Monsta X return with their 12th mini-album, ‘REASON’. A neatly packaged reflection of the group’s eight year reign as one of the most recognisable groups in K-pop.
‘Beautiful Liar’ leads the mini-album, opening up a strong presence that is often associated with Monsta X. Beginning with intense guitars featuring a crescendo solo leading into the familiar vocals of I.M. Expressing dangerous love in unexpected places, the group utilises a seductive beat to impart the alluring lyrics. Monsta X tends to be at their best when presenting dangerous concepts. Previous tracks such as ‘Love Killa’ and ‘Gambler’ are among some of the group’s stronger releases and ‘Beautiful Liar’ feels within the same vein. Similarly, Joohoney’s rap is highlighted in the self-produced ‘Crescendo’. Utilising a concoction of Korean and Western instruments creating a unique interpretation of drill.
‘Daydream’ dances along with a funfair-esque tune which later leans into a sinister reflection of a dream. Guided by the vocals of Kihyun, Minhyuk and Hyungwon, ‘Daydream’ contradicts the perception of softness and enticing. Yet it is ‘Lone Ranger’ that really demonstrates the whole group’s vocal competence. Set in a high pitch the chorus allows for Minhyuk and Kihyun to flex their potent range, whilst the heavy beat gives way to I.M’s charming expression. Final tracks ‘Deny’ and ‘It’s Alright’ produce an air of lightness. Contrary to earlier tracks, Monsta X do not leave light-hearted love songs out instead they lean into the glistening pop with clear vocals and radiant delivery.
‘REASON’ is an accumulation of the past eight years. Monsta X presents six contrasting tracks, each showcasing a different genre highlighting the group’s versatility. With each member either contributing to the writing or production side of the mini-album it gives Monsta X fans a sense of closeness and reflection. The group have never felt limited to a singular genre, instead they evolved their presence in the worlds of R&B, pop and rock. ‘REASON’ demonstrates this by starring six neatly polished tracks that Monsta X will be able to cherish in years to come.
Words: Abbie Aitken