Monsta X are kicking off the new year with their 12th Mini-Album, REASON, out now. Consisting of six tracks, this album is the process of reflecting on the present Monsta X, who are keeping their grounds for 8 years. Throughout their success and trials, efforts to face fear and compassion during fierce times, they were able to discover the reasons behind all their emotions and find value in their relationship with fans. This conveys the message that one does not need to find reason in relationships with underlying trust.
The release of REASON comes 10 months after their previous album, SHAPE of LOVE, which NME referred to as an “exemplary of the group’s voracious appetite for pushing their sound forward and manages to stitch each sound together seamlessly and smoothly.” SHAPE of LOVE talked about various emotions associated with love, and now, they are ready to define their reason for existence amongst different relationships and discover what it means to have each other.
Focus track “Beautiful Liar” expresses the reason for love being found in the most extreme and dangerous relationships. A track that Hyungwon, Joohoney and I.M all contributed to writing; “Beautiful Liar” contains short, repetitive electronic guitar sounds and powerful funk rock elements. The theme of ‘an undeniable precarious feeling and love that cannot be let go even in a toxic relationship’ and members’ passion comes together for the highlight of the track.
This album presents a more diverse variation of genres, thanks to the members Hyungwon, Joohoney and I.M taking initiative as producers. Track #2, “Daydream,” highlights the soft and alluring side of Monsta X; while track #3 “춤사위 (Crescendo),” exhibits Monsta X’s tough image. Produced by Joohoney with his longtime producing partner Ye-Yo!, “춤사위 (Crescendo),” crosses genres through drill music blended with traditional Korean instruments, the Geomungo (traditional Korean plucked zither) and Taepyeongso (a double reed wind instrument). Showcasing his diverse musical spectrum with a Western inspired sound, Hyungwon produced track #4 “LONE RANGER,” which expresses the ambivalence of desiring to save someone from a difficult situation, but also the anxiety and worry of what will happen if they do not trust and follow. An R&B track written about “a series of undeniable emotions,” “DENY” was written and produced by Rapper I.M. The album closes out with another track produced by Joohoney and Ye-Yo!, “괜찮아 (IT’S ALRIGHT),” which describes the heart of a coward who is still haunted over a breakup, but acts like everything is alright.
For the past 8 years, all accomplishments that each member has accumulated so far have been achieved through the solid ‘relationship’ between Monsta X and their fans. Domains they have built as producers, rappers, singer-songwriters, and DJ have flourished into Monsta X and have given them a REASON to build sympathy and relationships with more fans throughout the years.