My pants are wet to the knee.
After walking for a bit, I topple over,
I used to wish it would be special on this special day,
But not anymore, I only hope nothing ever happens.
Stray Kids revel in playing with the cinematic: over the group’s past few releases they have embraced their members’ enthusiasm of the movie world and infused this into their creative output to the point where every Stray Kids music video feels like a high-concept mini-movie.
In this sense, Stray Kids taking on Christmas was surely never going to be anything short of predictable, and the group completely deliver through EP Christmas EveL. Also the name of the EP’s title track, the song shines through its music video, which plays on the hilarious concept that the group have been hired to replace an out-of-action Santa for the night. Cue shots of eight people that could not be less like Santa having a (very chaotic) ball as they endeavour to both deliver presents to kids whilst just wanting to have fun.
As zany as the music video is, the song is also clever in the way it doesn’t so much celebrate Christmas as point out everything ‘EveL’ (sorry) about this time of year. From the biting wind to the crowds of shoppers and over-commercialised pointless anticipation, Stray Kids talks about it all: the Grinch would certainly be first in line for their Christmas party.
The EP also features holiday songs ’24 to 25' and ‘Winter Falls’. Both songs are very unlike the title track, with the first being a sweet ballad more in the classic Christmas vein as they sing to a loved one they wish could be with them. The latter is much more melancholy as they hope to forget a loved one during this time of year that is meant to be all about thinking of those you love. The song’s heavy beats married with a gentle and lonely guitar balance out some great vocal moments from the group. It is a sad ending to the holiday-based section of the album before the English language version of high-energy Korean language song ‘DOMINO’ rounds off the tracklist.
A Stray Kids Christmas was never going to be a saccharine, candy-canes-and-presents-around-the-fire offering, and Christmas EveL continues to show off how the group enjoy going left-field in everything they do. If you’re looking for a classic Christmas, this release might not be for you: but if you want a Christmas that means you’ll dance around the tree wondering if you should actually forget the holiday altogether, this is the record you’ve been waiting for.
In Christmas EveL, Stray Kids has somehow made all the things you might hate about the holiday season also all the reasons you should fall in love with it again.