To anyone not keeping up with their every move, Stray Kids’ mixtape releases seem to arrive out of nowhere. Time Out certainly caught me off guard – so much so that I wasn’t able to cover it on the day of release. The song arrives as a “gift to fans” on the anniversary of their official moniker (ie: Stay) being established. Whatever the case, I’m happy to see the group delivering something fun and uncomplicated.
Time Out re-injects the rock elements that helped establish Stray Kids’ career with the invigorating District 9. In fact, this is closer to a straight-ahead rock track than the blend of hip-hop and dance we now know the group for. Its driving beat and powerful guitar create a rush of energy, making Time Out go down easy even when it breaks for a rap verse midway through. As expected, the song is a minor entry in their discography, filled with feel-good platitudes like “let’s have fun” and “don’t worry about tomorrow.” But, this lighthearted vibe is in keeping with the celebratory nature of Time Out‘s release. And, who doesn’t like a bit of straightforward fun?
It’s nice to hear the group singing more than usual, even if that singing is often closer to shouting in this case. None of Time Out‘s melodies are particularly memorable, but they’ve got punch and verve that keeps things upbeat. I’d love to see Stray Kids lean more heavily into this rock-infused side of their music, amping up the punk elements that seem to come naturally to their performance style.