Stray Kids prove they are here to stay with  ‘Maxident’

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Lisander Rosario

This year has been a very busy and successful period for the self-produced 8-man K-pop group, Stray Kids. Their latest EP, “Maxident,” was released on Oct. 7 and debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart.

The album contains  8 tracks spearheaded by their lead single, “CASE 143.” Despite its bright colors and theme of declaring love, it still has the classic hard, bass-heavy sound that defined their music since their debut. It’s a mixture of multiple musical elements, a staple of many Stray Kids hits such as “Back Door,” with elements of EDM, trap and even some bossa nova.

The groupcomposed of Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin and I.N, have been steadily growing their fanbase both at home and internationally.

Their first official release in 2018, the album “I Am NOT,” sold a total of 86,576 copies on Korea’s Circle Chart by the end of the year. This year’s album eclipsed that, reaching 2.16 million copies in just its first week sales on the Korean Hanteo chart.

The groups first release of this year, “Oddinary,” was their first album to debut atop of the Billboard 200 chart, making them only the third Korean act to do so behind SuperM and BTS. Blackpink has also joined these ranks with the release of their album, “Born Pink.”

Shortly after in April, they embarked on their second world tour, “Maniac,”  comprising 34 sold out showsacross Korea, Japan and the U.S. During the tour, they still managed to work on and release other pieces of music, such as their second Japanese EP “Circus” and single, “Mixtape: Time Out.”

The rest of the album is full of quality songs that longtime fans have come to love and expect. From hard hitting fast paced tracks like the synth rock-esque “SUPER BOARD” and the drill inspired

“3RACHA” to slower and more romantic tracks like the sexy “TASTE” and the lo-fi “CHILL.” Stray Kids have once again created a versatile collection of music composed around the concept of love, whether it’s innocently romantic, toxically painful or simply loving oneself.

With this latest release, Stray Kids became the only act this year to have two albums debut at the top of the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 227,000 totaling across both releases. Out of that total, 117,000 of those come from Maxident, making it not only their highest selling album in the charts, but also the fourth-highest overall of any act this year so far.

In addition, Stray Kids also accomplished their highest ever pre-order sales internationally, coming in at third place with 2.24 million copies, behind BTS’s “Map of the Soul: 7” and “Map of the Soul: Persona.”