Album Review: Monsta X – Beautiful

On the 21st of March, K-pop boyband ‘Monsta X’ from Starship Entertainment made a seemingly gorgeous comeback with their first full album, containing their title track ‘Beautiful’. As an avid listener of Monsta X’s previous releases, I was highly anticipating this release! The album contains a whopping number of 10 tracks that range from various genres.

Track List:

  1. Ready or Not
  2. Beautiful
  3. Incomparable
  4. Need U
  5. Oi
  6. Miss You
  7. Calm Down
  8. All I Do
  9. 5:14 (Last Page)
  10. I’ll Be There

Runtime: 00:33:17

Recommended For: Lovers of electronic influenced music, songs that go hard and are mainly infused with EDM and beat drops.

Not Recommended For: Ballad lovers; god no, don’t go anywhere near this album if you’re looking for peaceful tracks.

Album Review:

Track One – Ready or Not:

This track starts off the album in a loud, impressionable way. From the first second of this track, what sounds like a distinct motorcycle rev begins this track, increasing in intensity swiftly. The pace of the song quickens with a pulsating beat and quite violent synth work. Kihyun’s voice begins the song, repeating the phrase ‘ready or not’, which transitions into a rap from Jooheon. The rap flows fluidly, showcasing his interesting technique in a powerful way. Shownu’s melodic voice then sounds, momentarily slowing the pace of the song.

After the vocal line of Monsta X get their time to shine on the track, it once again transitions into a loud, intense chorus, mainly focusing on the EDM-infused music of this track than the singing. The song then continues in quite a repetitive way until the vocalists break it down, slowing down the pace substantially with their soft voices; effectively breaking the beat down, which then comes back twice as hard, with a deep bass supporting it.

Track Two – Beautiful:

This song being the title track, had a lot of anticipation and hype built behind it. Like most of Monsta X’s title tracks, it starts off with an electronic beat being prevalent, slowly increasing in intensity until Jooheon’s powerful, strong rap begins the song. His flow has always impressed, and following on from it, I.M fails to disappoint. Their rap keeps up with the fast pace of the song, and even when transitioning into Shownu and Wonho’s vocals, the contrast provided between the powerful rap and slightly less powerful vocals provides variation in the song that is pleasing for the listener. Then, of course, the chorus sounds, and Kihyun’s soft vocals support the music. Once again, it focusses more on the strong, electronic synth influenced music, representing a good time for a dance break. The break down of this track is quite sensual, yet doesn’t lose the initial power or heavy beat of the song. All in all, it was an interesting and nice track to choose for the title of this album.

Track Three – Incomparable:

Following on from the track ‘Beautiful’, this song looks like another that will serve nothing but compliments for the listener. Starting with a slow, soft beat influenced by R’n’B vibes, Shownu’s silky repetition of ‘beautiful’ begins the track. The vocalists in Monsta X chime along with this surprisingly soft beat, singing in an array of beautiful ways. Unlike the other tracks before this one, it’s clear that this song has more of a slow nature… until the chorus sounds. The song intensifies, a fast paced build up in the pre-chorus leading to an interesting break down and drop in the chorus. As a lover of beat drops, though it seems quite overwhelming to the ears at first listen, I love how the group’s vocals aren’t drained out by the music in this particular part of the song.

Track Four – Need U:

This track starts off with a smooth, calm beat, supported by slow, head-bopping clicks. The soulful guitar is then followed up by some synths, which grow in volume to turn into a chilled out, hip-hop influenced beat that sounds slightly dreamy at the same time. I.M’s rap fits very well with the R’n’B nature of the track, flowing smoothly and fluidly with the relaxed beat. The track continues in this way, providing continuity with a relaxingly hip-hop infused chorus that’s peppered with the sweet vocals of Shownu, Minhyuk and Kihyun, making this track perfect for listening to on a beach of some sort.

