Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides 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.
Monsta X’s Shoot Out is a fine single, but it’s one of the least interesting tracks on their new album. I’ve never considered myself a huge fan of the group, even though I’ve enjoyed most of their title tracks. However, Are You There may just change that. Song for song, it’s an incredibly strong piece of work. The guys have gone for a lighter, more melodic sound on most of the tracks, and that has allowed for a diverse collection of styles.
When I first heard Heart Attack, I was smitten. It’s one of Monsta X’s grooviest tracks, but not in the way you might expect. Its staccato beat actually reminds me of an updated version of all of those fantastic Yoo Youngjin-composed SM singles from years ago. The arrangement is different, but there’s a similar rhythmic energy.
The song kicks off with its titular hook, which positions the guys’ vocals over the same pattern as the instrumental. From here, we get an effective blend of hip-hop, smooth r&b-influenced melody and the song’s breathless, clipped chorus. Every element here is in service to the addictive rhythm, and that serves Heart Attack well. It’s a bit of a one-trick pony, but that trick proves compelling throughout the song’s three and a half minutes. More of this for future albums, please!