Stray Kids released my favourite song of 2019 with the incredible Miroh and have since found a permanent place on my bias list. Since that show stopping performance, they’ve comeback with the equally exhilarating Side Effects and consistently strong ‘Cle:Levanter’ mini album. Considering that ‘Go Live’ was going to be the groups debut full length album, my expectations for this release were astronomically high. I was really craving another Miroh or Side Effects, especially given how weak 2020 has been so far and Stray Kids are definitely one of those groups who have the potential to re-ignite the dwindling flame. Saying all that it’s hard to see God’s Menu (神메뉴) as nothing more than underwhelming.
Let me start off by saying that I don’t think God’s Menu is a bad song. It plays like a sonic sequel to last years Double Knot, lowering the angst and interjecting some great shots of anthemic melody. There are many things to like about the track from its unflagging energy to the unusual structure and despite most of its rather generic instrumental and production choices, the boys manage to pull it off really well. The rapping as usual is a high point and that’s no surprise given the groups incredibly talented rap line. While the loud blustering synth loop is all too common in modern day boy group tracks, the descending loop is actually pretty addicting acting as a much more catchy instrumental anchor than most songs of this style. The tracks strongest element is easily the melodic pre-chorus which shines light on the groups underrated vocals and provides an excellent build towards the hard-hitting drop. It kind of makes me wonder how great a track in the same vein would sound like.
Speaking of the chorus, it the context of the groups very strong discography it just falls short. Considering the gargantuan drop in Miroh and the pummelling psytrance of Side Effects, the hammering clatter-trap drop we see here feels incredibly basic. This alongside a hook laced with ugly vocal effects and you’ve got a rather disappointing centrepiece. Thankfully, this is only repeated twice. One aspect of the track that is both a pro and a boon is the run time. At only 2:49 it’s one of the shortest kpop tracks of the year. In one way it’s a smart choice to prevent aspects of the track from becoming repetitive but at the same time rids the track from any potential last minute climax. It all feels abit too short. And with this, 2020’s streak of underwhelming comebacks continues.
Final Rating: 7.75 / 10