Monsta X is pulling a BTS and following up this May’s All In with a second promoted track from their latest album. Stuck (네게만 집착해) has the benefit of nearly three months behind it to help ingratiate itself, but even at the outset it shone as one of the stronger tracks on the album.
Stuck veers harder than anything Monsta X have released since their debut, built on a heavy mix of distorted electronics, thunderous beats and elements of orchestral bombast. The end result isn’t something I’d necessarily call melodic, but it pummels the listener so completely that it quickly becomes impossible to ignore. The instrumental has a grimy, post-apocalyptic appeal that makes it arguably the most dramatic song the group has ever recorded. It’s also a great showcase for the rappers, who are given a beat that they can really sink their teeth into.
Luckily, the chorus is just as strong, lurching forward with a deceptively anthemic hook that marries a strong sense of pathos to a traditional pop structure. I’m not sure it would be as effective without all the bells and whistles surrounding it, but the melody is well suited for the clamorous production, giving off a claustrophobic air of desperation that feels more emotive than any of the group’s past singles. Comparisons are inevitable, and I think Monsta X is still waiting on that one song that will fully set them apart from the groups whose style they’re paying homage to. Stuck isn’t quite that song, but it’s a definite step in the right direction.