The finale of this MX series!
Well, until they make more albums and songs that I love. Then I’ll make another article like this, lol. These are all pretty much to be continued at a later time type of article. As long as a group or artist is active, and making music I love, there will be fave songs articles.
I said previously (in one of these articles), that I want to go back to TRESPASS, so we’ll start there. Then jump to THE CODE and onwards.
I was torn on using a group photo post Wonho’s departure. There’s literally one album with songs I’ll be talking about with the current lineup of six members. But since it’s the last album, it feels kinda fitting. Let’s begin!
Ahhh, a classic. The song and album that started it all. I don’t really listen to “Trespass” as much as I used to. But it’s still a banger. I love when a music video (especially in Kpop with more than four members), shows you who is who. Granted, like half of them have masks in the intro, you get an idea of who you’re looking at.
I can’t help to associate this song with their first (?) reality/variety show, RIGHT NOW. And them blasting “Trespass” in the dorm to wake them up in the first episode. That’s still one of my most favorite things they’ve done. I think about it all the time. And I still reference parts of it.
Going back to the song and video. Iconic lines and moments. Let’s see… Jooheon’s “excuse my charisma”, I.M’s rap ending the song, Hyungwon in that school uniform fit (just the top half, lol), Shownu’s dance solo in those blue pleather pants, and Wonho’s black hair and uniform fit, are the first things that come to mind.
Actually, the styling in “Trespass” is kinda a mess. There are parts I liked. I’ve always held that opinion. But I’ve also understood that was part of the marketing of the group. To have more of a rugged, cool, Hip Hop image… Or something, lol.
This is one of the few times when no MX member has credits on a song. Mad Clown is probably the most commonly known person to work on this song. But Kim Yina, Lissie, Assbrass (lol at that name), and Lee Jihoon are credited on this track.
To me, “One Love” is kinda underrated. I’ve never seen much praise for it online. It’s not as refined as other midtempo ballad songs they have like “Perfect Girl”, but I feel like it walked, so “Perfect Girl” could fly.
The slightly rough sound of TRESPASS has always been endearing to me. If y’all didn’t know. Monsta X was originally formed through a music competition, Mnet’s (of course, agents of chaos, Mnet would be involved) No.Mercy. We’ll come back to this in a bit.
But they got to work with different producers for this album, and got to experiment a bit. That’s why to me, this album sounds soooo different to their future projects. Less polished but more individuality because they were just really starting to become a unit.
Jooheon, I.M and Nago have song credits on this track and another fave song of mine on this album, “Blue Moon”.
“Blue Moon” is probably my least listened to of my favorite songs from TRESPASS, even less than I listen to the title track. I think it’s because it’s one of those songs that I forget I like. I had to listen to it again to remember how it went, because it’d been so long since I last heard it.
But I still love it. It’s a very chill, vibey song. I probably just need to listen to it a few times on spotify, so it starts putting it in rotation more when I listen to my music on shuffle.
The queen, the myth, the legend!! My favorite song from TRESPASS. They did what they had to on this track. This was a song originally performed by Hyungwon, I.M, and Jooheon for No.Mercy.
Then it got added to their debut album. I guess it was the most popular out of the songs performed on there? Idk I’ve only seen the hidden camera clip from the show. Another MX must see video.
Hyungwon looked so good here, omg.
I love everything about it. The horns at the beginning let you know it’s gonna be a fun time. You get this, well constructed, bridge to the chorus. The chorus itself is kinda simple, but it all flows sooo nicely.
We love a song with notable English lyrics like Jooheon’s “lets ride”, “real recognize real start countdown” (why did I put these lyrics in out of order, lol), I.M’s part sounding like he’s saying “I’m an Einstein” (not the actual lyrics), I mean, the whole chorus is catchy af.
Song credit wise we have Jooheon, I.M and Yella Diamond on the track. Fun fricken times.
Now on to The Code!
Okay, time to be obnoxious about Wonho again, lol. “From Zero” started off as a song Wonho wrote and arranged. When I saw Monsta X, Hyungwon was recovering from an injury, so he missed the tour.
