In contrast to Starship Entertainment’s first boy group, the bright and poppy Boyfriend, Monsta X debuted in 2015 with a much stronger hip-hop sound. Before that, the group had been formed through variety series No Mercy, which helped to develop an instant (and very international) fan base. Two years later and they’ve released just enough singles for a countdown.
10. Hieut (with Junggigo & Vasco) (2015)
Though more of a collaboration track than a proper group release, this No Mercy single grabs the last spot on the list thanks to its smooth, hypnotic hook.
9. Shine Forever (2017)
Taking a more anthemic ballad approach, Shine Forever’s exciting moments are ultimately let down by the song’s overly repetitive chorus. (full review)
8. Rush (2015)
Riding on a funky gurgle of synth, Rush’s simple chant of a hook packs more power than expected and offers a jolt of fun to offset Monsta X’s often serious sound.
7. Beautiful (2017)
Melding the aggressive with the emotive, Beautiful is at turns overwhelming and affecting. Its falsetto-driven chorus acts as the soft oasis in the center of all the turbulence. (full review)
6. Interstellar (ft. Yella Diamond) (2015)
A hip-hop-heavy pre-release track that offers more funk in its bouncy, brass-fueled beat than much of the group’s promoted material.
5. Stuck (2016)
Stuck‘s creeping, dubstep-influenced beat paints the perfect backdrop for the dramatic frenzy of a chorus at its center. (full review)
4. Trespass (2015)
An aggressive sucker-punch of a debut, Trespass quickly established the group’s boisterous sound with its abrasive synths and hard-hitting hip-hop.
3. All In (2016)
All In builds on the sounds from Monsta X’s debut year and polishes them with a newly mature, mysterious appeal. Its melodic chorus contrasts brilliantly with the noisy verses. (full review)
2. Fighter (2016)
A true red herring in their discography so far, Fighter feels miles apart from much of the group’s material. But this bombastic ode to pump-you-up 80’s symphonic power rock offers a galvanizing burst of streamlined pop energy that stands out. (full review)
1. Hero (2015)
A culmination of their debut-era blend of creeping synths and hip-hop braggadocio, Hero tethered the group’s more brash influences with an addictive pop chorus and more memorable moments than you can count. Of all their tracks so far, this feels like the most focused distillation of their charms.