New Monbebe here ♥
As always I would like to start this post with several carrds that contain very important information about the injustices and resources to help.
- https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ has a lot of information and resources and is updated regularly! It also has info on Palestine, the Junk Terror Bill and Hong Kong. This has been updated to include info and resources about the Yemen crisis.
- https://abolish-ice.carrd.co/ – In case anyone forgot there are still children and adults in cages in America. These people are being treated worse than animals and it needs to stop.
- You can also go to Change.org, most countries have their own petition site linked to their government or send emails and letters to your representatives. As someone from the UK, I know for a fact that your local MP’s have their email information readily available.
So, as the title says, I listened to all Monsta X’s albums, as well as the few singles they’ve released (I haven’t included any solo work/mixtapes, drama soundtracks or collabs).
Monsta X is a 7 member group (6 currently active as of late 2019/2020) and were formed through a survival programme – “No Mercy” – in 2015 under Starship Entertainment. As of now, they have released 8 mini albums, 3 full albums, 2 Japanese albums, 1 English album and 4 singles.
- Shownu: Leader, Main Dancer, Lead Vocalist
- Minhyuk: Sub Vocalist, Visual
- Kihyun: Main Vocalist
- Hyungwon: Lead Dancer, Sub Vocalist, Sub Rapper, Visual, Center
- Jooheon: Main Rapper, Sub Vocalist
- I.M.: Lead Rapper, Sub Vocalist, Maknae
- Inactive MX member Wonho: Lead Vocalist, Lead Dancer, Visual
(this specific information came from KProfiles ♥)
For this post, I will be letting you know my favourite songs from each and just some general thoughts about the albums. I don’t really know how to talk about music that coherently or technically. Eloquence is not my forte with a lot of things 😅
Even so, I hope you enjoy this post and let me know what your favourite Monsta X songs/albums are! I’ve tried to link each song mentioned to the video or audio on YouTube~
This will be a long post, so let’s get started!
This was the year of Monsta X’s debut with their first mini album Trespass in May and then four months later they released their 2nd mini album Rush in the October.
Trespass has 7 songs and honestly I only really liked Steal Your Heart. Every member is vocally strong in this song, the pace and the beat is great. Also, I’m weak for when Minhyuk and Hyungwon share lines ♥.♥ The rest of the album somewhat fell flat for me, it seemed jumbled and unsure of itself (does that make sense?) and wasn’t really in the genre of music that I generally gravitate to and when I do, it would be more of a Block B & BAP vibe.
Rush has 6 songs and more of a fresh and energetic vibe. The title track Rush has a feel good beat and playful vibe. It felt like more effort and time was spent with each song and everything was more professional sounding. The music also didn’t overpower the vocals, which I found was a problem with Trespass. Hero is one of my favourites on this album, and not just because the rooftop version is fun to watch, but because the vocals are strong and the music is genius and super catchy!
I also really liked Broken Heart because I’m trash for ballads and this one is really pretty!
This year saw the release of Part 1 and 2 of “The Clan“. Both were mini albums with 6 songs each.
Part 1: Lost was released in the May. I love Mamamoo, so seeing Wheein collaborating was great… but to open with such a dull song… Thankfully 걸어 (All In) that follows was great! (And the concept and most of the cinematography for the video is A*). I also really liked 네게만 집착해 (Stuck) which followed and is just a really cool song.
The rest of the album seems kind of out of place… Like listening to the full album in order is a but of a weird experience. I will say that 백설탕 (sweetheart) is lovely, and what makes me like it more is the cute af Special Clip!
Part 2: Guilty starts pretty strong with Fighter (although the music video is weird? like is it a continuation? but the tone is so different..), but the rest of the album just felt unenthusiastic. I like Queen, mostly for the mid to second half as that song starts out pretty meh as well.
This year saw the release of Monsta X’s first full album. In March, The Clan Pt. 2.5 was released (and the repackaged version in June adding 2 more songs). Newton – a single – was released in July and then the 5th mini album The Code was released in the November.
Considering how I had been pretty underwhelmed for the most part, I was hoping that the first full album wouldn’t be a let down. While it’s not my favourite album of all time, The Clan Pt. 2.5: The Final Chapter is a lot more coherent and flows from style to style better than the previous mini albums. 넘사벽 (Incomparable), Calm Down and then Shine Forever from the repackaged are my favourites.
Newton is a single (and basically an ad for Lipton tea 😂) but the song is pretty sweet, and the video is adorable ♥
The Code was what I was waiting for! Dramarama is just a great comeback title. It’s a strong song and all the members’ vocals are utilised and the beat never overpowers them. I’m trash for a ballad and In Time pulled through! From Zero was a lovely mix of ballad and pop, and X was strong like Dramarama but with a more electronic tinge to the vocals and music and rougher sounding (does that make sense?).
A mini album, a Japanese album and another full length album were released in 2018! Monsta X were busy while Monbebe’s were well fed! The Connect (7 track mini album) was released in March, Piece (1st Japanese album) was released in the April, and finally, Take 1: Are You There (10 track 2nd full length album) was released in the October.
