Monsta X are the bad boys of the K-pop world, or that’s how I like to think of them. Among all other boy groups, Monsta X has a very masculine image that is displayed by their members and in their music. And when mentioning masculine, it is said in a very stereotypically viewed term, i.e. muscles and heavy beat aggression.
Members Shownu and Wonho are constantly praised for their muscular bodies on variety shows. The annual MAMA’s seem to now have a tradition of Wonho tearing off his shirt. Even other boy groups are unabashedly vocal about their crushes on Wonho. Musically, Monsta X’s title tracks are edgy, heavily infused with hip-hop, EDM, and Jooheon’s growls. Their lead singles are also lyrically aggressive, usually depicting a possessiveness or a competitiveness.
However, Monsta X actually has quite a deeper side to them. Did you know? Underneath all the heavy bass is a group with dreams and serenading tunes.
This first track comes from their mini album, The Code. The Code is a memorable mini album because it holds the song “Dramarama.” The song brought Monsta X their first ever music show win 2 years after debuting. “Tropical Night” was fitting for this moment because it is unlike most of Monsta X’s typical lyrical content (love); this song is about Monsta X’s ambitions and dreams. The composition of the verses are set breathlessly and slow as if in a warmer climate. As Monsta X sings, they sweat more over their dreams as opposed to the heat. The chorus picks up as Monsta X becomes a star soaring over the hot tropical night and they begin to feel the adrenaline of the world’s eyes on them.
The Connect: Dejavu was released directly after The Code. The main track “Jealousy” is a good example of an aggressive type of song. On the other hand, the mini album contains tunes like “Crazy in Love” which unravels the roots of jealousy itself: insecurity.
The composition for “Crazy in Love” starts off slowly, as if stuck in time. It feels like Monsta X is in a dark and empty room hearing their own echos in their mind. The song depicts the dreaded moment when a couple is about to breakup and Monsta X is absolutely helpless to stop the next lines:
“Please don’t say the words that are hanging at your mouth, “Let’s break up”.
“Fallin’” is another track off of The Connect: Dejavu that falls back into their heavier melodies. The track has a fun introduction with a carnival “Ladies and Gentlemen!” opening vibe. The introduction is backed with Jooheon saying “We’re about to start!” and then enter heavy bass! This song actually makes for a very fun dance track and has some musical breaks for dancing as well. The song itself is about emotional desperation as Monsta X is literally thirsty for answers.
You got answers, I got questions
We gotta start it, get it action
I show you real, it ain’t fiction
Babe focus on me like a meditation
The music relates to the craziness of emotions at the beginning of most relationships, with each individual unsure of how to act or what the other might be thinking. Monsta X is full of questions and it seems their potential lover is full of questions as well. After the chorus, there is the fun music break with the words “Question, question” mixed in the background. This is quickly followed by soulful singing asking for a sweet release by making it rain to quench a thirsty Monsta X.
“Need U” is an R&B/Hip-hop song that instantly draws you in with a groovy guitar melody backed with a snapping beat. It sets the stage for a man to serenade a girl like in the movies. All he needs is his guitar and a simple melody. However, this is a Monsta X song and it is no surprise that 17 seconds in, a little hip-hop flare kicks in.
This song is about Monsta X’s need for a particular girl. They sing to the girl about how they will never make her cry, how she is not like other girls, just how much they are into her, and how they are waiting for her to accept them. “Need U” is a really nice listen.
“Blue Moon” is a complete throwback. It dates back to Monsta X’s first album, Trespass. It is a rare track musically in Monsta X’s discography as it is infused with some jazz elements. The musical setting of “Blue Moon” also depicts a Monsta X that is more accepting of their break up situation. This is the case probably because the song sets itself in the context where they have been given time to let the truth sink in.
This is only a small snippet of a fun discography Monsta X has built over the past 4 years. Their image and music style has remained consistent, though still offering room for them to grow. And there is no doubt that Monsta X is definitely growing as a group. Do you have any other Monsta X tracks you like to rock out to? Leave them in the comments below!
(Youtube, Color Coded Lyrics . Images via Starship Entertainment)