With song titles like “S-Class,” “Hall of Fame,” and “TOPLINE,” it’s clear that Stray Kids are aiming for the top with their newly released third full-length album, 5-Star. After their last release, Maxident, topped the Billboard 200, it’s safe to say their goals are within reach.
5-Star, out now via JYP Entertainment / Imperial / Republic Records, is the follow-up to 2021’s full-length NOEASY. The group has released a number of mini-albums since then, but fans have long anticipated this new project. As always, the album was produced by the group’s own 3RACHA, the collective moniker of members Bang Chan, Changbin, and HAN. Their signature style: colorful and boisterous, remains as bold as ever.
The album’s lead single, “S-Class,” is a prime example, accompanied by its fever-dream-of-a-music video. “I’m up above the world, so high / I’ll be there shining day and night / They wonder how my spotlight is so bright,” the members sing on the pre-chorus.
The album release follows a successful second world tour, “MANIAC,” which included 42 shows in 18 regions across North America and Asia. Following their debut in 2017, Stray Kids have become one of the most influential K-Pop groups of a new generation. To name a few milestones, they are currently one of four boy groups to reach over four billion streams on Spotify and hold the title of JYP Entertainment’s first triple-million seller. 5-Star is likely only to grow these numbers even further.
Speaking to Bandwagon about the process of creating this new project, group leader Bang Chan explained, “Since this is our third album, we tried our best to focus on showing something new for the listeners. To show something a little different is important because we then have a chance to expand our spectrum and show the listeners that we are capable of doing this and that. Which is very challenging to be honest, but it is a challenge that we are always willing to accept.”