Monsta X have returned with their fourth full Korean album Fatal Love (though their minis often have enough tracks to count as “full” under other agencies’ qualifications). And, the album feels like a bit of a progression for the group, leaning closer in sound to their English-language work. Whether that’s a positive thing or not depends on your taste, but the best I can say about Love Killa is that it doesn’t sound exactly like what I expect from a Monsta X title.
I can definitely get behind the thumping electro bass that powers much of Love Killa. It has a slinky, slightly threatening appeal that draws out a more nuanced performance from the group. Their albums are often more diverse than their singles suggest, and that quality is capitalized upon here. However, the track lacks a strong hook. There are plenty of memorable asides sprinkled throughout the song, but the chorus itself feels like a charismatic series of one-liners rather than an exciting refrain. I don’t think a song like this needs a huge pop chorus, but it does require an engaging centerpiece. What we get is fine, but pretty unremarkable.
My main gripe with Love Killa mirrors my thoughts about many Monsta X tracks. It’s just got too many moments of posturing cheesiness. Yet, the whole thing is trussed up to be ‘super serious badass’ rather than capitalizing on its inherent camp. There’s got to be more creative ways to puff up your chest than proclaiming “Imma slay.” It’s just kind of obvious, isn’t it? If you’re really going to slay, should you even have to say it?