Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-side tracks deserve recognition, too. In the singles-oriented world of k-pop, I wanted to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
After the past couple of Monsta X comebacks, I might just have to become an official fan. The group has slowly expanded the styles that they tackle, and this has gone a long way in revealing the charms of individual members. New album The Connect: Deja Vu may have an overly complicated title, but it presents a diverse group of songs that dip their feet into new genres while maintaining Monsta X’s core sound.
Of all of these side steps, the one that holds the most potential is Destroyer. This song was used to soundtrack the group’s album teaser video/short film, which only heightened its cinematic effect. Written by A+ producers Caesar & Loui, Destroyer brings a rock surge to Monsta X’s hip-hop repertoire. It’s ostensibly a ballad, but delivered with enough panache and drive that it never drags. The skittering, tense instrumental certainly helps, presenting a dramatic soundscape that feels in constant build. Destroyer‘s chorus is melodically simple, but gorgeously executed with a knockout vocal performance that never goes overboard. And then, of course, there’s that post-chorus guitar break, which gives the song an identity all its own. Monsta X + distorted guitar = amazing, and I hope that this isn’t the last time we hear it on one of their tracks. If I could give them one critical piece of advice, it would be to ease up on the English-language rap. It’s always so overwrought, and feels wholly unnecessary.