Under-the-radar boy group M.O.N.T have been steadily releasing music these past few months, whether as a trio or soloists. Most of it has drawn more upon hip-hop influences than the funk-pop of last year’s Rock Paper Scissors. But, even the most melodic tracks in M.O.N.T’s discography have always relied strongly on rap. Shadow is no different, though it steers the group’s sound in a new direction.
Shadow’s verses unfold with a more languid flow than usual, while its chorus injects an r&b vocal that feels new for the group. The entire track has a laid-back, extemporary feel to it. I have no doubt that the performance has been honed through weeks of practice, but it doesn’t come across as overly perfected. This organic atmosphere is very appealing, and matches the track’s jazzy groove. It also compliments M.O.N.T themselves, who have always had a slightly “rough around the edges” charm.
With that said, this approach has its drawbacks as well. Shadow will get your head nodding for a few minutes, but it never delivers the kind of knockout moment that might have you rushing back for more. The closest we get is the chorus, which offers a nice contrast between the gruff texture of the main vocal line and the more ethereal melody that follows. Shadow also introduces a groovy bridge, complete with vocal scatting and piano-led breakdown. It conjures a great mood, even if it’s quite specific in tone. Whether you’re up for that or not will greatly influence your enjoyment of the track.