly what Stray Kids does best. They push the envelope, and look for new ways to turn things on their head. They also have so much fun doing it, and make sure we're strapped in along for the ride with them.
The second song on the album is 24 to 25- a more traditional Christmas ballad. NOW, this is still a gorgeous and sincere song. Just because I like things turned on their head doesn't mean I can't also enjoy a straightforward approach too. It doesn't mean it's boring, especially if the talent to back it up, is stacked the way Stray Kids is (8 vocals, 8 rappers, 8 visuals, and 8 dancers- 🤙🤙🤙🤙🤙🤙🤙🤙). In this song they're singing to fans about us being their gift (and trust, it is also vice-versa!!!!!) and welcoming us into their space and their home, after they prepared it for us. AWWWWW. This is especially sweet in knowing that they have moved into larger living arrangements and thus are split into two homes; all the main duo pairs in this video are in different homes now, and that was a little poignant for me. Bless them for having more space, they absolutely deserve it. Especially after selling 1mil records for NoEasy alone, and that was before the Christmas Evel drop.
This is such a feel good and wholesome song- it is so warm and inviting. Everyone sings in this song, and I want to curl up in this video and stay happy along with them. Speaking as someone who didn't do anything (decorations, gifts, anything lol) for Christmas this year, I am ready to jump in here and forget about my normal daily grind. I gotta also point out, I'm so thrilled we got Changbin and Felix vocals- a rare treat. 😭
What I also love about this video is that it's so simple, and about how magical some of these holiday acts can be. Doing things with the people you love most, are what build traditions and what the holidays are for. We're all busy, we're all living through unprecedented times right now, we're all stressed, we're all worn out- BUT spending time with the people we love most, even if it can't be in person, is vital. It's about strengthening those bonds during the holidays when those who celebrate it (or those who respect the celebration) universally acknowledge it's time for a break. Connections are one of the strongest things that'll get us through hardships in life, and this is a sweet ode to that.
The third song is the second title track Winter Falls.
I adore this song. I love the acoustic guitar picking, that builds throughout the song, and for me personally? It reminds me a lot of my home growing up. My dad always plays guitar like that, and it has a bit of a Spanish influence to it that he uses a lot too- he grew up in South Texas where it is more prominent. This ballad is a banger, but a sad banger that makes you want to scream along to the lyrics. Seungmin is always an incredible lead vocal, but oh my gosh does this one ache. Everyone delivers on this one for real- I love when we get such heartfelt and raw vocals from them.
3Racha always delivers, but there's something about ballads and sincere songs written by Han Jisung. This is a love song, or more accurately about love falling apart, and having to let it go. What this song means to me though? This resonates as a song where you're singing to the past/real you that you've lost during a depressive episode, and how much you yearn to get back to that. You get to a point where you want to tear your current self down to the studs and rebuild you up, to find who you are again. (No? Just me? Revealing too much? Oh well- I'm in a candid state right now, take it or skip it and mind your business). Maybe I'm just very sensitive right now.
The video is also achingly gorgeous- shoutout to this Stray Kids actor era, especially Hyunjin!! The lighting in this video is especially gorgeous and my lungs and solar plexus feel like they were dipped into the cold environment and heartache, right alongside them. They also all look so fantastic. Also spoiler from Christmas SBS show- they performed it live with some choreo and I ached. I.N. did a fantastic job for his first solo dance break. Please, check this one out.
Last but certainly not least is Domino- the English version. Who still doesn't have a video yet. 👀 I'm not bitter thought!!! They've spoiled us with content this year. But maybe someday they'll drop it!?! (please)
Notable about this version is that Felix helped Chan write the English lyrics- Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!!! They were talking some mad shit on here, and I LOVED IT. Look, Stray Kids is filled with really sweet men and they're incredibly giving and selfless to their fans, and according to others in the industry who have worked with them. BUT, we love when they just go 'nah. alright fuck it we're doing this,' and they go in on whatever is bugging them. They did the same with Cheese- another banger about antis and people who are jealous and talking shit.
Who cares about mad people though, cause Stray Kids has Stay, and Stay has Stray Kids. Match made.
Honestly, if I had the time, the space, or the energy- I'd talk about their end of the year shows, like MAMA, AAA, SBS, but I should honestly make a separate post for that. I will say that with SBS in particular- they not only re-imagined the instrumentals and the tone of Christmas Evel to make it into a Jazz themed song- complete with a choir, but they added so many additional fun elements to it, and fleshed it out even further.
I'm honestly so proud to be a fan of theirs. I never quite know to expect, but I always know it's gonna be FUN , exciting, and bold. They do things no one else thinks or wants to attempt. Another one of Stray Kids' many strengths.
OMG- and that's not to even talk about the SKZ2021 digital release drop, to continue to cultivate their repertoire that they've worked so hard on, and keeping it up to their standards 😌. Insomnia and Placebo in particular had me crying happy tears for the re-release. Everything's already auto-added and updated on my Spotify.
If you still aren't convinced to at least check any of this out and to give it a chance? I don't know what to tell you, but I feel bad for your oversight and your stubbornness. Don't argue with me, argue with the wall or a rock or literally anything/anyone else, I quite literally don't care. 🤷♀️ Especially right now.
The only thing I can think of asking them is to please make sure that they take care of themselves and are healthy. Ironic, since I am obviously not a picture of health right now lmfao, and TMI tl;dr I have an auto-immune disease on top of it, BUT I have definitely made myself worse by working myself past my limit and not acknowledging it properly to take care of myself. I don't want to see it happen to them, or really anyone else. They are strong people (honestly, any idol is in my opinion- with the public scrutiny they put up with with from fans and antis alike, as well as taking on a lot of parasocial relationships that spring up because of it. That is a discussion for another day though...), but strong =/= impervious, and I sincerely hope they get some quality time off that they deserve. I know they love working; you can see it with the quality and quantity of content they bring to the table, and the joy on their faces when they perform. Still! Doesn't mean they don't deserve some down time; muscles need rest in order to repair themselves and to grow. Okay, enough of that, I'm sorry & I'll stop being a big sister.
((Though if they really do want to know what fans want next, and I know they see these things since they trawl online- hello fellow lurkers, I personally would love SKZ Records and 3Racha Soundcloud drops on an album 👀👀👀))
N-E-WAYS, thanks for reading this emotion spiked and post that went all over the place, I just get so excited about their content.