Oddinary is the sixth Korean-language extended play (EP) (ninth overall) by South Korean boy band Stray Kids. It was released on March 18, 2022, through JYP Entertainment and Republic Records, seven months after preceding studio album Noeasy (2021). The EP was their first release under Republic Records after signing in February and their first EP in nearly two years since Clé: Levanter (2019). A blend of "odd" and "ordinary", Oddinary represents "all of us who have something odd about ourselves" and the concept that "odd things will soon become ordinary".

Oddinary
A green head with screws as Frankenstein, covered its eyes by the EP's logo "ODDINARY", with the black background and purple beam
Digital cover
EP by
ReleasedMarch 18, 2022
Studio
  • JYPE (Seoul)
  • Channie's "Room" (Seoul)
Genre
Length22:03
LanguageKorean
Label
Producer
Stray Kids chronology
SKZ2021
(2021)
Oddinary
(2022)
Circus
(2022)
Singles from Oddinary
  1. "Maniac"
    Released: March 18, 2022

Primarily written and produced by 3Racha, an in-house production team of Stray Kids and other members, other producers on Oddinary include Versachoi, DallasK, Trippy, Jun2, Nickko Young, and Millionboy, most of whom the group has worked with previously. It consists of seven tracks, with "Maniac" serving as lead single, and utilizes various music genres, including hip hop, trap, EDM, and rock. Upon its release, the EP received positive reviews from music critics about extraordinary artistic, musical, and style growth.

Commercially, Oddinary topped the album charts in South Korea, Finland, Poland, and the United States and entered the top 10 in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Japan, Lithuania, Sweden, and Switzerland. It marked Stray Kids' first appearance on the US Billboard 200 and the UK Official Albums Chart, among others. The EP has sold over 1.7 million copies, becoming the group's second million-selling album after Noeasy and was certified million by the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA). To promote Oddinary, Stray Kids embark on their second concert tour, Maniac World Tour, which commenced in late April 2022.

BackgroundEdit

Stray Kids uploaded the video "Step Out 2022" via their social media on January 1, 2022, which outlined the group's accomplishments in 2021 and goals for the new year, including plans for two forthcoming albums in 2022.[1] On February 10, it was revealed that the group signed an exclusive contract with Republic Records for promotions in the United States, alongside labelmate Itzy.[2][3] The group held their second fan meeting, 2nd #LoveStay "SKZ's Chocolate Factory", at Olympic Hall on February 12 and 13. The second day was also aired as a paid livestream via Beyond Live.[4] At the end of the event, Stray Kids surprised fans with the premiere of a comeback trailer for their upcoming EP Oddinary, scheduled for release on March 18. The trailer was uploaded on their social media afterwards.[5]

"With the title Oddinary, we want to bring the message that everyone has their own odd in them, and that's totally ordinary."

— Bang Chan on meaning of the title Oddinary at the press conference[6]

The EP's title, Oddinary, is a portmanteau of two words, "odd" and "ordinary". It represents "all of us who are ordinary also have odd sides" and the idea that "odd things will soon become ordinary".[7] In a StarNews interview on March 4, Stray Kids teased that the upcoming EP would show their "potential energy", "crazy" in the meaning of "extraordinary", and "new side".[8] Their label JYP Entertainment also stated that the group "will solidify its presence and continue its surge in popularity through the extraordinary music, concept, and performance of the new well-made release".[9]

Music and lyricsEdit

Oddinary is twenty-two minutes and three seconds long, consisting of seven tracks[10] of various genres of music of hip hop, trap, EDM, and rock.[11] All tracks were mainly produced and written by Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han, who work together as the in-house production team named 3Racha. Other members also participated in writing the tracks. Lee Know, Seungmin and I.N co-wrote "Waiting for Us", while Hyunjin and Felix co-wrote "Muddy Water". In addition to the members, a variety of songwriter-producers also participated: Versachoi, DallasK, Trippy, Jun2, Nickko Young, and Millionboy, most of who the group has worked with previous records.[10]

In the Oddinary online press conference, Changbin stated that the EP has added relaxation, composure, and moderation more than the previous release which focused on explosive energy, while Bang Chan added, "We wanted to tell that the part of you which can seem odd and strange to people around you can serve as a special factor that can make you cooler and more gorgeous."[12][13] Also said by him in the introduction video Intro "Oddinary", each and every song of the EP blends into the main theme of Oddinary.[14]

SongsEdit

 
Lyrically, "Maniac" compares "odd" people to Frankenstein (pictured).