Track Five – Oi:

This song goes hard, and this is made very clear from the start of the track. Kihyun’s strong vocals are powerful and provide perfect support to the strong, intense beat created in the first few seconds of the track. This transitions into the first verse of singing, Minhyuk, Wonho and Shownu’s vocals slowing down the pace of the song slightly but still complementing a deep bass. Then, wow. Jooheon and I.M’s raps increase the pace of the song largely, the synths going double time as they spit fire, quite literally. Then once again, pulsating claps build up the pre-chorus, which transitions into the strong, dirty chorus. This track definitely leaves an impression on listeners, and is quite the journey.

Track Six – Miss You

This song cements its place as one of the slow-bops with an addictive electronic beat on this album. It somehow encompasses pop influenced beats with a great deal of synth work and slows it down so it comes across as emotional, yet is perfect for dancing to. Minhyuk’s slow, soulful voice starts off the first verse, transitioning into a rap from Jooheon that somehow keeps up with the initial heartfelt pace of the track. The chorus has an addictive hook that catches listener’s attention and makes the song reminiscent of a serenade, especially when the song slows down near the end of the track. The track takes an interesting, groovy beat and combines it with an array of vocal techniques and raps to make this song easy to get hooked on.

Track Seven – Calm Down

This track is heavily influenced by electronic beats and EDM, starting off very heavy sounding and loud from the very beginning of the track. More so than focussing on the group’s vocal capability, this song expresses more of the rap side of Monsta X’s ability. I.M starts off the first verse with a strong rap he spins to make more of his style, delivering it with precision and his own little twist. The chorus consists of stronger vocals from Kihyun, that I personally feel really make the song when given a repetitive, techno beat to work with. Jooheon’s rap flows impressively, and his ability is made clear through how he raps successfully and powerfully line after line with no need to catch a breath. Honestly though, this track does get quite repetitive after a while, the deep and dirty bass only infatuating me for the first two minutes of the track.

Track Eight – All I Do

Wow, this song provides some much needed variation to the album with a funky guitar melody starting off the track, supported by clicks, drums and Kihyun’s smooth, sexy voice. The first chorus starts off, infusing groove, retro and funk into a delicious beat that complements the vocalists in Monsta X’s varying styles. The song then slows down its tempo momentarily, Shownu’s vocals compelling listeners in the pre-chorus, that leads up to the lively, poppy chorus. The song continues on this way, creating another dance track to add to the plethora of similar tracks on the album, yet is a refreshing listen for the ears during the journey that is this album.

Track Nine – 5:18 (Last Page)

This song starts off with seemingly classical, high-pitched violin influenced synth work, followed by I.M and Jooheon’s English and Korean duet, effectively slowing the pace of the track down. Kihyun’s heartfelt vocals start off the first verse, which mainly consists of singing and adlibs from the group’s rappers. This then leads into the chorus, which once again features the vocalists. The song is laid back, reminiscent of slow hip-hop beats heard in old school tracks. It continues on this way, till only low bass and hip-hop ‘heys’ sound, and Jooheon and I.M craft a slow rap that fits well with the beat. All in all, this song – in the words of I.M – slowed down the album with it’s simple, soft beat.

Track Ten – I’ll Be There

This sentimental track starts off with a seemingly tropical influenced beat that consists aspects of hip-hop, creating a nostalgic, heart warming feel to this track. The song begins with Kihyun’s vocals coaxing the listener, intriguing the ears into the soft melody this conclusive track holds. Strong drums then fade out to make a slow pace supporting I.M’s soft rap in the first verse, and the rapping duo strike again with Jooheon chiming in shortly after. The chorus consists of some high notes from Shownu in particular, making this song’s harmony one of the prettiest on the album. Continuing on this way, this song serves as a track that confirms I’ll be there to anticipate Monsta X’s further releases after such a solid album! The best way to describe the ending of this song is that it’s bittersweet, as it’s satisfying, yet the end of a great track and album.

Review overview
Summary Monsta X cements their solid discography with another impressive release, this one consisting on a plethora of tracks the group seem to spoil us fans with! While it was an entertaining, interesting listen, there were times where I felt as though the music lacked variation and diversity, which limited the score I could award this album with.
NCT Enthusiast - Drama Addict - Music Critic.

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