Before “From Zero” became an OT7 song, it was a duet, with both Wonho and Hyungwon performing it. They also released an instrumental version of “From Zero” with a video of Hyungwon and Wonho spending the day together. It was originally released on Wonho’s birthday as a gift to the fans.
There are tons of fancams of them performing the song live together. However, when I saw MX, Wonho performed it solo. That was the moment I knew I was a Wonho girl from that point on tbh.
Sorry Hyungwon. Now I’m more of a Minhyuk girl if we’re talking about my favorite out of the current lineup, Hyungwon is still second fave 😅.
Anyway, I feel like I have to emphasize Wonho’s involvement in the creation of this song, and its permanent connotation with him. Same with “Hero” like you can’t think of that song and not think about Wonho stealing the show in that music video.
Jooheon, I.M, and Rich Chang have song credits on this song along with Brother Su. Idk when he showed up in the creative process.
If he polished everything once it became a full group song, or if he worked on it with Wonho at the beginning. But Brother Su is consistently making hits and a reliable artist to have on a track.
I ALWAYS forget about these damn self cam videos, lmao. I love these. Rapline steals the show on this song. My favorite Jooheon parts are the “all eyes on me” and “baby do what you wanna do”. Then I.M’s “yeoldaeya”, and his “yeah I’m freakin busy, who can tell me lazy” part in the start of his rap.
Also, they’re just doing a bunch of random things in this video. You gotta watch it twice. The first time for the lyrics, then the second to watch all the nonsense going on.
Crucial Star, Kooky, I.M and Jooheon have song credits on this one.
On to “Jealousy”!
So, the critical reception section of The Connect: Dejavu Wiki briefly explains why I loved “Jealousy” over “Dramarama”. The quote says, “Jealousy” was praised for its fresh sound as “a poppy dance track swelling with obnoxious synths and their favorite low brasses”, supposed as noted by Taylor Glasby of Dazed, it returned to more of Monsta X’s earlier style of “heavy EDM and trap singles” than their last single “Dramarama”.
Yeah, exactly. When MX strays from their EDM roots, I hate it, lol. I’ve been trying to articulate why I love their older releases more than their newer stuff, and yeah. Mr. Glasby summed it up perfectly.
For me, “Jealously” was like a coming home moment for me as a Monbebe. It made me think, “Okay, they still got it.” Because I started spending more time interacting and listening to other groups like NCT 127. And was starting to drop MX as one of my main faves.
But in hindsight, this really was the start of me being a casual Monsta X fan. This was the first album where the only song saved was the title track. And even with The Code, I had more than one song saved.
I’m still totally obsessed with this song. “Jealously” is another perfect example of what my favorite Monsta X songs/titles have. Catchy chorus, memorable English lines, A+ styling, fun choreography, stuff like that.
Apparently Dazed (magazine) included “Jealously” in their 20 best Kpop songs of 2018, and they’re right.
There are tons of people (compared to other songs on this list) who worked on this song other than Jooheon and I.M. We have Seo Jieum, Harry Somerdahl, Shane Simmons, Hayden Bell and Stereo 14. A few familiar names there.
I probably should have revisited this album to see if I had any changed feelings on these songs prior to writing this article, but oh well. I think it makes it better because I’m talking about songs that I’ve been listening to off and on for years.
On to Take.2 We Are Here!
FOOK I loveed this song when it first dropped. I still love it, but this was definitely the end of an era for me as a deep Monbebe. After this release, I would just drop in randomly on a Monsta X album and usually be disappointed with what I heard. Not because it was bad, just not the type of music I like from them, that’s all.
I don’t listen to “Alligator” as much as “Jealously”. It’s not as much of an earworm, but I get so excited when I do hear it.
We have more EDM and this time I have a second song saved, one of my absolute favorite songs ever, “Play It Cool”. But we’ll talk about that gem in a bit.
I love when there’s a scene with groups dancing in water. They styling again was amazing. I really loved their hair in this music video. Simple, but effective. I haven’t watched this video in ages, but I forgot how it blends in parts of other MX videos like “Beautiful” and “All In”.