Oddinary opens with the trap-hip hop[11][15] track, "Venom", addressing the impossibility of escaping someone's fatal charm, which metaphorizes it into spider, its web, and venom.[16][15][17] It is followed by "Maniac", the trap,[18] electropop[19] second track, whose bass-synth drop,[18][20] bird-chirping,[20] and drill sound[19] tell the story of "odd" people who break the "ordinary" social norms and expectations set by society,[21] comparing them with Frankenstein having screws loose.[18][19] The third track, "Charmer", is a hip hop[22] song, featuring a snake charmer-like flute sound,[23][11][19][22] inspired by Pied Piper,[17] about being confident enough to be disliked by others, who all eventually fall for their charm.[20] Described by critics, "Maniac" and "Charmer" are influenced by Middle Eastern music.[20][11] "Freeze", the fourth track, is a riddim[19] dubstep,[23][11][17] and EDM[23][17] song influnced by hip hop beats,[21] expressing the intention to overcome a problem, excitement of breaking free, and pursuing dreams.[20] The song is compared with the game freeze tag.[19]

The rock[24][11] and pop rock[23] fifth track, "Lonely St.", describes loneliness, feeling lost,[23] and the inner narrative of youths alongside the imagery of walking a lonely street.[22] It is characterized by "rough" yet "delicate" vocals,[24] employing the heavy use of Auto-Tune,[11] handclaps, light grunge guitar,[20] and trap beats.[22] "Waiting for Us", the sixth track sung by Bang Chan, Lee Know, Seungmin, and I.N, is described as a "heartfelt" soulful[22] soft rock,[20] pop rock,[23] indie rock[22] ballad[17] that explains missing someone and promising to wait for them no matter how long it takes until the warm spring has come.[19][17] Oddinary concludes with Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, and Felix's "Muddy Water", a jazzy[20] '90s hip hop,[11][19] boom bap,[23][19][17] and old-school[11][23][20] track, which talks about actions that reject and are against the ways of the current days.[17]

Release and promotionEdit

 
A scene in the trailer, where Felix enters the "ORDINARY" building, before changing to "ODDINARY".

On February 13, 2022, Stray Kids surprisingly premiered the trailer video for their upcoming EP, Oddinary, after the group's fan meeting 2nd #LoveStay "SKZ's Chocolate Factory" had ended.[5] The main version of which was uploaded later on February 28.[7] Directed by Kwon Yong-soo,[25] the video begins with the scene of a mysterious city, showing the member Felix holding a padlock and taking a bus to enter a building with the neon sign "ORDINARY" that later suddenly changes to read "ODDINARY". He meets the other members, who appear menacingly and attempt to corner him. The trailer shows Hyunjin whispering in Felix's left ear, followed by the caption "Do you want to be ODDINARY?" and a series of ellipses. Then, he pushes Felix, dropping him from the window before jumping down after him, breaking and unlocking the padlock. In the end, Felix, wearing a different outfit, walks to stand with the other members, showing his left eye changing to green.[5][26][27][7]

Pre-orders for Oddinary began on the same day as the trailer release,[28] coming in three editions on CD—a limited Frankenstein version and two standard versions, Scanning and Mask Off,[29] including the Target exclusive versions[30]—alongside the pre-save on Apple Music and Spotify.[31] The complete track listing of the EP was posted on March 3, confirming "Maniac" as the lead single.[10] Concept teaser images were uploaded on social media in three sets from March 4–5, 7–8, and 11–12. The first set depicts the members in black clothes standing in front of a radiograph or shadow of a head with screws.[32][33] The second features the members wearing black and white costumes with a black mannequin and metal detectors.[34][35] In the third, the members wear colorful and funky outfits with exploding firecrackers and cracked smiling emoticon props in the background.[36][37]

