K-Pop: Monsta X ‘Reason’ and Bias Updates

Promotional photo of (from left) Lee Jooheon, Chae Hyungwon, Lee Minhyuk, Yoo Kihyun, and Im Changkyun. Copyright goes to Starship Entertainment and Monsta X.

Hi! It’s Annie!

I feel like I’m making this too late, but I absolutely needed to talk about ‘Reason’, Monsta X’s new release! Not only because this is one of the main groups that I stan, but also because this has to be one of my all-time favorite releases from them. I loved absolutely every song on this album, to the point that the songs have been running over and over in my head since I first heard them. I think the only reason why I’m putting this out so late is because I often struggle trying to figure out what exactly to say about each song in an album. One of the major points of music is that it’s supposed to be felt more than described, but I’m going to do my best! And I have some bias appreciation and updates to talk about at the end that will hopefully even out some of the places that I struggle here. So look out for those! If you haven’t yet listened to this album or watched the MV, go do that now! I can’t stress enough how amazing they are and they are absolutely worth the listen! I’m just going to get into it!

Beautiful Liar:

This is absolutely the hard hitting title track that I expect from Monsta X. Each of their title tracks are different, but they all have some kind of element that pulls you in from the moment you press play. The song is fast paced but also has lower and smoother vocals for a good portion of it that gives the song a more sensual element to it. As always, the rap here is a major stand out. I don’t think you could find many rap lines as cohesive and complimentary as I.M and Joohoney. The song also highlights the ranges of all of the vocalists, giving them plenty of impressive high notes to hit. More than wanting to dance to it, this song just completely pulls you in. It’s compelling in a way that gives you no choice but to listen to it and then listen to it again.

Beautiful Liar MV:

The MV is darker and more mysterious, with the background mostly being dark but each of the members standing out in bright red. We see moments of them also blending into this black and white aesthetic, but for the most part they each stand out as a pop of color within a crowd of monotony. Each of the members is highlighted individually for most of the song, including in some places with choreography. It makes it really easy to find great highlight moments of your bias, no matter which member your bias is.

Daydream:

This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It almost has a creepy and playful vibe, and the song depicts feelings of craziness without a partner that isn’t necessarily even real. Most K-pop stans can relate to some degree. Each of the members get to sing to the creepy tune here along with the usual knockout raps. I’m absolutely obsessed; this is the song that gets stuck in my head most often. And I love hearing even the rappers singing here. I also love how the melody is a perfect contrast to the more dance-type chorus. It’s amazing!

Crescendo:

We’ve started hearing the rap line sing regularly for a little while now, but have you ever wanted to know what would happen if the vocal line rapped? Here’s your answer. It’s nothing short of amazing! Hearing each member rap to the beat is stunning and the vocals at the end of the song make the lyrical purpose very clear. This has to be another favorite for me.

LONE RANGER:

This has more of a country feel that it perfectly captures while still sounding completely in line with Monsta X. I love the high notes that many of the members hit here during every chorus. They’ve been liking the more country theming lately and I have to say that I think they do it well.

Deny:

Another one of my favorites on this album, but at this point what isn’t? This is not as much of a slow song as it is a chill and relaxing song. It depicts the melancholy of feeling alone when you like someone who doesn’t return those feelings. The lyrics are excellently done and depict those emotions so well, from the way it affects you physically to the mental effect. Again, we’re getting tons of amazing vocals from all of them here!

IT’S ALRIGHT:

This song is also more of a relaxing type and has such deep lyrics about getting back to someone that you miss. It closes out the album with this gorgeous bittersweet feeling, but there’s this level of hope that goes along with it as well. Monsta X does really well with adding various levels to their more melancholic songs.

Bias:

With all that said, it’s been a while since I’ve talked about my Monsta X bias and I’ve kind of been in the mindset for talking about all of my biases lately. Because I’m not so great at really depicting how I feel listening to these songs, I really wanted to be able to rant about something that I can put words to. And that’s how much I love and admire all of these boys, including one Im Changkyun. I’ve talked a lot about Namjoon and his writing and artistic interpretation on this blog, but Changkyun has also talked in depth about his own artistry and I feel like I’ve failed to talk about this enough. I always find it rare and so appreciated when an artist is completely candid about the way their times of life, feelings, and emotions lend to their writing. But it’s such a personal thing that I never expect an idol or artist to talk about it with the public. Changkyun has been candid about his own mentality and the way he views emotions, and it’s made me feel a little better about the way I sometimes feel. He talks about how he wants to be happy but he doesn’t find it productive to always seek happiness. In one of my favorite solo artist tracks of all time, “God Damn”, he talks about how when he is happy there’s the fear of temporary happiness. And that was a take that I found so true and at the same time took me completely by surprise. In an interview he did, he talked about how exhausting it is to always expect happiness outwardly and from yourself, and how he’s learned to appreciate feelings of melancholy. When I say he expanded my entire view on how I approach emotions, I’m not understating it. I find myself returning to those quotes very often! He even took on the fear of the future due to uncertainty and turned it into something positive by talking about how good of a motivator it is. I’m always a sucker for an idol who says something that I need to hear. And Changkyun has done that on multiple occasions for me! I actually recently went to a K-Pop festival semi near where I live and I ended up buying the most adorable I.M keychain I’ve ever seen in my life (as well as one for Yunho), so now I travel around with a little reminder. For having it for such a short time I already have found that I clutch it subconsciously when I’m anxious. I’m still heartbroken that I lost out on seeing Monsta X last year because of a scheduling conflict! I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to see them soon, but I guess we’ll see how military enlistment goes.

Bias Updates: I wanted to add this little note in here too! You might have noticed that my sister and I have both chosen a handful of groups to stan. Honestly, it’s completely because my wallet and my brain can’t handle more than that. But both of us stan ATEEZ, BTS, ONEUS, and Monsta X. We also each stan a girl group, but we actually have different preferences for that one. I stan Everglow while my sister is a Dreamcatcher stan. My biases are Yunho, RM, Leedo, I.M, and Mia. My sister’s are Hongjoong, JHope, Keonhee, Joohoney, and Dami. Just in case you were curious, this is kind of where we’re at for groups and biases on the blog, so this is probably what you’ll see content the most for! Hopefully you found something that interests you in there!

Seriously if you haven’t listened to Monsta X yet, go and do that! They are definitely one of the best K-Pop groups out there! And you won’t regret listening to this most recent release!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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