Like, not actually callbacks, but similar set-ups like them being in rooms, roses, and being a slightly dark tone. I don’t think I’m explaining it well. But it feels like they’re in different universes, but still connected. I know “Alligator” song wise is connected to “Shoot Out”, and that series.
Play It Cool
When I say this is one of my favorite songs ever, I’m not even sure that scratches the surface. If I had like 30 minutes left to live, I’m hunting this song down. It’s up there with “View” by SHINee on my list of favorite songs ever. I have sooo much love for “Play It Cool”.
It’s one of the few collabs that works incredibly well. I forgot they made a music video for the English version of this song. You can watch that here, they look good, of course. Steve Aoki turning up the volume in the car is very much me when I’m driving.
I exclusively listen to the Korean version. I never noticed Jooheon rhyming 어디든지 (eodideunji) with bon voyage by pronouncing it bon voyage-ie. So smooth.
Anyway, Steve Aoki is a legendary DJ and music producer. My first introduction to him was a cameo in Cobra Starship’s “Send My Love To The Dance Floor“, as “the DJ from hey mister DJ”, lead singer Gabe Saporta’s words from the making of SMLTTDF video. That’s always stuck with me, lol.
Of all of Monsta X’s songs, if I’m recommending songs that aren’t as well know, like big title tracks like “All In”, this is definitely a must-listen. It’s different from their previous songs, but not at the same time.
Same with the next two songs…
Who Do U Love? (feat French Montana)
I love this song. I loved it on my very first listen of “Who Do U Love?” I know a lot of people skipped or refused to listen because of French Montana being on the track. His verse is fine. Nothing spectacular, It’s not cringe to where you can’t listen to it at all. But if I can skip it, I do.
Same with Migos rap on Katy Perry’s “Bon Appetit“. Actually, I like French Montana’s rap more than Migos on Katy Perry’s song. They sound completely out of place. I feel like French Montana did the best he could after watching like one MX video and did a quick Google search on the group after the labels secured the feature, lol.
Having everyone be vocals for “Who Do U Love?” was genius. I’m particularly found of Jooheon’s voice in this song. I remember watching them perform the song of Ellen, and I felt it was the Jooheon show out there, lol. He was having such a fun time.
Oh! Omggg I forgot to mention this is their first complete English album. They signed to Epic Records (Sony, basically), so they pretty much spent a decent chunk of 2019 promoting in the US.
So that’s why we got this English song and a whole ass album. The album itself also wasn’t that great for me. I love the R&B and Electro-pop genres mixed on this record, All About Luv. But it wasn’t anything that made me re-fall in love with MX and give more of their newer music a shot.
So because of this album being an English release, we got a tooon of people credited. We have all the members credited. Then we have Karim Kharbouch, Dan Henig, Jake Torrey (who as of writing recently worked on “Bomba” on KAI’s record, Rover. He’s also worked on a ton of American artist’s music like Charlie Puth.), Noah Conrad (worked on the English version of Wonho’s “Lose”), and Rosanna Ener.
Middle of the Night
Another MX songs I’m soooo in love with. One of my top 5 fave MX songs, easily. I think I’ve said that about more than five songs by now, lol. Same with it being one of my favorite songs ever.
I forgot there is a music video for this one. I’ve only watched it once or twice when it dropped. But I listen to this song regularly. It’s one of those songs that if it comes on while I’m driving, it’s getting blasted. And maybe a second listen as soon as it ends.
The music video is pretty literal. I like the camera work a lot in this video. Love the use of a green screen of a city with a car in front of it, like how old Hollywood would film driving scenes on sound stages.
I think that’s what they’re called. I totally forgot Wonho wasn’t in this video. I knew we’d hit that stage at some point in this article 😪.
Anyway, I hate that I didn’t like this album more because I love MX’s vocals on this song. Maybe it was because I hadn’t heard them in a while, at the time of this album’s release. So it reminded me of how talented and versatile they are. Plus, it’s always nice when the song is in your native tongue.
