In their first official comeback without Wonho, Monsta X returns with the energized dance track, “Fantasia.” Although they did release an English album earlier this year, Wonho vocals were still on the album. However, he did not participate in any comeback promotions. Their English album deterred from their typical formula as they ventured into more common Western genres. However, with “Fantasia,” they go back to their EDM roots. Monsta X MV’s and albums are connected by symbols pertaining to time and connection. While their previous track “Follow” was about reconnecting with someone else, “Fantasia” is about reconnecting with yourself and powering through adversity. What is unique to “Fantasia’s” MV is the use of color and back-up dancers to create an eye-catching MV.

Although sparsely used, “Fantasia” does contain similar symbols to “Follow’s” MV that help link them despite being different in concept. “Follow” had a strong emphasis on time and displayed clocks throughout the MV. On top of this, “Follow” displays many symbols pointing at an eclipsed sun that eventually comes out of the shadows. “Fantasia” references both a clicking clock and a fully displayed fiery sun right at the beginning of the MV tying them both together.

Most noticeably, “Fantasia” exhibits a heavy use of gold and black colors creating a luxurious and royal theme in their aesthetics. While this helps create a sense of power throughout the MV, it is not consistent in all the members’ scenes. For instance, Joohoney stands in an all-black leather outfit holding two panthers on golden chains in a room with black walls and golden details. The scene stands out showing Joohoney in a state of power and confidence which connects to the lyrics of the song. Conversely, Shownu is in a black and white suit as he looks to be sinking into water ending up in a watered-down altar. His scene is more negative which does not seem to relate to the same concept as Joohoney. This is seen throughout the MV as they all have separate scenes but lack consistency on what message they are trying to send.

Monsta X always has an amazing choreography to go along with their music and “Fantasia” is no exception. The dance routine starts off strong and fast with an enthusiastic jump and foot-focused choreography. The impressive foot shuffle routine goes by so quickly you might miss it on the first watch. The camerawork is just as fast as it zooms quickly in and out and focusing on different angles. The camera will sometimes even tremble during certain parts to show the impact of the dance’s choreography. It looks like this is one of their most intense choreography and they definitely nail it.

However, it is the use of back-up dancers that set this MV apart from others. The backup dancers enter during I.M’s rap segment as he stands in the same black and gold Victorian room used throughout the MV. Most of the dancers are shirtless and with all black shorts or leotards. They all have their face covered with a black holeless mask. Their dancing is more chaotic and interpretive. This contrasts with Monsta X’s choreography which is precise and done in unison with structured outfits. The chaotic dancers’ hands are seen again behind Minhyuk as they appear out of darkness seemingly without bodies. This creates a eerie scene as Minjyuk looks to the camera unbothered.

It is unclear who these faceless dancers represent. The song’s lyrics are about moving forward and feeling empowered. Monsta X has had a turbulent couple of years. Last year scandals and the loss of a member plagued them as they trended across social media and news sites. Are the faceless dancers the news sites that capitalized on their tragedies? Or is this just an artistic choice to elevate their dance performance? At the end of the MV, Monsta X members are indifferent to the sporadic dancers who ultimately fall down to the floor. If these are the multiple rumors and criticism of their situation, then it is possible that the members are suggesting that they no longer let this affect them.

The song genre’s is an EDM track that carries the same formula as previous tracks. Monsta X, for the most part, is consistent. With such, their fans will love that they are getting more of the same while others may want something different at this point. That is not to say that this is a bad track although it does not have the same catchiness as previous tracks like “Alligator” or “Dramarama.” As stated previously, the song’s lyrics point to someone gaining confidence. The word “fantasia,” however refers to imagination and fantasy. They even repeat the phrase, “let me be your fantasy” which typically suggests they want to be part of someone’s impossible dream. As such, the voice of the song is imagining a more confident version of themself and then making that thought a reality:

Hesitation, Not anymore
Like the beginning, again We on a roll
Because this is my fate
Burn up hotter

Monsta X’s “Fantasia” is a decent track with an MV that does not differ too much from their previous MVs with a focus on dance performance and symbolism. The MV focuses more on aesthetics creating dramatic scenes for each member to show off their individual traits. Additionally, it uses color and darkness to create a luxurious yet mysterious look to the MV. The addition of back-up dancers gives variety to the dance-performance. As always, Monsta X’s brings a well-choreographed dance routine, that will likely help set them apart during showcases.

(Youtube. Lyrics via Genius Lyrics. Images via Starship Entertainment.)