Stray Kids teased the tracks via snippet videos titled "Unveil: Track" for "Venom" on March 6,[16] "Lonely St." on March 10,[24] and "Freeze" on March 13,[21] and as well as a mashup video that spoiled the other tracks on March 14.[38] Three music video teasers for "Maniac" were released on March 15–17.[39][40][41] Before the release, they uploaded the 20-minute documentary video Intro "Oddinary" for introducing the EP[42] and held the online press conference.[12][13] Oddinary was released on March 18, in conjunction with an accompanying music video for "Maniac", at retail stores and on digital music and streaming platforms,[43][44][18] which is the first release with Republic Records after signing with label in February.[45] In addition to the lead single, the music videos for "Venom", "Lonely St.", and "Freeze" were released on March 23, 27, and 28, respectively,[15][46][47] The individual-member cover jewel case versions of Oddinary were released on March 28.[48]

Stray Kids initially started the promotions of Oddinary with the debut performance of "Maniac" at KBS2's Music Bank, and CBS's The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on March 18, the same date as the release.[49][50] However, in that day, JYP Entertainment announced that the promotions had been postponed due to most members, except Felix and I.N, testing positive for COVID-19.[51] On March 26, the label announced that Stray Kids would continue promoting at the music shows beginning at Show Champion on March 30,[52][53] including M Countdown,[54][55] Music Bank,[56][57] Inkigayo,[58][59] and Show! Music Core.[60] The group also performed "Maniac" at Virtual Gayo Top 10 on March 25,[61] and MTV Fresh Out Live on April 1.[62]

In support of Oddinary, Stray Kids announced their second concert tour, titled "Maniac", on March 7, during teasing the EP. It began from April 29 to May 1 at Jamsil Indoor Stadium, Seoul, South Korea[63] and travel to several cities in Japan and the United States for a total of 21 shows thus far, with additional shows to be announced in the future. It marks the group's first in-person concerts in two years since their first tour, District 9: Unlock, in 2019 and 2020.[64][65] In this tour, besides "Maniac", Stray Kids performed all tracks of Oddinary, except "Freeze", for the first time.[66]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [67]
NME     [20]

Upon its release, Oddinary received positive reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone India's Divyansha Dongre described it as a "powerful" EP and attested to the group's "commitment towards re-defining their style and artistic growth."[18] Tamar Herman from South China Morning Post described the EP that "has gathered a lot of buzz."[68] Nandini Iyengar of Bollywood Hungama praised the group for "proving their musical capabilities" and using everyday words more meaningfully on the EP.[22] Writing for NME, Tássia Assis gave the EP a four out of five stars, noting that the EP reflected Stray Kids' "extraordinary passion, wit, and growth" and praised it as an "elegant step forward for a group who, hopefully, will never get tired of raising questions."[20]

Crystal Bell from Teen Vogue opined for Oddinary "The nature of that essence can best be described by the meaning of ODDINARY itself … so why not embrace the things that made you different? It's the same principle that's been guiding Stray Kids from the very beginning, and it's why so many have fallen under their spell. They're not about to compromise now."[11] AllMusic reviewer Neil Z. Young gave the EP a four out of five stars, stating that the EP encapsulates their many sides of them, showcasing the group's "aggressive blend of dance-friendly electronic and hip-hop" and offering "hard-hitting anthems, earnest R&B-inspired vocal harmonies, and proof of rap prowess on the mike."[67]

Billboard listed Oddinary as one of the best 50 albums of 2022 so far. J. Lipshutz expressed the EP "mixes pop hooks, rap cadences and dance tempos in a manner familiar to mainstream K-pop, but each song lands with a dazzling intensity."[69] South China Morning News's Herman chose the EP as one of the best K-pop albums in the first half of 2022, depicting it being "not what you might expect (random instrumental additions show up where they’re least expected but most welcome), but overwhelmingly addictive."[70] Additionally, the lead single "Maniac" was chosen by Time and NME as the best K-pop song in the first half of 2022,[71][72] while Mashable chose "Charmer".[73]

Commercial performanceEdit

On March 17, 2022, the day before its release, it was reported that Oddinary exceeded 1.3 million copies in pre-orders, surpassing the 930,000 pre-orders of Noeasy and setting a new record as JYP Entertainment's most pre-ordered album.[74] According to Hanteo Chart, the EP sold 855,021 copies in its first week.[75] In South Korea, Oddinary debuted at number one on the Gaon Album Chart on the issue date of March 13–19,[76] selling 1,546,907 as of March,[77] making it Stray Kids' best-selling album and second million-selling album after Noeasy.[78] Additionally, all seven of the album's tracks entered the top 30 of the Gaon Download Chart simultaneously.[79] Oddinary received a million certification by the Korea Music Content Association (KMCA) on May 12.[80][78]