If you’re looking for an English song by a Kpop group that’s an original song (not an English version), and slaps, this is your girl.
I also feel like this is a song that sounds different from what you probably think a Monsta X song sounds like. But also makes sense that it would be a Monsta X song because of their slower paced songs. We know I love a good midtempo song.
This song just has crack in it. We have all the members credited again on the song. We have Ali Payami and John Mitchell also worked on this song. I was looking for a Discogs or Wiki link for him, but I didn’t see one. I’m assuming he’s also done a ton of music for Columbia/Sony.
Sound wise, jeez I’m so bad at this part, lol. It’s definitely a Pop track. But something about it has some like late night drive back in the mid to late 90s. There’s something nostalgic about it. My favorite part is the ending, with I think Jooheon singing “back to my ways in the middle of the night” as the song fades out.
Soooo good. 10000/10, highly HIGHLY recommend.
On to Fatal Love, the last of the MX songs for this article!
Admittedly, this section of this article is covering my least listened to MX songs, out of the ones I have saved on Spotify. I do enjoy the songs I have listed for this post, but I have less history and memories with them.
I’ve talked about how my Spotify, at least, is heavily reliant on playing the songs I actively seek out. And I know how to “trick” the algorithm into playing what I want. But if I haven’t listened to a song or artist in a while, and put my library on shuffle, there’s a high likelihood, it’s not getting picked.
So that’s my excuse for why I haven’t listened to these songs from this album much, despite them being some of the most recent MX songs I’ve enjoyed immediately in ages.
If I remember this album correctly, the tempos were pretty similar. And looking at the Wiki, there are a lot of producers/musicians I love who worked on this album. So that explains why I enjoyed it more.
Oh, before we go to the next song, my favorite part of this song is the “x x” parts. I don’t know why that’s so pleasing to my ears, but it is. I think because they have x in their name.
Stand Together (대동단결)
LETS FOOKING GOOOOOOO. I knew I was gonna love this song when it started with Jooheon yelling. I’m always here for his loud, passionate ass line delivery. This song just feels like a slight return to home. It’s a mature take on their earlier noise music tracks.
The chorus of course is my favorite part. I have to include the Genius English translation of the lyrics for this one:
MONSTA, we’re united together
Counterattack by rebellion
Now pull the trigger and we never change
Swallow the past and let the real thing come
Shred the brush on the paper
Hashtag, fact check
Yeah MONSTA X, we the best best
There’s more, but I’m gonna stop there. I love a song where the group know they’re great and hype themselves up, because they’re right. Just a banger of a song.
Ye-Yo! is back and I’m so happy to see them, lol. I.M and Jooheon also worked on this track.
Okay, I do listen to “Night View” the most out of these three songs. This song feels like it should have or rather could have been on All About Luv.
Of all these songs and albums mentioned in this article, I feel the strongest urge to give this album another shot. I will say there was a recent MX album I did listen to from start to finish, and I hated it, lol.
I was listening to about the 1:30 mark and then skipping to the next one. But I feel a rekindled spirit to give Fatal Love another chance.
Omggg this article took waaay long that it should have to have out. I had a bit of writer’s block part of last week. Then the last couple of days I got a new puppy, so I’ve had a lot of time ate up getting his adjusted and training. But I’m slowly getting back on track.
I also remembered at some point over the last few days that my TXT concert is next month and I didn’t have a lightstick secured. So earlier today while I was out getting additional puppy proofing items, I made a stop into one of my local Kpop stores and got that, and some other goodies. I’m planning on posting that mini haul on my Instagram soon.
I hope y’all enjoyed this article. As for now, the MONSTA X series of fave songs is done. I’ve been listening to more EXO lately. So I’m tempted to start working on some fave EXO articles. But I kinda dropped the NCT stuff I wanted to get posted on here.
So one of the two groups will likely be the next ones I’ll cover. Stay tuned for that. Follow me on Twitter for blog updates and other general nonsense from me, lol.
Until next post…