The Connect was everything I was hoping for with literally every other album before. There is a mixture of genres in this album, they go together to create a solid collection of songs that is enjoyable to listen to and doesn’t feel disjointed. Jealousy is a strong opener, but Destroyer is a lot more powerful and would have been better placed 1st. We get powerful songs, then transition into more dance/electronic and then the ballad(ish) songs pop off!! Lost In the Dream is hands down the best song on this album and one of their best overall. And then the album ends on a high note with the upbeat Special.
Piece is a ten track album and half are Japanese versions of previously released songs. I found that the songs I preferred were the re-released Japanese versions of Stuck, Ready or Not and Beautiful. All were released 2017 & prior and the members vocals have gotten a lot better and they’ve found their rhythm with each other as well. I will say tracks 1-8 are pretty hip-hop, beat heavy, almost rock in places (I’m not good with genres sorry) and then all of a sudden we got Puzzle – a cute fun romp – and then a ballad in #GFYL. They were out of place and felt tacked on at the end.
Monsta X’s 2nd full album Take 1: Are You There was somewhat of a letdown considering how much I liked the previous comebacks of this year. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the songs are well made, but the order was strange. The songs were good, but a lot just didn’t stand out. Those that did were 널하다 (I Do Love U) which is cute and upbeat, OH MY! – which is dance heavy and wonderful – and finally Myself which just rolls seamlessly through several genres and remains so beautiful to listen to~
This year was another busy one for Monsta X. It saw the release of Take 2: We Are Here (11 track full length album) in February, their 2nd Japanese album – Phenomenon – in the August and, the mini album Follow – Find You in the October. They also released 3 singles throughout the year.
I’ll talk about the singles first. I only really liked Someone’s Someone – an English track released in the October. This is such a beautiful song and I’m often dubious about English versions of songs, but the members have worked so hard on their skills and you can definitely see that with this single. Breathe For You was released in the July and while it’s a cute song and well sung, it does sound a bit generic… And I felt the same about Love U. It’s again an English song, but it sounds the same as a lot of young, white boy singers (don’t hate me).
Take 2: We Are Here is so far their best album! Near enough every song brings something to the table. The vocal and production of the songs, as a whole, is on a higher level to the previous albums – many of the tracks could have worked as a title track! Like The Connect, the order and flow of the album is a lot better and cohesive. It’s such a fun experience to listen to this album straight through. I really like the hip hop/kpop fusion we see a lot of and Monsta X are very good in this genre and it shows in Take 2. Give Me Dat, 난기류 (Turbulence) and 악몽 (Ghost) were great and my faves from this album.
Considering the first Japanese album, I was pretty excited to check out the 2nd and Phenomenon did not disappoint. X – Phenomenon is a mix of hip hop, dance and ballad and it’s great. I also like how fun it is to sing along to how they pronounce “phenomenon” 😂 The original track Livin It Up was also super upbeat and cool. I will say that I preferred the originally Korean songs of Alligator and Shoot Out a lot in Japanese! The special tracks of Polaroid and Champagne were hidden gems. Most of the songs have a strong heavy beat so the album sounds pretty consistent throughout.
This year has lasted for about 300 years. The All About Luv English debut album was released on Valentine’s Day. As it was made last year, Wonho’s vocals are present despite not being in any promotions. He is debuting solo so definitely support him when he releases new music and the fan name has a cute meaning okay, even if it sounds bad (it’s WENEE by the way..).
And then of course Fantasia X (7 track mini album) was released in May which feel like it was both yesterday and 70 years ago.
Considering the singles of last year – Someone’s Someone and Love U – were part of the album All about Luv, I was dubious. I really liked one, but didn’t like the other, so I was unsure of which sound would be more prominent. It turns out its was more on the Love U side of things… I only liked the ballad type songs – Middle of the Night, You Can’t Hold My Heart, Someone’s Someone. You Can’t Hold MY Heart is perfection and I won’t hear anything against it 😂 Surprisingly, I quite liked the Will.I.Am remix of Who Do You Love. The title track is not great and rather flat, but the remix makes it better (and I normally don’t like remixes). I would have liked Beside U if it was just I.M.’s rap and not with Pitbull – like he’s still relevant?
I’ve ranked the entire album of Fantasia X, so you can check that out here if you would like. Overall, I’m not mad at this mini album, I just wasn’t blown away. Monsta X’s mini albums were getting consistently better and this one fell short. The title track – Fantasia – is great, as are Beautiful Night and Stand Up (absolutely beautiful!). I don’t know if it’s because they weren’t used to the changes of roles and sound without Wonho or something else? It was disappointing, but I look forward to seeing what they do next.
If you somehow made it through all that, thank you! You deserve a gold star! Hopefully, I made sense and definitely let me know if you agree or disagree with what I said ♥
It may also not surprise you that these are my Top 3 favourite Monsta X albums:
Follow – Find You || The Connect || Take 2: We Are Here
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