K-Pop: MONSTA X Dropped “Kiss or Death”!

Promotional image of Chae Hyungwon, Yoo Kihyun, Im Changkyun, Lee Minhyuk, Lee Jooheon, and Sohn Hyunwoo. Copyright goes to MONSTA X and Starship Entertainment.

Hey! Hallie here!

MONSTA X just dropped “Kiss or Death” and its music video! And for those who are already missing Shownu, he’s absolutely in this song and rocking center in the choreography. This song is really good, but if you haven’t seen the MV yet I don’t exactly blame you. While a few previews of this music video were released on YouTube, the only place you can watch the full thing is on the Universe app. And this arrangement sparked a lot of confusion. If you’re not able to access the Universe app, I sympathize with you. It’s really frustrating that the MV is exclusive to only one app. (I’m also not telling you to find a fan upload of the music video on Youtube, so long as you support the song in other ways, but I’m not NOT telling you that.) In any case, I’ll be going over the song and the MV in detail, so if you want to be surprised, push off reading this until you’ve enjoyed “Kiss or Death” to the fullest extent. You ready? Let’s get into this.

The Song:

The first thing I want to commend this song for is line distribution. While MONSTA X isn’t the worst at giving everyone their time to shine in songs, Minhyuk and Hyungwon often feel like they’re being given slivers compared to some of the other members. I didn’t feel that in this song at all. Minhyuk and Hyungwon both get hard-hitting moments just before the chorus and their voices really shine. Minhyuk has a nice sweet sound that makes his piece addictive while Hyungwon has a surprisingly deep register that adds a lot of depth to his. Kihyun and Shownu team up for the extremely catchy chorus. Kihyun is always worth watching out for, for the strength of his voice alone. He’s honestly one of the best singers in the industry right now. Shownu always surprises me with how light his register is. The lightness is really well suited to balance out Kihyun. Lastly, Joohoney and I.M get several moments to stand out. The song starts out immediately with Joohoney. You know a song’s about to be good when you hear Joohoney right out of the gate. He’s very good at setting the tone, especially for higher energy songs. And, as usual, I.M’s deep voice suits his rap style so well that you can’t help but fall in love with him. As for the lyrics, they go well with the themes MONSTA X usually tackles. The song conveys a desperation for someone they find attractive, which can definitely be sensed by the strength of the chorus. The song overall has an incredible beat and energy that makes you want to listen to it over and over again. I can’t find anything to criticize. It’s a really solid MONSTA X song.

The MV:

This music video goes for some really fun story elements that I love seeing in anything, let alone MVs. The video starts out with an old fashioned opening credits sequence that leads right into a train. With the suits the guys are wearing, the constant shots to a grainy black and white look, and the dated look of the train, it really feels like ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. Joohoney’s up first, and while I really like the silhouette of his Sherlock-looking coat, I can’t get over the much more modern, form-fitting black outfit we see in other shots. I.M gets some really nice looking vests for both of his outfits during his part of the MV and he looks incredible in both of them. Between Joohoney’s camera and I.M tacking up various articles around his compartment, we already know by this point that the two are up to something. After this Minhyuk enters the scene with a plaid, button-down coat that makes him look very dapper. His cutaway shots aren’t to a compartment, but to a misty area where we get to see him dance in a silver-detailed vest and white dress shirt. Consider me deceased. Hyungwon gets a darker coat and some really interesting patterns on his vest that make him very striking in this music video. I have to tip my hat off to Hyungwon here. Seeing him dance in that vest definitely bias wrecked me a bit. Kihyun gets to stay in his secondary outfit for this sequence which means we get to stare at him in a black vest with various leather straps. Yeah. The choreography also kicks in with Kihyun and I really like the quick pace of this choreo. MONSTA X isn’t generally known for their choreography, but I really like what we got in this MV. Speaking of leather straps. You thought Kihyun had some? Well, Shownu is basically in a harness. MONSTA X knows what we want and they deliver every time.

After the chorus we start seeing some more futuristic elements introduced in the video. Minhyuk, and later Hyungwon, sits at the top of the train and we see what looks like Saturn and tons of stars behind him. From this imagery we discover the boys are from a future where time travel is possible. For the sterile Sci-Fi elements we see afterwards, we get more black, form-fitting outfits! A lot of members share similar elements in their outfits here. Shownu and Kihyun wear jackets with high necks and misplaced zippers that serve both the purpose of looking good and looking futuristic. Hyungwon and Minhyuk wear dress coats with extra jewelry to give them a modern look. As for the other two, I.M rocks extra black accessories that suit him very well while Joohoney gets a studded belt and collar. Here we also get clearer looks of the old fashioned suits Shownu and Kihyun wear. I like the look of the overlapping collar on Kihyun’s jacket and I don’t think much can beat seeing Shownu in an old-fashioned three-piece suit. It was nice to see a bit more of that here. The MV ends with all of the members being alerted of a time-warp that seems distressing to all of them, prompting them to escape from the train. This definitely felt like one of their most cinematic music videos and they pulled it off better than I could have ever imagined. I’d love to see more of this in the future!

That’s it! While the MV situation might have confused some, I’d still say look into watching this on the Universe app if you can. It supports the boys and gives you the best look at this MV. Trust me, it’s worth it. But either way, I think we can all agree that MONSTA X killed it with this release. It showcases MONSTA X at their best and gives us some Shownu so we don’t have to miss him too much yet. Between the vocals, the beat, and the incredible choreography, I can’t stop falling in love with “Kiss or Death”.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!


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