In the United States, Oddinary debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 on the issue date of April 4, becoming Stray Kids' first album to appear on the chart, and the third Korean act in history to top the chart, after BTS, and SuperM.[81] Of the 110,000 album-equivalent units sold in its first week, 103,000 were pure sales (with all but 2,500 of those being physical copies), and 10.09 million were on-demand streams, at the time the biggest sales week for an album in the country in 2022.[45] The EP also topped the Top Album Sales,[45] Top Current Album Sales, and World Albums,[82] which the latter topped for six consecutive weeks.[83] The debut of Oddinary resulted in Stray Kids re-entering Billboard's Artist 100 at number one for the first time, becoming the fourth Korean act to top since BTS, Blackpink, and SuperM.[84]. Four of seven tracks of the EP entered World Digital Song Sales, including "Maniac", which debuted atop the chart.[85][82]

Oddinary also appeared for the first time on several other national album charts: the Canadian Albums Chart at number 20,[82] the Czech ČNS IFPI Albums Top 100 at number 87,[86] the Italian FIMI Albums Chart at number 48,[87] the New Zealand Official Top 40 Albums at number 33,[88] the Swedish Sverigetopplistan Weekly Album at number 5,[89] and the UK Official Albums Chart at number 95.[90][75] It topped the Official Finnish Albums Chart, and the Polish OLiS Chart for the first time.[91][92] Furthermore, Oddinary charted in Australia (92),[93] Austria (11),[94] Belgium in both Flanders (5)[95] and Wallonia (5),[96] Croatia (2),[97] Denmark (3),[98] Germany (43),[99] Hungary (2),[100] Japan on both Oricon (4),[101] and Billboard Japan (20),[102] Lithuania (3),[103] the Netherlands (12),[104] Spain (48),[105] and Switzerland (10).[106]

Track listingEdit

Oddinary track listing
No.TitleLyricsMusicArrangementLength
1."Venom" (거미줄)
  • Bang Chan (3Racha)
  • Changbin (3Racha)
  • Han (3Racha)
  • DallasK
  • Bang Chan
3:15
2."Maniac"
  • Bang Chan
  • Changbin
  • Han
  • Bang Chan
  • Changbin
  • Han
  • Versachoi
  • Versachoi
  • Bang Chan
3:02
3."Charmer"
  • Bang Chan
  • Changbin
  • Han
  • Bang Chan
  • Changbin
  • Han
  • Versachoi
Versachoi3:08
4."Freeze" ()
  • Bang Chan
  • Changbin
  • Han
  • Bang Chan
  • Changbin
  • Han
  • Trippy
  • Trippy
  • Bang Chan
2:58
5."Lonely St."
  • Bang Chan
  • Changbin
  • Bang Chan
  • Changbin
  • Jun2
  • Jun2
  • Bang Chan
2:44
6."Waiting for Us" (피어난다; Bang Chan, Lee Know, Seungmin, I.N)
  • Bang Chan
  • Lee Know
  • Seungmin
  • I.N
  • Bang Chan
  • Lee Know
  • Seungmin
  • I.N
  • Nickko Young
  • Nickko Young
  • Bang Chan
3:39
7."Muddy Water" (Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix)
  • Changbin
  • Hyunjin
  • Han
  • Felix
  • Changbin
  • Hyunjin
  • Han
  • Felix
  • Millionboy
  • Millionboy
  • Bang Chan
3:17
Total length:22:03

Notes

  • Translation of track titles in Korean:

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from the EP's liner notes.[107]

ChartsEdit

Certifications and salesEdit

Certifications and sales figures for Oddinary
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan
Physical
60,217[117]
Japan
Digital
1,017[118]
South Korea (KMCA)[120] Million 1,711,849[119]
United States 173,000[121]

Release historyEdit

Release dates and formats for Oddinary
Region Date Format Version Label Ref.
Various March 18, 2022
  • Frankenstein
  • Scanning
  • Mask Off
  • digital
[122][123]
South Korea March 28, 2022 CD Jewel case JYP [48]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (February 10, 2022). "JYP & Republic Expand Strategic Partnership to Include ITZY & Stray Kids: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
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  123. ^ Citations concerning Oddinary physical release formats: