Hi! Welcome to my playlist! I listen to a ton of music daily, and sometimes I find that song or album that is deemed repeatable until my iphone is like “That’s enough bitch.” Either way, this is first of many reviews I’ll be doing.
As a guideline, here are my ratings:
- Constant Repeat 4.5-5 Tape Decks
- Love! Daily listens 3.5-4 Tape Decks
- Meh, it’s okay 2-3 Tape Decks
- Wae?! No, Next 0-1.5 Tape Decks
TITLE: Take.2 We Are Here
ARTIST: MONSTA X
LABEL: STARSHIP ENTERTAINMENT
RELEASED: February 18, 2019
It has been under a year since I’ve fully committed myself to the Monbebe (Monsta X’s fan name) life. From the moment I heard the lisp come from Wonho’s lips in Beautiful, I was hooked. Now here they are with their 4th studio album and I can say Hyungwon wasn’t wrong when he described their music as MONSTA X K-POP.
As a followup to the explosive and experimental Take.1 Are You There?, MONSTA X answers the question clearly with 10 tracks that cement themselves in the sound of heavy bass-lines, explosive synths and intricate raps mixed with lovely melodies. Even though I found myself getting all nostalgic because some tracks felt like they came from the pages of previous releases, I didn’t feel like this was a step back for the group. To me, it felt like they were screaming, “Here we are! This is the shit we like!” and in the famous words of their maknae, “I am what I.M”
ALLIGATOR – Title Track
As far as title tracks go, it’s alright. Catchy hook from the beginning. However, the melody reminds me too much of Dramarama at times but without the same hit. What saves the track is the rap line coming for necks with their relay verse. Reminded me of another legendary rap duo, *Coughs* ChanHun in Monster *Coughs*. But just like that, I was sucked into the song. Also helps that the stage performance is ELECTRIFYING.
INTRO: WE ARE HERE
This sets up the whole album. A build up of epic proportions. It’s like you’re waiting for the drop and when it comes, it feels satisfying. I would have liked it to be a bit harder, but you can’t go too hard out of the gate, right?
The title explains it all. Everything about this track has a gothic vibe. And then the bridge comes in and makes it sweet and is wiped away after the rap
Play It Cool (feat. Steve Aoki)
Monsta X has dabbled into the house genre before but I think this is their first time really going for it with the help of Steve Aoki. At first listen I was like, meh. But after having it penetrate my whole being, the heavy bass and quick synth beats get me into the mood of 90’s dance music. Also to mention, singer Jooheon is a mood.
This one actually gives me a BTS Love Yourself vibe. I don’t hate it but it feels a bit not on par with the other tracks.
Give Me Dat
Come though Kihyun vocals! This was a grower song for me.
Talk about AMAZING! This is my favorite track off the album. It has Beautiful vibes but different. It’s if Beautiful and Destroyer had a baby. The hook is amazing and got me wanting to body roll all over the place.
The beat is fire and is a great hype song. Best to listen if you’re working out. I like to call this my Wonho song because if I listened to this at the gym, I’d look like him. (Or not)
I can do without.
This is probably my second favorite track. Very R&B heavy. Deep bass and sweet vocals. This is the kind of track I can chill and groove to. Not a sound I hear often from Monsta X but would like to hear more of.
BONUS: Play It Cool (English Version)
Most of the time I don’t like English versions of songs because it just doesn’t translate well or it just doesn’t have the same vibe. But this one hits as much as the original. It’s pretty on par and I actually don’t prefer one over the other. And Kihyun is a lowkey English King.
I think this album allowed MX the liberty to play with a few new genres but stay true to the sound they’ve created. It was nice to see them collaborate with new producers and step in a broader limelight. Alligator as a title track wasn’t as in your face as Shoot Out was for me but it definitely has staying power.
PRODUCTION : 3.5 / 5
VOCALS / RAPPING : 4 /
VISUALS / CONCEPT : 4 /
OVERALL : 4 / 10
Least Favorite Track(s): Stealer, Ghost
Favorite Track(s): Turbulence, Party Time